Hello 6th grade teachers!

Discussion in 'Sixth Grade' started by Mrs.Gould, Jul 24, 2007.

  1. Mrs.Gould

    Mrs.Gould Comrade

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    Jul 24, 2007

    It's neat that we now have our "own" board! :) I've seen a few 6th grade teachers on the board, but now it's time to let everyone know you're here!

    How long have you taught 6th grade?
    Are you self-contained or departmentalized?
    What subject/subjects do you teach?


    I'll start:p

    I taught 6th grade English in a departmentalized setting two years ago for a year. I had 5 classes and LOVED everyone of them. I could easily say this was my dream job. Unfortunately enrollment declined and I was let go. Luckily I was hired in June by another district, again, for 6th grade. This school is more self-contained. I will be teaching an ELA block (90 min), math (55 min), and two science classes (40 min each). I'm really excited to get started in September!
     
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  3. newkteacher

    newkteacher Rookie

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    Hi,

    I am brand new to the 6th grade, former k teacher. I will be teaching 3 different classes for language arts for a 90 minute block each.
     
  4. Mrs.Gould

    Mrs.Gould Comrade

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    I would LOVE to teach only ELA, but I'm excited about trying out science too! Good luck this year. I think you'll really enjoy 6th grade! I did a LTS in Kindergarten before I hired for 6th so I know what a big leap it is.
     
  5. newkteacher

    newkteacher Rookie

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    Mrs. G, I am so exicted. Reading and writing are 2 of my passions, I hope this transcends to the students a little bit.:)
     
  6. Mrs.Gould

    Mrs.Gould Comrade

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    Same with me! I was actually asked that question in an interview once, "How will you use your love of reading to inspire students?"
     
  7. tiredteacher29

    tiredteacher29 Rookie

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    This will be my first year teaching sixth grade and my eighth year teaching. I will be teaching a 90 minute reading block, everyone does, and social studies and language arts blocks. I work with a team teacher so we will trade kids once a day and only have 60 kids between us. I'm very excited, but very nervous! I had my first school nightmare yesterday. :woot:

    I too am excited about this board b/c I have a lot of questions to ask!
     
  8. Mrs.Gould

    Mrs.Gould Comrade

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    I also work with a team teacher, except she teaches social studies and I teach science. So far we only have 20 kids each and one of mine might be retained in 5th grade.
     
  9. Dynamite Boys

    Dynamite Boys Companion

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    This will be my first year teaching . . . and I'll be teaching math. I have 4 classes of "regular" math and 1 period of recovery math. I'm looking forward to it. I did my student teaching at the other Middle School in our town, in a very team oriented setting. My team used a block schedule and it was amazing. I know I won't be using a block schedule at this school and have been told the school I'm at operates under a totally different philosophy that where I student taught. Should be interesting to learn the changes. My only frustration is not getting to meet and work with other teachers until two days before school starts! Aauugghh! Nice to meet you all . . . I'm glad there is a board we can come to for questions!
     
  10. wldywall

    wldywall Connoisseur

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    It is my second year being a paid teacher, my third over all (year long student teaching, I did a lot on my own) and I will have one section of 6th graders next year......just one. NEver had them before, but my daughter was a 6th grader last year and my son will be this year.......little people scare me! :D
     
  11. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

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    This will be my 2nd year back (after being a SAHM) to 6th grade. Last year I taught 1 section of language arts and 3 sections of science. This year I will have 4 sections of science for 60 minutes each.
     
  12. cheeryteacher

    cheeryteacher Enthusiast

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    This is my first year in sixth grade. I taught second and third in a different school corporation. I will teach a two hour english/language arts block and three math classes.
     
  13. nothermanda

    nothermanda Companion

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    I'm teaching 6th for the first time. I had 8th last year, and 7th the 2 previous years.

    I'm in a department setting on a block schedule, so I teach three 110-minute sections of Language Arts and one 110-min. section of Science. I also have 55 minutes each of Advisory and P.E. It's a crazy schedule, but we're a small school - only three 6th grade teachers, so we fill in the gaps.

    I'll be look for lots of science advice this year!
     
  14. Princess_De

    Princess_De Rookie

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    I'm a first year sixth grade teacher in a self-contained classroom. I was a little nervous about this grade at first, but now I really think I'm going to love it! I tend to use a lot of humor when I teach and I feel this grade will appreciate it more than the third graders that I student taught.
    Besides, I can't be too picky about the grade level because teaching jobs in Michigan are so far and few between.
    I look forward to sharing ideas with all of you:)
     
  15. Mrs.Gould

    Mrs.Gould Comrade

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    Those of you new to 6th grade, I think you'll LOVE it! I truly do. I've subbed and student taught at all grade levels and I haven't found a grade I like more than 6th. Yes there is something special about all ages, but I have more of a connection with the 6th grade age level.

    Have any of you had any major problems with behavior? People are always shocked that I teach 6th and love it. They think that kids at that age are terrible. I've had minimal problems in the year that I taught 6th, but found that enforcing rules right from the beginning combined with showing them that I care and want to build a connection really helps!
     
  16. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

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    I had the greatest group of students last year! I'd like to think they were so well behaved because of my superior abilities in classroom management;) but I think there was also some luck involved. I was fortunate to have a system in place throughout the school for behavior problems.
     
  17. Mrs.Gould

    Mrs.Gould Comrade

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    A school-wide system definitely works well. Unfortunately, I don't think that the school I'm in this year has one. I would like to work with my team teacher to develop something for the both of us though.
     
  18. MrsMcD

    MrsMcD Rookie

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    This will be my 1st year teaching 6th grade. I student taught in a 6th grade self-contained classroom and LOVED it. I'm really excited about working with this age group again.

    I posted in the "introduction forum" a little while ago (I just signed up for this message board). I'm not positive about the structure of the class I'll be teaching (departmentalized or self-contained). Based on a few conversations and questions I think there are 2 6th grade teachers, and I will be the one teaching most of the Math and Science (yeah - I love getting my hands dirty!)

    I'm so excited to have found this board & so many other 6th grade teachers to bounce ideas off of! I'm already having "what to do on the first day" thoughts and plans! :)
     
  19. Mrs.Gould

    Mrs.Gould Comrade

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    Welcome MrsMcD! Where in PA are you located?
     
  20. MrsMcD

    MrsMcD Rookie

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    We're in Lancaster, but I'll be working out near York!
     
  21. tiredteacher29

    tiredteacher29 Rookie

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    Has anyone used the Make Your Day school-wide discipline program? My new school uses it and I'm not overly thrilled...:huh:
     
  22. bigcat

    bigcat Rookie

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    I'm a 3rd year teacher.....this is my 1st year in 6th grade. I'll be teaching English and Reading in a 55 min. block.....4 blocks. Not sure how I'll get everything in...just make sure I cover all the standards....my new school is very small. Anyway...I'm off to my 1st day of in-service this am.....wish me luck. It's nice that we have our own 6th grade thread. I'm sure I'll need you guys.
     
  23. Mrs.Gould

    Mrs.Gould Comrade

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    I've never heard of it. What is it like?
     
  24. Mrs.Gould

    Mrs.Gould Comrade

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    Good luck with your inservice!

    It seems that a lot of us are teaching English/Language Arts/Reading blocks. It will definitely be nice to bounce ideas off each other. Are you doing readers and/or writer's workshop? We are just starting Reading Workshop this year based on Fountas and Pinnell's books Guiding Readers and Writers. I guess we'll be focusing on the writing next year, so I have to squeeze in writing somehow this year because it's an important aspect of our state test!
     
  25. tiredteacher29

    tiredteacher29 Rookie

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    I haven't had training on it yet, but basically when a student makes a bad choice they get put on steps. Step 1 they sit in a chair facing away from the class, step 2 they stand facing the wall, etc. Those are the two things I don't like about it, as well as the fact that I've heard that students have the option to opt out of learning. Apparently this is so learning becomes a privilege? Sorry,but I don't give kids the option to opt out of learning, ever. :huh:
     
  26. nicknbeccarock

    nicknbeccarock Rookie

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    social studies here!

    I am in my fourth year teaching 6th grade in some way. 2 years alternative education, last year in a team on the block system , this year a different team with 42 minutes. Our teams are tracked so last year I had the really high and really low readers. This year I will have the middle and ELL. I also student taught 6th, and I love this age group. You can watch them change as the year progresses.
     
  27. wig

    wig Devotee

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    How long have you taught 6th grade? I have taught 35 (?) years, the last 20 in Middle School.

    Are you self-contained or departmentalized? Self-Contained in the AM and departmentalized in the PM

    What subject/subjects do you teach? 6th - Lit, Lang. Arts, Religion, World Cultures; 5th - Lit, Lang Arts, Religion, Hisory; 7th - World Cultures, and 8th History
     
  28. Mrs.Gould

    Mrs.Gould Comrade

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    Hmm.. not sure I like that either. Especially for 6th grade with the steps. I agree with you about not giving kids the option to opt out of learning. Kids don't know how crucial learning is to them and if given a choice, some probably would choose not to!
     
  29. wig

    wig Devotee

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    For years I used the step method. Most step methods involve a warning. The problem with that is that it gives the students permission to act out once without any consequences attached.

    Fortunately, I have a "look" that could kill :lol: (35+ years will do that), but what works best is Love and Logic We went school wide two years ago after going through the training. It has worked very well, does not involve overt humiliation (face it, anything you do can be construed as humiliating), buts the responsibility on the student - including how to solve the problem.

    And yes - consistency is the key no matter which program you use.
     
  30. Mrs.Gould

    Mrs.Gould Comrade

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    Thanks for sharing that! I just ordered the book "Tools for Teaching" by Fred Jones. I heard it's great. There's also something about the "look" in there. :)

    Is there a book for Love and Logic? I'll have to check it out. I also totally agree with you when you say consistency is the key! The minute you step away from the system that you use, kids will pounce on you - especially those smart little 6th graders!:rolleyes:
     
  31. wig

    wig Devotee

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  32. happyteacher

    happyteacher Rookie

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    Hi. I'm a 2nd yr teacher. Last year I taught a departmentalized 6th grade class, this year, it's a self contained--and only just 1 class. The bad thing is I have 33 students!!! I enjoy a good challenge so I guess that's what I've got!

    I'm trying to get motivated to get into the school and get some work done. I am just enjoying being home with my kids and playing so much this summer! School is fast approaching so I'd better get motivated soon!
     
  33. savedbug

    savedbug Rookie

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    Hi All,
    Im new to the forum and wanted to introduce myself. I'm from the Bay Area living in San Francisco and teaching in Oakland. I work for a small charter school and will be teaching 6th, and 8th grade. Each class will be 100 minutes and divided between language arts and history. This is my second year of teaching and I am so excited the first year is behind me. Although, I have one year behind me I am still very nervous. Last year was very challenging for me both with classroom management and teaching English (Im a history person). I am very excited about this forum. I have been a reader of this forum for sometime but finally decided to join.

    Advice needed: I am very nervous about teaching my 8th grade class. I taught them last year as 7th graders and they made my life very difficult. I know that I am stronger, wiser and more prepared to deal with behavior issues. However, I am afraid that they are going to be able to make me crack the first week because they are aware of my weaknesses. Any Advice on how to deal with these group of kids?
     
  34. Veteran Teacher

    Veteran Teacher Rookie

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    Hi Everyone!

    I will also be teaching 6th grade this year. I have been teaching for 8 years and have previously taught both 4th and 5th grades, but this will be my first year in 6th. I teach in a small school, only me and one other 6th, so I will have a lot of the same students this year as I did last year. Having taught 5th for the past 6 years I am excited for the change, but not looking forward to having to learn the new curriculum and all that!
    I will be teaching Spelling and Social Studies to the whole 6th grade and Reading and English to my homeroom only.
    I love that we have our own space on the message boards now. I am interested in everyone's thoughts and ideas!
     
  35. savedbug

    savedbug Rookie

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    There seems to be a lot of experienced 6th grade teachers on this forum. I would love if we could start sharing ideas for the first week of school. New creative ideas on getting students to know eachother, on understanding class procedures and expectations. In addition, what ideas do you have for students that you taught before?
     
  36. Mrs.Gould

    Mrs.Gould Comrade

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    Welcome to the new forum members! I'm so glad you're here and especially that you're 6th grade teachers! :)

    When does everyone start back to school? My first day is Sept. 4th and the kids come the 5th.

    Savedbug - My suggestion to you with your 8th grade class is to make sure you have a set behavior plan from day 1 and enforce it right away. They might try to have fun with you because they know you but act as if they are a completely new class. You'll really have to enforce your rules for the first few weeks, then they should get the hang of it and hopefully not walk all over you!
     
  37. MrsMcD

    MrsMcD Rookie

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    I read a really cute idea the other day for a 'getting to know you' activity. It being my 1st year teaching at this new school, I don't think I'm brave enough to try it (maybe next year).

    The activity was:

    Have each student write their name and 3 facts about themself on a plain white piece of paper.

    Have students crumble up their papers into individual "snow balls"

    Allow 1 minute for students to have a "snowball fight".

    At the end of 1 minute stop students and tell them to pick up the snowball closest to them.

    Each student introduces the student whose snowball they picked up.

    While it seems like a really cute idea, I'd be a little nervous letting kids have that much leeway on the 1st day with a teacher they've never met! ;)
     
  38. ~mrs.m~

    ~mrs.m~ Comrade

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    I teach 6th grade Social Studies (World Cultures and Geography) in a departmentalized setting. I will have six classes and a total of about 165 students. I used to teach Language Arts but have loved the switch to SS for the last four years. I have also taught 8th,
    2nd and 5th in my 22 year career. I love middle school.
     
  39. cjven

    cjven Rookie

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    This is my first year teaching 6th grade and my second year teaching. I teach 6,7, and 8 social studies and literature. I teach six 45 minute periods and have each group twice, one for social studies and one for literature. It is a small school with only about 25 kids per class.
     
  40. ancientcivteach

    ancientcivteach Habitué

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  41. MrsLilHen

    MrsLilHen Comrade

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    Hi,
    I've taught 6th grade for about 4 years (I've been teaching for about 7 years, I took 2 maternity leaves...and I taught 2nd grade for my first year... It's very fuzzy math!)

    I love it. We are self-contained, which is absolutely wonderful, but we teach in partner teams, so we have the option of doing some mini teaming, if we want to.

    This is awesome to "meet" so many other 6th grade teachers.

    BTW, I love the book teaching with Love and Logic. I think it's time to reread it, or at least those links from above.

    I use some of "The First 6 weeks of school" and other responsive classroom ideas for my beginning of the school year stuff.
     

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