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Seating Charts | Posted in New Teachers

I teach third grade so I can only give an elementary perspective. I have always with the exception of one time assigned seating spots to my students. I always start the school year in desk pods usually four to five to a pod depending on how many students I have. This year I have 18. There have been years when I had to make quick adjustments because certain kids just can't sit together. I like the beginning of the year to go as smoothly as possible with setting expectations and instilling good habits. I do keep students who need more help or direction closer to the front but I mixed them up with other students so they don't feel singled out. I never seat students by learning ability. When I was in elementary school I did have a teacher who did this and I always felt bad for the lower kids because we all knew they were the lower kids. Unless we are doing state testing, I never put my students in the traditional rows. This is my least favorite way to set up a classroom. The one time I let my students pick their spots was when I taught 4th grade. Overall they were a good class so I decided to try it out. It ended up with boys sitting with boys and girls sitting with girls. They promised me they would behave so I wouldn't change their spots. They were good for about 3 days and then I could see they couldn't handle it. Once I had them back in assigned seating they were back to their old selves. Don't be afraid to move kids if needed.


Brenda Velasco

Project-based learning in a geology classroom | Posted in Evaluation and Assessment

I am a pre-service teacher, currently student teaching in a high school geology classroom. I would like to implement more project-based learning with my students. What are some effective strategies that you have found helpful in implementing a project-based learning unit? Also, how do you incorporate collaboration and self-assessment during a project-based learning unit? Any comments or advice would be extremely helpful. Thank you! -Anna Maynard


Annastacia Maynard

NSTA Name Change Discussion | Posted in NSTA New Name

Welcome!  Thank you for joining your fellow NSTA members in this discussion forum. 

This morning in St. Louis, I will make the announcement that the NSTA Board of Directors recommended that we change our association name from the National Science Teachers Association to the National Science Teaching Association. Background information about this decision and the voting process is available here and in the upcoming issue of NSTA Reports.

I look forward to your comments, thoughtful reflection, and response to this recommendation and hope that in the end, you will join us by casting your vote for Science Teaching!


Christine Royce

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