Help, experienced 7th grade reading teachers!

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by bridge, Jul 11, 2007.

  1. bridge

    bridge Rookie

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    Jul 11, 2007

    I have been in the special education field for some years, and will be switching this fall to reg. ed. 7th grade reading. On one hand, I am very excited (I asked for the change), and on the other, I'm having anxiety attacks and wonder why I'm doing this to myself (Many people my age are retiring.......). Waiting around all summer thinking about it hasn't helped. However I have been doing some reading and attending workshops to better prepare myself, but I still need some ideas/advice/patting on the head... about basic classroom management. I will have classes with 30+ students. This scares me the most; with special ed. classes the most I've ever worked with at one time was 18 students.
    I would appreciate advice about this, and anything else in any other area pertaining to 7th grade.
     
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  3. holliday

    holliday Comrade

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    Jul 11, 2007

    *Think ahead of time about your procedures and expectations and then write them down as clearly as you can.
    *With a bigger class, you'll really want to first decide how to seat everyone...groups or individually. That decision will have a big impact on your management.
    *To help w/all the paperwork, try to think of all the notes you might be writing on a regular basis (nurse's office, hall passes, lunch detention...whatever) and type those up so you have preprinted stacks of them. Saves A LOT of time!
    *Use color coding to organize your classes. For mine, I have 3 lang./lit. blocks of 7th grade. Each class has its own color that I use in my gradebook and on my homework board. I also color code my sub plans to make it easier on subs & for myself in my lesson plan book.
    *You may also want to seriously consider letting kids grade their own work when possible!
     
  4. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    Jul 11, 2007

    Harry Wong's book The First Days of School is a good starting point. It's got very practical advice. Personally, I LOVE Randy Sprick's CHAMPs managment program. The book is available online, and it's very user friendly . . . although the workshops are great, too.

    I color coordinate everything in my classes, too. I'm also big on labeling things. For instance, all of my desks are numbered. When we use textbooks or class sets of novels, the kids get the book with the number that matches the desk.
     
  5. Iowa_Teacher

    Iowa_Teacher Rookie

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    7th grade is great! I did my student teaching in that grade level and loved it! Basically, they are the perfect age, if you can ignore the drama that surrounds their lives :) They still respect their teachers and they are beginning to think for themselves. Have fun!
     
  6. bridge

    bridge Rookie

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    It's refreshing to read your comment that 7th grade is great. Most people just roll their eyes when I tell them what grade I'm going to be teaching. Thanks!
     
  7. bridge

    bridge Rookie

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    Jul 12, 2007

    ImaTeacher.....:thanks for your help! I am familiar with Harry Wong and have a copy of his "Beginning..." whatever book- if I can find it. But I'm not familiar with the CHAMPS program. I'll google it and check it out.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2007
  8. Iowa_Teacher

    Iowa_Teacher Rookie

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    I think that 7th grade gets a bad reputation because they are so emotional. A lot of days you'll feel more like a social director than a teacher, but if you enjoy yourself, then the kids will too! Just expect them to behave and the majority of them will. :)
     
  9. shanepunim

    shanepunim Rookie

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    Jul 12, 2007

    Oh, 7th grade is fabulous! I love them. I think you'll enjoy it more than you think.

    My piece of advice comes from a workshop I attended. It was a NIRC reading workshop. I use this evey year since I took the workshop.

    I took this from Christine Bordman Moen, who is one of the BEST teachers on the planet!

    Copy & Paste this.

    In a Million Words or Less… Tell Me about Your Child

    You know your son or daughter better than anyone, so I hope you’ll take this opportunity to share your insights with me. Using any format you wish – a letter, a poem, a list – anything – tell me what you think I should know about your son or daughter.
    Some parents like to describe their child’s abilities and special talents while others like to describe their child’s life and outlook in more general terms.
    Please e-mail your letter, poem, etc... to me at ___ and put “Million Words” + the child’s last name in the subject heading. You may also send it to me at school ____ or send it with your child in a sealed envelope. I hope you enjoy writing about your son or daughter. I know I am looking forward to reading about each student!

    PLEASE NOTE: If you want your son or daughter to see what you’ve written, please share it with him or her at home. Once I receive your note or e-mail, I must maintain confidentiality.

    Return it as soon as possible, but no later than August 29. Thanks for your cooperation.


    The parents and kids LOVED this. You really get to know the kids and the parents like to share all this information. It really does help in the management department. When the kids know that you have "personal info" on them, they think twice about acting out.

    PM me if you want to know more about how to do this and present the "lesson" that goes along with it.

    Kim
     
  10. Iowa_Teacher

    Iowa_Teacher Rookie

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    Cute idea! Plus you get to know your students in a way that you wouldn't normally. Some kids are completely different people at home!
     
  11. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

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    I used the Million Words or Less this year, and got GREAT response from my parents. I teach in a school district where parents are very involved, and I got about 90% of them back. I did add a line that said "If you wish me to share this information with any of your child's other teachers, please indicate this in your letter." Several parents asked me to share, so I copied the letters and gave them to the other teachers.
    If you teach on an academic team, check with your teammates to be sure parents don't have to write more than one letter.
     
  12. bridge

    bridge Rookie

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    I look forward to using the "Million Words or Less..." What a positive way to start out the year!! It allows parents to have a say right at the beginning of the year, gives me invaluable info. about my students, and it gives me a foundation from which to talk to them later during the year. As a parent, I would have loved to have written a letter about my sons to their teachers.
    I'm appreciating this forum more and more. (Although it's hard to leave once I get started, and my eyes are killing me from looking at the computer so long!)
     
  13. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

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    I'm so addicted, I check for new posts every hour or so! It is truly sad.
    HOWEVER, I have learned so much in the year that I've been a part of this community of educators. After a while, you get to know the people who stick around and post a lot.
     
  14. Weazy

    Weazy Comrade

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    Jul 13, 2007

    Help, experienced 7th grade

    "Million words or less"--what is this and where do I find it?
     
  15. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

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    Jul 13, 2007

    It is pretty well spelled out in one of the posts above. You can also google "million words or less". Or PM me. I'll email you mine.
     
  16. Weazy

    Weazy Comrade

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    Jul 13, 2007

    Help, experienced 7th grade

    OOPS! I must have zipped right past the message that explained "Million words" in detail. Thanks. Do you think this would be appropriate for 9th grade? I know absolutely nothing about them when they come to the high school.
     
  17. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

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    I think you could certainly put it out there for the parents. It would be interesting to see what kind of response you would get.
     
  18. MEM

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    Jul 13, 2007

    I'll be new to Grade 7 next year (language/math) after 2 primary grades. Quite a change but I'm looking forward to it. I found this site today after spending time working on planning and searching for on-line help. It's great to hear from both experienced and new (like me) teachers.

    Does anyone have a suggestion for a great Grade 7 read-aloud that I could use in September. Something to hook the 32 students I'm already set to have.
     
  19. Iowa_Teacher

    Iowa_Teacher Rookie

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    Jul 13, 2007

    I did "The Outsiders" by S.E. Hinton. I know it's a typical 7th grade book, but the kids LOVED it. I even had the "trouble" kid get excited and we really connected because of it and he read a few more of her books!

    ("trouble" is in quotes because I hated that he was labeled that! And after a while he was "trouble" for everyone except me...hmm I wonder why? haha)
     
  20. teresaglass

    teresaglass Groupie

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    Jul 14, 2007

    If you know how to control special education kids then REGULAR ED should not be a problem! have faith! There are more of them but their behavior should be easier and you can use some of the behavioral techniques that you used in your special education classes.
     

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