Saturday, July 27, 2013

A SMARTer Seating Chart

I started making my seating chart in Smart Notebook a few years ago, and it has saved me so much time and allowed for me to change seats more frequently.  I used to rarely change seats just because I hated having to erase and pencil in names.   I would frequently make changes in the room, but not on my seating chart because I didn't have time to re-do it all.  Then it dawned on me that it would be super simple if I could just make a template in Notebook, and just drag their names around whenever I wanted. 

So here's what I did!  First I created the main layout of my room using the shapes tool.  Once I got all the desks in place, I locked the desks down.  That's important because you just want to drag names around, and not the desks.  (You can unlock them if you want to change your layout though). 

To lock, just select all the items, right click, and you will see the locking option.
Then create a text box that says "Student Name".  Copy and Paste this enough times to fill up your desks.
After that, duplicate the page for however many classes you have.  I teach four classes.  Click on the pages tab (it's on the upper right side).  Right click on the page and click "Clone Page."
You can rename the pages to the names of your class too.  Just right click on that page, click "Rename", and change the titles.  Mine are Block 1A, Block 3A, Block 1B, and Block 3B as I teach on an A-Day/B-Day schedule.
Then, when you get your class rosters at the beginning of the year, just type in the "Student Name" text boxes to replace them.  Do this for all your classes and then you're done for the year!  Just open up the file and make changes by dragging the names around.  You can always add or delete names as well as students come and go.  You can stand at your Smart Board and do it if you want to see the big picture.  Sometimes I even let the kids do it :) And it's easy to print for your records and substitutes as well! Just select "Full Page" printing and it will print one page per sheet.


  1. Thanks for this - i used to make my seating chart using our old grading program but since we got our new one it is not as user friendly! This is so easy.

  2. i just use powerpoint - same idea- duplicate slides...

    1. Awesome! I tried PowerPoint too and the only downside is that you can not "lock" objects. Unless you made the seating chart, saved as a JPG, and reinserted it. But they if you change your arrangement, you have to re-do that.

  3. I used excel to make the layout the added the names on post it notes (cut to size). So moving kids was easy, just move the post its around! I've done that for two years now. I keep each class in a sheet protector then on a clip board for easy viewing whenever it's needed. :)