Sunday, March 2, 2008

Class size & Learning: Seating Arrangement

Class size & Learning: Seating Arrangement
1. In Rows

Less distracted, easier to keep an eye on the students

As far as seating arrangement, the old fashioned rows suit me. For middle school students, this is the best way for them to sit in classroom. If they sit in groups or are facing each other they tend to socialize or play around. Sitting in this way lets me know as well who is paying attention and know they are looking forward instead of somewhere else.—Analicia Springer, January 30, 2008, EDCI 6304
2. In Circles

More comfortable/equal

I also like the fact that we are seating in somewhat of a modify circle. We can see each other and we have an eye-to-eye perspective and it makes me feel equal to everyone else.—Esteban Rubalcava, Jan 23, 2008, EDCI 6304

This time we were seated in a way where we were all facing each other. I liked it because it made me feel more comfortable.—Hector Galvan, January 23, 2008, EDCI 6304
3. In Groups

More academic/social interaction

Personally, I have experienced positive feedback when utilizing a myriad of seating arrangements with my students especially in a small class of ten to eighteen students. I prefer to place students in small groups of three or four as it allows for pairing of individuals even within the small groups. The pairing of students allows for social and academic development utilizing activities that spark discussion and critical thinking. The article, “Scenes from a classroom”, discusses how students can be engaged more effectively in the learning process through grouping and various teaching strategies.—Raul Gracia February 4, 2008, EDCI 6304

More Student-centered learning

Through research and teacher trainings I have made the transition towards active learning and let students be at the center of the learning process as opposed to me doing all the work. With this in mind I will continue to utilize small groups and dwell on the fact that class size does make a difference when it comes to reaching learners. —Raul Gracia February 4, 2008, EDCI 6304

More productive learning

I still enjoy small group discussions and activities. They tend to be more productive than just listening to lectures and writing notes; take EDCI 6304 for example. I know that my classmates and I are taking a greater interest in learning and cognition due to Dr. Dengting’s mix of interactivity and information presentation. – Raul Gracia February 4, 2008, EDCI 6304

Better retention of information

In addition, retention of important information is greater than other classes due to varied seating arrangement and grouping methods. I have also been successful in incorporating many of the techniques that our professor uses to make learning engaging and successful.—Raul Gracia February 4, 2008, EDCI 6304
More close to the teacher

During reading time, we do centers in our class. The reason why we do centers in reading is to break the class size and be able to work in smaller groups of five students. The students love to do reading centers because they get an opportunity to work in small groups and be closer to the teacher.—Griselda Garcia, February 4, 2008, EDCI 6304

More able to apply differentiated teaching


I get to differentiate the instruction for each different group. I try to do different things using the same story. For example, I challenge my high group because they already know how to read, while my low group need help in reading and comprehending what they read. If I had to this in whole group instruction I don't feel that I be reaching each child's different needs. Even though, the students are all in the same class they all have different needs. Some of them are already reading while others are trying to understand what they read. –Griselda Garcia, February 4, 2008, EDCI 6304

4. In the Front

Less distraction

In high school, it was always easier for me to sit in the front to get rid of distractions or things that could get me in trouble (note-passing, talking, laughing, etc.). —Mayra Garcia January 31, 2008, EDCI 6304

Receive more attention from the teacher

As a student, I have always liked sitting in the front. I feel that the teacher gets to know me better and is able to recognize my face faster…In college, I continued to sit in front of the class because I felt that the professors would get to know me better than the others who sit in the back.—Mayra Garcia January 31, 2008, EDCI 6304

Able to obtain more information

I like sitting in the front because if anything is written on the board, I am able to see it immediately and copy it down. If the professor is talking and for some reason they are monotone or just speak very slowly/quietly, I have the advantage of hearing everything they are saying because I am sitting in the front. —Mayra Garcia January 31, 2008, EDCI 6304
From teachers’ perspective

Easier to watch, better behavior

Their seating arrangement was also awesome because they were spread out from each other but sitting close to me at the same time. —Mayra Garcia January 31, 2008, EDCI 6304

This is where seating affect student learning, I always have the students that are more active next to me at all times so I can keep a closer eye on them. Even in line when I walk my students back to class I use some of my students as leaders to help monitor the lines. I always have a line of boys and a line of girls, if any one is talking in line the get sent to the front of the line. This is how I can maintain a safe learning environment.—Ernesto Guillen February 4, 2008, EDCI 6304

Better behavior, better grades

My class size is of 20 students. Some of my students who would sit in the back are now sitting in the front. I noticed that when they would sit in the back they would get low grades. Now, that they are sitting in the front they are getting better grades. I also have a student who used to misbehave sitting in the front. He has very good grades now that he sits in the front and his does not misbehave at all.—Griselda Garcia, February 4, 2008, EDCI 6304

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