A quick revision for “random” seating
We are creatures of habit – I know where I like to sit on the bus and try to find “my spot” on each trip. Our students likewise have their favourite spots in the classroom – facing the board, in the corner, next to a friend. We are always encouraged to mix students up a bit so that they learn to work with different people, appreciate different learners’ needs and learning styles and to vary pairings of stronger and weaker students.
However, it can sometimes seem a bit patronising to move students around and it can also be awkward and time-consuming if done during the class, as students collect up their materials and bags and manoeuvre around the tables and chairs. It’s a good idea to try and arrange people into a different seating arrangement before the class starts and a fun way to do this is by giving each student a question on entering class, the answer to which is stuck on a post-it to their chair. I did this activity with the trainees the other day using questions to revise phonology as it was our final lesson and a revision session for the exam.
It also works well if you want to choose who sits together – just make sure you know who to ask what and keep an eye on your students that they don’t sneakily swap the post-its so they can sit with a friend! I used to use a similar technique with my young learners – I would say the name of a fruit and they had to find the correct picture on their chair. It’s a nice way to revise vocabulary topics as well as each student can then tell you the word on their chair.