Never felt more unprepared

Discussion in 'Fifth Grade' started by 4myclass, Aug 18, 2007.

  1. 4myclass

    4myclass Cohort

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    Aug 18, 2007

    School starts on Monday and I not completely sure what I going to do.

    I finally got to get into my room to set up and found out that the air conditioner still did not work. It is so hard to set up a classroom when it's 105 outside and nearly as hot inside. They finally got my air on in time for the teacher's workshops on Friday, so I never got to really set up my room.

    I found out that I now have 29 students in my very small classroom. With so many desks, there is no room to walk.

    I was going to do some of the ice-breakers that everyone suggested, but with no room to walk in the classroom, I have to come up with something else. Another teacher told me to run off some crosswords and word searches for the students to do while I check out textbooks. I did that, but I know that that will not be enough. I do plan to read some from Frindle. I am also planning on going over rules and procedures.

    I was told that I need to start in on the textbooks immediately. I don't have any social studies textbooks yet. I was given the schedule that I am supposed to follow and I feel like I have no time for anything that I wanted to do. I only have a small handful of my students 1st hour and last hour. I have 45 min. each set aside for math, language arts, science, and social studies. That's it. I only have my whole class for three hours total. The rest of the time they go to classes that they chose (art, band, basketball, technology, PE).

    How do I get everything done?
    Does anyone else work in a school that is run like this?
    I feel like I have been thrown for a loop. Everything that I had expected is not how it's turning out to be.

    Please, give me some advice. I am starting to panic.
     
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  3. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Aug 18, 2007

    Don't panic. You can make this work. For the first few days, plan some fun things that will also help you get to know the ability levels: play Mad Libs, around the world with math facts, have them write about the new school year or what they think 5th grade will be like, give them a quiz about yourself. Discuss your classroom rules and expectations, how you will grade, how you want them to set up notebooks and folders.

    Do you have a classroom library? Will you use a basal or novels for reading?
     
  4. Wildflower

    Wildflower Rookie

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    Aug 18, 2007

    I have the same problem with high numbers, high heat, and a tiny room. We're going to go outside and sit under a tree and make "Ice Cream In a Baggie" to get is cool the first day. After that..who knows?

    As far as first day activities, I like to really, REALLY go over procedures. I do a powerpoint presentation about the rules/expectations, then we practice and role play how it should look, then I act out in a funny way how it SHOULDn'T look, then I have a crossword about the rules. i also do Class bingo, and a Group Treasure Hunt. I do the Time Capsule thing, etc. I can explain any of these in more detail, if you are interested. I remember being new and having NO CLUE....Just remember, you WILL survive, and NOTHING will make you more prepared than just experiencing it this first year. GOOD LUCK!
     
  5. Pattie

    Pattie Companion

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    Aug 18, 2007

    I love all the ideas. You could do name bingo so the class could get to know each other's names. You can always have them write in a journal what they think 5th grade will be like. Bring in stuff to introduce yourself and then assign 1 girl and 1 boy each day to do the same for the next 2 weeks. That will be good for community. And just remember this, you have some built in helpers in 5th graders. Have 2 or 3 volunteer to stay in at recess the first few weeks and get them to help you sort stuff, put stuff in cupboards, put up bulletin board paper, etc. They will love it and love you for making them feel special. Don't fret. If you take time to get to know your class and make them feel it is a nice place, you will gain their respect and that's going to make managing much easier. Just remember what a great job you just got. You're going to love it, so just take it one day at a time. Add in one more subject every few days. Stay after each day and plan the next day. You can do it a day at a time!
     
  6. 4myclass

    4myclass Cohort

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    Aug 19, 2007

    Thank you for your advice. I keep telling myself that once I get in there, it will all work out. As I stated in other posts, I was moved from Pre-k. I have never taught above 1st grade. This is all new to me and I am obviously feeling rather intimidated by it all.
    I had forgotten the idea of doing a time capsule and I remember how when I was around that age, I loved Mad Libs.
    Again, thank you for all your advice. I will let you know how it's going.
     
  7. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Aug 19, 2007

    Go to the puzzle maker on this site and make a word search using your students' names. They love those.
     
  8. 4myclass

    4myclass Cohort

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    Aug 19, 2007

    Awesome idea! Thanks!
     
  9. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Aug 19, 2007

    We just finished our first week of school, but that would be something fun for them to do if they finish their work early. Thanks for sharing that idea!

    You could have them write a story about what they did NOT do over their summer. Kids always do some writing about what they did over the summer. Well, do this with a twist.

    Did they go to the moon? Did they scuba dive in the deep deep ocean? Don't give them too much ideas on what they could write about! They will actually have a fun time with coming up with fun things they did not do. I heard about this on Friday and wish I heard about it before school started. I may still do this next week. We'll see if we have time.
     
  10. 4myclass

    4myclass Cohort

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    Aug 19, 2007

    :party: Happy Birthday Peachyness!
    Great idea. I know that you also came from early childhood to 5th grade. What are some of the things that worked for you last week? Have you started yet in your regular curriculum or are you still covering rules and procedures and other back to school stuff? Basically, can I pick your brain? Do your students have choices of special classes like mine do? I was not aware that mine did until late last week:eek: . At my school, you basically learn as you go. I found out that my students got to choose their special classes when a parent asked me what classes her child was given during Meet the Teacher night. I learned last week, that our 5th grade program is basically like middle school (lockers, class changes, choices of specials, etc.). This information would have been helpful at the beginning of summer. What has me in a panic is the worry that there are other things that I have not been informed of.
     
  11. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Aug 19, 2007

    We don't really have specials at my school. We do have band where they leave for about 45 minutes during certain times in the week (still don't have any info on that yet) and we do go to the library (but also no info on that too). Our school is under construction so things are a bit wacky right now. Heck, last week we had NO paper to run things off. Luckily, I was the early worm and made a ton of copies before school started. Hee hee....


    The only curriculum that I really started on was math and social studies. We use Saxon math and did lesson one. For social studies, we read a little about native americans and made a timeline one day. And the next day we read a Chereokee Legend. Then I had them write their own Legend.


    We spent the first week (our week was only 3 days as we started on Wednesday) going over rules and procedures. We even played charades to practice procedures. Next year, I want to play Jeopardy after going over procedures and rules.

    Our school goes up to 6th, so we are still treating them like little elementary kids and not junior high kids yet. :D



    Okay, here's what we did for day 1:

    1. Interest survery- filled in info about themselves
    2. Took a teacher test- wrote a test about myself and they had to try and answer the questions- just a fun way to introduce myself
    3. Welcome back bingo
    4. ruels and consequences
    5. talked about tiger bucks and ways to earn tiger bucks
    6. talked about homeworkopoly
    7. talked about secret student (secretly pick a student, if they walk in a line quietly, they earn a tiger buck)and then walked to lunch
    8. math
    9. pe

    Day 2:
    1. kids wrote three things about themselves onto white paper, then they crumpled it and we had a snowball fight. Then, they picked a snowball near them and we went around in a circle reading our snowball. We had to figure out who wrote what. This went fine except we couldn't find one snowball. :(
    2. English test review I found from a 4th grade site. Just to see where they are coming from
    3. Proceudre charade
    4. introduced writers workshop
    5. math
    6. social studies
    7. pe

    Day 3:
    1. Introduced readers workshop
    2. finished our procedure charades
    3. made desk name tags and gave them their student number
    4. math
    5. social studies
    6. pe

    Next week we'll start our normal routine.
     
  12. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Aug 19, 2007

    Happy birthday, Peachyness! Sounds like you had a great first week. Good for you.

    Here's how to get to the puzzle maker at AtoZ:

    Click on the Home tab at the top. You will see Word Search Maker under featured tools and pages.
     
  13. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 19, 2007

    WE don't all have AC in our rooms so while we empathize with you about having a hot classroom we know you can do it as most of us do. When you say you don't have room for the classt to walk around and mix for getting to know each other activities- could you push desks to make room? Can you circulate around perimeter of room?
     
  14. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Aug 19, 2007

    It was definitely different from teaching kinder. I will really miss kinder. My attitude may change, but I would like to go back down to kinder. Even though I'm not as stressed out, I feel like I can relate better to the young ones. But, like I said, I may change my mind once things settle down. I may come to LOVE this age group. I'm still getting used to the attitudes. They're not bad, but it's different. At least some still like to hug and they all still try to please the teacher. I just miss sitting on the carpet and singing and dancing. Sniff....
     
  15. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Aug 19, 2007

    My 5th graders sat on the carpet a lot. We sang some, too. I hope they grow on you.
     
  16. 4myclass

    4myclass Cohort

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    Aug 22, 2007

    I have been doing some crying myself:| . I really miss fingerpainting, singing silly songs, and planning themes. I don't get to do anything like that in 5th. My principal told me today, "This is a testing year. There is no down time, you can not let up on them. Just keep drilling them". We don't get to celebrate holidays or birthdays and we can't play games when all our work is done.
    I remember having fun times in 5th, don't you? Yes, we had to work hard, but I know we had some good times too. Oh, well, only 177 days until summer break:eek:hmy: .
     
  17. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Aug 23, 2007

    You can incorporate games as part of your learning and review. I play Bingo, Vocabulary Concentration, Jeopardy, Salute, etc. The upper elem kids want to have fun, too!

    I celebrate some holidays through Lang Arts - hey, we're reading and writing!
     
  18. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Aug 23, 2007

    I always used quite a bit of singing in 5th grade, too. We sang the presidents, state capitals, some holiday songs, etc. And we definitely did fun projects and crafts for holidays.
     
  19. 4myclass

    4myclass Cohort

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    Aug 23, 2007

    My principal wants none of that. She didn't particularly like all the "singing and playing" we did in Pre-K. I have planned some fun things for the year, like a postcard exchange and some fun genre projects that I found on- http://www.redmond.k12.or.us/mccall/renz/2006-2007/bookprojects0607.htm.
    I think that I will just have to work a lot harder to make our learning experiences more enjoyable. I will still miss my fingerpaint though.
     

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