Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Putting Kids in the Corner

Well, sometimes it needs to be done.   I'm not talking about a screaming match and banishment.   I'm talking about reducing distractions in order to focus.  

Here's the thinking spot in my old classroom.   Note that it's surrounded by many people who have mastered the art of writing.   (Oh, and there's James Dean as a tribute to teenhood.)   Kris Kristofferson is a Rhodes Scholar, y'all.   This is a power desk.   Behind it is a big, wooden podium that provided some additional privacy.   There's not a "think about what you did" poster in front of the child.   It's Joe Perry being calm and cool while Steven Tyler breaks out into some kind of wacky musical scat-- I'm guessing here.

I would sometimes ask a child to try out this location after several attempts to redirect his/her focus on the task at hand, but there was also the option of a child choosing to sit there if he/she wanted a cozy place to create.   At first, there was some hesitance about the corner, but for some students, it was the most coveted place in the room--and they knew they didn't have to act up to use it.

This isn't a sleeping corner or a quarantine corner.   This is a tool for you and the child.   I have one in my new classroom, but I haven't gotten the corner vibe just right yet.   When the moon is in the seventh house and Jupiter finally aligns with Mars, I'll let you know.

Sometimes when I write, I vant to be alone.   It's nice to be able to provide teen writers that option as well.

My desk was at the back corner, directly behind this row of students.   I also had a magnetic mirror that I could place on the white board, so I could check up on the lone writer and wave hello at welcome intervals.

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