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Old 12-22-2012, 10:09 AM
Kittycat13 Kittycat13 is offline
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 9
Upper Elementary Teacher
Help with 6th grade science

I am teaching 5th and 6th grade science in a charter school in North Philly. Since I am a first year teacher and I was hired in November AND I am the third teacher in the room, the kids have been using me as a speed bump! My grade group teachers are wonderful and so is the teaching coach. Whenever I need help, they are always willing to give it.

Yesterday, the principal came in to my homeroom at the end of the day and made the students write down what the procedures are for science class, why the procedures are there and why they are not being followed. After reading a handful of them, I was shocked to find that they feel I am too nice and they feel they can get away with it. At the party (the teachers had a Christmas party at the end of the day), I told the other teachers what I learned. One teacher suggested that I assign more homework and that what ever is not finished in class becomes homework. I like that idea but here is the problem and why I am writing. I do not have enough textbooks for 1 class let alone 4 and the students are not allowed to take them home. This makes giving homework harder. So what I am asking is if anyone knows a good website that I can print from for my class to assign them homework. I am looking for articles and worksheets.

Please help the newbie!
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Old 12-22-2012, 11:04 AM
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lucybelle lucybelle is offline
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,766
I don't know if homework is an answer to lax classroom management. You need to start by teaching them your procedures again. Every time they mess up they do it again. For instance, if I ask my kids to open their textbooks and they start talking and playing I tell them to close their books and open them again. We do it over and over until they *just* open their books, and do it silently. If a kid comes into my classroom loud, singing, playing, etc, they go back out and walk back in correctly.

I find that having work for them on the board when they walk in always helps set the tone. So I always have a 5 question quiz on the board when they come in. If they don't get started right away I'll say something "what are you supposed to do when you walk in my classroom?" They'll go "OH YEAH!" and start working on their warm-up.

But as far as homework- vocabulary is always good homework in my opinion. I have them do "vocab boxes" which is where they put the vocab word in the middle, then draw 4 boxes outside the vocab word. Each box is labeled "definition", "sentence", "related words", and "picture". So they have to do those 4 things for each vocab word. I only assign 4 words at a time because it takes them a good amount of time to do them if they do them correctly.

Best wishes!
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Old 12-22-2012, 11:15 AM
JustMe JustMe is offline
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 8,133
Homework is not the answer. With all due respect, I feel it was poor advice.

More later...
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Old 12-22-2012, 11:19 AM
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mopar mopar is offline
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 10,977
Kindergarten Teacher
Does your textbook have practice worksheets that you can use? Vocabulary is always a good idea. You can also have them make illustrations of different concepts (draw a volcano, draw an element, etc).

An idea for classroom management might be a lab punch card. With my sixth graders, I would try to schedule a lab two times a week. Then my students had a punch card. They were allowed two punches for behavior. Once they had a third, they were out labs for the remainder of the grading period. If they ever partook in unsafe behaviors, that counted as two of their punches.
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Old 12-22-2012, 11:55 AM
Kittycat13 Kittycat13 is offline
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 9
Upper Elementary Teacher
The other teacher (who teaches reading) was telling me that if the class does not finish what you intended to get have them finish for homework. For her it would be to finish reading what every chapter of the book they were on.
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Old 12-22-2012, 12:38 PM
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KateL KateL is offline
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 824
High school biology
But how many of the students actually do the homework? It's not a consequence if it doesn't inconvenience the students.

You need to be firmer during class. Know what behavior you expect from the students and don't accept less. It's really hard to do this when the students already have the expectation that they can do whatever they want in your class, but it can be done. It's nice that we have winter break right now, because you can go back in January and "start over."
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Old 12-22-2012, 01:53 PM
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readingrules12 readingrules12 is offline
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 2,462
5th Grade Teacher
edhelper.com has some items. I must admit this is a site better in math and reading, and not quite as strong in Science.
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Old 01-07-2013, 11:09 PM
yvonnemommy yvonnemommy is offline
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 32
My daughter's teacher sent us to this site beestar. It's also smart at math. But recently, DD started to use the science worksheets. To my surprise, she loves it! It's worth having a try.
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