9th grade to 5th grade....help!

Discussion in 'Fifth Grade' started by Cme10, Jul 15, 2014.

  1. Cme10

    Cme10 Rookie

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    Jul 15, 2014

    Okay...so here I am a second year teacher and moving from teaching 9th grade English to 5th grade. I need some help from those of you who have taught 5th grade or have experience in general with elementary school.

    But first - some back story.

    I have a dual degree BA in Elementary Education and Exceptional Education. I have the ESOL endorsement, 1/2 way through my reading endorsement and also have another certification to teach English grades 6-12. (Living in Florida currently.) Year before last I worked at the high school I graduated from in the guidance office, learning about how high school worked, taking advice and lessons from my own teachers and really discovering that I liked high school, which was a shock especially since when I went to school for education classes high school was the last place I thought I would be. I ended up seeking a teaching position at the end of the year but it was not meant to be and so I went and applied at other schools in counties close by.

    Last year I began teaching late - almost three months into the school year. There was an overflow of student enrollment at a school in the county next to mine. I applied and received the position on the condition that I would also teach Read180 and go through the process to receive the reading endorsement. Which I happily agreed to and went about the arduous task of teaching my first year.

    Like many first year teachers I had many challenges. We had a high suspension/withdraw rate from discipline and I quickly found out that supplies were something I was going to have to pay for out of my own pocket. In addition to having to buy supplies not only for my classroom but half my students I quickly found out that my students were struggling with even the most basic concepts.

    I was teaching Read180, in which the students hated reading, they just "knew" they would fail the FCAT and be placed in the reading class again so many used it as an opportunity to goof off and socialize. It took almost the entire year to build their trust and my continued speeches of how important it was to learn the material so they could go on to enjoy the fun of elective classes and furthering their education finally had many of them paying attention. Unfortunately in one year I could not undo the damage that had been previously done by teachers who apparently just "passed them" as the kids told me. I struggled with this class the most seeing their potential damaged by their own self fulfilling prophecies or even worse listening to family and even teachers say, "You'll never do it because you're just lazy.." or "Well there's always next year to get it right.."

    My English classes were much the same the majority of the 9th grade students struggled with finding nouns, verbs, and many other basic concepts. They struggled all year with writing assignments and I couldn't even get them Literature books until almost Christmas (after begging the admins). It wasn't until after Christmas that I finally had their attention and some of them their trust. But for many of them even if they grasped the meaning of the Odyssey or Shakespeare they could not do long response or essay assignments without struggling immensely.

    To say that it was a frustrating first year would be an understatement. But here we come to the core of the post: I am now moving to another school (overflow positions rarely get picked up for more than one year) and they want me to teach 5th grade. The demographic will be the same, a poor area, same types of students that I had before but younger. The school itself is brand new (built just last year), but I am unsure of what to do. I have never taught elementary school, I don't know which procedures to implement, I don't know if they will even come to school with supplies..(they aren't allowed to have backpacks..)

    I am hopeful that maybe if I can reach them at a young age by the time they go to high school I could make a difference in their lives. That is my hope.

    Any and all advice is welcomed and needed...


    (On a totally different maybe even more fun note...I was thinking of how to group students and I came up with a couple of ideas but I'd like some more creative input? Maybe grouping them by pixar/disney movie..like ...Team Up! Team Monsters Inc..exc....grouping them by animals..I had even pondered grouping them in "houses" like the Harry Potter books. There are a lot of ideas floating around but I'm just not sure what to use or what would reach them...)
     
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  3. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

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    Jul 15, 2014

    Would these groupings be for guided reading?
     
  4. mrsammieb

    mrsammieb Devotee

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    Jul 16, 2014

    I think you'll really enjoy it. I mean, 9th graders are the WORST right? They are the little fish in a BIG pond, not really knowing how to do HS. 5th grade they are still happy and sweet and sometimes emotional. You are going to see some awesome kids.
     
  5. Cme10

    Cme10 Rookie

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    Jul 16, 2014

    I'm really hoping I enjoy it, I know that 9th grade is really like when you first enter school, same scenario. They don't know how to HS just like when you first enter school you don't know what to expect. The difference being by the time they reach 9th grade bad habits and attitudes have been established. >_>

    As for the grouping I was thinking that if I get a student roster BEFORE school starts I could group them as I was taught in the mentor program. Mixing students of different levels (So no group has all struggling students or the super smart group) into year long groups that would work together on group work/guided reading and other projects. I have heard from some teachers that you can still use competitions and group work in elementary school with a higher success rate and so I thought grouping them and using the group dynamic could help in many aspects. (Not just reading/projects but behavior systems as well..)

    Any other 5th grade teacher input? Classroom management or decoration?
     
  6. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Fanatic

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    Jul 16, 2014

    Welcome to 5th grade. It is a great grade to teach. It does help to have some preparation, so let me know what it is that you need. I have taught 5th grade for awhile, and I would be happy to help. Feel free to post on this site or to PM me.

    I would begin by seeing what is it that is being supplied for you. Do you have math books, literature books, basals, or what else do you have? Are you teaching all the subjects or does each teacher specialize in certain subjects such as in middle school and high school?

    Classroom management I would suggest the book Tools For Teaching by Fred Jones. It is cheap online (amazon.com) and it is really good.

    Again, welcome to 5th grade and please, please, make your questions and wants known. I would be happy to help. :)
     
  7. Cmiles13

    Cmiles13 New Member

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    Jul 19, 2014

    Readingrules12-- I'll take any advice you have also. First time teacher going to be teaching 5th grade too.
     

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