A Google Drive Interactive Seating Chart

A Google Drive Interactive Seating Chart

Ah, seating charts...such a joy to formulate each time.
Or not.

If you are anything like me, you hastily sketch out a new plan at the absolute moment of necessity (those seats MUST be changed now!!) on a random piece of scrap paper lying nearby. And forget at least two names. Then recount how many are on the plan. And proceed to scratch out and move names again and again. Then perhaps lose said plan once or twice before rearranging the seating...


I'm not alone in this, am I??

Honestly, seating charts are just one in a hundred thousand tasks teachers must maintain and they can quickly become another stressful burden. So this year, I decided to take control of my chart chaos...and thought the best way to do so would be to go interactive with Google slides (thankfully, nothing gets lost in my Google Drive). Plus, it turns out it's very easy to make an eye-catching plan!

To help you on your way, I made a basic template to save in your Google Drive. Please click the image below to add it to your Drive and modify:
https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1Q7Rc7LhJndffwYjkAWA7DfosqG2QZkICKGdscYYROVo/copy


This template has two sections...one chart with circles that can be used as tables, as well as another with squares to be used as desks:
Since we all have such different seating arrangements, the following steps will show you how to use this template to best work for your classroom...

If you would like to use one of the templates in the file, go to the sidebar and click on the one you do NOT want to use and then delete:

Now you can modify the slide you would like to work with. If you are using the desk template, you can click and drag the squares into the formation you use in your class:
You can also create additional squares by copying and pasting the current squares in the document. Need more space? You can click on all of the squares and change their size. Everything can be modified in this slide until you have the idea layout.

Do you need a totally different configuration than the ones provided? Go into one of the slides (such as the circle tables), select all of the circles, and then delete:
You now have a blank canvas to work with. 

To select your own shapes for seating, go to the Shape drown down menu and select one:
 
Keeping the shape selected, remove the gray border by clicking on the Line Color drop down menu and choosing Transparent:

Then, change the color of the shape by clicking on the Fill Color drop down menu. This template includes some nice, bright custom colors for you to choose from (or you can choose your own favorite shades):
Now you have your first seating piece to work with!

There are many shapes to work with in Google Slides, so you can really recreate your seating setup. I don't focus *too* much on the perfect layout of my classroom. Instead, I try to set up a shape for each of my seating types so that I can easily place my students each time we switch seats. 

This is an example of my sister's Kindergarten class setup...we focused more on recreating her table shapes rather than making a perfect map of the classroom, it's really just about knowing who is sitting where:
Using different shapes will also be very helpful for those of you who are working with flexible seating:

Once you have created the layout that best represents your classroom, it is time to add the names. I created a name menu on the right-hand side of the screen with textboxes for each student. To add your student names, click in each text box three times to highlight the text:

Then type your students' names right over the text:


You can delete any textboxes you don't need (or create additional ones of your own for larger classes).

Now here comes the fun part!

To start arranging your chart, simply click on each student's name and drag the textbox to the seating of your choice:

You will notice a number spot for your student as you drag their name to a seat. This makes it easy to return the name textboxes back to the menu if need be. 

If you don't like to use numbers for your students, you can easily modifying these black textboxes by clicking twice inside and typing your students' names instead:

The textboxes can be arranged in any formation as well:

They can even be rotated:

Once you have your current seating chart created, you can duplicate it so it can be changed in the future. In the sidebar, click on your current slide and then Command + D (or go to Edit, then choose Duplicate):

Please Note: If you keep the same room arrangement for the whole school year, it will be best to duplicate your slides BEFORE placing your students at seats...that way you have a year's worth of slides ready with your students' names in the right-hand menu, all ready to arrange.

Need to print your plans for your substitute plans? There's a way to print them without the black sidebar. Click on the print icon:

Open the file with Adobe Reader (it's a free download):

Go to Edit and then Take a Snapshot:

Select the area you would like to print:
Now you will have a nice paper copy of your plans, without wasting ink on the sidebar.

Looking for more classroom management, Google-style? Lessons at a Glance has been a HUGE help in sharing all of the important lesson information with my students, all in one place:
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Lessons-at-a-Glance-Google-Templates-for-Your-Schedule-Materials-and-More-3012454
Thanks so much for reading!

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