Someone asked, so here’s the answer to how I make seating charts. This is one of those great ideas I stole from someone else. I likely wouldn’t have thought it up on my own.
At the beginning of the year, we get our state testing data. All of my seating charts for the first few weeks of school are created based off of this data. I make sure each group has at least one proficient/advanced student, and I spread out the far below basic/below basic students among them. Everyone else gets sprinkled in–I typically try to put boys next to girls.
As the year progresses, I continue this practice using different assessment data–benchmarks, grades, formative assessment of understanding. I do this so that when we do quick group activities, the levels are spread out enough to provide both challenge and teachability without losing much time to creating groups. For days that are specifically designated toward intervention, I create specialty groups based on formative observations of the material we are currently doing.
On rare occasions, when the kids are particularly good, I’ll let them choose their own seats for a day, activity, or season, but most of the time I designate seats this way. Occasionally there are the added elements of preferential seating for certain learners or behavior issues, but most of the time data drives where everyone sits.