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  #1  
Old 08-21-2007, 04:33 PM
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darlindg darlindg is offline
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New York
5th Grade Teacher
New and Overwhelmed Fifth Grade Teacher

Hi -

I'm a new fifth grade teacher in NYC and I am really feeling overwhelmed. School begins for students on Sept. 4th. I won't be able to get into my classroom until Thursday to begin setting up. I am so envious of those of you who have had an opportunity over the summer to set-up and plan. (Your rooms look beautiful by the way!)

I just got the teacher's editions and I'm not even sure what I should be doing with them! To be honest I find them a little convoluted and confusing. I also haven't met with the rest of my grade level teachers yet and I feel like I don't have the first clue as to how to do any of this. I feel so stressed out and the school year hasn't even officially begun!

I have managed to complete my behavior management system and most of my procedures. I also have a few ice breaker and community building activities planned as well.

What else should I be doing? I have never felt so totally overwhelmed and unprepared. I spend every moment doubting myself and reprimanding myself for not having more done. I could use some guidance from both new teachers and more experienced teachers.
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  #2  
Old 08-21-2007, 04:47 PM
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Upsadaisy Upsadaisy is offline
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Hang in there. You've made quite a bit of progress. You could look at your texts or your school's scope and sequence (if they have one) and map out a general plan for the year for several subjects. Use the teacher guides to get ideas for creative activities, projects, etc., and also for review questions. Each day before you start a lesson, plan to review the prior lessons briefly.

I think you will feel better when you're actually teaching real kids instead of in your mind!
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  #3  
Old 08-21-2007, 04:56 PM
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darlindg darlindg is offline
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New York
5th Grade Teacher
Thank you for your encouraging words. I really do have a sense of being "trapped" within my head. Doubt is a very powerful emotion!

I'm not sure if my school has a "scope and sequence" -- does that refer to a specific outline of what each grade will teach? I went to an orientation meeting with the principal and other new teachers in July and that term was never thrown out there.

Let me ask you about the teacher's editions -- I hope this doesn't sound like a foolish question but, there are suggestions and activities and "stuff" ALL over each page that is dedicated to a specific topic, (place value for example.) Am I expected to use all of those suggestions and activities or am I supposed to come up with my own lesson? The school I student taught at did not use teacher's editions so I am at a complete loss as to how to use them effectively in my teaching.

Thank you again for the help. Makes me feel so much less alone!
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  #4  
Old 08-21-2007, 05:12 PM
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kabd54 kabd54 is offline
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Ontario, Canada
Special Education Teacher
I always found that the Teacher Editions were great if I needed ideas as to how to teach a concept. I just followed the outline. They are also great because they have the quizzes and chapter tests - and more importantly - they have all the answers!!! I also found that the teacher editions had WAY more stuff in it than I could ever hope to cover. The trick is to pick out what you need.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Upsadaisy
...you will feel better when you're actually teaching real kids instead of in your mind!
And as Antoine de Saint-Exupery said: "Once men are caught up in an event, they cease to be afraid. Only the unknown frightens men. Holds true for women, too!
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  #5  
Old 08-21-2007, 05:17 PM
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Upsadaisy Upsadaisy is offline
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At my school, there is one class per grade and I know how isolating it can feel. My school also doesn't provide a scope and sequence, so we're on our own. Most teachers on here suggest that you look at your state's standards to see what you must cover. Generally, at my school, we don't do that.

If you are going to use your teacher's guide to plan, don't think you have to use everything in there. It is not set up to be possible, actually. The ideas in the book are mainly for remediation or extension of the main lesson. Will you use workbooks or will the kids work on problems and questions from the texts?

Depending on the subject, I would present a lesson or mini-lesson after reviewing the previous day's progress. We would discuss during and after the lesson. If there was homework, we would review some of it. Sometimes I would use manipulatives and games in math for introduction or practice, posters or timelines or maps in social studies, we had mini-lessons on the rug for writing. We played simple review games in teams in math and social studies. (I didn't teach science in 5th.)

Use the search feature on this site (see top of page) to find games and filler activities.

Ask away - you aren't alone!
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  #6  
Old 08-21-2007, 06:36 PM
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darlindg darlindg is offline
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New York
5th Grade Teacher
Thank you both for your advice. I have printed out the standards and will start using them to choose my material. The students do have workbooks. I think I am going to kabd54's and use the TE as a resource and a guide rather than my main source of material. I really assumed that I was strictly tied to it. By the way I absolutely LOVE that quote -- it is so true. I know my anxiety is caused more from the unknown -- the fear that I will let my school, my students and myself down in some way. But once I'm thrown in the deep end I know deep inside it won't be nearly as frightening.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I'm going to go search for some activities now!
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  #7  
Old 08-21-2007, 06:44 PM
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kabd54 kabd54 is offline
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Good for you - have fun with it.

There's so much great stuff out there and if you're anything like me, I have a gazillion ideas and printouts, but definitely NOT enough time!!
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  #8  
Old 08-21-2007, 07:36 PM
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MrsC MrsC is offline
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Ontario, Canada
Grade 7/8
I love that quote, kabd54!
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It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop
Confucius

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  #9  
Old 08-21-2007, 07:51 PM
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kabd54 kabd54 is offline
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You know... so do I!! It's so true, isn't it?
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  #10  
Old 08-21-2007, 07:56 PM
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peachieteachie peachieteachie is offline
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Maryland
5th Grade Teacher
Darlindg - I am in the same boat as you. You should be proud of yourself for putting together a behavior management plan, procedures, and some icebreakers. You will probably get lots of help and ideas from your team members as well as from other teachers on this site. Don't stress! You'll do a great job
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