My cooperating teacher has a policy of no assigned seats. She leaves it up to the students to be mature and for their good behavior she rewards them with free seating. It has been an interesting situation because the students get really upset if you move them and will sometimes even act worse. How does this help to build the community in the classroom?
I feel that it is better to have assigned seating throughout the year. It can change from time to time, or even every day if you have name cards. I have done it both ways and it seems to alleviate a lot of the behavior problems.
With all of this to say, I still feel that an engaging lesson will solve many of the behavior problems. This is one big reason why I got into TPRS. If we can create stories everyday that are interesting and about the students, then they will be much more likely to participate in a positive way. There still needs to be rules for telling the story and guidelines for participation, but generally is it much more effective than taking notes off of a screen.