Pack of Cards Differentiated Seating Plan

So this year my new humanities faculty has a focus on differentiation and Growth Mindset as well as a personal focus on challenge and an exam results analysis which suggest B/C borderline needs to be a focus.  Sounds like many spinning plates doesn’t it? Well to me it is all going to ride on good differentiation so that everyone is challenged appropriately so that they don’t mind failing and learning  (sounds a bit Vygotsky to me!).

My first step is to change up my seating plan! For many years I was a big advocate of “The Horseshoe” as it aids discussion, a key feature of Psychology and Sociology. My mentors used it while I was training, every room I shared had it so I just always set it up that way. However I am coming around to groups more and more and have seen them used really well by a fantastic colleague in recent years. 

So this year, with a room move I have taken the plunge! I have set my room up in groups of 4.  Now for the differentiation part… on each table of 4 is a sticker with one of the suits in a deck of cards. 

I am planning to have students sat in broadly friendship groups as usual but their exact seat is determined by me so that each table has a mix of abilities.  However using the suits I can very easily split the class in half using red/black.  I can ask students to work in pairs on their tables in the same way.  I can also quickly group all hearts in the room, all spades, clubs, diamonds giving an opportunity to have students working in like ability groups with ease.

Any good ideas on seating plans for differentiation let me know!?

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