Saturday, September 26, 2015

What No One Tells You About Your Music Classes

Are You Having To Do This Over and Over Again?

I was spending a lot of time, redoing my seating charts. Almost every time I came to school a new student transferred to my music class or moved away. Sometimes I would need to redo the seating chart to move a student that was misbehaving or move the seat of a special needs student being moved from one music class to another. This would force me to use considerable time redoing seating charts instead of using my time writing lesson plans or preparing materials for the next lesson.

I've used a variety of seating charts throughout my teaching career but really liked using computer generated seating charts. This didn't solve my problem. I quickly found that if you change one name on the seating chart, you would need to re-type a lot of other seats again. I just didn't have that much time to type up new seating charts every week. There had to be a better way to do seating charts that didn't take up so much time. One day I noticed the Art teacher using a seating chart I hadn't seen before. It was such a simple idea that I wish I had known about this when I fist became a teacher. I took her idea and tried it out in my own room. I was thrilled to learn that it worked for any style of seating chart. It worked so well that I still use it today.

Instant Seating Charts
Once you set-up your seating chart, you'll never need to retype another chart for the rest of the school year. Here is how it works. Use the smallest sticky note paper and cut them in half. Place one name on the sticky note paper. Do this for each child in the class. Arrange the names on a color sheet of paper to form a class seating chart. Do this for each music class that you have. (I like to tape the child's picture next to their name.

When you remove a child from the class list, just remove the sticky note with that child's name and attach it on your class roster so you know who moved. Simply shift the other sticky note seats around to fill in the gap of the missing child. In a matter of seconds you have a current seating chart. You can easily add children by adding a new sticky note paper to your chart and shift the other names around forming the new seating chart. Place your charts in a page protector to secure the sticky notes. You can also write on top of the page protector with an expo pen to place a grade or small note by the child's name. Quickly make a copy of your current seating chart for a substitute teacher.

I use colored dots on the corner of the sticky notes for color codes to tag special needs children or children that need more help with learning. I only need to record names on my seating chart once each year. I quickly move the sticky notes around whenever I need to make a change. Give it a try. I'd love to hear from you, so please take just a moment to leave a friendly comment below. Thank You!

Want more fun activities and ideas for your music class? be sure to Sign-up by email on my side bar to claim a monthly freebie, teacher tips & tricks,  Sherry :)

Check out some of my favorite games and activities!

Smartboard Music Games     Substitute Music Plans


  1. With 500 students that sounds like a ton of work. I just use pencil... However, thank you sharing your insights.

  2. HI, thanks for leaving a comment. Setting up any type of seating chart for music class is always a lot of work. This method allows you to only have to do your seating chart one time during the year. I like that after new people move in to my school, I'm not writing out a new seating chart everytime I need to add or take away people on the chart. Thanks for visiting my blog. Sherry :)

  3. I love this! I've done this with my seating charts for the past 3 years. I does mean a little more work upfront but I've found that if I nicely ask the teachers for a copy of their role I can get mine done before the school year starts (Full disclosure, I usually work on seating charts during the pre-school week meetings that we all must attend that have very little to do with music!). I used to just print out a template and write the names in but then if I had to move a student or if a student transferred I would have so many erase marks that my seating charts were a mess! Thank you for sharing this!!

    1. I am curious as to what is your printed template . I am a visual art teacher with 800 student. It is a lot of work but I find it true that is pay off down the road.

    2. Hi Jacel, I use an 8x11 color typing paper. Then I laminate each typing paper so I can resuse the same paper each year. Then I attach pictures and write a name on each sticky paper. Then you attach the sticky notes to the laminate color paper to create a seating chart any way you like. So I really don't need a template.

  4. Hi, thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. Great idea about getting the class list and doing them during the meetings prior to the beginning of the school year. I used templates also and you're right about the seating charts looking like a mess over a period of time. I would dread having to rewrite them all over again when they ended up with too many marks on them. Thanks again for sharing. Have a great school year! Sherry Stucki :)

  5. I do something similar, but I use an app for iPad called iDoceo. It allows me to do basically the same thing - including attaching pictures! Then I can also attach grades and attendance in a few clicks and have everything in one place!

    Can't wait to read more of your blog - I just found it on Pinterest today.