Boo! It’s Time for a Giveaway!

It’s the first Friday of October and you know what this means:  It’s giveaway time here at The Mailbox Blog! Simply leave your answer to the question below and you’ll be entered for a chance to win this month’s spooky prize pack. Included are four children’s books, a 12-pack of colorful dry-erase markers, a booklet of 648 mini-stickers, and four packs of Glue Dots!  Wait! There’s nothing spooky about those prizes.  I could make the prize pack a teeny bit spooky by slipping in a big green rubber spider, but I wouldn’t do that—or would I?

Here’s your question:

How often do you change your students’ seating arrangement?

Leave your comment before midnight October 15, 2016. On October 16, check your inbox for the email address you used to submit your comment. That’s how the winner will be notified! (In the event that the winner does not respond before November 15, an alternate winner will be selected.)

Now about that spider,

Diane :+)

P.S. Here’s another treat: Learning magazine has a whole batch of new contests and prizes. Take a look HERE.

Congratulations to Gina D.—the winner of this month’s giveaway!

570 thoughts on “Boo! It’s Time for a Giveaway!

  1. I allow them to choose where to sit everyday. It is where ever they are comfortable. Amazingly enough, they tend to sit in the same seats everyday

  2. I may make changes every few weeks. Sometimes I’ll write the plan on the board and have the students follow the plan with minimal talking. It’s a great exercise in teamwork. I’d love the prize pack. Thanks for offering such great goodies!

  3. We change our seats every 9 weeks. This works well for my students to learn how to work together with people they wouldn’t normally work with, and they develop great group discussions from it.

  4. Seating arrangements vary in my classroom – I sometimes change them every two to three weeks, but occasionally there is a need to move students around more often. Also, my students work hard to earn ‘sit by a friend’ coupons or ‘sit at the teacher’s desk’ coupons for rewards.

  5. I am traditional. I like quads or trios. I like rows, too, but in a horizontal way with the kids facing each other with a big space in-between them. I change arrangements about every 6 weeks. I like the groups I have now, so they may stay that way until Nov. 1. With new desks this year that have trapezoidal shapes, it is hard to arrange them in rows.

    My kids like to sit around the room to do work. I have two tables, a counter, bookshelves, two standing desks, and the floor. No problem for me to have them do this.

  6. I allowed them to choose for the first nine weeks. Then I will assign for the next two-nine week grading periods. Depending on the class, the final nine weeks may be their choice or mine.

  7. I have young preschoolers so we play a game to find their name tags to help with name recognition. So when they come to sit after free discovery time they need to find their name to sit. So, I vary their seating everyday.

  8. Every month when I was a classroom teacher. Now that I teach a pullout program, the kids choose their seat. If they make a poor choice, then I’ll make a better one for them.

  9. I change it weekly and use placeholders that coincide with our theme in 8 primes. I also sometimes use packing tape to secure black and white coloring characters or shapes (theme related) that can be colored with washable marker for placeholders at the table. They can also be used for math activities.

  10. I teach PreK-2nd Special Education.

    We mostly sit on the carpet or the round table in my classroom. When we use the desks I let them choose as long as they can get along with their desk neighbor ????

  11. I work in an autistic support classroom so I do not change my seats as they are creatures of habit and moving seats only causes behaviors. Also they are seated by academic groups.

  12. I teach first grade and I change desks once a month. My students get too ‘familiar’ with each other at their tea,m so I like to change their teammates.

  13. As a new first grade teacher I have changed the seating arrangement every other week this year. I have yet to find one I really like that lets the room flow well and with no classmate issues.

  14. We have flexible seating in our classroom so I never have to change my second graders’ seating arrangement! They have numerous seating choices all day every day!

  15. We have two large classroom tables and one teacher at each table. We change the children’s seats monthly. The children get to sit by new friends and the other teacher can evaluate a new set of students. Win/win!

  16. I allow the children to sit where they want. They have their tables that they sit at, but they choose their chair and where they would like to sit. This allows for great problem solving opportunities. Towards the end of the year they get to switch tables for meal times and think it’s the greatest thing.

  17. I let my students choose the seat they want on the first day of school. They normally stay at that seat all year unless someone needs to be moved due to behavior issues. I like to keep things structured for the students; they often don’t have much structure at home, so I want them to feel that the classroom is a safe place where they know what to expect each day.

  18. They choose where to sit as long as there’re responsible and sensible about who they choose to sit next to.

  19. Every couple of weeks…unless the custodian gets a hold of our desks and turns them around for backwards day!

  20. I change my student’s desks around every Friday unless there is a three day weekend. I want each student to interact with each student in the room. It helps to build a nice classroom community.

  21. In my first grade classroom of 26 eager students, I change seats based on the students’ need. If I find that a student is struggling to complete work, I’ll change his or her seat. I could be switching specific students seats every day if needed so that the students can work to their fullest potentials. It’s funny because a colleague of mine just asked me why she hears my desks moving so often. What works one day, week, or month, may not eventually work the next day, week, or month. Because of this, I will change seats as a whole class once every quarter. Also, my students move from floor to desk and desk to floor, as well as our small-group table, constantly throughout the day for Balanced Literacy, Guided Reading, and Guided Math. At the end of the year, we create our own shape of seating with our desks to keep the students interested and eager to continue to learn because our school year goes through the very hot end of June.

  22. I rearrange seats every 4.5 weeks based on RIT bands and MAP strands. Every nine weeks I change the design arrangement of seats. This keeps my kids engaged and not worrying about where they have to sit.

  23. For my kinder babies I usually change their seats every month. I like change, and it keeps the babies on their toes! ????

  24. I do not have seating charts, they get to choose their own spots, but sometimes they loose the privilege after a reminder of the rules and warning that if forgotten again, they will need to pick a new space. All done and said with love and respect!

  25. I don’t have a seating arrangement. I let the children sit where they want. If there are behavior issues, I have them sit near me to be my helper or with another friend.

  26. A few tines at the beginning of the year and once we find a grouping that works just a few tines a year afterwards unless there is a behavior issue.

  27. I teach Special Ed so my students don’t have assigned seats, but if I did I would change about once a month like I do my door decoration.

  28. We are a behavior classroom with k-4 th graders. We do not change their seat unless there is an issue. We use tape around their desks to give them a sense of “ownership” of their space.

  29. About once a month but I am working on getting my flexible seating implemented, so I’m hoping to get rid of my desks soon.

  30. All the time/ not at all. We are homeschoolers so we all sit wherever is comfy and quiet. Lately we have been outside a lot cause the weather has been perfect. In the winter they sometimes prefer to snuggle in their beds. 🙂

  31. I change them every quarter however there are times that I change them randomly because of behavior issues. I also look at who is talking to who, who doesn’t seem to be talking to anyone and change them up so everyone feels included. Sometimes the quiet kid needs someone who is a little more outspoken to help and the outspoken one needs the quieter friend to help calm them! It’s one of the most challenging things to do as a teacher but I also believer it’s one of the most important! It can make or break their days if there are issues in groups!

  32. Daily! I’m a preschool teacher! The have a certain table to sit at when we do small group work but they can choose where they sit!

  33. Depends upon what the class is working on. I love to rearrange the seating in groups as much as possible so that the students learn how to work with everyone, not just those they are friends with. I

  34. Depends on the class and the issues that year. Some years they end up being changed when the floors are waxed during winter break. Other years, if I have a lot of behavior issues, I might switch several students every couple of weeks.

  35. I let the kids pick in my reading classroom. New day, new seat. Although some seem to sit in the same seat every time.

  36. Students choose seating in the first round of seat switching and can choose to stay in same seat throughout the year.

  37. We allow the students to sit where they want during circle time. At meals we normally set up the seating at the first of the year and don’t change unless it is needed.

  38. I have no set time for moving students but I keep my eye on them ( 5th graders) and when the talking and visiting and non- academic talking gets to be too much I moeve a few around. Also if a student asks to be moved I usually try to do that!

  39. When I see that students need a change of scenery or they’ve become comfortable and started to act like they are at home, then it’s time to move.????

  40. I change only when a table doesn’t work. This year, though, I am having a hard time because I need to change a student but he will mess up the good dynamics at any other table. If I am lucky, he will move! But that won’t happen! LOL

  41. Every couple of weeks! I teach prek4, so there’s always that one chatty one that no matter where you put them, they always talk!!

  42. I try to do it at the beginning of each month, but if a particular arrangement works well I keep it for a little bit longer.

  43. It really depends on how things are going. If there’s an arrangement that’s really working, I’ll leave it for a while. At the beginning of the year when I’m figuring out personalities and learning styles, I change every two weeks.

  44. I am the director of a school board childcare center.
    We do not change seats in out kiddie cafe do to the fact that young children seem to do better and are happier with consistenticy.
    Your classroom in the reading area are open and children sit on colored square carpets that are choose your spot and mostly can sit for short story time in the same spot until it is time to more to the next center

  45. My students work in small groups and are allowed to choose their seats in each group. I also try to use flexible seating during some of the group work.

  46. I rearrange seating as need arises in the classroom, which is once or twice a month for individual students. I sometimes do a whole class mix up 2 or 3 times a year at most.

  47. I let my students choose where they want to sit and I make any changes if needed throughout the school year.

  48. As a way to encourage oral language development, I change their seating often. It gives them a new friend to learn about and it gives them practice in making new friends.

  49. I change my seating arrangement every six weeks based on data collected from common assessments and student behavior.

  50. It completely depends on how they are doing with their current seating arrangement! I am looking into doing flexible seating.

  51. I am preschool teacher so I don’t have assign seating. I do move them from where they are at if I see them talking or not paying attention.

  52. I teach preschoolers with social/emotional disabilities so it could change at a moment’s notice if I need it to, or if it’s working well, I’ll leave it for weeks.

  53. I usually change them about four times a year. Usually 2 each semester. It depends on how chatty some of my Pre-K students can be. I especially move them around right after school starts when I realize which students are real good friends and are friends that probably wouldn’t be the best if they sit together!

  54. I don’t usually change everyone’s seats (desks). I only change the students seats that I feel would provide a better learning environment if moved.

  55. I love their seats on the floor whenever they get too comfortable and chatty with who they are sitting next to at the time.

  56. I change my arrangement At least once a week. Sometimes twice. Today I moved a girl because she dumped glue all over her neighbor’s art project for no known reason. Ugh!

  57. I teach kindergarten. We rotate at table groups every day with different flexible seating options. But for our assigned seats at the rug, I change those every 2-3 months.

  58. I changed everyday if needed. I have flexible seating and desks. I try to find the very best area and wrk space for them to excel and learn. It’s work but until I find where the kid learns best I keep changing it .

  59. I see my students once a week on the library. I usually have them change their seats twice a year to avoid confusion with library stations.

  60. At first arrival, the preschoolers choose what table or floor activiity they want. At center time, they go to assigned tables. I usually keep the same asssigned tables for the whole year.

  61. I teach preschool so we don’t have assigned seats. I let them choose where they sit but will move kids if necessary.

  62. I have choice seating. We spend the first couple weeks of school trying out the various flexible seating choices. Each morning when students enter they are allowed to select the seat that’s just right for them! We discuss heavily how making a good choice might not mean sitting next to their bestie! I do have veto powers on their choice though 🙂

  63. I let students choose their seats to start the year. We move around to different groups throughout the day, returning to their own seats at the end of the day. I change these seats as needed.

  64. Every month or as a see fit based on arrangement,ents that work or don’t work. I use Velcro on the back of name tags to change them quickly if I need to.

  65. I change seats whenever I realize an arrangement isn’t working. Usually only two students need to be separated, but of course it leads to a dominoe effect. Otherwise, if student groups are all working well together, I change our desk arrangement about every two months. This is when my students start acting like best friends (talking too much) or siblings (slightly annoyed with each other).

  66. I change it every time I get a new student, as I get them all year long on a regular basis. Depending on students I change them as needed and after I learn the new students.

  67. We assign seating according to needs, the children who need less assistance are grouped at tables, and children who need more assistance are grouped at tables, so we can accomodate learning needs as needed. It works very well and we can assist all yhe children accordingly. We occasionally have to move children for other reasons too! ????????

  68. We assign seating according to needs, the children who need less assistance are grouped at tables, and children who need more assistance are grouped at tables, so we can accomodate learning needs as needed. It works very well and we can assist all yhe children accordingly. We occasionally have to move children for other reasons too!

  69. I think I might do every month or every other month. This is my first year in Kinder and I have a very chatty group so I’m hoping that this will help with working together.

  70. Usually once a term, but as needed if I get any disruptions. My kiddos know where they sit is a privilege, so they try hard to get to sit with their friends.

  71. I don’t not change seating because I believe that it is a learning experience for students to get to know each other as well as learning how to work with each other .

  72. I think they need to learn to work with others and not get too used to anyone so I do it every other month with individual seat changes as needed.

  73. I try to arrange my students in a way that they are in the best seat possible to learn, away from any distractions. I give my new seating arrangements a week or two and then consider if I want to make any changes!

  74. Whenever I feel a change needs to be made. Sometimes it’s behaviour related. Sometimes it project related. Sometimes it’s so they can get to work with new people. It’s usually every month that something needs to change.

  75. Daily!!! I try to arrange the seating to where each child is not sitting next to the same person all the time. The children are also learning to interact with everyone in the class and not just their best friends.

  76. I have flexible seating so it changes everyday even during a lesson. Students know they need to pick a smart seat that is best for their learning or the teacher can move them at any time.

  77. We have different seating arrangements depending on the subject and activity we are doing. So I would say our seating arrangements change throughout the day.

  78. Anytime it needs changing. Last year- every 2 weeks. This year every 3-4 weeks. Adds variety and encourages a classroom bond.

  79. I change my seating every month. Some want to stand, but get bored of it. Others want to sit, but again the get bored of that too. I try to switch that as well as open them up to new friends.

  80. I arrange them once at the beginning and then only move a student
    if there is an issue. It’s gone fairly well.

  81. Whenever I think it’s time for a change; it could be weeks, it could be hours! Our little world in the classroom is flexible and fluid and so is the seating arrangement!

  82. I change the seating arrangement in my room, when the students grouped at a table becomes very talky and it becomes a problem.

  83. I try to change seating about every semester or if there are too many distractions. I think it keeps things fresh.

  84. I change my students’ seating arrangement every 3 weeks. I try to not move everyone. Only those that do not stop talking or being unfocused.

  85. At the beginning of school, I change every week until I get a good layout of behavior arrangements. After that, I only change my seating arrangement as need to take care of behavior issues.

  86. I don’t really have a set schedule. I try to change it pretty regularly so the students can work with a diverse group. Thanks for the giveaway!

  87. I change their seats at the beginning of every month. I pull names from my popsicle sticks and let them choose where they want to be. Of course, I get to move people around if there is too much chatting and not enough working. While they are reading or writing, I let them choose a spot to work in. Their favorite is on the nice cool floor during the warm months and on the rug when it’s cool.

  88. I usually do whole class changes once a quarter, but I often switch a few seats every few weeks to try to find the right grouping combinations.

  89. Not very often due to that I am in home childcare.. When we are not keeping our hands to ourselves then I do change people around but most of the time my children are great!! 😀

  90. I do not change seating very often for a couple of reasons. First, my special needs students thrive on consistency so it can really throw my friends to have an unexpected seating change. Second, I have a variety of work stations available that allow us to move around without changing our home base. This works wells for us!

  91. The children are allowed to choose their own seating on a daily basis unless they get a little handsy with each other then I move them.

  92. Whenever the scholars get too comfortable with each other or need a change. I stress that the classroom members are part of a school family and we all have to work with and support each other. We discuss how sometimes even family members need a “break” from other family members, so that might be the reason for a seat change.

  93. Only as needed and not often. If they have problems seeing the board or have problems paying attention then I might move them. I hate change…I park in the same spot, I sit in the same place at staff meetings and at the theater. My spot is my spot. I think students are the same. Their spot becomes theirs. So unless it is necessary they stay in their spot.

  94. Actually seating arrangements in my classroom can change whenever needed. In fact, I just changed two students seats on Tuesday.

  95. We change it about every 3 weeks. I like to have my students write who they would like to sit by, and why, before changing it up.

  96. Every day – in PreK. Girls go fing a seat first not next to another girl and then the boys go find a seat and switch the next day and boys go first.

  97. I change all the desks every quarter. However, I do change a handful of desks every few weeks as needed for behavior. My students only sit at their desks for about a total of 90 minutes a day. The rest of the time they are in small group instruction or working with a partner around the room. I have different stickers on their desk that assigns them to work in groups of 2, 3, or 4. My kids love it!

  98. Students change seats often as we move through different stations for daily class work. Everyone has a home base though. Those home bases change when it can better a student’s achievement.

  99. I changed individual students seats when they are having a hard time controlling themselves. I hardly ever move everyone around.

  100. They choose where they want to sit. I do remind them to make wise choices and will separate students who are not letting others work.

  101. I change seats when I notice the kids getting too comfortable and talkative with their tables. Could be anywhere from two weeks to two months depending on the class.

  102. I change their assigned desk about every 2 weeks or so. During groups they move around daily. During independent work time they can work where ever they want – as long as they are working.

  103. I change my students’ permanent seats as needed, but student schange seats throughout the day depending on what we’re doing and where they feel comfortable.

  104. I don’t too often because I’m a Resource and Inclusion teacher. Sometimes the spots they sit in Resource are too distracting and then I will move them to a better loacation for them.

  105. I work with toddlers and just started using a seating chart last year and this year, I love it because I put the children’s names on back of chairs ad they are learning there name and now know where to sit! Never say your child is to young to learn, I love the two year olds!

  106. I have flexible seating, so they choose where to sit. I will move them if they are not working. That hasn’t happened yet this year!

  107. I change them once they start to get too comfortable with their neighbor and start to talk to each other more than listen. Sometimes that’s more often than other times. Sometimes I change them after breaks like thanksgiving or Christmas.

  108. About monthly. Also depending on what we will be doing and grouping needed. The students look forward to moving sears day lol.

  109. I usually change every few days at the beginning of the year. Then, I’ll change it up when I see comfort levels are interfering with learning.

  110. I teach a special needs class so it is a little different. I let them choose their seat on the carpet and we do a lot of small groups and free play. Choices are always offered to help develop that skill. Choices are also in their IEPs so it helps with getting them to master that objective.

  111. Since I have flexible seating, they choose their seats every 2 weeks. I do it based on how many Class Dojo points they earned. If you earned the most points, your get first choice. ????

  112. I believe in doing it everyday so each student will have the opportunity to get to know each other. And if one is struggling they can help that student work out the problem.

  113. I only switch seating assignments if there’s a significant need, which could be once a month for two students, or once a year for the whole class. My kindergartners don’t sit at tables for much and have different learning center partners each week.

  114. We have really been trying to use flexible seating as much as possible but sometimes, that doesn’t always work. So I base how often I change the student seats on how well the students are using their work time. If they are extra chatty, then I will change them but if things are running smoothly, I figure why change something that’s working.

  115. I change every quarter, but often my flexible seating involves moving those who distract or talk with others to a place that is less distracting or with students who are more focused! I think kids like to change things out, just like adults do and it helps to grow new friendships!

  116. My students get to choose where they sit every day. Sometimes it’s not a good fit, and then I change the seating arrangement.

  117. I change them every month. The kids come in on the first of each month looking forward to a new spot. I love to rearrange & freshen things up. I’m constantly rearranging my furniture at home too. Makes my husband crazy!!

  118. In the past, I tried to get a seating arrangement to last about 1 month, but this year, I’ve had to change it up after about 1-1/2 weeks.

  119. The students change according to their preference. We use flexible seating. The students know next to whom they can sit and work with.

  120. Whenever needed behaviorally, but we do so much in small groups or self-directed that there’s only a couple hours a day they actually are at their desks.

  121. It depends on how the students are by each other. If they are playing and talking then I move them around ever so often.

  122. I don’t have a set time to change seats. I will sometimes change the arrangement and move students based on the dynamics of the group. I like what I have right now but feel that I have to mix a few students around. Each year like each class is different.

  123. It depends on when they get antsy or tired of their table mates! I change up on an individual basis more often. :). We don’t spend a whole lot of time in assigned seats, so it usually works out to about 4 times a year.

  124. Twice a year. I’m an elementary school librarian, so I assign seats first, then let them choose their own mid-year.

  125. I always tell my students that Im happy to let them choose their own seats, but that I also reserve the right to change their seats if they are having difficulty staying on task/focusing on their work in the spot they have chosen. So, I change it up whenever it’s necessary.

  126. Depends on student behavior. I always let kids pick on the first day of school and things move as we go along.

  127. I teach preschool so they choose their own seat on carpet, however we just had the discussion were gonna start doing assign seats at lunch. We will change them as needed

  128. About one time a month unless there are kids that are creating problems. Everyone wants a turn up front or in the back!

  129. I change seating when needed. Sometimes it’s just a handful of students who change, but try to mix it up every few weeks.

  130. Daily. Sometimes we school In the living room, other times at the kitchen counter, table, at the park, ect. All depends on what we need to get done, and what we have planned activity wise. ????

  131. Never. I homeschool my six year old 1st grader and he likes to sit at the dining room table where it’s light and he has plenty of room for his supplies.

  132. Every 3 weeks, if needed. It depends on behaviors and where the children are academically. I have them in groups of 4. One low, one medium low, one medium high and one high. We use sooo many kagan strategies! We also have the kagan number mats and it makes being in groups so much fun and interesting!

  133. Every month! I have a small group of kids and it’s amazing to see how the interact differently depending on who they sit by!

  134. I teach preschool (4 year olds). During circle time on the floor, the children sit where ever they wish. And during our story time, they generally start out “sitting” and end up creeping up slowly some laying on their tummies with their chins propped up on their hands, and one or two sitting on eiither side of me as I continue to read the story. They love story time! ❤

  135. I use flexible seating in my classroom, so students get to choose where they sit unless there is an issue. Students do have to follow guidelines when choosing a seat for work. We will, however, move tables around to make the room look different every couple of months.

  136. Once a month, usually. I don’t put name tags on seats so I have the freedom to move students sooner if I feel the current arrangement isn’t working.

  137. About once a month. As soon as they start getting either too friendly or tired of their table-mates, it’s time for a change.

  138. Monthly. I teach special education so we move around a lot during the time they are in my class so it is not needed as often.

  139. Usually I change desks once a month. This year I have a large class, so trying to find the right arrangement is quite a task:-)

  140. I only change seats when behaviors deem necessary. My students have the freedom to choose seats at breakfast and lunch and also spend most of their day in centers.

  141. At least once a nine weeks I change my groups up. I use flexible setting so they are free to work where they want throughout the day! I use groups for major instruction time.

  142. They change their own seats all day- it’s just one of the beauties of flexible seating!!!! I do reserve the right to move students when they aren’t at their best focus or learning potential!

  143. This made me lol… Seating arrangements is an ongoing struggle for my co teacher – constantly trying to find the right arrangements of desks and students. I think it’s good to switch things up and be flexible but for somebody who likes order the seating arrangement seriously stressed her out ….. We would laugh, change it, and laugh again wondering how long it would last.

  144. We have flexible seating to a point (to work freely on their own, can sit where ever). Otherwise, I change things around every couple of weeks or when I get bored or when the students start getting antsy.

  145. My 2nd graders have a tendency to have a love-hate relationship. I try to change our seating arrangement every 3 weeks to a month to help socialization and avoid any increase of behavior. If I have a student who needs help being successful, their seat may be changed sooner.

  146. Every so often, as long as students know the expectations for sitting quietly and doing the learning and thinking required on their end of things.

  147. Every 6 weeks unless a major change is needed. I assign new literacy station groups as well, and students meet with those groups twice a week.

  148. I teach three groups of second grade students so I change them when there are behavior problems. We have Math flexible grouping so the students sit in different groups all the time.

  149. It varies! Sometimes I change all the seats after a few weeks but mostly it’s a few students switching to meet specific needs. This is in regards to their table spots and carpet spaces. Seating placement makes a big difference for little ones. Some need more space than others. Some MUST be facing the Smartboard to reference as a model. Others need to be placed away from anything that might be distracting. Proximity to the teacher is also an important variable! =)

  150. I teach preschool and as a way of students learning what names look like I have names attached to the back of chairs that get moved to a new pot at least everyday and sometimes a couple different times hroughout the day depending on projects and activities.

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