Seating plans: not the sexiest of topics to blog about but here we are after a 12-week action research cycle.
12 weeks, Marc?
It’s not a big class but if you follow the Pareto principle that 85% of your problems come down to 15% of what’s on your plate then this class is my 15%.
Gambit – a boy that can work well but cannot resist fussing about what others do.
Iceman – a boy that thinks he can’t do anything but I’d actually more able than he thinks.
Nightcrawler – a boy who is very literate and able but cannot sit still.
Angel – a boy who has sone kind of autistic spectrum disorder. Highly literate and communicative but also highly disruptive.
Cyclops – a quiet boy of medium ability.
Psylocke – a girl who is quite able but unwilling to try her best in case she falls short of her own benchmark based on others’ work.
Ms. Marvel – a girl who performs well in all skills. Confident but occasionally rushes work too much.
Some things that I found out quickly
The girls need to sit together else Psylocke won’t work.
Psylocke and Gambit distract each other.
Gambit and Angel irritate each other for fun but Angel will scream and occasionally lash out.
Cyclops cannot work near Angel, nor can Iceman. Iceman also cannot work near Nightcrawler.
None of the children like sitting alone very much and anyway, they need to practice speaking English as well as reading and writing.
So, what I did
I used Google Slides to plan my seating each lesson. Often I had one-week notice of absences. I logged any problems and/or changes. Sometimes I noticed huge problems that I had not anticipated, for example that Iceman will work near Gambit, a huge fusspot, but not near Nightcrawler who has a more relaxed temperament. It is not possible to seat Iceman near Cyclops due to Cyclops’ frequent absence.
Strangely, Nightcrawler and Angel make a good seating combination with Cyclops. Iceman and Gambit tend to relax one another, too. While I dislike the idea of boys and girls not sitting together, I am resigned to the girls need to sit together for affective reasons but bring them to work with boys when possible, often Nightcrawler and Cyclops or Angel.
Should this really have taken 12 weeks?
Well, it was more like nine and then three weeks to see if it was final. While ny final plan is not perfect it is good enough and the best possible solution for me and the children.