Friday, August 29th, 2014
It’s amazing what a difference just two days can make. My homeroom class is still doing well, but I can see that they are really starting to get comfortable and their real selves are coming out. Thursday morning was a bit talkative. I was starting to see distinguished cliques forming and often sitting in the same places, a group of boys at my low floor table and a group of girls at the regular table. They were even whispering during a test, so I pulled them all back down to Earth (to the carpet) and we had a chat. I began with telling them they were not in trouble. They are still doing a great job, but their behavior is taking a small dip and I don’t want that pattern to continue. I told them that I knew they could do better. They all needed to start making better choices. They also needed to be self aware to know if they could handle sitting next to a friend without being tempted to talk. We did some more practicing of acceptable spots and places to sit and during that activity was the quietist I had heard them. They knew they were in trouble and if something didn’t change the desks were coming back.
Friday morning I used my first refocus forms. I had intended them to be used for single students being disruptive, but I had been struggling with how to use them for talking groups. I couldn’t send a group of friends into the hall to refocus: they would just talk. So when my girl clique was whispering during a test after I had warned them to stop I just walked over and placed a refocus form in front of each of them. Because the rest of the class was working silently it worked great having them complete the form right in the classroom. For the rest of the day, the girls were making obvious effort to sit apart from one another. I’m not sure it will last, but we will see what happens.