Teacher Tip: 4 Ways to use Numbered Chairs in Your Classroom | Mindsteps Inc.

Teacher Tip: 4 Ways to use Numbered Chairs in Your Classroom

It only takes a few minutes, but once you number the chairs in your classroom you’ll find countless ways to use this system.

Print out or write on individual note cards the total number of chairs in your classroom. Use sturdy clear packing tape to attach the number to the chair – a great place to put the number is on the seat back so students can easily turn around and see the number, but won’t be tempted to doodle on the number or peel it off.

Next make a set of note cards with each number to keep on your desk. You can even laminate them and reuse them from class to class and year to year.

How can you use numbered chairs?

Promote Random Name Calling– Let students shuffle the deck and pull from the top or pick a card to see who will answer the next question, be next to the board, or give the next presentation. (Secret hint – if there’s someone you really want to hear from, it’s okay to put his card close to the top!)

Assign Classroom Jobs – Need someone to run a note to the office or pass out papers? Pull a number from the top of the pile and save the time wasted on “Pick me! Pick me!” hand-raising

Assign Partners or Groups – Pull cards to make random pairs or groups on the spot. If some seats are empty or students are absent, just pull the next card in the stack.

Rearrange Desks – Quickly move desks from rows to groups by creating a diagram on the overhead or electronic board showing how you want the chairs arranged by number. Students move their own desks rather than the teacher arranging 30 desks after school.

Claire Lambert