Setting Up Your GLAD® Classroom

strategy tips Aug 30, 2023

The beginning of the school year brings with it the feelings of anticipation, excitement, and nervousness for students and teachers alike. Dusting off our classroom libraries, moving furniture, and preparing bulletin board space for our students’ first projects are physical tasks we do to set up our classrooms. But we also set up our classrooms by thinking through the classroom structures and routines we’ll use this year.


Were the management structures you used last year effective? Are revisions needed?


Here are 3 quick steps to set up your GLAD® classroom: 

  1. Create your heterogeneous seating chart

Place student desks in teams of 3 or 4. Use any data from last year you have available to create your best guess of heterogeneity. Mix students from different reading levels, problem solving abilities, language proficiency levels, behavior, gender, etc. You’ll be able to update your seating chart the second time around as your beginning of the year assessments are complete and you get to know your students better.


  1. Gather sticks or spoons

You’ll need a way to randomly call on students. Gather 4 popsicle sticks, spoons, a spinner, die, or whatever tool you prefer to call on students. There will be students numbered 1-4 in each of their teams. When you pose a question, all students put heads together with their team to discuss. To pick a reporter you’ll pull one of 4 numbered sticks out of a cup. The team color is in the teacher’s control, the student reporter is random. For example, “Number 2 from green team. Please report your team’s answer.”


  1. Choose your first social skill

Start by creating your blank t-graph for social skills chart and a team points chart on brightly colored butcher paper, like yellow. Next, pick which social skill your class will practice during the first month of school. Remember, the T-Graph is a chart that highlights team skills, rather than individual behavior. Social skills such as teamwork, collaboration, or cooperation are great starters. Change your social skills chart every time you change the seating chart. Think of skills that would be good to work on later in the year, such as integrity, perseverance, synergy, honesty, participation, engagement.


To learn more about these team building strategies check out Acceleration 101: Setting the Stage where we cover all the management and behavior strategies used in the Project GLAD model.

Your biggest fans,

Jody & Sara


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