WHat do I need in a Sixth Grade Classroom

Discussion in 'Secondary Education Archives' started by chase, Jul 5, 2005.

  1. chase

    chase Rookie

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    Jul 5, 2005

    Hey all,
    this is my first year teaching and I don't know what to put up in my classroom. Can you give me some suggestions?
     
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  3. CanadianTeacher

    CanadianTeacher Groupie

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    Jul 6, 2005

    Inspirational posters and quotes, class rules, punctuation and grammar rules, math formulas, class library if you have books, homework board... Just some ideas.
     
  4. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Jul 6, 2005

    I think you mean on the walls, right? Is it a self-contained 6th grade? I keep one small bulletin board for punctuation rules and leave a space for a small poster about the part of speech we are studying. I have inspirational reading posters around the library area, I chose a certain theme (stuff by Susan Winget) and stuck with that so they all have the same feel. Big BB is for student work. I have an area with math posters depending on what we are studying. Calendar, tiny area with kid's birthdays, cursive letter frieze, I use my vertical blinds to hang stuff with clothespins, stick on vinyl clings on my glass door, seasonal cutouts on my closet doors. Flag. I have sort of a patriotic section with words to the Star Spangled Banner, pledge, poster of an eagle, etc. We say the pledge and sing the anthem each morning, we also sing either the presidents song or the state capitals. We are not allowed to hang things from the ceiling but if I could I would put the hangers up and leave them to interchange stuff. One small section next to board for the date - I keep up the month (large) in English and Spanish and the helper of the day changes the number for the date. I don't use a calendar chart like early elementary but do use the decorative calendar numbers. I also write in cursive the date at the top corner of the board each day. (5th graders still make mistakes with spelling and format of the date.) I do put up seasonal BB things as well as posters about our social studies topic. I refer to the posters and incorporate them into the lessons. A history timeline is on my blinds. An easel can also hold an extra poster. A poster about class rules, homework policy, etc. would be good. I write the homework in the top left corner of my board as we go through the day. I keep up the date for any long-term assignments and also post it in the calendar area. BB sets are not inexpensive but they are fun and often have reproducibles on the back. You can also download the reproducibles from Really Good Stuff products at their website www.reallygoodstuff.com

    Enjoy!!
     
  5. chase

    chase Rookie

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    Jul 6, 2005

    Thanks so much, I was also thinking about putting different inspirational words on the ceiling so that when they look up they can see them and keep working. I was also thinking about putting a radio in the room so that we can play classical and different styles of music to help with different themes and things that we will do during our lessons. Do sixth graders really still want to have birthdays and things like that displayed? I also wanted to have a space where they could learn things about me and their friends.
     
  6. Emyly

    Emyly Rookie

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    Jul 6, 2005

    Kids of all ages enjoy having things like Birthdays recognized...I try to have a birthday calendar up and give pencils as gifts. . .they're "funky" pencils that I got from Big Lots. (and I'm 9th grade)
     
  7. chase

    chase Rookie

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    Jul 6, 2005

    well i was also thinking about incorporating a teen bag with stuff that they could use like deodorant, toothpaste and stuff that I could get from the teen health clinic. I want to make them feel comfortable talking about their bodies and the way that it changes. Where is the best place to get stuff for my students
     
  8. Kat Longoria

    Kat Longoria Rookie

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    Jul 6, 2005

    Good luck getting them comfy talking about their bodies. Sixth graders are embarrassed EASILY. I think I said I had bad breath one time, and they just FROZE.
    What I do know is that they LOVE your room to be lively and bright - I love the idea of the words on the wall. I did something similar last year. I'm all about WALMART. Cheap cheap cheap - and CHEAPER than the dollar stores. Don't let them fool ya.
    Hobby Lobby also has good stuff. I gave up on the birthday thing- because my kids only wanted me to pin a dollar on their shirt, which I never had, so ... "It's your birthday? OH! Happy birthday!" pat pat ...
    but they TOTALLY wanna know about you and your 'biz' so I like that idea of the are in your room for that.
     
  9. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I have 5th, so they haven't entered the pre-teen thing yet. I don't do a childish birthday display or anything - just a tiny bulletin board on which I put cut out stars with the names and dates. I give a card, a homework pass, a birthday pencil, and sometimes a bookmark. Before school even starts I make out all the cards and place them in the correct monthly folder.

    I teach middle school one period a day. Last year 6th grade math, this year 7/8th. What a change in the kids I had as 5th graders after they entered 6th. Embarrassment, giddiness, distracted, soooo much more peer oriented. Like night and day. But don't let them fool you. They really are still very young and in a swirl of emotions. They need their teacher to be consistent, understanding, and supportive, though they don't often show it. Some of my 6th graders have voiced that they miss the 'cute' stuff of elementary, that no one gives them little goodies anymore, that they don't get to do crafty things. So, though you can't go with kiddie decor, you can't totally eliminate the warm fuzzies either. It is a good time to do journaling and go with their need for peer interaction.
     
  10. chase

    chase Rookie

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    I really like the idea about having the birthday stuff already ready for them that will ensure that I won't forget their day and then it would be relatively cheaper for me as well.
     
  11. CAMS

    CAMS New Member

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    Jul 19, 2005

    6th grade

    I have taught 6th grade for several years. Sixth graders are struggling between still want to be young but really want to be cool, meaning older. My students love that I have a carpet and bean bags for reading. They enjoy being allowed to get out of their seats to read. My former students, now all "grown up," even come by to sit in them and talk.
     
  12. carolinesmom18

    carolinesmom18 Rookie

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    Jul 19, 2005

    I love all of these suggestions! I will be teaching 6th & 7th grade this coming year for the first time. I love to use stickers and things like that for good grades on tests, etc. Are 7th graders "too cool" for that sort of thing? I'm so afraid of doing something that they will think is baby-ish. I do know they love it when you make a big deal out of their birthdays.

    Thanks!
    Tricia
     
  13. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

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    Jul 20, 2005

    I taught sixth grade as middle school for many years, along with seventh and eighth, and every year, every group of younger kids told me they were grateful to finally be in a classroom that wasn't 'babyish' or 'elementary' any more. I decorated with an aim towards the older kids, because it's always better to aim UP than to aim DOWN. Just my own experience.
     
  14. Ellensmom

    Ellensmom Companion

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    Jul 31, 2005

    I teach 5-8 and most of them still enjoy getting stickers on their papers. It kinda depends on the kids. I also have pillows and stuffed animals in my reading area, which some use to get comfy, and some just toss around to annoy me. :rolleyes: Most of my decor is inspirational and focuses on postitive actions etc. Since I teach in a private school my birthday chart has a religious saying "Jesus danced the day you were born" and I cut out candle shapes and put their name and date on it. Just keep it cheery and let them get involved if possible and they should like it. You won't please everyone. Good Luck.
     

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