First few weeks of school

Discussion in 'Elementary Education Archives' started by ria, Aug 19, 2002.

  1. ria

    ria Guest

    Aug 19, 2002

    I am a second year fifth grade teacher. I need suggestions on how to establish my authority right from the start. How can I use the first few weeks to ingrain into the students the routines we have? Any suggestions on how to get the student's attention (is ringing a bell still acceptable?) Any help would be greatly appreciated!
     
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  3. musicbug

    musicbug Rookie

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    Aug 19, 2002

    Ria,
    Every teacher is different. You have to modify anything you use to something totally comfortable. I like to spend alot of time in my room before thekids get there and take total ownership. I put up some of my boards. Post room rules(I let them help pick consequences). Go over routines from the word go.That means everything from entering the room, passing papers, restroom and drink rules.Kids this age respond to routine. You may feel mechanical at first but the rote stuff allows you torun a smooth room and they will (for the most part) respond well. Also remember the behaviorist say it takes two weeks to get used to a new routine. Also if they are the oldest kids in the school remind them that the little kids are watching them. And you expecet them to be good examples.Greet them at the door everytime they enter the room. I like to use a clap pattern to get attention. I clap a four beat pattern.They respondwith a clap.I seem to waste time grabbing the bell.I can be anywhere in the room and still get their attention.For classes that don't take to that. A quiet signal like two fingers in the air works. Does you school have a universal quiet signal? That would be most effective they know that signal well.
    Best of luck from a fellow 5th grade teacher,
    Kim
     
  4. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Aug 19, 2002

    Hi Ria. I teach 5th grade also, but I only have 11 students and am in a very small school (80 kids from pre-K to 8th). So, we don't have to do any loud voices to be heard! Which is definitely a plus. I taught 3rd before and 5th last year. I think the best way to establish authority is to be sure you want it!!! What I mean is, determine your limits, set your standards, determine what work output you want, what level of activity, etc., and then stick to your guns. The confidence you exude can go a long way to establishing authority. If the room does get loud, use a clap method - 'clap once if you can hear me' clap, 'clap twice if you can hear me' clap, clap ... it usually never goes beyond 4 claps. If a child is uncooperative, simply state, 'I will wait until you are ready to learn ...' and then just wait. We have impressed on our 5th grade that this is their year to prepare for middle school. That goes for responsibility and maturity, as well as academics.
    Does any of this help? Good luck.
     
  5. ria

    ria Guest

    Aug 20, 2002

    Thank you so much! Your suggestions sound great and I am ready to try them next week when school starts. Thanks for your help!
     
  6. mommaruthie

    mommaruthie Aficionado

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    Aug 20, 2002

    Repetition and Consistency. No chances before your first disciplinary actions are taken. (verbal redirecting a child with a warning is your first step of action) good luck
     
  7. ria

    ria Guest

    Aug 20, 2002

    Thanks again for the tips. You reminded me of one of my weaknesses: consistancy. I will work on it. Thanks again!
     
  8. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Aug 25, 2002

    Hi Ria,
    I am a first year Kindergarten teacher at a preschool center. For the first couple of weeks I just want to get to know my students. I have a week planned just to get to know their likes, dislikes, and family. I am already planning on each student collecting pictures from home and other favorite things that they can bring in. What other fun ideas can I have my students do to help start building sharing skills?
     
  9. Maxine

    Maxine Companion

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    Aug 25, 2002

    Hi, Ria,
    Some of the best advice I had was about the first week of school and how they perceive you. As an adult, you have authority. You can use that authority to lead and encourage or you can use that authority to spress and form them. I personally like the pied piper method and giving them choices where possible. When selecting from "writing on the board math facts," or a spelling bee, it's their choice but both are things I had planned for the day. Some helpful phrases of positive reinforcement could be memorized by you and then used authentically. This self-training stands me in good stead when I take their reluctance and inattention personally. Because, when I begin to feel that I'm one decision past patient, I need to fall back on these positive statements and not begin to show resentment.
    An article by Mary C. Rose suggests making a detailed schedule for the first few days and to plan twice as much as you think you will use. That way, you'll have alternatives and mood changing activities to fall back on. She also suggests reading an inspiring poem or passage before school starts to calm yourself and bring out your peaceful strength.
     

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