Seatwork is an activity which has very few supporters but which is a part of every school day in almost every elementary classroom. In elementary classrooms, most of the seatwork is done during the reading/language time and often occupies two-thirds of the allocated time (Allington and McGill-Franzen, 1989; Rosenshine, 1979). Seatwork serves an important management function in that it allows teachers to focus their attention on groups or individual children with varying needs and abilities. Seatwork is also supposed to provide children with some of the practice needed to become better readers and writers.
Cunningham, P. M. (1991). Making Seatwork Work. Reading Horizons, 31 (4). Retrieved from http://scholarworks.wmich.edu/reading_horizons/vol31/iss4/3