Classroom Builder Activity: Seating Charts

Classroom Builder Activity

BLE 504


University of Phoenix


I teach high school special day classes for students receiving Special Education services.  I normally have a maximum of 12 students with approximately half being ELL students.  I have found that high school students like more structure, and I therefore have set up a traditional seating arrangements.  I believe in minimal furniture and decorations, though I do encourage students to bring in print media that is meaningful to them, and projects that can be put on walls are put there.  I utilize  a significant amount of technology, and I usually have computers In my classroom.  I keep them facing away from the students soasto to not cause a distraction.  I never teach from my desk, but I do need a desk in my classroom and I keep it to the side.  I keep bookshelves with reading and other materials.  I like classrooms with lots of natural light so that I can turn the lights off when possible.  I teach from a stool.  I find that standing can be intimidating and possibly threatening to the students.  However I do walk around the room often, and a stool allows me to get up quickly.  A projector is at the center of my room, and ppt or google doc presentations are an integral part of my teaching.

Below is a rational for the seating chart of my students.


“Jesus is an English language learner in Special Education. He requires individual teacher support to experience success.”

I plan to group Jesus with Robert when possible.  I placed Jesus in the back to that service providers can work with him unobtrusively.


“Pablo is an English language learner and has a near-native level of speech. He is well behaved and almost always follows the classroom rules. He needs to be exposed to a wide variety of reading genres.”

Pablo is in the back row due to his good behavior and appropriate speech for other to hear.


“Paul is a native English speaker who has speech difficulties and is pulled out twice a week for 30 minutes by the speech teacher. He needs the teacher to use speech that is precise and pronounced clearly.”

Paul is near  the door to facilitate his speech services pull outs.  I also want him near  Maria who I suspect will be happy to help Paul with class work, etc..


“Jessica is an English language learner with good comprehension. She can produce simple sentences, but needs practice sounding out stories phonetically.”

It is my hope that Jessica and Wendy will work well together.  I  want  at least two female students in the back row and I’m going to take a  chance that this will work out.  I


“Wendy is a native English speaker who is unorganized and often does not understand instructions the first time they are given. She needs to sit near the front of the classroom.”

It does not state the Wendy  has an IEP the requires her to be given preferential seating.  I do not find lack of organization and understanding directions a reason to be in the front row.  I have placed her in the middle back row, in that my attention when I teach tends to go in this direction so she will be in my range of view often. 


“Michael is a native English speaker. He is active and finds it difficult to pay attention in class. He needs lots of structure.”

Given Michael’s needs, I  am giving him a spot  in the middle row, but I am  reserving a seat for him in the front row, between another student and the projector if he requires this.


“Alfonso is an English language learner who initiates short conversations with his classmates. He needs the teacher to use longer sentence stems to support his responses.”

I placed Alfonso next to Kim for the same reason as working with Yesenia


“Chen is an English language learner who is verbally unresponsive to questions and repeats everything the teacher says. She needs the teacher to use simple commands, gestures and objects to communicate meaning.”

I placed Chen near the front of the room to maximize non-verbals.


“Robert is a native English speaker and is considered to be gifted and talented. He is two grade levels ahead in his reading ability and needs activities that challenge him to think at a higher cognitive level.”

It is my hope that Robert and Michael will get along that he can support Michael with class work.  given that Robert may be gifted, I placed him near the wall.


“Kim is an English language learner with lots of musical talent! She initiates short conversations with her classmates and understands easy stories when provided picture support.”

I put Kim next to Yesenia to support Yesenia”s communication goal of speaking in longer sentences.


“Maria is an English language learner who loves to read! She has excellent comprehension, makes few grammatical errors, and needs to be exposed to many different kinds of literature.”

Maria , as an historically good student, will likely want to sit in the front row.  she will anchor the part of the room by the door (i.e. she will likely not push the boundaries of dismallsial  time>


“Jose is an English language learner. He participates in class discussions using key words and familiar phrases. He loves to draw and paint and needs opportunities to do so.”

Jose sits behind Yesenia.  I placed him in the back row given his independence and this will allow the more developing learners of English to hear appropriate modeling from peers.


“Yesenia is an English language learner and responds to questions with short phrases or sometimes one or two word sentences. She needs pictures and real objects for support.

I put Yesenia behind chen to keep her close to help her make longer statements out loud w/o having to speak across the classroom.

In terms of safety, I come to each learning environment with the assumption that my students will not assault each other, but that teasing or bullying will occur.  I reserve the right to change seating at any time and I inform the students of this often.  I make sure that all students are and feel welcome.

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