We had a fairly good day, but it was exhausting because everyone seemed just on this edge of a colossal meltdown. No one actually did, but I'm drained from the sheer effort of preventing it.
Meanwhile, Aide D was back today -- without even an apology for missing three of five workdays this week. She then proceeded to spend recess on her cell phone without paying attention to the Bulldozer. After conferring with Aide S and Aide J to see if they really wanted to take on (1) another sub who could potentially be worse or (2) no one at all, we jointly decided to ask the office not to invite her back.
I suspect I won't be popular on Monday after they speak with her.
However, that's not what this post is about. This post is about our Places in the News map, which I have hung up in my classroom. Whenever we read about a new place in News-2-You, we mark it with a Post-It on the map. Each month, more or less, we take those Post-Its off and mark the places on the world map in the back of the kids' agenda books.
My ultimate goal is that every child in the class be able to find America (unlike many high school graduates), with the exception of E., who I would like to at least understand the direction "come to the map."
Here is the map so far:
Last week, one of the places in the news was Egypt. We were reading about the new list of the seven wonders of the world but we also read about the Great Pyramid of Giza.
I was busy with...probably the Bulldozer...and asked Aide K to put Egypt on the map with whoever's turn it was to read. (Whoever has read the sentence with the place in it gets to put the Post-It on the map.) She goes up to the map and stares at it for quite some time.
Finally, I say, "It's in Africa."
She examines Europe and Russia.
"Down south of there," I say.
She examines Europe.
"It's the...purple one, I think, at the top right hand corner of Africa."
"No, down to the left," puts in Aide J, who is watching this in morbid fascination.
Finally, she puts the Post-It on. I assume she has located Egypt, and go about my life.
Yesterday, as The Bulldozer was wailing about...whatever...I stare at the map, so as not to give him eye contact.
You will notice that the pink "Egypt" Post-It is not near Egypt. It's not even in Africa. Nor is it at the "top right" of any conceivable landmass, let alone Africa.
Even E can match words by matching the first letter.