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 25, 2007

    I'm going to have to reading the Love and Logic book now that a few people have recommended it! Thanks!
     
  2. nothermanda

    nothermanda Companion

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    Jul 25, 2007

    You don't happen to know Dennis and Marty, do you?

    You'll be pleasantly surprised by the increase in maturity from 7th to 8th grade. Don't let yourself fall back into your old "scripts," and try to connect with those students who try to make your life difficult. Focus on the goals in your classroom - behavior issues tend to crop up if the kids are bored. Also, check out the Habits of Mind...
     
  3. FutureFLTeacher

    FutureFLTeacher Companion

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    Jul 25, 2007

    I will be teaching sixth grade life science this year, looks like I'll have five periods...perhaps six.

    Nice that we have our own little spot on the forum now too!!!
     
  4. Mrs.Gould

    Mrs.Gould Comrade

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    Jul 25, 2007

    My two science classes are also life science. This is my first year teaching science. How many years have you taught it?
     
  5. FutureFLTeacher

    FutureFLTeacher Companion

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    Jul 25, 2007

    This will be my first year as well!!!! We can brave through it together! ;)
     
  6. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

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    Jul 26, 2007

    My 6th grade curriculum is earth and space science.
     
  7. bryanmj

    bryanmj Rookie

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    Jul 27, 2007

    I'm teaching 6th grade LD this fall. It is my first FTE position and I'm really looking forward to it. I'll be teaching pull-out math and reading and then co-teaching with the gen. ed. teachers. I'm glad we have grade level threads. It will be nice to talk to each other.
     
  8. FutureFLTeacher

    FutureFLTeacher Companion

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    Jul 27, 2007

    Preplanning for us begins on August 13th and the kids come back on August 20th....where did the summer go to? :confused: LOL
     
  9. tiredteacher29

    tiredteacher29 Rookie

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    Jul 27, 2007

    We have training August 16 & 17, LID days begin on the 23rd and kids start the 28th. What happened to my summer?
     
  10. Teacheroo

    Teacheroo Companion

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    Jul 28, 2007

    Hi everyone! I'm considering this my first year teaching 6th grade, although I did teach a 5/6 combo last year. My class is self-contained and I love them! It is a great change from last year.
     
  11. mommee03

    mommee03 Companion

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    Jul 29, 2007

    I will be teaching 6th grade Math and 7th grade math enrichment. This will be my second year.
     
  12. 6ertchr

    6ertchr Rookie

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    Jul 29, 2007

    Hello!

    This will be my first year teaching 6th grade after 6 years of teaching 2nd grade. Our school is transitioning from a K-5 to a K-6 school, so I volunteered to change grade-levels. I'm very excited!:D
     
  13. WorldTraveler

    WorldTraveler Rookie

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    Jul 30, 2007

    I'll be starting my first teaching job in September. Ill teach 6th grade LA...I'm signing my contract on Wednesday! Any tips?
     
  14. savedbug

    savedbug Rookie

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    Jul 30, 2007

    Be consistent! This will save you from making decisions on emotions alone.
     
  15. nbteacher

    nbteacher Rookie

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    Jul 31, 2007

    I'm new to the boards, and new to sixth grade. I've taught 4th grade for many years, and before that I taught reading. I am looking forward to learning and sharing ideas with all of you!
     
  16. AHB

    AHB Rookie

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    Jul 31, 2007

    I will be teaching 6th grade language arts and reading this year and hopefully several years after this. It'll be my 7th year of teaching and with only two years of 6th grade language arts under my belt, I can't say that I remember this age being particularly difficult. Now I had an interesting year last year with 5th graders. I taught all subjects, not that that makes a difference, but a child took a needle (a safety pin) and stuck other children with it while they were all at lunch. That conference was more sad than the incident itself. The mother was a nurse! But, anyway, I am excited to be in 6th again. I too will have 90min blocks. I don't know how the schedule works yet since I am starting at a new school this year.
     
  17. logicrules

    logicrules Rookie

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    Jul 31, 2007

    Hi, guys...this will be my first year teaching 6th grade ELA and Reading in a new district. I taught last year but in special education (very low ELA special ed resource but 7/8th grade). I was the inclusion SPED teacher last year in an 8th grade ELA class and learned a lot. I'm excited about teaching in the gen. ed setting this year but I know there's a ton I need to learn. For starters the 'lingo.' I'm familiar with the term 'self-contained' as it pertains to special education (where spec. ed students remain with specific teachers in one classroom setting most of the school day). Does it mean the same thing in ELA 6th grade? And what is meant by 'departmentalized' teaching? I hope you don't mind the questions - but sometimes it's the little things that matter, especially when you're new.

    I do look forward to leaning on you guys a lot this year. This is only my second year teaching and I'm alt. certified. My background, however, is communications (former journalist) so this area is one I feel rather comfortable in. However, I know journalism and English/LA is quite different in structure. Brushing up on "dependent and independent" clauses for one thing! <smile> among other terms...
     
  18. logicrules

    logicrules Rookie

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    Jul 31, 2007

    MrsMcD said: "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!"

    I love this idea, Mrs.McD! But, like you, with classes of kids I've never met before and classroom management a top priority I'd be a bit nervous letting them 'cut loose' on this, too. I immediately thought of a 'work-around.' What about the teacher holding a wastebasket or basket and having each student toss the crumpled up 'snowballs' into the basket (this prevents them from hitting each OTHER with them). Once all of them have been tossed inside the basket each student can walk up (or teacher can go desk to desk) and have each student choose a 'snowball' that they will read/introduce. This could be done using colored construction paper so each student will know NOT to choose a color they wrote on. What do you guys think? Would this still be fun for the kids to do without any 'injuries' to report home about?
     
  19. MrsR.

    MrsR. New Member

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    Aug 1, 2007

    I am a new teacher starting my first job as a 6th grade teacher in an international school. The classroom is self-contained and small. I will have about 12 students! During my student teaching I taught 2nd and 4th grade, so I feel completely lost in planning the school year. I am excited about actually teaching and now having a place to share and gain ideas. Any advice is welcomed!
     
  20. MrsMcD

    MrsMcD Rookie

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    Aug 1, 2007

    I love this idea, Mrs.McD! But, like you, with classes of kids I've never met before and classroom management a top priority I'd be a bit nervous letting them 'cut loose' on this, too. I immediately thought of a 'work-around.' What about the teacher holding a wastebasket or basket and having each student toss the crumpled up 'snowballs' into the basket (this prevents them from hitting each OTHER with them). Once all of them have been tossed inside the basket each student can walk up (or teacher can go desk to desk) and have each student choose a 'snowball' that they will read/introduce. This could be done using colored construction paper so each student will know NOT to choose a color they wrote on. What do you guys think? Would this still be fun for the kids to do without any 'injuries' to report home about?[/QUOTE]


    I think that modification would work really well. I'm going to see how the kids are in the school, and maybe give the actual snowball fight a try next year. I'll be teaching the 5th graders for 2 periods each day, so I'll have a good sense of whether they could handle such a 'sillly' activity or not. I hope it works out, I think kids would really enjoy it! If not - your modification is a *wonderful* suggestion!!
     
  21. Mrs.Gould

    Mrs.Gould Comrade

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    Aug 1, 2007


    Hi and welcome! Departmentalized means there are different teachers for each subject. One would teach math, one would teach science and so on. I totally understand what you mean by learning the little things! They definitely make the difference! :)
     
  22. logan_morgan

    logan_morgan Rookie

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    Aug 3, 2007

    I have taught 26 years, all of it in 6th grade except for a one-year foray with a 5/6 blend. I began teaching self-contained, then was moved to the middle school (budget and size demands) and now I work in a single grade school. As I tell people, it's "all 6th graders, all the time." For people who don't like that age, it sounds like purgatory but I love it. Unfortunately, our district is reconfiguring AGAIN at the end of this school year, so we will return to self-contained classrooms. I currently teach one period of ELA and three periods of general math on a three person team. Everyone teaches at least on period of ELA and then two or three periods of a specific subject. I love the set up we have now and I will be saddened to lose it at the end of this year.

    Regarding to a post about a discipline system, we use PBS) in our school and it works well with our population.
     
  23. logicrules

    logicrules Rookie

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    Aug 3, 2007

    To logan_morgan (or anyone else, for that matter). I've been hired to teach 4-5 classes of ELA and Reading, 6th grade, plus a tutoring class. Still don't know all of the details. Just got the offer a few days ago; I accepted it and awaiting signing my contract. It's soooo close to school starting and I'm beyond nervous. New school, new district, new people to get to know and work with, new and MORE kids than I was used to (I taught special education, very small classes, but difficult kids). But I've heard nothing but great things about teaching this age student population. So I'm really looking forward to it. I've also been looking to get into something other than special education (even though I'm a brand new teacher - this will be my 2nd year). I have a journalism/communications background. What did your first week look like curriculum-wise? Do you have any suggestions on some activities and lesson plans (following an ELA structure) that I can quickly put together to keep everyone occupied until I get a better feel for the scope and sequence of the department? I would be most appreciative.
     
  24. WordNut

    WordNut Rookie

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    Aug 7, 2007

    I'm New Too!

    This will be my first year teaching 6th grade. I taught K-2 as a long term sub and then taught 2nd last year. I went to college for Music Education, changed my mind, had two other careers, moved to Maine and found myself teaching. Will wonders never cease ...

    I am self-contained but we've decided to departmentalize the content area period (socials studies and science). We'll set up different activities in each of our three classes and the kids will move through those activities from day to day.

    I'll have my own kids for reading/writing and math. We use Everyday Math which I am very familiar with and our schedule allows for a 2 hour literacy block in the afternoon, so I'll be going to town with mini lessons, workshops, read alouds, independent and guided reading and who knows what all!
     
  25. Mrs.Gould

    Mrs.Gould Comrade

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    Aug 7, 2007

    Welcome! A 2 hour literacy block is AWESOME!! I have 90 min and 60 min of that HAS to be used for Reader's Workshop, so I feel like I will not have much time for my Writer's Workshop. Actually we are only supposed to have 80 min, but the other teacher on my team (there are only 2 of us) and I decided to shuffle some things around so we could take that extra 10 min.

    Good luck this year! :)
     
  26. Prez8983

    Prez8983 Rookie

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    Aug 11, 2007

    Wow, it is so great to be able to network with other sixth grade teachers outside of my school! I am returning for my second year of teaching sixth grade (actually my second year of teaching ever). We are departmentalized and I teach 4 classes of Ancient Civilizations (50 mins each) and 1 elective class (Drama).

    I love my school, my co-workers, and my students. Although, last year, being my first year, I found myself too lax with discipline and wanting to be too friendly with the students. I can't wait to get back and install some new routines with my students and ACTUALLY stick with them this year!
     
  27. logan_morgan

    logan_morgan Rookie

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    Aug 11, 2007

    Logicrules:

    I'm unclear if you are looking for a long-term unit to get acquainted with the department, or just quick fillers. An initial writing sample is always a good idea and provides a baseline for portfolios. If you are in a K-6 school, you can use picture books and have students do a mini book project. As boring as it sounds, we always start the year with a review of reference skills - amazing how many kids don't know what information a dictionary offers or how to correctly use an atlas. Also, if you have a computer lab and there's a way to teach them some keyboarding skills (and no one else does that for you), you're money ahead to give them some basic tech skills up front. Check out readwritethink.org - it is a wonderful resource for all thinks ELA. A unit on the newspaper can also be a lot of fun and works to strengthen their non-fiction reading skills.
     
  28. AHB

    AHB Rookie

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    Aug 12, 2007

    I love my school, my co-workers, and my students. Although, last year, being my first year, I found myself too lax with discipline and wanting to be too friendly with the students. I can't wait to get back and install some new routines with my students and ACTUALLY stick with them this year![/QUOTE]


    I just read the most hilarious book called the Reluctant Disciplinarian, it was recommended on one of the other threads. you might take a peak at that. I've been teaching 6 years and still I like to read books about classroom management. I was very weak at first and I'm ashamed to admit I have a slow learning curve myself. I like to think it helps me with my hard to reach students. I'm currently reading Teaching with Love and Logic. It's kind of slow at first but it picks up. The most helpful book I've ever read about teaching, classroom control, etc. is Harry Wong's First Days of School. I review that one every summer just to glean a few more teaching nuggets. Anywho, it sounds like you're on the right track to me :D Have a great year!
     
  29. Linmo

    Linmo New Member

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    Aug 12, 2007

    Hello Everyone
    I am a first year teacher and will be teaching 6th grade. I am nervous and excited about having my own classroom. I've spent the last 15 years substitute teaching part-time. I look forward to sharing ideas and getting advice from all of you. We have a school wide theme each year. This year it is a western theme. I am looking for a good read aloud book relating to the theme to start off the year with. Thanks for your help.
     
  30. Lifecoach

    Lifecoach Rookie

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    Aug 12, 2007

    Hello everyone! I'm entering my second year teaching 6th grade ELA and Social Studies at a small charter school. I'm still fearful of re-entering the classroom! How do you get over the fear and anxiety?
     
  31. AHB

    AHB Rookie

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    Aug 12, 2007

    I've been teaching a while now and I'm still nervous about the first day. But, after that everythings O.K. So I guess my advice would be to hold your head up and walk in like you know exactly what you're doing and pretty soon you'll start feeling like you do and others will follow that lead. I also pray alot.
     
  32. rockets24

    rockets24 Rookie

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    Aug 13, 2007

    Greetings

    Howdy! I have taught 6th grade Language Arts for the past two years, but I am the lucky teacher that gets to teach a self contained 5/6 combo. I will be 6th grade LA next year for sure, so I am a little nervous about learning all of 5th curriculum plus 6th grade Math, Social, and Science, but oh well! Fortunately, my husband teaches the other 5th grade section, so I am hoping for a little help!
     
  33. wig

    wig Devotee

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    Aug 13, 2007

    This is my first (and probably last) year of teaching 5th/ 6th Lit and Language Arts. I contend it is easier to go up than it is to go down.
     
  34. Mishmosh

    Mishmosh Rookie

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    Aug 17, 2007

    I've been teaching for 13 years and most of it involved 6th grade in some capacity. I love this age. I have a "homebase" class for 90 min of ELA, 1 period of science, 2 other classes on the team for science, and a 42 minute period of complete BS. It's called "exploration". Basically when my district went to 9 periods, the 6th grade had to take on an extra period, b/c our contract is based on certification area (elementary or secondary) and contact time with students. All the other teachers in the building teach 5 periods. We teach 6 1/2. Good union, huh?

    BUT if I really hated it, I could always leave, right? ha. I love the job too much. It's just too bad that I don't have that extra planning period. It would make such a difference in my teaching.
     
  35. Mishmosh

    Mishmosh Rookie

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    Aug 17, 2007

    Also, some advice for the newer teachers. You don't need to be their friend, but that doesn't mean they can't know you like them. If they know you are genuinely on their side, they'll do anything for you. And with that, you can even get them to think you're "cool" without giving too much power to them.
     
  36. Mrs.Gould

    Mrs.Gould Comrade

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    Aug 17, 2007

    Welcome Mishmosh! I'm a fellow New Yorker but more central/upstate! That's interesting about your number of classes. I teach a 90 min ELA class, 55 min Math and two 40 min science classes. We are given 40 min for our own prep and 40 min for team meeting everyday plus lunch.

    For ELA, do you find that you are teaching to the test a lot more than you did before 6th graders had to take the state test? How do you balance it out? My first year was the first year 6th graders had to take the exam so I was stressed out beyond belief! My position was cut after my first year so I wasn't teaching last year. Now, I'm back in 6th grade and hoping that will be less stressed for the exam in January!
     
  37. MrsMcD

    MrsMcD Rookie

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    Aug 17, 2007

    Hey Mrs.Gould - I'm originally from upstate NY (near Albany!) :)
     
  38. Mrs.Gould

    Mrs.Gould Comrade

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    Aug 18, 2007

    How cool! I'm in the Binghamton area. I always say central/upstate because people call it both here! Albany is about 3 hours from me.
     
  39. Teach07

    Teach07 Rookie

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    Aug 18, 2007

    Sixth Grade

    How long have you taught 6th grade? This is my second year teaching grade 6. Last year I taught 5/6.
    Are you self-contained or departmentalized? I am departmentalized. I teach 4 blocks (2 Reading groups), 1 Writing group, and 1 Science/SS group. What subject/subjects do you teach? I teach Reading, Writing and SS/Science (alternating).
     
  40. Mrs.Gould

    Mrs.Gould Comrade

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    Aug 18, 2007

    Welcome Teach07! Glad to have you here!
     

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