A seating plan tackles more than just a classroom arrangement, it's a fantastic behaviour-management tool too. Seating plans can impact an entire class and determine how groups perform throughout the term.
For instance, a typical ‘girl-boy-girl-boy’ seating plan is popular, but if boys are surrounded by girls who are more able, they risk becoming more introverted and will achieve less. Likewise, grouping inattentive children together is not best practice; young people that are grouped as the 'problem table’ initiates a self-fulfilling prophecy, as they feel judged from the very beginning.
If your school still uses paper-based seating plans
Firstly, there’s nothing inherently wrong with using a paper-based seating plan, but you’re certainly limited on the resources available to help better enhance your students’ learning.
Most sophisticated seating plan systems will integrate with your school’s Management Information System, which will pull through vital information about your students’ performance, predicted grades, historic assessment, behaviour data and SEND information, for example. With this information, you can start to build a performance-enhancing seating plan.
Online seating plans
If, like many schools, you are using an online platform to manage your class seating plans, here are 4 ways you can better utilise it:
1. Simply populate a seating plan
It’s not uncommon for teachers to not have any formal seating plans in place. Instead, they let students pick their seats at the very beginning.
Students will tend to sit next to their friends, which leads to a focus more on socialising and less on learning. As teachers get to know their group, they can pick out leaders and followers. This will ensure that two leaders are not in any one group, which will aid everyone’s learning.
A seating plan system, like MINTclass, offers a feature that automatically sorts students into a seating plan based on the data you already have. Teachers can then update and amend as necessary throughout the school year. It saves teachers time and mixes up student groups, so they can learn from each other.
2. Using data
MINTclass can display behaviour data. You can also record and report on behaviour and attendance data within MINTclass, allowing you to optimise your seating plan.
SEND data can be displayed with need types and hyperlinks to important documents, such as IEP, ILPS, flight paths etc., allowing teachers access to this data at the click of a button.
The system is customisable, every school has information that is unique to them. All MINTclass fields, templates and terminology are all customisable to reflect your true school environment.
If you have it, MINTclass can show it.
3. Take advantage of tracking data
Teachers will know the sorts of students they have in their classes - their general attitude towards the subject, ability and effort levels.
This data is used to build an effective seating plan, as referenced above. But rather than relying on your memory or flicking back through your mark book, MINTclass updates all data every night so you will always have the most up to date data at your fingertips.
4. Streamline homework setting
Many sophisticated seating plan systems have adopted a homework feature, which allows teachers to set and mark homework. It can save teachers hours of time in chasing late submissions.
As MINTclass development is driven by our schools, we are now launching an innovative homework module, which will allow staff to set, mark, share and re-use homework, saving time. And you can even grant parents/guardians access to view their child’s data.
Having this module and others integrated with MINTclass saves teachers time having to switch between multiple systems.
Book a demo
To discover how an online seating plan could work for your school, book a free product demo with our product team by calling 02380 016 563 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to help.
Support for MINTclass customers
If you’re an existing MINTclass customer, we offer refresher sessions to ensure your staff members are taking advantage of the features available to them. If this is something of interest, please contact us on email@example.com.
If you need help with the system please contact our support team on 02380 016 564 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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