11 hours ago
Thursday, February 3, 2011
We change desks in the classroom every month. You know, switch things up a bit. We were having parent teacher conferences and so I printed progress reports. The children rapidly began preparing their speeches in order to explain things to their parents (kind of like defense lawyers). In the midst of all of this, I heard complaints. Whining. The most popular excuse was something like, "I can't concentrate on my work because I sit next to so-and-so." I LOVE the Blame Game!
I decided to throw this out to the children. HOMEWORK: "Write a letter to me tonight explaining who it is you think might keep you from doing your best work if they were sitting near you. I'll consider your thoughts while making the new seating chart." Of course, I would READ these papers, but I wasn't making any inner commitments to actually go by them. I totally read every word AND I did consider their thoughts. Here we go!
From a boy: "I should not be seated by...a list of ten names."
From a boy: "Dear Mrs. Kyburz, I probably shouldn't sit by...a list of fifteen names...and that's probably it."
From a girl: "I can't sit by...a list of eleven names..., but I can sit by everybody else."
From a boy: "I think I should sit right next to M because we are very good at math."
From a boy: (simply submitted a list of sixteen names)
From a girl: "Dear Mrs. Kyburz, For our seating arrangement, I don't want to sit by...a list of seven names."
From a girl: "I want to be by my friends, even though I know it won't happen. Just don't put me by...one name.
From a boy: "Dear Mrs. Kyburz, I don't think I should sit by...a list of fourteen names... Thanks for listening!"
From a girl: "I want to sit by...a list of three names."
From a girl: "People I won't talk to:...a list of eight names. People I will talk to:...a list of twelve names. The rest I don't care."
From a girl: "Well, you should NOT put me by...a list of nine names...or really anyone that makes me laugh including...two more names. I just don't think I should get put by...one more name. I think you SHOULD put me by...two more names...and really all the other people like them. I am just saying it is hard for me to see, so maybe up closer to the front. P.S. I am really just saying this for help. I am not lying and this is my full report."
From a girl: "I think I would be good if I sat by...a list of three names...because I know them and I know that they will let me get my work done and I will let them get theirs done too. I can't sit by...one name...because he has way too many annoying and distracting things."
From a girl: "I feel as if me and S have been able to get our work done by sitting by each other. We talk about problems we are stuck on or we give each other helpful ideas and don't talk when we're not supposed to. I know you probably won't consider this idea. Please, if you can, and if you are ok with this, please let me sit by...a list of three names."
From a girl: "I could do well sitting by anybody, but when me and E sat together, we worked on stuff together and helped each other on math and other things."
From a girl: "I can't sit by...a list of eight names. They called me a dinosaur."