1- I know where my students are supposed to be, who is absent and can quickly get work passed out when students are in assigned groups(or tables).
2- It also avoids the social anxiety of cliques (think of the table hierarchy in the high school cafeteria...yea...not so fun) and someone is always being left out. I want my art room to be a safe place for kids to be and never want a student to have that feeling.
3-Another reason is behavior management. I can pair my struggling students up with some positive role models and help them make more positive choices with their behavior.
4- And don't forget modifications! Some students are required to have 'preferential seating' near the teacher. You can meet that need without others picking up on the assigned spot. =)
So how does one assign seats for 400 students? I have the seating chart in my binder along with my attendance chart. I make this diagram on Word, but you can make it with any drawing/writing program. I also label other items around the room for subs to easily navigate my room.
sticky flags from Staples. They run about $2 for 125 flags. They a semi-transparent and you can use them to color code too. Most importantly you can quickly rearrange students seats without needing a pencil and eraser! Fast, easy and simple.
What is your vote? Assigned or Not?