This boy had another meltdown. This time it was over spelling. He was freaking out when he couldn't find "rejected" in the dictionary.
Some students are just needy. At this level of school, they need to learn to work independently. So, what set this boy off was the fact that we weren't sitting with him and telling him what to do every step of the way. When he was calm he was working on his own just fine.
The incident I didn't mention that day (I didn't want to overload the post) was with another boy who blows up at the slightest slight--real or imagined. And he was at it again today.
I was very careful 5th period when I told him to get out his reading book. Everyone in the class had to read for 12 minutes. Everyone else had a book out and was reading. The last time I told him to get out his book he exploded at me for treating him like an idiot (for the record: I used the exact same tone of voice I use with any student in any class when telling them the exact same thing--and these are not special ed kids). So, I was a little dubious at forcing the issue.
The boy had his head down on his desk. I told him to get out his book, and I said it very gently. I repeated. And he got out his book. He put it unopened on his desk. I told him to open it. He did. Crisis averted.
I thought I was home free. Then it was time for the class to get in a group and start on the day's assignment. Somehow, this boy and this girl then irritated each other enough so that they started yelling at each other (about what I have no idea). A third boy got into the mix, and all I wanted to do was yell at them to stop this nonsense. I didn't.
Apparently 5th period does this. A lot.
There were two other peacemakers in the class plus the others were done with the whole disruption (this was a class of eight), so somehow we managed to get order again.
However, the boy's consequence for any blow up is a 15 minute detention. He blew up in a previous period, so he was up to a half hour. When he stalked into class at the end of the day, he was surprised to find that extra 15 minutes listed under his detention. He argued the point, but eventually he had to admit that he did earn that extra 15 minutes.
It's sad to see so much anger in these kids. But I suppose that's part of the reason that they're in this special ed class.