"How to" Guideline series is coordinated by Helen Mongan-Rallis of the Education Department at the University of Minnesota Duluth. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions to improve these guidelines please me at e-mail hrallis@d.umn.edu.

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Creating a Seating Chart From Digital Photographs

By Helen Rallis


A useful way to learn students' names is to create a seating chart that shows students' photos (with names underneath). Even if your students do not sit in the same place each day, having this "rogue's gallery" printed out and at hand when you teach is extremely useful in helping you learn student names. By taking photos of students the first day of class and creating this chart, it makes it possible to learn their names within a very short period of time.

Extra tip: I find it useful to print a copy of this and paste it to the front cover of a the manilla folder in which I keep student work. This way, when I am returning students' assignments to them, if I am not sure who a student is, I can look at the name of the student on their paper, find their picture on the cover of the folder, and thus return the paper to the student quickly and easily.

Steps for creating photo seating chart:

  1. Have students write their name in dark marker on a card
  2. Have students hold name card at chest height
  3. Take photo of each student.
    Photo of student holding name card Be sure take the photo so you include the the name card (**This is an important step, because if you don't know the students' names, when you go back later to insert into your seating chart, you won't know who is who!)

  4. cropped photo showing just the student's headUsing photo editing software, crop the photo so just the student's head is showing (so you can't see the name card, otherwise the student looks like a convict!)

  5. Save the photo as the student's name (you'll know who she is from the name card in the pre-cropped photo)
  6. In photo editing software --> select all --> then “copy”
  7. Open a new drawing document in AppleWorks (or other similar application)
  8. From the AppleWorks edit menu, choose “paste.”
  9. Click on a corner handlebar on the image and drag to resize image to small size.
  10. Click on the photo and drag it into the position on the page where this student sits. Repeat for each student.
  11. Click on the text tool, then position this under photo --> type student name.
Example of seating chart:
Wella Never Mr. Rogers Andy Capp
Jon Travolta Chris Evert Jack Ripper
Sally Forth Rosie O'Donnel Dear Abbey


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