**HELP new TO AtoZ and NEW 5th grade teacher**

Discussion in 'Elementary Education Archives' started by missanna, Jul 28, 2006.

  1. missanna

    missanna Rookie

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    Jul 28, 2006

    Hello Everyone!!

    I always read the forum but now I finally decided to join because it looks extremelly helpful!! I got hired about a month ago as a 5th grade teacher! I am excited but soooo overwhelmed. I was wondering if anyone can recommend any good first day of school activities and a good short read aloud ..

    Thanks so much!!
     
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  3. MissMulcahy

    MissMulcahy Rookie

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    Jul 28, 2006

    new fifth grade teacher too!

    Hi! I read your post and want you to know I am in the smae boat. This is my first year teaching. I am so nervous but excited. Where are you from?
     
  4. missanna

    missanna Rookie

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    Hey,
    Are you really?! I am from northern NJ..what about you? what grade did you do your student teaching in??
     
  5. missanna

    missanna Rookie

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    Hopefully we can get some tips and advice on here :) Did you begin to do anything yet??
     
  6. superteach113

    superteach113 Rookie

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    Jul 28, 2006

    5th Graders

    I taught fifth graders for four years. Fifth graders are so cool and are so much fun. They are old enough to do some really nice projects, but still young enough to be scared of their parents and think you are just the smartest person alive!! Just make sure they understand your class rules. They HATE missing recess. They are very social, so that is a good consequence for misbehaviors.

    I am now teaching 1st graders and really miss the fifth grade age.

    Just ask any questions, we will be happy to help!:)
     
  7. missanna

    missanna Rookie

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    Thanks so much for getting back! I did my student teaching in 4th grade and I enjoyed it so I am hoping for the same experience in 5th grade. What kind of discipline plan did you implement..as far as consenquences for misbehavior etc. Also, how did you start off a new year?
     
  8. superteach113

    superteach113 Rookie

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    Jul 29, 2006

    Fifth Grade

    I didn't use a discipline plan. They knew that if they did too much talking they were kept in for the "Lunch Club." At the "Lunch Club" the kids would just sit quietly. I don't like giving written punishwork. Missing talking with their friends was the worst thing we could do to them!! Being reminded of the "Lunch Club" pretty much quieted things down. If problems were worse, I would call their parents. I am not one for all the flipping of cards and such. You either do as I as or I will call your mother.

    I was pretty lucky as discipline was not a major problem at my school. It was a very nice private school.

    As far as the first day, the first thing I would do is talk about myself and my family. I feel they needed to know me. I would do things like pass out books, make sure names were placed in them, and collect supplies. In reading, I would have them write a short paper telling me anything they wanted me to know about themselves. I also taught science, so I had a science book walk. They were given a list of questions that they had to look up in different areas of the book. Fifth grade used a binder instead of individual notebooks, so most of the afternoon was spent setting up the binder with the dividers for each class. We went slow with that because the binder was their lifeline and we didn't want them to mess it up. Since we were departmentalized, we would change classes for a bit, so that they could meet the other teacher.

    We would dive into our lessons on the second day. Too much to cover to let another day go by.

    Hope this was helpful.
     
  9. wig

    wig Devotee

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    Jul 29, 2006

    As an "old" teacher (34 years) I honestly believe that the most important thing you can do is develop procedures for everything. Create a handout for it and teach and model it consistently the first week or so. If you haven't read Harry Wongs "First Days of School" I strongly recommend it. Until then you can read his columns archived at: http://teachers.net/wong/

    Some teachers like to do ice breakers. I am not a fan of them, but others swear by them.

    I mostly teach sixth graders. One of the things I do is have them write me a letter telling me about their favorite things e.g. favorite book, favorite food, favorite TV show, favorite outdoor activity, etc. They have to choose at least three topics from the list I give them, write a paragraph on each telling me why it is their favorite and at least 3 details. I always model it by writing them a paragraph on why sixth grade is my favorite grade to teach. They end their letter by telling me what they are looking forward to the most in sixth grade.

    What is great about this assignment is that it not only gives me a "picture" of the students, but I can assess their writing skills at the same time.

    I only have fifth graders for one period a day. I LOVE that age. You will have a lot of fun with them.
     
  10. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    I agree with Wig. Procedures are the biggest thing. 5th graders are old enough to know when you're blowing smoke so things need to be consistent. We have a stepped school wide program (name on the board then checks). I don't use that. I use clip strips (you can see an example on this thread) On Friday afternoon the student of the week pulls the ones that have been clipped and replaces with new ones. That starts the new week. We don't have a spot for discipline on the blue folders, but I handwrite them.
    Make sure you read the read aloud first. You want to be familiar with it so you can put inflection in the right place (and for teared up warnings, etc). I read books to them, but I also read poetry (Shel Silverstein, etc) They still love that.
    I've described it in here somewhere, but I also use a music box. It sits on the corner of my desk and I wind it up on Monday. Everytime I have to stop teaching because of "social noise" I open it. I don't say anything, just open the box. On Friday afternoon if there is any music left (I open it before the last 20 minutes or so of the day) they get free time. If there isn't any music left, they don't. I like the music box because I have a lot of control. If they have a horrible Monday, then get better, I can give it a little extra winding when they aren't in the room. If they have been little pills all week I can let it play for a few minutes while they aren't in the room.
    I think another valuable thing to have to teach 5th is a sense of humor. You don't have to be a comedian, but be able to laugh at yourself and them. They are at an age where they want to test themselves and you. Being able to laugh at yourself is a big plus.
     
  11. kariteach

    kariteach New Member

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    Hi!
    Definitely agree that Harry Wong's book First Days of School is an unbelievable resource. I still read parts of it occasionally and I have been teaching for 14 years.

    Another good resource is Tools For Teaching by Fred Jones. It is the nuts and bolts of setting up your room and establishing a postive climate.

    Does your new school have a mentoring program? Definitely take advantage and see if the time is available for you to go and observe some veteran and well respected teachers once the year gets going. It is also helpful to have colleagues come visit you (even though this can be scary at first! )
    Good luck!
     
  12. missanna

    missanna Rookie

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    Thanks so much for all the help. I am currently in the process of reading the book by Wong and it does seem really helpful. I am just now so full of ideas I can explode trying to pick a few to stick by! :) But I guess that is a good thing.

    Another great thing is that I did my student teaching in this school so I know pretty much all the staff and procedures in the school. My cooperating teacher is also right next door to me..so thats a big plus.

    Quick feedback... as for a back to school theme I chose "Rising Stars"...so on my door i will have a sign that says meet our rising stars and each star will have their name on it..then i have stars to go on my windows..and i am making a bulletin board "Meet Our Rising Stars" and will put their pictures up along with a small bio. I figured this was a cute idea since I will begin science with a unit on weather and solar system. I also put together a small goodie bag for them with a pencil that says star student..a star eraser topper..and a bookmark..how does this sound??
     
  13. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Jul 29, 2006

    Welcome to AtoZ, miss and Miss! That sounds great, missanna. I love 5th grade. I'm in a private school with a small class and I don't need a rigid discipline plan. Our school basically uses the love and logic approach. I agree that having a sense of humor and being able to laugh at yourself are great assets with this age group. They get the jokes, too!!

    For the first week, I like to play quite a few games and do some activities so they know that I think learning is fun. I give them a quiz about me, play I have, who has, have a classroom scavenger hunt, do some mad libs and around the world games, do this silent activity where they get slips of paper that say things like - you are the first, shout out Ready, Set, Go; another paper will say, after someone shouts Ready, Set, Go, do 3 jumping jacks ... and so on. I'll get some writing samples and hear them read aloud, probably take an interest inventory and, of course, discuss my expectations and our procedures.

    You will love 5th grade!
     
  14. missanna

    missanna Rookie

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    hey thanks for the ideas! I hope i will love it :) It seems like a pretty good age group. Not babies but not that old either..
     
  15. MissMulcahy

    MissMulcahy Rookie

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    Missanna I am so nervous! I have been reading Harry Wong's book too! I student taught 2nd grade in the same school so I also know the students. What kind of discipline plan are you going to use?
    I was thinking that for behavior reward I was going to buy the thing of carnival tickets. When they behaved I would take two tickets off. I would give one to them and one in the jar. At the end of the day then the student of the day would pick 3 or 4 tickets out of the jar. This I believe will encourage students to earn more tickets and perform great for me. But I don;t know. I think I found this idea off the internet.
     
  16. missanna

    missanna Rookie

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    heyyy :)
    what grade are you going to be teaching..5th? I have bene thinking about a discipline plan. Not too sure. Its like I dont want to make it so much of a "reward" system because they should learn to behave and do well on their own and that be a reward in itself. Once they get to middle school there really isnt any of that "reward" stuff. So I was just thinking once we go over the rules explain to them that there are consenquences to every action. If the whole class can follow the rules and get along with each other for the whole week then on fridays they will have 3o mins of free time. If problems arise they will get a 1st a warning 2nd time spent with me at recess 3rd a note home and 4th trip to the office. Also, along the way they will have chances to work on group projects and earn things such as no homework,extra 5 minutes of recess..etc.

    Ahhh I am getting more and more nervous!!!!
     
  17. Daisha

    Daisha Companion

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    Jul 31, 2006

    Hi, I'm also a new teacher and will be teaching 5th grade and we start on August 14. AAAHHHHHHHHHH! I'm very excited and nervous. But it will all work out. I did my student teaching in fifth, so that definitely makes me feel more comfortable. Are any of you having the students and you come up with the class rules together? If so do you have any that you want them to come up, sort of ones that you will lead the conversation into producing. Hi to all new fifth grade teachers! We will have a great year!:)
     
  18. missanna

    missanna Rookie

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    Hi Daisha!
    How are you? You start so soon!! Good Luck. You must be so nervous!! Did you decorate your classroom yet. If so, how? How did you like that age group when you did your student teaching? I will most definetly come up with the rules with my students. I def. want them to include some rules dealing with being polite, no bullying, etc. I also make sure they are stated in a positive way.
     
  19. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    Welcome all of you new to 5th grade! It is soooo much fun. I have taught 5th grade for 6 years now. If you need any help just holler. I usually go over my three big rules (Respect of self, others, and property-Contribute to the learning environment-Follow all classroom and school procedures) and we discuss what each means. I have also helped the class create a 5th grade Bill of Rights and Responsibilites. The involvement really seems to help. They feel they have some input in how things are done.
     
  20. MissMulcahy

    MissMulcahy Rookie

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    more .....

    I think this is going to be my discipline plan: first interuption name goe on the board. No discussion no consequence it is a warning. second interruption, check by their name and silent lunch with me; third interuption, 2 checks by their name and lunch and recess with me; fourth interuption, 3 checks lunch,recess, and phone call to mom and dad. and the last straw after all that and they are still misbehaving in down to the office. What do you think? I hate taking away their recess!
     
  21. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    Aug 1, 2006

    Hi, new fifth grade teachers!

    I have a lot of information that can hopefully help you out through my domain, http://www.teachingvision.org . The reading section has many links for students, parents, and especially the teachers as well. There are also a few articles I wrote to help guide those who really want it!

    Essentials...
    - Procedures, procedures, procedures... as everyone else mentioned
    - Some getting to know you activities are very appealing and exciting to the students. In my class this year, students will also be drawing and voting on a class flag, motto, bird, and interesting animal because our theme is all about travel and I am integrating a class city.
    - I begin getting more serious about academics in the third week (this year, it is the 2 1/2th week).
    - For the first two weeks, we will be talking about all the procedures, our pen pals, our class "city", doing new getting to know you activities (I am trying to think of some really unique ones teachers most likely never did before), the format of our classroom, our classroom library, and all the subjects the students will be learning this year.

    By the way, I am in my third year of teaching. (4th and) 5th grade students are in my league. :)

    What questions do you have? I am willing to assist and share. Hopefully my website will also help everyone out a lot.
     

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