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Archive for the ‘Behavior’ Category

Horseshoes & Hand Grenades

© Michael Frank – istockphoto.com

    Literally, that is what I’m thinking about as I try to figure out what to do with my classroom setup.    Right now, the room is a mess with books, papers, notebooks, scattered everywhere.   I like to think I have a pretty high tolerance for chaos but I can’t work in this room.   I am sharing a room with an art teacher.   She teaches two periods at the beginning of the day while I teach one class in another science classroom.    It’s not too bad to teach one class in another classroom but the fact that my primary classroom is an art room and not conducive to science learning IS a problem.

     The tables are set up in a horseshoe pattern which means most of the kids have to turn their neck 90 degrees to see what is being presented – long narrow room.   Why would a 7th grader do that when there are other 7th grade students – far more interesting than the teacher – in the most direct line of sight?   I need to change this but it will probably mean a lot of furniture moving for me on a daily basis.   The art teacher is not interested in change.

    On Thursday, in one of my classes, some of my students were throwing small bits of crayons that they found on the floor at each other;  thus, the reference to hand grenades in the title.  They thought they were being sly but I knew they were doing it, the problem was that it was about eight boys.   If I cast my eyes down slightly to write on the overhead, somebody threw something.   A 12-year old boy is quick and deft but still looks guilty as sin.    This class got to sit quietly the next day and work in review books so that I could watch them carefully.   If I had it to do over again, I would have stopped the lesson immediately and gone to review books.  The problem is that if I turned my back to get the review books, World War III would have broken out.    The art teacher says that neither she nor the students should have to clean up crayon pieces on the floor because that’s what happens in an art room.    On Friday, I swept the floor after the art class left to get rid of the ammunition.

     None of the behavioral issues are a surprise.  We will get there.   The school was closed when I went over today to organize my classroom.   On Monday, I will turn the tables to row seating.   The goal is learning pods where active, engaged students do group projects.    I am having trouble seeing that from here.

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