Chat Room

12th August 2011 at 01:00
The latest chat from the TES Scotland forums

Allocated seats in P1?

MrsCustard: I'm a probationary teacher allocated P1. I have no experience of infants other than some voluntary work five years ago. I'm going in next week to organise the class but there is one simple thing I'm getting conflicting advice on: should I allocate names to set seats from the first day, if at all? Should I have it set up more informally, almost like nursery, or will this lead the children into believing and behaving as if it were nursery? It has even been suggested to me there should be absolutely no desks and chairs in a P1 class and that the children should sitlie on the floor to do all their work wherever they feel most comfortable (this was a university tutor). Two very experienced teachers say names on desks or there will be chaos, and two less experienced teachers have advised no names - free choice.

babette: I'd go with the two experienced teachers on this one, definitely names on tables and don't get rid of tables and chairs, as they'll never settle properly to formal work. Remember they will be going into P2 a year from now, so set the tone that this is a classroom and NOT a nursery.

coaltown1: I totally agree. I've been an infant teacher for 12 years and there have been all sorts of "fads" re seating - to the point of suggesting that there should not be enough seats for each child to promote active learning. What about handwriting, art etc? Even working in trios, they should have access to a chair. The possible mayhem when someone discovers they do not have a seat does not bear thinking about!

gemssand: No matter what year group, it's good to start with allocated seats. I'm sure in P1 having their names at a seat will help the children with their name recognition and also help them to learn names of the class.

MrsCustard: Thanks to you all for replying. That was my instinct - I just wondered if anyone would reply saying they had great success with the alternative. Names on desks it will be.

teacherclothes: We put the names on the backs of the children's chairs. This means there's more flexibility if you need to move someone quickly, but for the most part they stay in their spaces. Also, it means that you can easily do art activitieswipe tableslet the cleaners do their job without worrying about all the tape on the labels getting wet . I have taught P1 previously and found the children were quickly able to understand that we would muddle groups around occasionally and they would bring their seat over or sit on a blank chair. Getting little ones (or child of any age) to do their work lying down will not help them when it comes to the physical process of writing and will make it more difficult for them to develop accurate and consistent fine motor skills. then go to probationers.

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