Discussion in 'General Education' started by Ms.Holyoke, Aug 29, 2018.
Aug 31, 2018
It’s never too late to go over expectations, but the sooner, the better.
Sep 1, 2018
My plan was to review expectations with all of my classes on Friday, the second day of school. Because of extended homeroom, I only saw one class on Thursday, so the "real first day" was Friday. So I am looking for a way to review expectations with the kids on Tuesday.
I am planning lessons for next week and I am so confused. I am teaching adding decimals and I'm not sure if the kids have done it in 5th grade. It was on their standards but I do have the lower level class.
It doesn’t hurt to review the knowledge even if they have done it before, especially if it’s a lower class. That way you can kind of gauge the gaps in their knowledge, whether your pedagogy will work with these students or do you need to review that etc.
I always spend time reviewing when starting a new concept. If they have a good grasp of the concepts, the review is very quick; if they are showing confusion, I know that I need to spend more time.
I hope it is alright! I'm just a little bit confused because I do not fully know what the kids learned in 5th grade. I honestly feel unsupported by my school. All I got is a scope and sequence and I didn't know that we didn't have to go in order until I talked to my mentor. I was checking with my mentor and she helped me a little bit by showing me the pre-test that she gave her kids. I am using a lot of that because she has the most experience teaching this level, but she also said that I should also be creating my own resources as well as a first year teacher. This kind of dissuades me from asking her more. I obviously created everything for this week, but I wouldn't be able to do it without a free online curriculum that I have access to (Open Up) and a 6th grade math common core book my job gave me.
My plan for next week is:
Tuesday: review expectations/my pre-test/grade level test
Wednesday: decimals introduction, ex. place value, when does the 0 matter, why we have to line up the decimal points, adding decimals problem solving with estimation
Thursday: Adding/subtracting decimals with lots of practice, emphasis on borrowing and carrying over
Friday: review + analysis questions, a menu activity with estimation that I found. This allows the kids to preview multiplication and division with the kids.
Here's a great lesson that you can draw on for your plans for Wednesday:
I really like this but I feel a little unsure of how to teach it. Maybe I'll try it on the second day.
Actually...I am looking through it and I think the kids will get it if I write the problem vertically as they explained their ideas...but horizontally first. It's great because I'm teaching turn and talks on Wednesday.
I also found this great activity on whether the zeroes matter. Ex. the kids have to decide if 25.0=25, if 2.405=2.45, etc. which is great because we will work on "adding zeroes in when we need" on Thursday.
That's unfortunate that your team is not more supportive. In my district, we give any new teachers access to 100% of our files. Notes, worksheets, activities, tests/quizzes, EVERYTHING as everyone who teaches the same course teaches the same thing the same day. If we want to change a couple problems on the worksheets or do a different activity, that's fine, but we do like 90% consistently. We also grade everything 100% consistently (well close to that...) This makes it super easy for a new teacher as they don't have to come up with much of anything their first year. They can then refine as they would like in subsequent years. It just seems like too much to ask for new teachers to create everything from scratch. I only created probably 30% of the lessons I teach, and the other 70% of lessons were created by other teachers (with slight adjustments made by me). The same applies to virtually every teacher in my building.
Your lessons sound good. Will your pre-test on Tuesday cover decimals? This could help you realize what they know or don't know to plan your lesson in a more focused way?
My pre-test does not cover decimals. It is mainly focused on computations like simple addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. It is similar to what my mentor teacher uses. I might add a few questions about decimals but I also have to give a district assessment right afterwards.
And to add, the Common Core book I have is not given to me by the school. My employers gave it to me when I worked at Huntington Learning Center this summer since they had an extra and it is an amazing resource. A lot of the stuff I found online is just basic worksheets which isn't a curriculum.
I really, really, wish my school had some sort of way to share files...like a shared google drive. I would be happy to share anything that I've made. My mentor mainly has hard copy binders of curriculum/worksheets and I can't keep asking for all of her stuff!! I think we are the only ones who teach at the same level.
Could you initiate this? Start by creating a Google Drive folder and invite your grade/subject team and see who adds to it. At the very least everything you use will be backed up.
Sep 3, 2018
One idea that I had for classroom management is purchasing caddies. Then I can put markers, colored pencils, etc. in these caddies and I do not need to be the one passing them out/collecting them.
I need 8 but they usually come in packs of 6. I found some very cute ones on reallygoodstuff but I might go to the dollar store first.
Try Target. If your Target hasn't sold out of them, look in the dollar spot and you may find the ones for $3. If those have sold out, try in the back to school section.
I have seen the caddies in Target and I wish I picked them up this summer! I also know they have the Storex caddies for $2.99 but I need 8 of them. I would also like the colors to match up somewhat since I'll be using these for hopefully a long time.
These are the ones I liked from reallygoodstuff! They are very cute and there is a sale on the website for a while.
I also went to the dollar store this weekend and purchased a few of the trifolds. I cut them in half to serve as privacy folders so I can keep my sanity while my kids take tests tomorrow. My mentor has some from reallygoodstuff but they are expensive! Hopefully these will work alright. I am hoping that I can stop spending soon.
Our first department meeting is this Friday. (We have two preps until then which has been great!) I will definitely see if there are any 6th grade math teachers who want to share.
In the meantime, one of my friends is teaching 6th grade math at a different school in my district. We both teach the same level. She used to work for a charter and she shared their whole google drive with me. She was saying that she will not be lesson planning everything this year since her school doesn't have a curriculum. She's using the google drive as well which has been so helpful!
I just found out that I have to correct 95 summer math packets. Nobody told me until I asked about them and now I wish I hadn't asked. I've been feeling sick and stressed about work all weekend...and now I feel worse. I have no clue how I am going to find the time to do this. The packets are huge. Part of me wants to just read the answers and have the kids self-correct. I am honestly hoping that a lot of kids didn't do it...
We just check the packet for completion, and then give a short quiz based on the packet. Did most of your students actually complete their packet? Did they specify how you must grade it? Could you just grade it based on effort: Check plus, check, check minus for a homework grade, rather than going through and checking each problem for accuracy? Or just pick one problem per page to grade for accuracy?
Unfortunately we have to grade the whole thing for accuracy. Apparently the kids who get a certain score get to go on the local news or something like that.
Sep 4, 2018
I am feeling a little bit better after my 3rd day of school.
-In my first two classes, half of my kids needed binders but in my last class all of the kids had binders. (This was expected because my last class has kids who are in honors everything except math.) I received enough binders from friends/family/freecycle to give to kids who don't have them. The school gave me construction paper and sheet protectors for dividers.
-We do not have to grade the whole summer packet for accuracy. As soon as a kid gets 8 wrong, we can stop grading it...thankfully!! My mentor said it took her an hour for all of hers.
-The behavior was decent today. The kids were quiet during their pretest...but needed reminders and I had to stand by a group in my toughest class. I realized that I need to do a lot better with transitions and actually teach them how to pass in papers. Once I was more clear with my directions, things got better. I also used seating charts to call kids by their names today which was helpful. I'm hoping to get a good feel for the kids and their behavior and change seats next Monday.
-I left school at contract time today and had everything prepped for tomorrow. It felt amazing!! I took a bunch of work home but I much prefer grading at home to staying at school.
I need to figure out a good method for passing in papers. I tried to have the kids make a stack of papers at their table...but that was hard for them. LOL
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