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Old 06-30-2005, 04:10 PM
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Rosebud Rosebud is offline
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 3
new 5th grade teacher

I am new to this forum and it looks like there is a lot of good advice here.

I am a new 5th grade teacher (with the exception of 15 years pre-k experience). Does anyone have any advice on things I should be doing? My classroom is under construction and the previous teacher has not moved her things. I have worked on helpers, homework chart, parent letter, room arrangement (to some extent) and some other things.

I have also been told to avoid playing "games" the first day; however I am a strong advocate for the Kagan Strategies. What do you all think? What would be some things to shoot for during the first week of school?


Old 07-01-2005, 07:12 AM
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lcluigs03 lcluigs03 is offline
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 541
read harry wong's book "the first days of school." i love the advice he gives.

also i just finished reading "101 ways to make your classroom special" by james d. sutton. he has some magnificent ideas as well.

good luck! fifth grade is a lot of fun.
Old 07-01-2005, 08:58 AM
Upsadaisy Upsadaisy is offline
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 17,701
Well, I advocate playing games the first day, so I guess it all depends. I think they break the ice nicely and indicate that you, as a teacher, believe learning is fun.

There is a lot available on this site about the beginning of the year. Why don't you browse through old threads and then check back with specific needs? You will get lots of advice! Use the search feature at the top and put in phrases - first day, first week, back to school, new teachers ....

Welcome to the best grade - 5th (I'm not prejudiced, really).
Old 07-01-2005, 12:23 PM
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mamateaches18 mamateaches18 is offline
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1
North Carolina
Games are a GREAT way for your kids to see that your classroom will be a fun place to learn! You can find lots of Get-to-know-You games online for the first week of school. Just make sure that they are games that preteens will be interested in.

As for other important infor. during the first week:

Like in any other classroom, good classroom management is a must!
Make sure that you express to the children what will and will not be tolerated. 5th graders are at that, "I'm at the top of the chain, here. So, let me see just how far she'll let me go" stage. Keep your control!

But, let them have somewhat of a say in their classroom community. Maybe let them help come up with class rules. Keep'um involved.
Old 07-01-2005, 02:13 PM
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Rosebud Rosebud is offline
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 3
Thanks for the advice. I do have the Harry Wong book --It says not to smile for the first several months (tongue in cheek). I have also read through the archives and have found lost of good info.. Thanks so much!!

Any suggestions for those transitional times between when the students are finishing and the next activity... other than reading a book? Have you had any success with them or do they seem to be more of a nuisance?

Old 07-01-2005, 02:18 PM
lcluigs03's Avatar
lcluigs03 lcluigs03 is offline
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 541
the transition thing can be tricky. one of my friends puts a poster up with 5 options. each option has a symbol next to it (a sun, an arrow...whatever). after she sets them off to do their work she puts a symbol on the board as to what they are supposed to do when they are done. the options can vary. they can be journal writing, read, do make up work, help a friend...whatever.

also, my mentor had a table in front with different games. they were skill games, so their time wasn't wasted. a majority of them were math games or word games. but she always made them show her their work before them moved to the table.

i'm sure there are more ideas floating around. ask some people you work with what they do.

take care.
Old 07-01-2005, 04:52 PM
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ChristyF ChristyF is offline
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 6,558
4th Grade Teacher
I'll be new to the 5th grade next year as well. I'm coming from 4th, though, so it won't be a huge change for me. I have a poster that I keep on the wall with options for early finishers. As long as they are working ok, I let them choose the one they want to do. I keep them numbered so I can simply tell (or signal) a child #3, etc.
1. Work on any unfinished classwork.
2. Work on your writing (we almost always have an outstanding writing topic)
3. Work in your handwriting book.
4. Read/test AR
If you have a smiley ticket you can:
5. Draw
6. Play one of the electronic games

They earn smiley tickets (I made them years ago, tons of pink smileys cut from a die-cut, about an inch across) when they do something extra good. They use them to buy extra privalages (extra computer time, etc).
Be the change you want to see in the world.
Old 07-03-2005, 09:22 AM
k_canuck k_canuck is offline
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 6
I teach grade 5 age as well - not sure who ever gave you the advice not to play games!! my students love playing games.
First day usually involves some sort of ice-breaker-get-to-know you type game - I've had success with Bingo type games or having each kid write 3 odd/interesting facts on a scrap of paper, shuffle them up then redistribute - they need to find their partner and learn 3 more things about each other then introduce to the class.
Always have a 'discussion' about class rules - which we call "Agreements" - In class 6H we agree to... these will get typed up and posted for the 2nd day.
I let the students come up with suggestions then 'reword' or 'regroup' them into clear statements.

transitions are still a bit of a challenge for me - i like some of the ideas I've read here so far!

Good luck with your new adventure - I love this age of kids and am sure you will too!!


5th, grade, teacher

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