Anything I should know?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by K-5_teacherguy, Aug 3, 2016.

  1. K-5_teacherguy

    K-5_teacherguy Companion

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    Aug 3, 2016

    I found out today I will be self-contained (5th grade) while my two teammates will still departmentalize. It's a long story, but basically my district has strict expectations for how many minutes each subject is taught each day, and with 3 rotations/switches daily it was impossible for us to meet those expectations.

    Obviously, this will create more planning for me. But I'm also a little excited, I've never had just one class to myself. I was departmentalized where I student taught, and during my first year last year at this school we were as well. However, I'm wondering if there is anything (rules, procedures, transitions, etc.) that I should be keeping in mind now that my kids will stay in my room all day. I will definitely incorporate more "brain breaks" since they won't be getting up every hour to switch classes, but is there anything else?

    I just want to make sure I'm not caught off guard when the year starts by things I didn't anticipate. Any advice or personal experiences are much appreciated. I hope everyone is enjoying what is left of the summer!
     
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  3. OUOhYeah

    OUOhYeah Comrade

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    Aug 3, 2016

    I taught 5th grade self contained last year. I think that it is do able, but you need to give them brain breaks. They need to have a chance to wake up in the morning, so don't start the day off with reading. Try to start it off with writing or math, just from experience. I would do hard core procedures and classroom expectations throughout your day. For example, if a student walks into your room talking making them walk back out and do it again even on the first day. They also need modeling with these expectations.
     
  4. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    Aug 3, 2016

    I teach 5th self-contained. You will love it! I've been departmentalized, but I love the flexibility having my class all day provides. Honestly, I don't do a ton of brain breaks, but my class moves around for reading and math rotations (centers, but I call them rotations). Planning discussion into your lessons also helps.
     
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  5. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Aug 3, 2016

    That is the same reason I always loved self-contained 5th. You can add time where needed and go with the flow of successful lessons. The group has more time to work on personal issues if they arise, too.
     
  6. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Aug 3, 2016

    I'm jealous. We departmentalize, and I'd rather just have my own students I think, even though it's more planning. You'll get to build better relationships with students and build strong routines and procedures. I hope you have a great year.

    Definitely try some brain breaks... even if you are departmentalized, they need that!
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2016
  7. K-5_teacherguy

    K-5_teacherguy Companion

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    Aug 4, 2016

    My kids actually have related arts/specials first thing after announcements everyday, so they are usually pretty awake by the time we start anything academic!
     
  8. Kellie McGrath

    Kellie McGrath Companion

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    Aug 4, 2016

    I am going to be 5th grade self contained as well! (well MOSTLY self contained-I will teach 4th/5th math and not teach ELA-writing/grammar). Im excited and nervous and anxious all at the same time!
     
  9. BreezyGirl

    BreezyGirl Companion

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    Aug 5, 2016

    Mini breaks and organized transitions between subjects. It's a long day for Grade 5s, so they need time to let off some steam. Our breaks included a game outside, a game inside, and other fun stuff. Transitions were when issues could arise with my kids so I had to have a system of giving them warning to how long they had left, how to hand out and pick up papers, etc... Organization was key.

    I love this age group!
     
  10. mrsboxley

    mrsboxley Rookie

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    Aug 5, 2016

    I'm going to be teaching self-contained 5th grade this year, too! I'm also planning to "sneak in" Art, since my school doesn't teach it. At all. Fortunately, I LOVE Art, and I've taught it in afterschool programs for several years, so I'm game. I also plan to incorporate song into my lessons, when appropriate. I have met the Music teacher, and she's glad to have the support.

    I think that Math will be my biggest challenge. Fortunately, there are two other 5th grade teachers I can collaborate with, and the woman whom I'm replacing is still in the school--she just moved to 4th grade.

    Right now, I'm worried about having to use programmed curriculum for all five courses (Reading, Writing, Soc St, Science, and Math,) because the programs are a confusing mess. If I "just" had the Scope and Sequence and the list of Standards, I really think I'd do fine.

    I will say that I am mighty glad to have the support of the people I see posting here. It really is a comfort knowing that there is an anonymous, knowing presence I can bounce things off. :)
     
  11. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Aug 6, 2016

    I'd use the curriculum as a broad guide and do my own thing whenever possible. I incorporated lots of art in math especially with fractions and geometry. There is so much you can do. We were always encouraged to incorporate art, though.
     

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