Saturday, March 26, 2011
Have you ever played the game minesweeper? It is this game where you are diffusing a field of landmines by clicking on safe squares which reveal how many landmines you are touching. For example, if you click on an "3" then that square has three landmines touching it.
Making a seating chart for my class is exactly like playing minesweeper. You have to place all of the landmines so they are touching only safe squares. If you fail, there will be a catastrophic explosion!!!!
Anyway, it is the Crazy Eight that are making this difficult. I have to give the other students a break from the particular brand of crazy they were sitting by last quarter, but rest assured I will have to place them by a different issue.
It is hard work!
Today, dear readers, I will introduce you to the types of behaviors I encounter on a daily basis. Another day I will describe the personalities and gifts of each student with more depth, but for today I will share only behaviors that are typical. This will give you a snapshot of why all the answers are not in the Teacher's Manual.
1.) The Hulk
Sometimes the Hulk is not the Hulk. Sometimes he is just a sweet kid who can get along with anyone. However, when he gets a little bit angry or frustrated or sad; he then gets more angry and frustrated and sad. All of his emotions become one super emotion and he turns green. He rips holes in my walls. He is ready to throw down with anyone who crosses his path. He literally heaves breaths in and out when he is in this state. He will throw things. The Hulk has to have a seat by mild mannered children with a quick exit strategy. He is definitely a landmine in my game of minesweeper.
2.) The Taz
The Taz is a tornado. He doesn't do anything quietly. He actually ripped part of the floor up when he was sitting on the carpet one day. He grabs anything within reach--especially other students. He rocks in his chair. He breaks pencils. He chews on his shirt. He is completely disorganized. He loses his own pencil while he is holding it.
Angelica is a bully. She has had three different parents call the office at the school regarding her bullying (in the one year she has been here). She will steal out of kids desks. She is defiant. She was actually walked back to the school office by her bus driver one day because of her defiance. She gets other students angry faster than any other student I've ever had (even really even tempered kids).
4-6.) The Lost Boys
The lost boys are just wild. They can sit still for only short amounts of time. They all have tempers, although not to the degree of the hulk. They rarely turn in homework. They are generally disorganized and loud.
This group is a little click. They fight with each other and every other girl on campus all the time. Each and every day there are tears and drama. These are the girls who will actively say, "I don't want to be friends with you." I've had mean girls in my fifth grade classes before, but this year is the first time I have seen a tendency to be mean so young. Yowzer, I told the fifth grade teachers to retire before these girls get there because they are drama, drama, drama.
So, you can see how it is hard to seat these kids in a way that minimizes issues. Put a Mean Girl next to Angelica and you get a cat fight. Put the Taz near the Hulk and the Hulk will be in a constant Hulk state. Let the Lost Boys be near each other and you form a little gang.
Again, I will remind you, I am talking about behaviors not the students themselves. All of the kids have wonderful, redeeming qualities; most have difficult circumstances which feed their issues, but this year is a challenge--especially when it comes to seating!