Classroom Management HELP

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Ms.Holyoke, Aug 29, 2018.

  1. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    Sep 5, 2018

    I had a MUCH better day today. The kids really responded to the chime and they did a great job with turn and talks...and getting quiet when they heard the chime. I still had to do a lot of "I'm going to wait until everyone is ready, etc." but hopefully that will get better. We were also organizing binders so it was a bit crazy getting organized. I did have to move a kid's seat today which I think was a good idea. I'm going to work on a new seating chart this weekend and have the kids move on Monday. It's easy for me to know who needs to be separated now! :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2018
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  2. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Sep 5, 2018

    So glad for this update, Ms.Holyoke!
     
  3. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    I have three classes and I feel like I have two of them under control. All 3 classes are at the same level but one is much easier to manage and is higher because these are the kids who are in honors everything else.

    I feel like I have gotten one of my other classes under control and they respond to me well. However, my second class always feels horrendous. I always have to wait for kids to stop talking, they leave papers behind in the room (maybe it's my fault...I do tell them where to put papers at the end of class, but I should tell them to put stuff away right away), and I do not like teaching this group. They are always asking to go to the bathroom, etc. The English teacher said that both lower groups are not easy for him either & I feel a bit better knowing that it's not just me. I'm tired of them talking every.single.time I ask them to do something. I do a lot of turn and talks, group work, etc. BUT every time I stop talking, they start talking. It's hard to give consequences because it's often times not just one person. I have stopped talking over them and I just wait but waiting takes away learning time. They do eventually stop and listen but it is exhausting. I did keep one kid after class for walking around the room a lot without permission...but I'm not sure what to do about the talking/off task behavior. I changed seats for this class today after having a tough day with them yesterday. It might have helped a little bit but not a lot.

    I have the lower level classes and I like working with lower kids but it's frustrating that all of the behavior problems seem concentrated in these classes. My 3rd class (which is still a lower level class...but consists of kids in honors english, science, etc.) is soo different. I've had almost no classroom management issues with them. It seems like an honors class or a pre-AP class would be easy to manage in comparison.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2018
  4. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    Give it some time. You have yet to establish relationships with the kids in the second class and this is the key to classroom management with behaviour students. Keep being consistent and fair, follow through, model respect, get to know them, call them out on good and bad behaviour, back this up with engaging pedagogy and eventually they will come around because if they like you as a person and respect you as a teacher they tend to be good for you. It won’t be overnight but they will come around.
    Can I suggest the 10 essential skills for classroom management. It’s a positive approach and one that in my experience works.
     
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  5. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    Sep 7, 2018

    ^
    I also feel like I don't know how to establish relationships with them. I have a class of 34 kids and it just feels like too many. None of my kids are getting any individual attention right now.

    I have gotten to establish relationships with my homeroom class, which is half of my first class. This might be why this class is better for me.
     
  6. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    I know you want things to run to plan as soon as possible, have your classes ‘managed’, but you can’t rush some things. 34 kids is a lot of kids, but try to have some chats with kids individually. Start with the ones you perceive to be the most problematic, but move around the class. Share some things about yourself like your hobbies or sport or food, find some common ground, and make the students see you as a person, a human being, not the enemy.
     
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  7. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    So I spent many hours getting parent contact info together.I probably have emails/phones for 70% of parents. I have sent some "good" parent emails (with no response so far) and I also want to reach out to parents of kids who are having some difficulties. Any ideas for what to say over a phone call or email? I have one student in particular in my difficult class whose dad came to BTS night that I want to reach out to next week if his behavior continues. My thought is first reaching out with something positive about his participation, which he does a good job of. I'm a little confused about consequences because it is a lot of kids at the same time. I might need some sort of system to document behaviors on the spot.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2018
  8. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Like your idea about "positive" contact. Fred Jones suggests the first contact, written or phone, should avoid mentioning behavior problems. Parents can be very defensive especially if they have experienced a lot of calls from school which is likely if you are dealing with chronic behavior. Instead of building an advocate there's a good chance you could stir the coals and promote an adversary. Yes, mention what he has done correctly thus far but consider holding off for another day behavior issues.

    Somewhere in your conversation (or letter) ask, "Is there anything special you want me to know about your child?" Often parents will tell "you" all about Name's problems before you have to tell them. Then if you do have to make a call later they can't accuse you of picking on their child since they have already admitted the problem you are calling about. I've seen this type of introductory call (positive) turn parents around. I recall one parent crying. She said this was the first time a teacher called to NOT report that her kid was in trouble. Of course, none of this comes with a guarantee. There's always a chance the parent may be in denial and bitter, looking for anyone to blame.
     
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  9. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    Sep 10, 2018

    ^
    So I talked to my mentor today and here is my "plan of action":
    -Tomorrow I am creating a social contract with the kids. Things we like, things we don't like, and what they can expect of me.
    -I am also going to be very, very clear with what I expect. "Ex. How loud should it be when you take out your agendas?" and talking about how there can be SOME talking but I shouldn't have to wait 3 minutes to get their attention.
    -My mentor suggested making parent phone calls during my prep and giving detentions if necessary.

    This is just for one of my classes but I hope it helps.
     
  10. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    Give 'em hell Holyoke!
     
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  11. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    Sep 11, 2018

    I will try! :)
     
  12. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    Sep 11, 2018

    The day was a *little bit* better. We made a class expectation list together and one of the things we put up was no talking when the teacher is talking. So that was helpful. The kids also said they did NOT like the chime and they wanted me to use a different attention getter. So I am using the "hand up" attetntion getter and it's working much better.

    There are still a lot of issues to be dealt with but I'm trying to be very clear with my directions. I feel like we're wasting a lot of time though and getting nothing done. :(

    Academically, I have 34 kids in a class and I'm not sure how to give them individual attention. Right now they are getting no attention at all. :(
     
  13. heyhey

    heyhey Rookie

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    I think you have the accept that individual attention during class time is simply not feasible in the long run. It would be a challenge for a well behaved class, but it is simply downright impossible in one that has behavioral issues.

    If you want to provide for individualized attention, I would advise you to do something for 30-45 minutes after school or during lunch. The kids who truly care about doing well will be the ones to show up, so you won't have the behavior problems then.

    In this kind of class, I recommend you do the seating arrangement where a stronger student is seated next to a weaker one. That way, the struggling student can have somebody as a support-buffer if they see that you are busy during class.
     
  14. heyhey

    heyhey Rookie

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    I also would not fully get rid of the chime. Instead, I would try this new method, but make it clear to them that if they do not respond as you expect to the "hand-up", you will have no choice but to bring back the chime. It invests the students in their own behavior; they know now that if they hear the chime again, its because they didn't act appropriately. It takes the onus off you and instead of you seeing like the "bad cop" in the room, they will look towards each other and hopefully change their ways.
     
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  15. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    I love this idea!! Thank you. The hand was actually working better than the chime because the kids suggested it and they were responding. However, I will bring it back if they are not.
     
  16. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    I feel like a failure because about 6/95 kids got my exit ticket correct. It was on multiplying decimals and some of my kids cannot even multiply. I didn't know I would need to explicitly teach MULTIPLICATION in 6th grade. The curriculum is all new to me and my mentor suggests things after I tell her it went badly. I wish she would just share some of her resources with me because I have no clue with I am doing. We have been doing this for 2 DAYS. I realize I need to explicitly go through the process but we wasted so much time. The constant classroom management issues are NOT helping.

    The good news is that because we went through multiplying decimals SO SLOWLY, I am planned for Monday and Tuesday. There was supposed to be a quiz Wednesday but I moved it to Thursday. Now I think I need to move it to Friday.
     
  17. heyhey

    heyhey Rookie

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    Don't worry about not meeting your pre-conceived schedule. Spoiler alert...you're always going to feel like you're behind. What's important at this point in the year is that the kids become used to your routines and they start to see you in a positive light.

    I would actually hold off on any quiz until you're confident that at least 2/3 of them will pass. Quizzes can cause lots of anxiety for 6th graders and an anxious person is more likely to give you behavioral issues. I would also make it clear that the kids can do corrections if they don't do well and earn some of the points back. That way, they won't see this quiz as a do-or-die thing.

    If you tell them there is going to be a quiz before they're ready, they are likely to shut down, so proceed at the pace that is appropriate. Have the quiz and copies already made so you know that you are not beholden to a specific date that it must be administered by.

    I know it feels like you need to get through so much right now, but during the first 4-6 weeks, having the students become used to your routines and building a positive relationship is the priority. I'm not saying that you shouldn't teach, but it is not the end of the world if your first unit falls 5-6 days behind schedule.
     
  18. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    ^
    I will move the quiz to Friday. Thank you! I am just a little bit worried about pacing as I feel like I wasted two days of instruction if my kids still can't multiply. I feel like I don't know what I am doing wrong. :(
     
  19. LouiseB

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    You are not wasting instruction! Once you get them going the way you want, then y ou can really move with instruction. Taking the time to let students know of your expectations will go a long way in your teaching. You are doing all the riight things. You are reflecting on what is wrong and moving in the correct direction.

    I was the sped teacher in a science classroom. This was 7th and 8th graders. She spend about 5 days teaching procedures with a bit of classwork thrown in. She asked me if I thought she spent too much time on procedures. My answer was no! It was going to help out eventually and it really did!

    Don't be discouraged. You are making great strides in your teaching. I can tell that you will make a really good math teacher!
     
  20. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    ^
    Thank you for the encouragement! :) I guess I am just feeling like "why are they not getting it when I have taught it for 2 days!!" However, I haven't gone through all the steps with them (of multiplication) in detail and I think that's what I need to do. I had no clue that some 6th graders would struggle with multiplication.

    It's also hard because I don't know how to anticipate misconceptions. For example, I STILL have kids who think we have to line up the decimal when we multiply. On the first day I taught it, there were so many kids who thought we had to line up the decimal point. I never even anticipated this would be a misconception.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2018
  21. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    Sep 12, 2018

    Maths is a subject that requires strong foundations for proficiency later on. I agree with posters who say that you shouldn’t really worry about schedules. Every class is different, with different students who learn differently at different pace. Don’t feel pressured because another class is following the prescribed schedule and your students aren’t. You won’t be doing students a favour if they can’t multiply decimals, and a disservice if you assess them when you know they aren’t ready. In reality, it will take as long as it needs to take. If you are behind, then so be it. In the end, if they have strong foundations, it may be easier to introduce new concepts later on, and you will make up the ‘lost’ time.
    Don’t feel discouraged about classroom management, if it was that easy to master, then teaching would be easy as pie. Don’t be so hard on yourself, trying to be ‘perfect’ is unrealistic, even for teachers who have years of experience behind them.
     
  22. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    So my kids STILL cannot multiply. I don't know what to do. I feel like a failure.
     
  23. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Dude -- YOU are not the source of the failure! Also, two or three days is not a lot of time to rectify years of deficiencies. I teach Seniors who still don't know how to read or write a basic paragraph (or sentence, for that matter). This doesn't mean I stop trying, but that I have to keep trying to meet my students where they are and find strategies that work. I would start a new thread asking for some specific strategies to teach basic multiplication -- maybe using some kind of manipulatives, or real-world examples? But cut yourself some slack -- you can't beat yourself up for something that you didn't create.
     
  24. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    I don't know what to do because some kids can multiply and some can't. I thought they would know how to multiply whole numbers and they can't!! I feel like I am teaching the wrong thing and I'm not sure if I'm meeting the standards. :( We've been multiplying decimals since Monday. I'm terrified of teaching division at this rate. I may have to move my quiz to Tuesday but I'm losing so much time. And I feel bad for the kids who do get it. What am I supposed to do with them?

    I feel like I am failing my students. I have no idea if what I'm teaching is meeting the standards. I didn't teach multi step addition and subtraction word problems and I found out that my mentor did. I really don't know what I am doing or what to do. I really hate this unit because it is all computation. Apparently the kids learned a lot of strategies for decimal multiplication but didn't master any of them. I really really wish I had a curriculum. :(
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2018
  25. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    My new plan is: practice day tomorrow, mixed review (addition, subtraction and multiplication) with word problems on Friday, word problems on Monday. I am really hoping they'll be ready to quiz on Tuesday.

    I think they might not be as bad at multiplication as I thought but my exit ticket was tough.
     
  26. LouiseB

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    You are learning where this group is at. You can't move on until basics are taught. For many kids learning the math facts is difficult and for some not much time was spent on it. It is difficult to move on when math facts aren't known! You are doing okay and not a failure. You are gaining information about your students and that is valuable information.

    You have a plan in place and go with it. Please don't be discouraged. Just keep pushing toward the goal!
     
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  27. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Advice regarding what it's like to be a "teacher" my mentor gave me my first year:

    (1) Give yourself permission to fail
    (2) When trying new things for the first time they tend to get worse before they get better ... What happened the first time you tried to ride a bicycle? Hit a golf ball?
    (3)You are not only trying to teach curriculum but, also, civilization. And you are trying to teach these to 36 squirmy bodies that belong to other people. These other people have years to build relationship. You have a couple minutes.
    (4)You will give more commands the first day than their parents give in a week. You will want 36 to follow your commands first time asked, promptly, neatly and with a good attitude.
    (5) Then when this is all done, you will want 36 to look forward to coming to class tomorrow.
     
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  28. heyhey

    heyhey Rookie

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    Hey Holyoke! I hope you had a better day today. I just wanted to chime in with another small thing you can do that could help behavior issues. You may already be doing this, but if not try to point out how the appropriate people are behaving, rather then saying "[insert name], stop doing that!" Instead, look for someone who is behaving appropriately and give them a compliment out loud, so the rest of the class knows what good behavior looks like. It's a great way to get their attention, but without calling anybody out directly or giving them a chance to retort (I can't count how many times i've heard the response "but it wasn't only me!" when I tell somebody to stop doing something). I do this when getting the class to be silent so I can give directions. Rather then say "[insert name}, be quiet", I will say "Thank you [insert name] for following directions."
     
  29. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    My day went ok today. The management was a bit better. I am being more firm with my students and it is working, I am planning on moving a few desks to hopefully help kids focus a little bit more. My principal walked in informally during my "bad" class but they were doing an engaging activity. Finding mistakes on problems around the room and he said it was great.

    I am honestly really struggling with curriculum. I have no resources and my mentor teaches the same thing but she doesn't really share with me unless I ask. I tell her a lesson went badly and she tells me what I should have done, but then I just feel like I wasted a day. I haven't even done a ton of addition/subtraction word problems yet because I didn't know it was on the standard. I found some of the stuff she was giving her kids in the copy room and I realized I hadn't taught it. I feel so confused and lost. I almost cried today when I went to a required scholarship seminar. They showed a video of the kids having a discussion and it was perfect but there were 17 of them. With 34 kids, I feel like I don't know how they're doing with something until their exit ticket because I feel like I am really focusing on their behavior right now. I don't even know how challenging to make my work or anything.

    I feel bad for the kids who have mastered multiplication if we are going to be doing this for two more days. :(
     
  30. TrademarkTer

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    I would have the kids who demonstrated mastery on the exit slip work on some of those word problems the next couple of days, while you drill the basics/facts with those who are still struggling. If the struggling kids don't get to the word problems, so be it. At least you are providing the challenge to those who are ready. Maybe it can be a bonus problem on the quiz.
     
  31. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    How do you recommend I separate the class? Give the word problems to the kids who finish early or give them a different assignment from the start?
     
  32. TrademarkTer

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    If it were me, I would have them split into groups as they walk in. I wouldn't even tell them groups that they are doing different assignments. The strong group's worksheet might start out with a few of the problems that the other groups have on their worksheet, but it would quickly get into word problems, whereas the weaker groups may not have any word problems at all.
     
  33. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    So I looked through the exit tickets and they are not as bad as I thought. I just have a really hard (3 by 3) multiplication problem. I think most kids can do a 2 by 2 multiplication problem.

    I am thinking of still giving a quiz Friday but it is easy. The addition and subtraction they *should* be able to do and the multiplication is easy. I have an extra credit challenge page and only one multi step word problem. I am thinking of doing word problems on Monday and a mini quiz on word problems on Tuesday.
     
  34. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Don't cry at those ridiculous "training" videos -- laugh and remember that nothing is going to be perfect in real life :)
     
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  35. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    Looking at exit tickets, I have about 25% of my students who need explicit instruction with multiplication. I am thinking of ability grouping them tomorrow and sitting with the lower kids...but I do not know how the behavior will be!
     
  36. LouiseB

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    How many days of school have you had? When you post, I hear progress and things are moving along. Quickly? No, but there is progress. Your principal even saw it!

    There must be somewhere to find the standards for your State. Then you can plan your curriculum around that. Any textbooks? Not always the greatest but it would give you a guideline or what to do next. Your class eventually will be engaging. And as a new teacher, you do not have to reinvent the wheel so to say.

    Having control of your class goes a long way to doing things the way you want. Yes, 34 kids are a lot and it sounds like you are able to manage the group. Please don't get discouraged!

    You have gotten great advice from here.

    As for your mentor, I wonder if she just wants you to find your own way. It sounds like she is willing to help but she just wants you to have the kind of classroom you want, not a copy of hers. When you approach her with questions make your requests very specific and what you really want to know.

    Good Luck!
     
  37. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    My principal actually came in twice and I got a good first evaluation. (Everyone apparently gets a good first one but my mentor read it and my response and said it was good.) He came in Monday with the mayor and the superintendent which was scary and the kids were also a little bit scared. He came in again yesterday at a good time. Even though it was my difficult class, they were doing an activity where they were deciding if problems around the room were solved correctly or not.

    Tomorrow, I am trying to find a way to differentiate. I have about 8 kids in two of my lower classes who do not know how to multiply. I am trying to figure out how to manage the behavior of everyone and group these 8 kids so I can teach them how to multiply.
     
  38. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    I think we have had about 11 days of school so far. :)
     
  39. LouiseB

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    Almost two weeks! Way to go!

    If you are reflecting back on these days, what has surprised you the most? What do you wish you knew more about? What do you wish your school would have taught you?

    I've said it before but from what I see, you are doing great!
     
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  40. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    I think I wish I knew more about the curriculum. I really assumed that all of my kids would know how to multiply. So when I started my lessons, I didn't realize that a lot of kids did not, so I feel like I am "working backwards." For my division unit, I am assuming they know NOTHING and I think it will go better. Most kids do not know the standard algorithm in 6th grade.

    I also have no idea what is expected of the kids in terms of rigor, etc. For example, I did very few word problems in my addition/subtraction unit and I realized my mentor did some complex word problems. I told my instructional coach today that it is really difficult for me to teach without knowing how my kids will be assessed or what is expected of them. She said she will look for ways to get me copies of a unit test.

    I think a lot of my stress is coming from my class sizes and being the only one in the room. I just can't work with kids individually like I did in my student teaching.

    I am relieved that my principal observed me during some of my better lessons. :)
     

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  5. MrsC,
  6. SpecialPreskoo
Total: 366 (members: 7, guests: 341, robots: 18)
test