Helping students transition to departmentalized classes

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

  1. nothermanda

    nothermanda Companion

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    Jul 24, 2007

    Our students begin switching classes in 6th grade. Does anyone have any ideas for helping them make the change? Is this usually difficult? How do we help them get to know the teachers? Is this a huge mindset difference for them, or are they typically flexible enough to take it in stride?

    They move together in cohorts, and we're a small school, so they're a little less likely to get lost between classes.
     
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  3. cjven

    cjven Rookie

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    Jul 24, 2007

    I teach 6,7, and 8 in a K-8 building so we are pretty small as well. As fifth graders they spend half a day in the junior high wing just learning the routines and meeting the teachers. The biggest issue I've seen is students forgetting things in their lockers. They are used to having everything they need right there. I always talk with the other teachers about what supplies they need to bring everyday so that I can help them get into the routine of taking everything they need.
     
  4. logan_morgan

    logan_morgan Rookie

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    Aug 3, 2007

    Here are some of the things we do:
    -post signs outside all our classrooms reminding them what they need to bring
    -teach them to use an organizer or planner
    -reward them sporadically when they have their materials
    -have them write letters to the principal of their next school or their new teacher, talking about themselves and their interests, fears, etc.
    -our incoming 5th graders come visit our school in the spring and are led around by 6th grade "ambassadors"; they are given a tour of the school and wander through our classes while we are teaching, so they get an idea of what a typical class period looks like
    -we have a "Welcome to 6th Grade" night in May - an Open House of sorts so parents and students can visit their potential classrooms.
    -the first day of school we do most of the day self-contained and practice lockers, etc. and then we run an abbreviated schedule - change classes and spend 10-15 minutes in each class so that kids get the physical movement of how to get from place to place
     
  5. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

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    Aug 3, 2007

    My school departmentalizes beginning with 3rd grade so the kids have had a year of practice before I get them.
    They move together as a class with a teacher or aid to their next class.
    I think this really helps us all around because it breaks up the day for students and it's great for teachers to be able to concentrate on one subject. I like knowing that I have them for 40 minutes only per day.
     

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