34-4th graders...

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by teacherwithlove, Aug 19, 2013.

  1. teacherwithlove

    teacherwithlove Comrade

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2011
    Messages:
    262
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 19, 2013

    Hey guys, I am so overwhelmed and feeling like the grass isn't greener... I have 34-4th graders... most of which cannot read grade appropriate text or write complete sentences with proper syntax & punctuation. I am feeling way over my head...

    I have so many students that I can barely walk through my classroom to reach all of my kids. It's very scary to realize that I am responsible for their 4th grade education... and I don't know what to do to get them up to standards. Some students needed help spelling words like "because," "check," and "teacher."

    ...and my first lesson was a CCSS lesson about collaboration. I think I'm biting off more than I can chew. This stinks. :help::(
     
  2.  
  3. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2006
    Messages:
    7,075
    Likes Received:
    14

    Aug 19, 2013

    :hugs:
    34 kids is not reasonable!!
     
  4. littlemiskinder

    littlemiskinder Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2012
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 19, 2013

    Are the other classes this big? Talk with you grade partners and see how they are coping. If you are all feeling very overwhelmed maybe you can speak with you administration about getting aides.
     
  5. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    Messages:
    2,096
    Likes Received:
    1

    Aug 19, 2013

    Baby steps...34 is a lot.

    Start assessing where they are...does your school do running records? Some sort of writing or math baselines? Use any data you can gather from assessments to put them into small groups so that way you can "reach" all of them without having to reach 34 separate people. Give them a lot of collaborative work in the small groups.

    Spelling would be the least of my concerns if they're so low academically. Put up a good word wall, or give them personal word walls, make an anchor chart with different ways to try spelling words, find the spelling of words, and make it clear to students that they are expected to do their best to spell a word on their own. You can't have them bothering you every time they can't spell a word. You want to be meeting with small groups while they rest are working independently and you won't accomplish much if the others can't work alone.

    Make sure your classroom rules, procedures, routines are all clear and practice them. With that many kids you can't afford to have anyone not knowing what to do when they're supposed to be working independently.

    It will get better, good luck!
     
  6. teacherwithlove

    teacherwithlove Comrade

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2011
    Messages:
    262
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 19, 2013

    Thanks everyone. My grade level team has the same number of students as me but they make it seem so easy. I think they are super strict... No bathroom during class time, no drinks of water, etc. and I just don't feel ethical if I begin telling kids not to ask to use the restroom during class time. I do need to get with my team though to learn their tricks. They had perfect lines when they were walking to lunch. My lines were more like scribbles. :(

    I used to think CM was my strong point. Now I'm feeling like it's not.
     
  7. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2013
    Messages:
    2,985
    Likes Received:
    435

    Aug 19, 2013

    34 is what we have in 4th grade in my school as well. If you want to discuss ideas for common core 4th grade, just pm me.
     
  8. teacherwithlove

    teacherwithlove Comrade

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2011
    Messages:
    262
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 19, 2013

    Thanks Pashtun. I'm going to go cry myself to sleep for tonight and I will PM you tomorrow. I know tomorrow has to be somewhat better.
     
  9. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2005
    Messages:
    5,457
    Likes Received:
    968

    Aug 19, 2013

    I have 35 7th graders. Four groups of them! We are jammed together, and they are driving each other and me crazy.
     
  10. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2007
    Messages:
    1,857
    Likes Received:
    2

    Aug 19, 2013

    My school has around 33 in 5th grade. The 4th grade got up to 35 and then we hired another teacher. I've had up to 32 in a class (when I was gen ed). You really have to be strict with them. Strict isn't mean-it's consistent on expectations. If you have great classroom management then it's a lot easier to manage a larger class. Do you have a classroom management system you're using? Maybe we can help you with it.
     
  11. RadiantBerg

    RadiantBerg Cohort

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2013
    Messages:
    618
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 19, 2013

    Looks like you've found yourself a school that treats education like a factory more so than a place of learning.
     
  12. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    Messages:
    2,096
    Likes Received:
    1

    Aug 19, 2013

    I let my kids use the bathroom during class time, but there are clear expectations of when they can use the bathroom. Don't let it become a free for all where they're going while you're teaching.

    That's the same with everything else. Don't leave the classroom for lunch until they're in their straight and quiet lines. They'll survive being a few minutes late for lunch. Pick out the kids who are doing the right thing and compliment and reward them. Do you have a reward system in place?
     
  13. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2006
    Messages:
    7,075
    Likes Received:
    14

    Aug 19, 2013

    I used 'bathroom chips' for many years. Essentially, they are poker type chips with their number on it. They have two- they can use them whenever they want as long as I am not teaching. Once they use both- that's it. They're done for the day.
    This eliminates excessive bathroom breaks.
     
  14. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    Messages:
    3,013
    Likes Received:
    470

    Aug 19, 2013

    34 is a lot of students...can't sugar coat that one. I am sure it seems overwhelming. Give your very best and have fun with it. Someone told me today that worrying never improves anything. Teaching can be a lot of fun, and sometimes we can beat ourselves up because the challenge seems that giving 100% isn't enough. !00% is all you can do. If you can't teach every standard then teach the ones you do really well. Relax, your best is enough.:)
     
  15. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2011
    Messages:
    2,653
    Likes Received:
    232

    Aug 19, 2013

    I saw the thread title before seeing your user name and I instantly KNEW it was written by someone in CA, since that is a "normal" class size here!

    I student taught in 6th grade with 34 kids, including many low kids. My CT was also in a tiny portable classroom. It is rough with that many kids, but it is not impossible. My CT let kids use the restroom and get a drink, within reason of course. She held kids accountable for behavior and was very firm with them. She also built relationships with them and let them know she expected the BEST of them. Being strict doesn't necessarily mean being mean, as another poster said. It does mean being firm.

    I'm sure it seems overwhelming because you don't know the kids yet, so it just looks like a TON of them sitting out there in their desks!! But as you get to know them, it will get easier!

    I hope things continue to improve for you!! :hugs:
     
  16. teacherman1

    teacherman1 Devotee

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2009
    Messages:
    1,050
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 20, 2013

    Absolutely agree with you. That stinks!:(
    Our limit in Providence used to be 26 according to contract. Not sure what it is now.
    How many have you had other years?
     
  17. teacherwithlove

    teacherwithlove Comrade

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2011
    Messages:
    262
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 20, 2013

    Umm... so I was reading my contract today and it says a self-contained classroom is not to have more than 28 students in the classroom. Hmmm...

    On another note, today was MUCH better. I gave myself a confidence boost this morning, wore my best slacks and a favorite blouse, and walked into that classroom like I owned the place. I took full control of my class without being too overbearing or b&tchy. I was firm in a nice way- does that make sense? I felt like the kids were so engaged all morning (this sort've ended around 1pm though).

    The best part of today was my P walked in right at the best part of my math lesson! The kids were so engaged that they didn't even see him slip in through the back door! OMG. It was amazing!!!
     
  18. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2007
    Messages:
    4,232
    Likes Received:
    1,174

    Aug 20, 2013

    Reading this made me smile! :thumb:

    I had to do walk-throughs this morning in our 2nd and 3rd grade classes. It was wonderful to see active student engagement.
     
  19. teacherwithlove

    teacherwithlove Comrade

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2011
    Messages:
    262
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 20, 2013

    That is wonderful!
     
  20. thatgirlyouknow

    thatgirlyouknow Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 20, 2013

    I have 37 10th graders in my 2nd hour class and they keep adding them every.day. I feel your pain. :/
     
  21. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2011
    Messages:
    2,653
    Likes Received:
    232

    Aug 20, 2013

    YAY, that's so great to hear!!! :D
     
  22. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2005
    Messages:
    13,845
    Likes Received:
    1,678

    Aug 21, 2013

    Glad it was a better day, teacherwithlove!
     
  23. teacherwithlove

    teacherwithlove Comrade

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2011
    Messages:
    262
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 21, 2013

    Thanks guys!
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. TeacherNY,
  2. MrsC,
  3. ms.irene
Total: 477 (members: 5, guests: 455, robots: 17)
test