Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Memes, Seating Charts, and Other General Frustrations

When done right, a good meme can really get me through those rough days.  I mentioned this on my Facebook status a few weeks ago, but sometimes, creating a seating chart feels a lot like playing Mine Sweeper:  I really don't know what I'm doing, and the wrong move can set of a time bomb.  

Do you ever feel like there are certain aspects of your job that you spend WAY too much time on?  For instance, I see the PE teacher's seating chart, and I appreciate how free and easy it is to print off an empty chart and just write the names in pencil.  If you need to move a kid, just erase and write.  Easy peasy, right?  Why can't I accept that?  Why do I have to make a publisher document with individual boxes, a PICTURE of each kid, and their full names as they appear on Power School?  Hey, I would like to give myself some credit in that I don't include pronunciations or nick names in quotation marks anymore.  This seating chart usually takes me WEEKS to create, and until it is created, I have the kids sit in the order they come in, which is always uber confusing for Kindergarten.  Once I do have it completed, it looks something like this (Names have been removed for obvious reasons. . . )
Don't get me wrong, I love everything about this seating chart from the first and last name of the teachers (our email is set up to recognize teachers and staff by their FIRST name, not their last), to the class times, chair numbers and group names.   We use Kagan structures in our district, so grouping the kids in fours helps a lot. I used a die cutter to cut out  the shapes for each group, write their appropriate numbers with a sharpie, laminate them, and I tape them down with book tape to the back of the chairs so they look like this:
Of course, I'm forever getting on to kids for picking the tape off their chairs.  Some of them are already starting to show wear.  But!  This system works for me in my classroom.  One day, I would like to sew enough pockets for each chair with the shapes and numbers on each one.  Wouldn't that be nice?  

If for some reason you would like to have a template for my seating chart and feel comfortable enough with Publisher, I will be glad to send it to you.  Just leave me your email addy in the comments box or email me directly at  

I'll end with a meme that got me through this morning.  I wasn't going to tell the story, but I'll tell the story. A cell phone flew out of the hoodie pocket of one of my 4th Graders today.  When I took it from her, she swore up and down that she thought she left it in her book bag.  Okay, no bigs.  I'm still giving it to your teacher.  After class, as the kids are lining up and I'm handing the cell phone over, I realized that this same 4th grader is forever shoving her hands in her hoodie pocket and was actually at that moment up to her elbows in that pocket, meaning she LIED straight to my face!  Grrrr!  
Of course, now I can't remember why that made me so mad, but at the time, this meme really spoke to me :)

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