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Seating Charts

1) seat your students in desks

2) arrange the desks, 

3) and assign attendance (take roll). 

For a quick tutorial on setting up your seating charts, see the Set up a Seating Chart topic.

Here's more information on each choice available in the Seating Charts Toolbar:

Chart List Box

1) Use this list to switch to different seating charts you have created for this class. 

2) For example, you might have one seating chart for cooperative learning, one for lectures, and another for laboratory experiments. 

3) You can add, remove, copy, or rename Seating Charts with the Class/Seating Charts dialog.

Add Student Desk

Click the Add Student Desk button to add a new desk or student picture to the seating chart.

NOTE: To remove a desk or student picture, click on it to highlight it then press the Delete key on your keyboard. 

Pick Student(s)

1) The Pick Student(s) button will randomly select one or more student desks or pictures from the seating chart, which is useful for class drills. 

2) The number of desks picked each time depends on the settings in the Pick Student(s) Preferences dialog in the Class menu.

Set Desk Order 

1) The numerical order of the desks is important if you'll be reordering student's desks either Alphabetically or by Class List Order. 
2) It is this order that tells Grade Machine where to place the first student, second student, etc. When you click the Set Desk Order button, numbers will appear on the desks or pictures, indicating their present order. 
3) To change the numerical order of the desks, click on the desk you want to be desk #1, then continue clicking on the desks in the desired order. 
4) To finish ordering the desks, press the Set Desk Order button again or 
5) Simply click your mouse anywhere on the window where there isn't a student desk. 

Re-seat Students

1) Click this button to see the Re-seat Students dialog. 
2) This dialog allows you to reorder students in desks or pictures by position in the alphabet, by Class List Order, or Randomly. 
3) This is a convenient way to quickly assign all students to desks at the beginning of the year.

Zoom Mode

1) Click this button to zoom in or out of the seating chart. 
2) When you click the button, the mouse pointer will change to a magnifying glass. 
3) Position the magnifying glass anywhere in the seating chart and press the left mouse button. 
4) The seating chart will increase/decrease in size, with the section you selected in view on the screen.


(1) If the Zoom In button is selected, the seating chart will increase in size when you use the magnifying glass. 

(2) If the Zoom Out button is selected, the seating chart will decrease in size.

Previous Day

Click this button to go to the previous day's seating chart. 

GM Date

1) Click this button to view the seating chart for the current date as determined by the Preferences dialog. 
2) If you're viewing the seating chart for the current GM Date, the seating chart will have a white background. 
3) Otherwise, the background will be a different color. 
4) To quickly change to a different date, click your right mouse button on the GM Date button. A pop-up calendar will appear, from which you can select a date.

Next Day

Click this button to go to the next day's seating chart.

Moving and Resizing Desks

1) You can move a desk by clicking on it and dragging it with the mouse. 
2) You can also make all desks wider or narrower by dragging the right edge of any desk. 
3) This controls the amount of text that will show in each desk, and is the equivalent to changing the Desk Width in the Seating Preferences dialog. 
4) You can make all the desks taller or shorter by dragging the bottom edge of any desk. This controls the font size of the text in each desk, and is equivalent to changing the Seating Charts font size in the Fonts dialog. 

5) Pictures cannot be resized, but they can be moved in the same way desks can.

Adjust Desks (Utilities Menu)

You can adjust the scaling of the desks or pictures in the current Seating Chart by using the Adjust Desks dialog in the Utilities menu. 


(1) The UNDO command cannot be used after you adjust the spacing between desks or pictures. 

(2) We recommend you save your Class file immediately prior to using the Adjust Desks command. 

(3) Then, if your desks did not adjust as you expected, you can choose Revert Class from the File menu to restore your Class file to its previous state.

1) Enter a number between 0.1 and 30.0 into either or both of the entry fields. 
2) To increase the spacing between desks, enter a number larger than 1.0. 
3) To move the desks closer together, enter a value smaller than 1.0. 

4) For example, entering 0.5 into the horizontal coordinates entry field would reduce the horizontal spacing between desks, while entering a 5.0 would increase the horizontal spacing.

Make Desks for All (Utilities Menu)

1) This command will create a desk for each student who is not already assigned to a desk in the Seating Charts window. 

2) If you have assigned pictures to your students, their pictures will appear when you choose this command.

Seating Preferences (Class Menu)

1) Choose Seating Preferences from the Class menu to see the Seating Preferences dialog.

2) The seating chart preferences allow you to control the width of desks, the spacing between desks or pictures, which student information or student picture is shown on each desk, and whether to include the teacher's desk.


(1) If some of the options in the Seating Preferences dialog are grayed out, i.e., unselectable, then the Seating Chart window is in Zoomed out mode. 

(2) The desks/pictures are smaller so you can see more items on the screen at one time. 

(3) When the Seating Chart is in Zoomed out mode, the desks can only show the student's initials and the size of the desks cannot be changed. 

(4) If you wish to edit the options that are grayed out, you must first go to the Seating Chart window, press the Zoom In button, and click in the Seating Chart window to Zoom In or increase the size of the desks. 

(5) Then return to the Seating Preferences dialog and make your changes.

The parts of the Class/Seating Preferences dialog are briefly described below:
Student Desks

First Name
Check this box to include the student's first name on the desk or picture.
Last Name
Check this box to include the student's last name on the desk or picture.
Check this box to include the student's initials on the desk or picture.
Check this box to include the student's ID on the desk or picture.
Student Row #
Check this box to include the student's row number on the desk or picture.
Desk Icon
Select this option button to display desk icons in the Seating Chart window and on reports.

Student Picture 
Select this option button to display student pictures in the Seating Chart window and on reports.
Desk Width (pixels)
Change this value to increase/decrease the width of the student desks. When you change the width of the desks, this affects all existing desks and any new desks you create from now on. 

NOTE: You can also use the mouse to click on the right edge of the desk in the Seating Charts window for immediate changes to the desk width. The pixel width will be reflected in this area of the Seating Preferences dialog. This function does not apply to pictures though.

Teacher's Desk

Check this box to show the teacher's desk on the seating chart; uncheck this box to hide the teacher's desk.


Desks per Row
Determines how many desks or pictures will be placed in each row when you create new desks.
Snap to Grid
If this box is checked, then desks or pictures that you add or move will automatically snap to the grid line. Uncheck this box for a more flexible seating chart layout.
NOTE: If you hold down the Shift key while moving a desk or picture, it will temporarily reverse the Snap to Grid setting.
Grid Visible
If this box is checked, then the seating chart's grid will be visible.

Pick Student(s) Preferences (Class Menu)

1) The Pick Student(s) Preferences dialog lets you control how many student desks or pictures are picked at a time when you select the Pick Student(s) button from the Seating Chart window. 

2) You can also control how many times each student's desk is picked before the Pick Student(s) feature is reset. When Pick Student(s) is reset, all students' desks once again are eligible to be picked. 

The parts of the Class/Pick Student(s) Preferences dialog are briefly described below:
Don't Pick Students Marked...

The Don't Pick Students Marked checkboxes will exclude students with certain attendance codes from the Pick Student(s) command, depending on the student's attendance code for that date. For example, if Don't Pick... is checked for Unexcused, then Pick Student(s) won't select a student for class drills if the student is marked Unexcused today. 

Pick Student(s)
Pick ___ Student(s) at a time

1) Controls the number of students that are randomly chosen when the Pick Student(s) button is pressed in the Seating Charts window. 

2) Changing the number for this setting allows Grade Machine to randomly pick your student teams, cooperative learning groups, lab groups, etc. 

Reset the counter after each student has been picked ___ time(s)

1) Normally, Grade Machine will reset after every student has been picked 1 time, but this option lets you change the reset value. 

2) For example, changing the reset value to a higher number (like 2 or 3) helps keep the students who have already been picked on their toes.

Exempt students with a ~ from Pick Student(s)

1) Lets you exempt from Pick Student(s) all students whose names begin with ~ (Tilde). This is a convenient way of keeping student assistants from being picked by Pick Student(s).

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