I was out yesterday to take care of my sick daughter.
I returned today to stories of chaos, destruction and discord.
I didn't yell, I didn't scream. I changed my seating arrangement back to front-facing rows. I quietly started taking down the decorations in my room.
I had thought about being angry, but that dissipated quickly. It turned to sadness and disappointment.
I think my 1st period knew that they had made a mistake. That may have been more about the seating change than about the heart-felt speech I gave them about my feelings and empathy.
I don't like my desks like this. I hate that I am limiting collaboration as a form of punishment, so I'm not going to think about it that way. I am going to think about it as "That particular form of collaboration didn't work with this group of kids. Let's try a different one."
Google image searches for "Traditional Classroom Design" and "Collaborative Classroom Design" pull up the following pictures as the respective first results.
I know that not everything works for everyone, so I need to find something that works for enough kids that I can focus on the rest.
The new arrangement worked fairly well in 8th period. Having them all face front made it much clearer what my expectations for attention were. We ended up having an excellent discussion about codes and cryptography.
The geometry kids didn't like the new set-up, but it seemed to work for them too. We had a nice and productive review session before the chapter test. I'm using this class and this chapter for my State-Mandated Student Learning Objective aspect of my evaluation and I set a goal of 40% growth between pre-test and post-test.
I have full confidence that my students will exceed that goal.
I'm very much looking forward to spending the weekend in the Philadelphia area and heading to EdCamp South Jersey. There are a ton of people there that I would like to see and learn from. It should be a great time!