Kindergarten to 6th grade... HELP!!!

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Tech Teacher, Jul 14, 2013.

  1. Tech Teacher

    Tech Teacher Rookie

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    Jul 14, 2013

    I have taught Kindergarten technology for the past 2 years. On Friday I got my first classroom teaching position... in 6th grade:eek:

    The more I think about it, the more I get freaked out about the age difference.

    Where do I begin?

    I am not worried about teaching the material as much as setting up the classroom, schedules, rules, the frame work of the class.

    :help:
     
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  3. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

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    Jul 14, 2013

    Congrats! Now, take it easy. I assure you that 5 year olds are much scarier than 11 year olds - at least they would be to me! I'm guessing you are self contained since you didn't mention a specific subject. 6th graders are really neat. They come to you as children and leave as adolescents. They are mature, but love stickers. If you do a classroom management system, it can't seem babyish.
    If you post specific questions once you get going, there are lots of people here to help.
     
  4. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    Jul 14, 2013

    I LOVE 6th grade. I did my internship in 6th grade this past fall and I wish there was a position open at my school for 6th because I'd leave 7th in a heartbeat. I've always heard 7th grade is the WORST (from other middle school teachers) because as 6th graders they are still "children" and then 7th grade the are full-fledged adolescents with newfound raging hormones. That transition evidently happens in the later part of 6th grade and/or over the summer.

    Part of your strategy depends on whether or not your kids are top dogs or bottom of the totem pole. What I mean by that is are you in an elementary school with 6th graders being the upperclassmen, or going to a middle school where they will be scared newbies?

    Are you teaching in a team-like setting? Most of the decisions about how to handle misbehavior (lunch detention, conduct offenses, parent conferences) are determined collectively as a team. If it's a self-contained classroom, I'd still get with other 6th grade teachers in the school since they are familiar with the population as well as the age group.

    I like "kiddie" stuff in general, I'm a real girlie girl, and my 7th graders like that as much as my 6th graders did. I'd set up the room in a way that reflects the curriculum as well as your interests. 11, 12, 13 year olds are at a point where they are really interested in other people, and they'll want to get to know you through what you have in your room.

    You definitely have to be FIRM. They aren't little kids, and can handle toughness, firmness, and even banter.
     
  5. Tech Teacher

    Tech Teacher Rookie

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    Jul 14, 2013

    I am in an intermediate building (5th and 6th) so they are the top but barely. I just received the job on Friday so I am not sure of a lot of details. I am under the impression that I have a self- contained classroom but I am on a team of 3 teachers. (I assume since their are many 6th grade teachers, they group them for support.)

    Working with younger kids there was always a class theme. I feel that most themes are too kiddie. I love travel and different cultures so part of me wants to bring that into the classroom. I would also be fine with lots of bright colors :)
     
  6. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Jul 14, 2013

    I would say make a list of everything you need to set up procedure wise, take it one step at a time and write everything down so you can review it and be consistent.
     
  7. hollydoris

    hollydoris Rookie

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    Jul 19, 2013

    Congrats! 6th graders are wonderful. My biggest piece of advice is to see if you can get the contact information for the other 6th grade teachers, or even 5th, and see if any of them would be willing to engage in email correspondence until the year begins. Find out their typical routine and classroom management system and if you can see yourself doing it, I suggest you do the same as your colleagues. It is so much easier and more consistent for the students is everyone is on the same page. "But Mrs. So and So doesn't give homework!" or "Mr. XYZ doesn't make kids stay in for recess!" can get really annoying and if you're on the same discipline page as your colleagues, it can be avoided. That said, every teacher has a different style so if it's something you think you would have trouble maintaining, you do need to find your own way to implement it so that you can be consistent.
     
  8. raynepoe

    raynepoe Companion

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    Jul 19, 2013

    I have fifth grade and all my experience was PreK I really wanted a theme so I am doing "GAMES" and am decorating and basing all my tools off board games, video games, and card games. If your interested I will link the pinterest stuff I found.
     
  9. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Jul 19, 2013

    Consider when decorating - b.boards etc. - to choose things which do not distract students from focusing on you or their work. One teacher I observed decorated his classroom like an aquarium - fish, kelp, sharks hanging from the ceiling. Half the class spent a good deal of instructional time gazing up instead of focusing on directed tasks. In other words, it's tough enough to focus students' attention when needed therefore anything a teacher can do to make it easier will save a lot of instructional minutes, not to mention stress, in the long run.
     
  10. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Jul 19, 2013

    I did the opposite transition, I taught sixth for years and moved down to Kinder last year. You can definitely still have a theme with sixth graders. Travel and cultures would probably go over well with the students.

    I would definitely try to talk with your team of teachers as soon as possible. Often teams like to have similar expectations and routines for their students. When I was in sixth grade we had teams of 2-4 teachers and we were not self-contained. Our students switched classes among the team teachers.
     
  11. Tech Teacher

    Tech Teacher Rookie

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    Jul 20, 2013

    Thank you all! I am talking with another teacher from my team, which is helpful.

    Luckily the district has a behavior management program (PBIS) so everything is pretty consistent. (My last school used the same program... One less thing to learn. YAY!)

    Everyone is transitioning to common core this year so we will be working together on the changes. Any good resources for common core?

    What are your thoughts on classroom jobs for 6th grade?
    Does anyone have experience using Chromebooks in the classroom?
     
  12. Tech Teacher

    Tech Teacher Rookie

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    Jul 20, 2013

    Yes please:)
     

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