Drastic Measures (long, sorry!)

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Beth2004, Nov 12, 2008.

  1. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    Nov 12, 2008

    I teach 5th grade in a middle school. Last year was my first year at this school and we had an extremely difficult group of students. This year we aren't having the same types of behavior problems as last year, but these kids have a ridiculously hard time with transitions. I really feel like most of them aren't ready to be in the middle school. Switching classes and having lockers are extremely difficult for them. It's next to impossible to get some of them started on their work at the beginning of class and to get them packed up and lined up at the end.

    We've been dealing with these problems all year, but it all came to a head on Monday. All of the 5th grade teachers were in a meeting during the last period of the day, so paraprofessionals were brought in to sub for us (the usual procedure). Well, our meeting ran over into homeroom and dismissal time and it apparently was a nightmare. We came back to school today after the holiday yesterday and all of the paras were coming to tell us how awful it was. So, we decided that we needed to do something drastic.

    We decided that for the next two days, our students will remain in their homerooms all day. They will keep all of their belongings with them in class and spent the last few minutes of the day today cleaning out their lockers. The teachers will be the ones to switch classes all day and the students will only leave the room for specials, lunch, and recess, just like in the elementary school. We basically told them that if they can't handle the responsibilies of 5th grade, we will do things the same way as they did in 4th grade. Everyone, including the admin, is on board and the kids were NOT happy when we told them about it this afternoon. I guess we'll see how it goes!
     
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  3. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Nov 12, 2008

    So the homerooms move all together from one teacher to the next. Does seem to make more sense to have the teachers come to them, if they can't handle moving. Though as a teacher it stinks packing up 7 times a day (is it seven?).
     
  4. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    Nov 12, 2008

    Yeah, they stay with their homerooms all day.

    It's definitely going to stink packing up to go to the other rooms. It will only be 4 times, though. We teach 6 periods a day, but 2 of those periods are reading with our homerooms.
     
  5. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Nov 12, 2008

    That isn't to to bad than.
     
  6. PowerTeacher

    PowerTeacher Comrade

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    Nov 12, 2008

    Try to offer an incentive for quick, disciplined moves. Give them a clear time limit on winning the transition incentive. Go over expected behavior in the transition.
     
  7. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    Oh, believe me, we've done that. We've gone over expected behaviors over and over again, pointed out specific students who are doing what is expected of them, set timers and counted down during transitions...they're just having a hard time. I really feel like they aren't ready for middle school.
     
  8. iheart5thgrade

    iheart5thgrade Comrade

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    Nov 12, 2008

    Starting next year, can you get the fourth grade at the elementary school to start SOME type of swapping? Even if for only like 3 classes instead of all of them? That seems to help our 5th graders adjust to swapping for all classes because they swap for a few in fourth grade. Just an idea.
     
  9. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    Nov 12, 2008

    Well, starting this year we have math specialists at each grade level, so they all switch for math. I'm hoping that will help some with our students for next year.
     
  10. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Nov 12, 2008

    Well, you have to do what works...if you've exausted all of your alternatives, then they need to know that you will find SOME way of making the transition peaceful, even if that means making life much less "fun" for them. That's the way it works in the real world, isn't it? If you don't do what you're supposed to do, then bad things happen.
     
  11. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    Nov 12, 2008

    Wow I can use my middle Grades indorsement

    This is when you need to go back to basics
    List rules, be very basic, retrain procedures
    Make a plan of procedure for when the paraprofessionals take over your room and practice it.
    Make a plan of procedure for transition from room to room and practice it.

    May I suggest a Book By Fred Jones "Tools for Teaching, Second Edition"
    Heck Pay my Plane ticket I'll teach a seminar for you (Logan or Manchester?)
     
  12. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Nov 12, 2008

    I like your plan. Here we have junior high starting in 7th grade (all in the same building K-12), and our jr high teachers want to do this, just come to the kids. It would save a lot of trouble, especially behavioral/teasing/bullying.
     

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