Help with subbing in fifth grade

Discussion in 'Substitute Teachers' started by cali*teacher, Apr 26, 2012.

  1. cali*teacher

    cali*teacher Companion

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    Apr 26, 2012

    Hello, it's been awhile since I've been on these forums. Currently I work as an elementary grade substitute teacher, because I'm best suited to work with elementary age children I feel. Fifth grade is kind of pushing it for me even. I always have a wonderful day, or usually do, when it's fourth grade to kindergarten, but when it's fifth grade it's a whole different ballgame. Can you seasoned teachers tell me how to best handle fifth graders? What are some good filler activities to do with them if there is a time gap or time left over? I just don't seem to have the personality type to get good class control at this grade level and beyond (I wouldn't even attempt sixth and up, no way, lol) I get calls for fifth grade, and don't want to turn the opportunity to work down, but I can generally look forward to feeling overwhelmed by the end of the day. I've been subbing for a year and a half, lots of difficult classrooms and grade levels. Fifth grade is definitely the most different grade level for me in terms of classroom management. I love the students, but they are just at that developmental age where it's harder. Any pointers? :unsure:
     
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  3. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    Apr 27, 2012

    You could always bring a small soft ball for them to toss around. Silent Ball: students sit on their desks and each student points to a neighbor and throws the ball to them underhanded. If they drop the ball, forget to point, talk, etc they are eliminated. Game ends when one student is left.
     
  4. SetterHugger85

    SetterHugger85 Rookie

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    May 3, 2012

    I am not a seasoned teacher, but fifth grade classes were the first ones I got called for subbing and I had some tricks that worked and teachers loved how I did! Let me tell you what I did and you can take it or leave it :)

    1) Calling attendance I had them come up with an animal that started with a letter of their name :)

    2) I filled out cards throughout the day ....bright colored index cards that said "____________ was caught on good behavior!" ...with stickers :) The teacher read them out loud the next day.

    3) This class LOVED the silent ball game. They also still love heads up seven up, and sentence brain teasers (over/hill = over the hill...have them come up with their own too!).

    Hope this helped!
     
  5. cali*teacher

    cali*teacher Companion

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    Jul 7, 2012

    Thanks for the tips!
     
  6. ArtistLyfe

    ArtistLyfe Rookie

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    Aug 20, 2012

    i have 4 rules for elementary classrooms:
    1. Stay in your seat at all times.
    2. Raise your hand.
    3. Follow directions quickly.
    4. Use quiet voices.

    I write them on the board before they come in and when i introduce myself, i have everyone read the rules (expectations) aloud as a group. if anyone forgets, i redirect their attention to what it says on the board.
    I don't play games, personally that doesn't work for me as a teacher. we work, until recess or PE. there are always a few who will try to push the envelope but depending on what they do, they get ignored, or addressed. sometimes it's just a matter of wanting attention.
    if they start doing things, i start writing names down and let them know "i have two names so far"...of course they want to know. never make the mistake of letting them see what you have written, sometimes i am just scribbling, and haven't written anything.
    i'm strict...but because of that, i get a lot of requests and have a good rep for being a great guest teacher.
    i also say that they are going to be 6th graders for the day, and that makes them immediately feel more mature. we do all of the lesson plan but i also encourage them to listen more, and write more on the whiteboard and not talk so much because in Middle School, there is more listening required.
    all the best!
     
  7. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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    Aug 20, 2012

    I have taught 5th grade for most of my teaching career. Yes, it is a challenging grade level, but it also has many rewards!
    When you sub 5th, remember one thing: they are still kids, and they still love to do the "kid" stuff. Yes, you will get a few who are trying to be older than who they are, but you are the adult, and you are the voice of reason.
    Be strict, but fair. It's okay to do things differently than the regular teacher, and it is okay to tell them that. The regular teacher really just wants to make sure plans are done!
    Have your 5th grade sub bag ready. They love stickers and praise as much as the lower grades! I also had a few games I liked to do-that were specifically my trademark! I loved to hear "Oh, Mrs. Knitter is here today, I wonder if we'll play this!"
     
  8. Oregon Sub Girl

    Oregon Sub Girl Rookie

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    Aug 27, 2012

    Some great advice given already. I also have found myself being a guest teacher in many a 5th grade classroom (funny because my specialty is early childhood). In addition to what has been said, here are some of my tricks:

    -Be nice to them, but also firm. The 5th graders will respect you for giving them limits (I made the mistake at first of thinking they were much more mature than they are and I quickly learned the same things that work with the little kids work with the older kids).

    -Clearly set your expectations and then hold them to it.

    -Roam while they work as much as you can to get to know them (learn their names as quickly as you can)

    -Give them TONS of positive feedback. I often have them working for a reward (like getting to play a game the last 10 minutes of the day)

    Hope that helps. They really can be a fun age group, and my favorite time with the older kids is read aloud (well with most age groups). They are quiet and listen (as long as you have a really good story)
     
  9. jen12

    jen12 Devotee

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    Aug 28, 2012

    I student taught in 5th and I couldn't wait for it to be over. I'll accept sub jobs in 5th when jobs are scarce or if a school requests me, but I don't take them if it's random on the system.

    The advice here is good. I've played silent ball. They also like to play trivia, but you have to lay down rules or they'll shout out answers. I'll do that if I have a few minutes before lining up to lunch or something. Just pick a student, and ask a question he/she should know the answer to, like "Name a city in California" or "What is 7x8" or "Name a President". Brain Quest cards are helpful if you have trouble coming up with questions on your own. If they get it right, they line up. If not, they sit back down. It kills a little bit of time.

    5th graders are bargainers! DON'T DO IT! They'll want to bargain to do less math problems, to leave class two minutes before the bell rings, to go to lunch early...just tell them school is not a swap meet, and remind them that they know how it works. I've found it's better to err on the side of acting like you know everything with them. If you ask about a classroom or school policy, they'll jump on it and try to take advantage. Be cautious, and if they tell you "our teacher lets us" just tell them you are the teacher today and when she returns, she WILL back up your choices.

    Also with 5th...if they line up out on the playground before entering the room in the morning, make sure you don't take a step toward the classroom with them before it's completely silent. Tell them if you hear one voice, they're going back to the line. Then do it. It may take a bit longer to get inside the room...I had to do it four times once, but they'll be much more cooperative early on. Do the same when you line up for lunch. If there's talking, they sit back down. You have to be the Alpha. It isn't fun, but you certainly learn a lot.
     

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