I must be lousy at teaching 5th grade...

Discussion in 'Fifth Grade' started by Peachyness, Sep 6, 2007.

  1. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Sep 9, 2007

    And how about when the kids, themselves, correct you? Humbling, but it will happen. I'm actually glad that just about every year there is one super bright, organized, responsible kid who can be relied upon to remind me of things I forget ('Remember you said we could have one extra day for the book reports because of the holiday on Monday?') I have a terrible memory.
     
  2. noreenk

    noreenk Cohort

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    Sep 9, 2007

    If kids catch me make a mistake, they get a table point... since i'm constantly switching back and forth between languages, i often forget that I color-code all English black and all Spanish blue. they remind me about THAT distinction almost daily!
     
  3. newtoschool

    newtoschool Rookie

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    Sep 10, 2007

    Peachyness, my 5th graders are the same way. On top of them beign really imature and babied in fourth to not quite picking up the fact that they have to grow the heck up. It is a very challenging grade, it is not just you!
     
  4. Mllezoe

    Mllezoe Rookie

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    Sep 10, 2007

    Oh my god, thank goodness for this site. I just started my first teaching job (5th grade) three weeks ago and today is the second day I've come home in tears. My kids are really, really spoiled (uber rich area, rich parents, etc.) and have SO MUCH ATTITUDE. Plus, I was hired ONE DAY before school started and I cannot seem to keep up. I am usually SO organized. Now? I am inundated with papers and EVERYTHING is off - my memory, my lessons, my timing, my pacing. I have the class from HELL too - they are sooooooooooo difficult to manage. Incentives don't seem to work for them, nor do threats of discipline. I want to quit. I feel like the biggest moron in the universe. I used to teach jr. college and it was a piece of cake compared to these kids. They all act like they have somewhere better to be; I told them today their job in life was to come to school - I mean, they are so arrogant!!!! I went from teaching the poorest kids in a gang-ridden school in student teaching to these rich brats. I'm so sorry to vent this much.

    Also, I am NOT confident about math - and teaching it is sooooo hard for me. Even if I understand it, so many of them don't seem to get it. Even though this is the beginning of the third week, it's literally only my 6th day of teaching. I knew it would be hard, but I didn't know I'd be this miserable. : ( I really hope it gets better. I am reading Fred Jones' book every night trying to think of ways to manage the really bad kids in a better way. And yes, being corrected by 5th graders feels SOOOOO good! Ha!
     
  5. sue35

    sue35 Habitué

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    Sep 11, 2007

    I promise that you are not a bad teacher. 5th grade is really difficult because the kids just really don't listen. It kind of goes in one ear and out the other. I find I have to repeat myself daily if I want them to understand a basic idea. My kids would stare at me also if I taught compounds and then asked them about it. They just don't really listen. So, after I teach something I have them to an activity where they can use their books and maybe learn it themselves.

    Also, I make many mistakes everyday! In every worksheet I make I have a mistake. I felt bad at first but then I realized with all that teachers go through we are bound to make mistakes because I am never just concentrating on one thing.

    For example, I told them everyday that their morning work has to be a paragraph. They repeated it to me everyday. 90% of my class wrote one sentence for each one when I checked it. That's 5th grade!

    You might want to do following directions activities with them. It helps them see how important listening is. There are some fun ones online
     
  6. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    Sep 12, 2007

    Mllezoe, I know you feel disheartened, but hang in there. My first year of teaching was in 5th grade and I never wanted to go back again, but when it came time to look for another job, the good Lord threw me right back in another 5th grade classroom. I love it now-wouldn't change grades for the world. There is A LOT of maturing that happens between September and May. You won't know them come spring, but the growing pains are difficult. Some of them will adjust quickly, others must been brought to reality kicking and screaming. IF you are looking for classroom management techniques, check out Jim Fay's Love & Logic as well. I love it. The suggestions are practical and L&L complements many other discipline cycles/theories/programs. It is the nuts and bolts of teaching responsibility in a way that makes the kids think and learn how to solve problems in a way that does not make life difficult for others. Can't say I've ever taught wealthy kids so I can't help you with that. Sorry.
     
  7. teacherSMK

    teacherSMK Habitué

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    Sep 12, 2007

    Happened to me today. I told my students that they had til next monday (9/17) to turn in the summaries of the current books they are in, but I had the due date as 9/12 in my plan book today, I started asking for them to be turned in to my desk, and they all started panicking. Well, needless to say, it came back to them, and they reminded me, and I apologized. This is why I should buy stocks in the post-it note company, b/c I seriously have the worst short term memory! This kinda stuff happens to me all the time!:whistle:
     
  8. h2omane

    h2omane Comrade

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    Sep 12, 2007

    Always remember that tomorrow is a brand new day. When I was in my first student teaching round, I was teaching kinder, 1, 2, and 3 Phys Ed. ALL IN THE SAME ROOM AT THE SAME TIME!!!! It was like a birthday party, and to make matters worse, it was a 80 minute gym period, 3 times a week.

    I felt like I was going to die, but I kept my cool. My University prof suggested that I should choose a different career, but I said "no help me get the vision... and I'm now teaching 5/6 with 29 kids in a portable with 4 IEP's kids, 8 that need IEP's and 2 boys with autism 2 years later.

    Everything will work out, the kids need to communicate with you more, try an exit sheet, where at the end of the morning, right before lunch, they write 1 sentence to describe what the morning was like for them. then they do it again at the end of the day. If all the kids say "I hate school, and blah blah blah" then we have an issue, but if you have 10% that complain, and 90% that say something positive, then you're doing fine.

    Relax and take a deep breath. Get the students to offer their ideas on the board, or chart paper, or overhead sheet. If you explain the information in steps as well, you will have less "deer in headlights, or helpless handraisers"

    Say See Do or Listen - Watch - Try.

    Try step 1 blah blah blah...
    Now you try,

    Step 2 blah blah blah...
    now you try...

    I'm a little tired tonight, but I'll think of some more examples or ideas when I can.

    Good luck Peach.
    Mr. Skinner :D
     
  9. h2omane

    h2omane Comrade

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    Sep 12, 2007

    This will be the hardest thing you will face this year, and it all starts with this statement:

    The student's level of effort is determined by the sloppiest piece of work you accept.

    If you ask for a paragraph, do NOT accept a sentence!

    Say this to your class.

    IF you walk into a skateboarding shop and paid for a skateboard deck, trucks, and wheels, and all you get is grip tape, how would you feel. (cheated, robbed, angry, etc.)

    If I ask you for a paragraph, and all I get is a sentence from you, I feel the same way.

    This is not acceptable work from "X" graders.

    Do Not go back on your expectations.

    Good luck,
    Mr. Skinner :D
     
  10. FirstYear

    FirstYear Rookie

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    Sep 12, 2007

    I am new to teaching this year and I am teaching 5th grade as well. It's pretty foreign to me too, other than subbing experience. I have found the best way for me to get my kids to participate is to think-pair share first too. Sometimes I even just say come up with an answer or definition with your group. I think it's easier for them to have that processing time first and bounce ideas off each other before feeling confident in sharing. I always get the same 4 kids wanting to answer if I don't do that as well and I want to hear from everyone.

    When they are really snoozing on me I make jokes about not being able to get them to participate. Little silly pep talks about needing their help and such.

    I'm sure you are doing a great job. The beginning of the year is so hard as it is. It will get better as you learn what works for you and your students.
     
  11. newtoschool

    newtoschool Rookie

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    Sep 13, 2007

    Horrible spelling!



    I am not sure if I was sleeping when I typed my post! Remember I am 8 1/2 months pregnant but I really can spell!!

    Sorry!

    My kiddos are still goofy and it has been 5 weeks of school already!
     
  12. Deeena

    Deeena Cohort

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    Sep 13, 2007

    Ok, so I'm feeling pretty lousy too...

    There is another 5th grade teacher at my school. We are both second year teachers and are new to 5th grade. I spend hours here at school (I'm here an hour 1/2 before school and I usually don't leave until 8:30 or 9:00). The other 5th grade teacher is usually out of here by 4:00 and takes nothing home, except maybe some grading! She also has so many amazing activities in her room, an organized reading rotation set up, and everything! You would think that since I practically live at school I would have simular things, but No! What's wrong with me? I feel like I'm letting my students down.:(
     
  13. 4myclass

    4myclass Cohort

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    Sep 13, 2007

    :yawn:I definitely know how you feel. We are not allowed to stay past 4:00, so I take everything home. My own 4 children are complaining that all I do from the moment I get home to the time I go to bed is grade papers. They're right. I haven't done any housework in I don't know how long.
    I am teaching in a self-contained classroom with 27 students. I feel completely drained:|.

    I miss my Pre-K classroom. I cry all the time (only away from school). My fifth graders are running all over me. I don't know how to get them to cooperate. Any day now, I expect the Principal to come in and tell me how out of control my room is.
    :help:I want my life back.
     
  14. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Sep 13, 2007

    I don't know if this will help but once I implemented PAT, things began to improve a bit. Also, I've started fining my kids, so I'm going to see how that will improve things. OH!! And we were able to link the fines to our math lesson on negative numbers (since a couple kids were fined into the negatives, they still owe me when they get paid tomorrow). Well, I'm teaching them real life skills, right?!


    Deeena, will this other teacher be willing to share what she's doing in her class?

    BTW, speaking of sharing, here's my new site. http://www.aesd.edu/to/nutting/
    I have a coupld of OCR related things in the teacher cabinet file page. Are you still doing OCR?
     
  15. jellokites

    jellokites Rookie

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    Sep 16, 2007

    We all make mistakes! I have done it many times in math...and the kids love pointing out my mistakes!:lol: They aren't mean about it, but they realize I'm human too!:eek::lol:
    Plus, it shows them that we all make mistakes and can learn from them too!:)
     

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