Termites for creating seating plans and
Monkey, for creating productive groups
I have always wanted some tools for this purpose and had toyed around with Excel and just couldn't seem to get it right.
Termites allows you to input 'relationship' scores for your students. That is, if you think that they work well together you give them a score up to +10 and if you'd rather that they didn't sit together you'd give them a score as low as -10. The generator takes these values into account when allocating seats. If you have a student who has poor eyesight you can specify that they are placed at the front of the room. If you have a real firecracker you can even 'glue' them to the seat closest to you so that you can keep a wary eye on them and everyone else will be shuffled around them.
Creating the table layout is also blindingly simple. You are presented with a grid of whatever size you like. You then click on a box to make it a table and click on it again to clear it. Very easy to set up rows or pods.
Monkey works on the same principle of entering relationship values but also gives you the opportunity to input an 'ability' score from 0 to 100. You then have the opportunity to group according to ability as well as taking into account the relationships. Group size and number is customised in the same way as for Termites and so is 'glueing' a student into a group.
Try them out, they are as educational software should be. Easy, simple, created by an educator, useful and free!
It takes the hassle out of making new seating plans and you could choose to have a different plan ever week if you so desired with a press of the button.