March 19th is a fantastic classroom management website. As a future English teacher, I find this website to be very easy to use and very helpful.

The first step is to create a group by creating a user name (your e-mail address) and choosing a password. The second, and last step, is to create a class. When I tried this tool, I named my first class Group 1A. After naming your class, you write your students’ names where asked, and that’s it! When you class is created, you have the choice to use three different tools. The Seating Chart Maker, the Random Name Generator and the Group Maker.

The Seating Chart Maker is a tool to make a classroom plan with the assigned desks. You can add desks, change the shape of the class, have the tool place your students in alphabetical order or in random order. I named my students a, b, c, d, f, g etc. and choose to have them seated in alphabetical order. The Seating Chart Maker created a classroom plan that looks like this:


I find this tool very useful for teachers. It helps the making of the class plan. It is simpler and easier to do and you don’t waste time drawing a plan or trying to put your students in alphabetical order all by yourself. Mandy Mackin explored these tools and did a nice review on her blog. I do agree with her that the Seating Chart Maker could be more complete and that some of the manipulation could be more elaborate.

After, I tried the Random Name Generator. This is a tool that generates random names from you classroom list. It looks like this:


And when you press on NEXT, the generator randomly chooses a name. It looks like this:


The lucky student is student “h”. You can continue generating random names by pressing NEXT again. I find this tool very useful for giving out prizes. Instead of writing the names of your students on little papers and drawing a name from a box or a hat, you only have to press NEXT! What a time saver.

The last tool offered on this website is, in my opinion, the most useful one. This tool is the Group Maker. This tool created random teams and looks like this:


You can choose to form your groups by the number of students you want in each groups or by the number of groups you want in total. I choose to have groups of four students. The Group Maker tool created groups like this:


I find this tool to be very interesting for many reasons.

The most important one, in my opinion, is the pedagogical aspect behind it. This tool is quite useful for teachers who use cooperative learning groups and do cooperative learning activities. The use of random teams has its advantages. Kagan, the co-author of the book Cooperating Learning, states that random cooperative teams brings : Fairness, novelty, variety, fun and that they are quick and easy to form.

As a future ESL teacher, I will certainly use cooperative learning teams, and this tool will be handy for team formation.

In conclusion, I recommend the use of these three tools: The Seating Chart Maker, the Random Name Generator and the Group Maker because it makes life easier for teachers.

Anne-Marie Garneau-Beaudoin

Future ESL teacher


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