I am a mess!!!!

Discussion in 'Elementary Education Archives' started by MissMulcahy, Sep 11, 2006.

  1. MissMulcahy

    MissMulcahy Rookie

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    Sep 11, 2006

    I am just a mess! This is my first year of teaching and I feel very overwhelmed!! My students have been in school for three weeks and they have failed two tests. About 1/4 of my class did really poorly on their religion quiz and I had only 1 A on theirsocial studies quiz. Am I not teaching them? Help!
     
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  3. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I have had failures and poor grades. I think it is just that 5th graders are not aware of how much different the expectations are this year. My top students have done well. It's the average and low ones that are in shock. I don't think it is you.
     
  4. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Sep 11, 2006

    That happens at some point to all of us. We think we've explained it all, yet somehow we didn't reach the majority of the kids sitting in front of us. With older kids, it can occasionally be blamed on them-- they were overwhelmed with other stuff or somehow just didn't study. But for kids this young, I'm afraid the solution rests on you.

    So, yes, you are teaching them; you're just not reaching them. You need to go back and re-cover the material so they really know it. What you choose to do about the grades is your call: retest, give them the chance to regain the lost points, give them a project of some sort on the same info to boost their grades, whatever.

    Be sure they have a very clear idea of what to expect from you on tests: what material (specifically) the test covers, its format, the general directions, and so on.

    Hang in there. It really DOES get easier:)
     
  5. ms_chandler

    ms_chandler Comrade

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    Sep 11, 2006

    Some kids just need to wake up and smell the coffee... I have at least 10 kids in each class who are currently failing. My school has a strict grading policy where anything under a 70 is failing. Some kids, unfortunately, will fail no matter what. My mentor says to expect 3-5 per class. I have seen an improvement in my kids' grades, so I know they're on their way up. Some just had to wake up and smell the coffee!

    Good luck! Don't be too hard on yourself... We all go through this!
     
  6. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    Sep 11, 2006

    Remember it is the beginning of the school year and some students take longer to actually realize that yes they do have to study. Also get them to give you a summary of what they learned after every class as a way to help you evaluate their learning. My co-worker does this after every subject she teaches and writes down a couple of the responses on the whiteboard. She reviews it with her class the last 10 minutes of the day. The principal just LOVES it!
     
  7. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Sep 11, 2006

    Tell them what you are going to teach them. Teach them. Tell them what you already taught them. Reteach them.
     
  8. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Sep 11, 2006

    When I coached Speech and Debate, that was the outline for every Extemporaneous Speech I heard in 18 years. It was also the outline for every paper I ever wrote, and I always did great on papers!:thanks:
     
  9. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Oh, same with me, Alice. Give me an essay any day. I had a job once writing about early childhood education and I loved it. I got to write persuasive stuff all day.
     
  10. mrs a

    mrs a Companion

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    Sep 11, 2006

    I think all teachers feel overwhelmed the first couple of months. We forget how young they are when they come to us compared to the ones that just left us. ALL lessons take longer. A LOT of students will struggle until they realize that summer is over. You'll get there. First year of teaching? It may take a while, but you'll get there. Your concern shows you care!!
     
  11. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Sep 11, 2006

    Relax- you will make it. You are a good teacher, but perhaps the message is getting lost ... so as upsadaisy explained, tell them what you are going to teach them and then do it.


    I found that students, just like adults want and need clear expectations. We have to take the mystery out of the learning process. If we can simplify things the kids will build confidence in their own abilities too.

    I also agree that you shoud summarize at the end of the day, they need to be held accountable.

    It's hard to be brand new, but just like anything else, you will learn what style works for you and you will continue to improve your methods... next year at this time, you will feel a whole lot better
     
  12. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    Sep 11, 2006

    Hey, nobody should feel too upset. I HAVE BEEN THERE, and I am there. For all students, it takes time to get used to something new. Nobody is failing miserably in my class(es), yet the difference between two grade levels is tremendous. Previously in 3rd, they didn't write in complete sentences, and they also only had to write their first names on their papers. Students think the effort they put into the previous grade level is acceptable for this grade level, and as they fine-tune their skills, they will begin applying those skills to their tests.

    The part where I want to curl up and cry is where students don't finish work in a timely manner.
     
  13. MissMulcahy

    MissMulcahy Rookie

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    Sep 12, 2006

    I don't know about you Kimmyboo but I love this teacher web site. All the other teachers make me feel so much better! Thank you for the ideas!
     
  14. collteach

    collteach Comrade

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    Sep 12, 2006

    I am a 5th year teacher....but recently moved to a new state and began teaching in a new school, and I, too, feel overwhelmed. I went from a Department of Defense school system where testing was not the focus of the school year. We taught a standards-based curriculum, but there was no state test that we had to excel in to make AYP etc. We did not have to worry about those things (I always found it funny that the federal gov't did not make federally run schools follow the guidelines of NCLB...hmmmmm). Now I am in a state that is nuts about testing. My school is VERY high achieving, so of course, we want to stay at the top and show growth. I am very overwhelmed by all of the testing and data and documentation. I feel like I barely have time to truly teach. My students seem to "have it", then when I present the concepts in a more abstract or higher level way, they are lost. Honestly, I think that they just have to get used to me. Many of the teachers at my school have been teaching for 25+ years. Some are very set in their ways and have requirements that I don't see as necessary (one student told me that they had to write things XX times if they were bad or forgot their name on a paper, etc....I didn't know anyone still used that punishment...I know it never worked on me when I was in school).

    We all just have to get into a routine. Things will get better!!! Just follow the advice already given and you will have a successful year. Will all students get A's...no, but hopefully even those that get Cs or even Ds will learn something!
     
  15. februarybaby2856

    februarybaby2856 Rookie

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    Sep 12, 2006

    What a great idea!

    Wow!!! EVery time I visit this site I come away with exactly what I need! This is a great suggestion. I am teaching 5th, and am finding the same problem with my students.

    This suggestion reminds me that I have to keep the material in front of them, over and over and over.

    Thanks for posting this response...I'm going to try this today!



     
  16. PurpleTweety

    PurpleTweety Companion

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    Sep 12, 2006

    If you can fit it in with your curriculum, I always try to have the day before a test as a review day. Sometimes I will do half the class as silent review and the second half just oral review. Other times I will be more elaborate and do a Jeopardy! or other game type review. (And imagine that, some of those questions the teacher asked us in review yesterday were on the test today!)This way, even those students who do not study on their own have "studied" with me.
     
  17. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Sep 13, 2006

    It is amazing how they think it is a game if they are in teams and get points when I ask them review questions! Helloooooo - you still have to answer the questions. But, I am so glad they love to review like this.
     
  18. TeacherC

    TeacherC Connoisseur

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    Sep 13, 2006

    Last year, my students loved playing any "Jeopardy" like game- they even used old questions to play with during recess!!
    At the beginning of the year, I had a social studies unit and NONE of the students did well on the review for the test, so instead of testing them on a whole chapter at once, I broke it into smaller units and made my own tests-so they still got the concepts, but didn't have remember all of them for one huge tests. They did MUCH better. Good luck!
     
  19. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    Sep 13, 2006

    Try to relax. I am sure you are teaching them well. The poor test scores could be the result of not studying at all, not studying correctly, not understanding the material in the first place, summer hangover syndrome...

    I had a class the failed three science tests in a row. I finally decided they would be required to fix the incorrect answers, tell what page in the book they found it on, and have parents sign the test. We also went over every question as a class when I handed out the corrected test papers. They had to tell me exactly where on the page the answer was. They had no idea they needed to study the graphics, picture captions, etc. until we went over this a few times. Then I gave a few open book tests, but once I didn't tell them if the test would be open book or not. They studied like crazy and the scores went through the roof! They just didn't know how to study until then.
     

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