6th Grade!

Discussion in 'Secondary Education Archives' started by Ms. I, Mar 29, 2006.

  1. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Mar 29, 2006

    I'm student teaching (ST) in a 6th grade class for the next few months. I've never worked w/ this grade level before (nor 5th, 7th & up). I haven't done material at that level since I was in school myself (about 20 yrs. ago).

    Does anyone know any sites, etc. that teach all the concepts I need to know w/o having to read pages & pages of info? I can look at the teacher's editions of their texts showing the answers, but I need to know how to teach & explain the info that I need to re-learn myself!

    Pre-teens tend to have smart-alecky attitudes. I'll have to teach 5 lessons in different subjects, then solo teach for 2 wks at the end. What's the best behavior management & discpline to use? What do I do if they don't do what I tell them to do? I'd appreciate any help you can give throughout this quarter.
     
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  3. cinmcl61

    cinmcl61 Rookie

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    Mar 29, 2006

    I teach 6th grade - first year as a matter of fact and I love them. These kids relate to a sense of humor. And don't let these preteens fool you - I act out vocabulary words or have them do it. They still like these things. I always make connections when reading - to my own life or tell a story about one of my own kids - this gets them talking and connecting.
    As for discipline you need to find out the policies in that school. Our school uses PBIS. We reward good behavior and have a sort of 3 strikes and your out for problems.
    Lessons are something you have to search for. It depends on what you are teaching.
    I know this is probably little help - but remember 6th graders are awesome!
     
  4. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Mar 30, 2006

    Thanks for replying! Now that you mention about having a sense of humor, my co-op teacher is really animated & comical w/ a lot of things & it keeps them interested & I guess helps deter them from doing bad behavior. I've always been the serious type, but I'll try to be comical if that means keeping the kids interested & eliminating bad behavior.

    I'm just not comfortable w/ this grade level at all. This will be a tough quarter! I have enough studying & homework working on my MA, I don't have time to re-learn 6th grade level social studies, science & math!!
    :eek:

    Can anyone else give me some pointers or other info?
     
  5. alien teacher

    alien teacher Rookie

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    Mar 30, 2006

    What state are you teaching in? I'm in TX. I've found the following to be very helpful sites:
    educationworld.com
    school.discovery.com
    kimskorner4teachertalk.com/writing
    alphabet-soup.net

    Hope those help! Look at your teacher's edition books. Even "old" ones will clue you in on what level they are at in 6th.
    I love kids at this age. They are old enough to wipe their own noses, not whine anymore, and participate in conversations. You'd be surprised what they think about- heavier stuff than we give them credit for. I find it helpful to relate things to their world- like it's important to follow directions because it's a tool you'll use later in life. What if you couldn't read driving directions and that meant you couldn't get to the concert in Dallas that you'd spent $200 on tickets for? And yes, animation and humor are effective. There are times to be stern, but I don't usually have a problem. I did my student teaching in 7th gr. last semester and have subbed since then in just about every grade. Give me 4-9th graders any day over Kindergarteners!
    This site in particular was MOST helpful when I was writing lesson plans. I'm sure it will be again when I get my own class.
    Good Luck!
     
  6. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Apr 2, 2006

    I'm in CA. Well, 1 week down, 9 more to go! Then there's another week of strictly observing different classrooms. Thanks you two for the suggestions & sites! Hopefully I'll learn to enjoy 6th graders more.
     
  7. RLucas

    RLucas Rookie

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    I am a long term sub for 6th and 7th graders and thought when I first started that I would not enjoy it but 6th graders are great. They are funny and still young enough to actually listen to what you have to say. Just be forewarned - bodily functions are still very humorous to them!!!:D
     
  8. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Apr 11, 2006

    Disicpline, Class Mgmt for 6th Graders?

    I have another question about 6th graders. My co-op teacher (CT) mainly makes them write 100 sentences of class rules, school ruels repeatedly, etc. when they are behaving badly. If they tilt in their chairs, he makes them stand up for a certain period of time. He may also give referrals. Is this the best kind of punishment for middle schoolers? It seems to work OK when he does it.

    This 6th grade class is graduating in June & if they get a combo of two types of discipline methods: 2 referrals, 1 yellow slip & referral, etc., they may not participate in one of the end of the year field trips that the class goes on. Hopefully me reiterating this will keep them in line when it's my turn to solo teach for the last two weeks in mid-May.

    Can anyone please give me any other different punishment methods that are really effective with middle school aged students? Thanks!
     
  9. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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  10. TexasAggie2323

    TexasAggie2323 Comrade

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    Apr 11, 2006

    I love 6th grade and I am trying to get a social studies position at this level in Texas for next year.
    They are what I like to say is the last year of innocence. This is the year when they really start to have to be responsible and you get to watch them grow a lot this year.

    Here are my suggestions after student teaching in a 6th grade world history class.

    1.) Know your students and give them insight into who you are.
    2.) Be upfront with them with your expectations (Be consistant as well)
    3.) Relate the material to their lives and be able to use them in the classroom. 6th graders need to be engaged or you will lose them.
    4.) Be interested in what you are teaching them or if you do not have an interest in it at least fake it.
     
  11. alien teacher

    alien teacher Rookie

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    Apr 12, 2006

    I hate using any kind of writing as a punishment because that connects a negative connotation to writing, which defeats part of your purpose as a teacher.
    If the class is getting too loud or whatever, tell them that you are giving them one warning, then after that you will start making marks on the board. For every mark, they have to stay X number of seconds after the bell. (X- you decide, I usually do 15 second increments because it's easy to count on the watch). They absolutely HATE to have socializing time cut. I have done this numerous times. It works. You could also use some positive approaches: make a laminated chart that have 30 squares. Place a sticker in a square for days when they have been on task, been especially responsible and responsive. I have a friend that uses the fishbowl technique. Each class period has a fishbowl and they are prominently displayed, creating a competition between the classes. Marbles are added for good behavior and taken out for bad. When I did student teaching, my mentor teacher uses the chart/ sticker method. I have even gone so far as teaching them to teach each other to develop character: peer pressure can be a GOOD thing. When certain people are acting rowdy or inappropriate, I explain to them that this is unfair to the rest of the class and will negatively affect the whole classes reward system- I will remove stickers. Even the quiet kids will start getting involved in prompting the rowdies to settle down. Rewards can be a variety of things. Look on the net for cheap/ free ideas. COmputer time, free time, early release to lunch- there are lots of ideas out there.
    Good Luck! you will have your hands full, but that age is terrific!
     
  12. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Apr 13, 2006

    Thanks for all your info everyone! I just hope the kids aren't horrendous by the time I have to teach them solo. I'll have a few strikes against me. It'll be during the last few weeks of the year before they graduate to middle school & they would have had no school days off for 3 months, so they'll be plenty wrestless, excited & just tired of school & will want it to be over. On top of that, they're used to having this 6 feet tall male teacher (my CT) who they're probably a bit intimidated by. But I'll try to make the best of it.
     

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