freshly hired 5th grade tchr where do I start?

Discussion in 'Fifth Grade' started by Mr.Wolfmeister, May 28, 2013.

  1. Mr.Wolfmeister

    Mr.Wolfmeister New Member

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    May 28, 2013

    Hello everyone !

    I was so glad to find a job right out of college, but after coming down from the initial high I don't really know where to start. I will be teaching math/ science 5th grade. I have received curriculum books and resources for both subjects I just don't know where to begin. I would gladly take any advice or extra resources. Thanks in advance !
     
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  3. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    May 28, 2013

    A few suggestions: Can you meet with the present 5th grade teachers to see if they can give you a pacing guide? (The order of teaching the units) You can also see if those teachers are meeting during the summer, maybe you can join them.

    Does your district have a suggested curriculum guide? Many districts have a guide posted on their website.

    Familiarize yourself with your state standards.

    Since you have your curriculum books...go on the textbook website and see what professional development materials they have.

    Many schools have training sessions over the summer. Could you go to them?

    5th grade is my favorite gen ed grade. I am leaving that grade to go back to SPED (but I will still have 5th graders in my class next year)

    Congratulations...and enjoy!!
     
  4. dannyboy

    dannyboy Companion

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    May 30, 2013

    Congrats!!!

    I don't hear of many people getting a position quickly anymore. Swansong1 has some great ideas. Meet with at least one teacher, your grade would be fine, but anyone will do just so you can ask about the school culture you will be entering. Are there notorious parents, students, support staff (don't be too nosy), school rules that are enforced strongly or ignored? How does admin help w/discipline (once again don't be judgmental at all)?

    Read teacher blogs. They will be filled with starting the year right types of entries. One that I go to a lot is http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/teaching-ideas which may be helpful for general ideas but not enough for strictly math/science.
     
  5. wendy 31

    wendy 31 Rookie

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    Jun 6, 2013

    Congratulations! 5th grade is a great place to be. Since you are teaching math, you will need to know how long you have to teach. There are some questions you want answered to help you structure your time. What is your philosophy about homework? What will you do if students don't complete homework? How will you modify homework for students with IEPs? What are your school's views on homework or your partner teacher's views?

    Arkansas has adopted the common core. You'll find a lot of support online that will help you as you tackle math tasks and math writing. You might ask if your school or district has a math specialist to get you started on the right foot. Teachers Pay Teachers and Pinterest have a variety of ideas that will support your math program, if you have one. The also share ideas to help keep you organized. Good Luck!
     
  6. AllisonLP

    AllisonLP Rookie

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    Jun 19, 2013

    Hello!

    I am in the same boat. If you would like to stay in email contact and kind of go through this together that would be great. I just graduated and got a job at a very good school in my area where expectations are very high from parents and admin. They haven't hired any first year teachers in a long time so I am a bit nervous and need to make sure I am on my A game. ;)

    This summer I am taking professional development courses on our new district materials. We are going Common Core next year and have all new stuff! I am deciding on my non-negotiables and plans about homework, behavior policy, etc. so that I can clearly lay these things out to students and parents at the beginning of the year and be firm and clear with my class from day 1.

    I suggest you really think about your classroom management plans. Since you are teaming with another teacher, you have their experience to help and they may already have a behavior system in place (or you may have a school wide plan) but make sure it works for you. I was hired early from my final internship to long term sub and the behavior plan they had where I was was (teaming in 5th grade) was HORRIBLE. I hated it. I have to do something very different and I know that going in.

    Otherwise... really just think about your classroom from the perspective of the class. You remember 5th grade...:dizzy:
    Good luck.

    Allison
     
  7. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    Jun 19, 2013

    Congrats! I would definitely ask about professional development. Arkansas requires 60 hours a year, and most districts require you to do some of those hours on your own over the summer. Also, definitely try to get in contact with the person you will be teaming with. They will be best able to help you with school specific information. I am also teaching 5th grade math/ science next year!
     
  8. elateacher4life

    elateacher4life Cohort

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    Jun 19, 2013

    Congrats on your new position.
     
  9. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    Jun 25, 2013

    Congrats! While I've taught many years, I took the last two years off (worked at a start-up) so I feel a bit like I'm starting from scratch this year as well.

    I'm starting with my daily schedule, just to see how much time I have for each topic. Then I'll be making a pacing guide, and designing my units using backwards design.
     
  10. mrslarson

    mrslarson New Member

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    Jun 27, 2013

    I know how you feel! I just signed my contract for 5th grade gen ed today! I taught one year of Kindergarten in 2008, but then was laid off because of budget cuts. I haven't had a teaching job for 4 years, so I am a little overwhelmed right now and trying to figure out what to do first. I don't have my books yet.

    I think having a good idea of what your procedures are going to be in the classroom is a good start. How you want your room set up, etc. :)
     
  11. msvateach

    msvateach Rookie

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    Jun 28, 2013

    Tips

    Congratulations! 5th grade is a challenging and fun adventure!
    I just completed my first year teaching it and I love it!!

    Tips:
    1. Find out what behavior programs and curriculum your school uses and if you can get your hands on the books/materials before school starts. (we use responsive classroom so our P sent us a book to read before school).
    2. Set up a clear and organized classroom management system (morning routine, pack up routine, lunch/specials transitions, how to walk in the hallway etc etc).
    3. Pick really good, community building read alouds for the first week. Books that open up a discussion on topics like bullying, following rules, cooperation.
    4. Plan some cooperation games and activities.
    5. Look at your kids cum files before they come.
    6. Contact your teammates, introduce yourself and ask any questions you have.
    7. Remember your SENSE OF HUMOR, greet every student at the door in the morning. 5th graders are sweet, intelligent, funny, sarcastic and still want to please their teacher.
    8. Don't get stuck in having everything "picture perfect" like nametags because things will change so much that first month. Be flexible.

    HAVE FUN!! Enjoy your kids:)
     
  12. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    Jun 28, 2013

    msvateach-do you have a list of read alouds you use for the first week? I love that idea!
     
  13. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Jun 28, 2013

    To build community a great read-aloud for 5th grade would be There's a Boy in the Girl's Bathroom by Louis Sachar.
     
  14. mrslarson

    mrslarson New Member

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    Jun 29, 2013

    This is really helpful msvateach, thank you!
     
  15. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    Jun 29, 2013

    Wow, in NJ its 100 hours every 5 years. Though thanks to Middle States I had 61.5 hours of Professional Development this year.
    I was so impressed by this figure since it's my 1st year teaching that I mentioned it to everyone of my colleagues only to discover that all of them had more than me. One teacher had 87.5 hours this year alone.
     
  16. raynepoe

    raynepoe Companion

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    Jul 2, 2013

    I am going to be teacher 5th grade at a new school, I am relocating about 2 hours away. I have worked with preschool children since I graduated (4 years), and finally found this elementary position.

    Would love to hear if some veteran 5th grade teachers use a classroom management system or any other tips. Would also love to hear about more read alouds!

    I am excited and nervous.
     
  17. bowler

    bowler Rookie

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    Jul 2, 2013

    Some of my tried and true read alouds are:
    Theodore Boone series by John Grisham. I read the first one to get them hooked to read the next one (well two now).
    Flush by Carl Hiassan. It is a funny read aloud...though I do have to sensor/change a bit while I read.
    I recently read Wonder and plan on using it as my beginning read aloud next year. It has short chapters and is honestly one of the best books I have read in a long time.
     
  18. hollydoris

    hollydoris Rookie

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    Jul 17, 2013

    LOTS of great ideas here! I'll just add one thing:

    Think about the routines you want to have and decide on them BEFORE the students step foot into the classroom. My first year I kind of "winged it" a little bit and although everyone survived, I would not do that again. Decide was your routines, schedules, and expectations are and make them clear from day one. Think about what your course of action will be for all sorts of different situations: Homework didn't get done? What is the repercussion? What if the agenda isn't signed? Etc. Are you going to have some sort of incentive program? Can students earn things for good behavior? Think of these things before the year starts if possible. Talk to other 5th grade teachers in the school and see what their systems are. It works great for you to be on the same page as other teachers.

    Good luck!
     
  19. hollydoris

    hollydoris Rookie

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    Jul 17, 2013

    I'm not much of a veteran, but I recommend reading "Teaching with Love and Logic" if you have not already. I have found that the tips and strategies in that book work really well for this age group.
     
  20. jpablot

    jpablot Rookie

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    Jul 19, 2013

    I'm in the same position. Just graduated and got a job teaching 5th grade and I don't really know where to start. Sooooo much to do from decorating the classroom to getting materials and deciding on a management plan. Plus I'm by far the youngest teacher at the school and the only guy teacher as well so I'm a little nervous about that too.
     
  21. Goingback

    Goingback Rookie

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    Jul 24, 2013

    I LOVE teaching 5th grade....they are at a wonderful age! I also teach 5th grade math and science. My strongest recommendation is to make sure they know what your procedures are....right down to when they can throw trash out and sharpen pencils (not while I am teaching). You don't have to make a rule for everything just generally "Students will follow all instructions of the teacher". Then tell them what you expect, and then tell them again until they remember...doesn't take many times reminding them once consequences are given.EX..tell them that they are to remain seated during class instruction. I even had to make a rule that only 1 student could be at the pencil sharpener at the time because kids used it as socializing time. ;)

    A daily math and science journal are essential in my class. Students do their math warm-up in their journal...mostly review. I took a grade on the warm-up at least once a week, sometimes twice, but they did not know which day I was taking the grade...never on Monday but any other day is fair game. This usually encouraged them to complete the assignment and learn from them because I used the same type of questions everyday, just changed the numbers. This is also timed or they will take all class period to complete. I have a timer that counts down. This is great in getting the class started immediately without the delays of goofing off waiting for instructions. I keep the journals in my class and have the weekly helpers pass them out when they walk into the classroom. (These are also wonderful to use at parent conferences).

    Give them time to be kids, goof off with them a little, let them have lunch outside every now and then, reward the good behaviors, talk to them about what they did over the weekend, let them know you are interested in them! Have high expectations for them and let them know that you believe in them. :love:

    Good luck...I hope you have a wonderful year!!!
     

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