New 6th Grade Teacher

Discussion in 'Sixth Grade' started by Wallacegirl, Mar 2, 2008.

  1. Wallacegirl

    Wallacegirl Rookie

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    Mar 2, 2008

    I was just recently hired for a 6th grade position for next year. I am so excited. Does anybody have any good classroom theme ideas?
     
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  3. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Mar 2, 2008

    First off, congrats! I'm hoping for upper elementary/middle school position for next year as well. Is the 6th grade in the middle school? If its the first year in a new building for the students you could have a New Beginnings theme.
     
  4. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    :welcome:
     
  5. Wallacegirl

    Wallacegirl Rookie

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    Mar 2, 2008

    It's an upper elementary building 4-6th grade students. I don't see a lot of the teachers decorating though. I'm excited though and I can't wait to have my own classroom. I want it to be the best.
     
  6. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    My cooperating teacher during student teaching told me to not worry about decorating - or even putting student work on the bulletin boards. She said they didn't notice. I completely disagree and work to make the room inviting and a place to display their excellent work! I'm telling you this just in case someone tells you sixth graders are too old for that sort of thing.

    I don't have a theme though...sorry. :)
     
  7. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    Mar 2, 2008

    You are incredibly lucky to be hired so far in advance of the 2008-2009 school year. You have the luxury of planning for the next six months. I would highly recommend that you do as much planning as you can. It will make your first year so much easier. Think about and plan your discpline plan, classroom arrangement, lessons, class rules, BB, and anything else you can think of.

    Congrats on the job :)
     
  8. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    I definitely think you should make your room warm and inviting for the students. If the other teachers aren't decorating, then I would suggest at least decorating the inside of your room with a theme if you want.

    I would love to know now that I have a job for next year!
     
  9. MrsLilHen

    MrsLilHen Comrade

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    Mar 2, 2008

    my kids love the bright colors and inviting spaces. I don't have a theme really, I just have colors and big letters spelling out subjects and a reading canopy. I love sixth grade!! Congrats on the far in advance job!!
     
  10. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Even if students didn't notice (and they do), admin and parents will notice that you took the time to make your room warm and inviting.
     
  11. katrinkakat

    katrinkakat Connoisseur

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    Mar 3, 2008

    Hi, I'm a Kindergarten teacher who has tentatively been assigned to 6th grade next year. It is not final, but I am wondering, how do you all like 6th? It will be quite a jump for me. Let's see, they are 11 and 12 year olds, right? I am at a K-6 elementary campus. Thanks,
     
  12. MrsLilHen

    MrsLilHen Comrade

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    Mar 3, 2008

    I taught 2nd grade first, and then moved to 6th (well, moved back to 6th - I had done my student teaching in 6th..) and I LOVE sixth grade. Sometimes I miss my little primary kids... but there is something wonderful about 6th graders. I think the biggest adjustment is to make sure to let them do what they can do themselves, themselves... They may be extra cautious about being "babied" especially if they know you were a K teacher. . . I know my first sixth grade class was. But, don't forget the great things you know about kids from teaching K -- I'm thinking: Making learning fun, integrating art into the curriculum, giving kids the time they need to do their work well and learn... 6th graders are still kids -- I love that they get my jokes, and I can have a certain level of sarcasm in the classroom. Good luck!
     
  13. katrinkakat

    katrinkakat Connoisseur

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    Mar 4, 2008

    Thanks, I loved your reply!
     
  14. appleaday

    appleaday Rookie

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    May 13, 2008

    Hi! I teach 8th grade science and the students still love to see their work on the board! It shows them how we believe in them and are willing to invest in them. Also, I agree with CutNGlue that administration is definately keeping an eye out for this type of display. Parents don't come to my classroom as often, and don't tend to look at the walls as much as question their little Suzzie Q's grades, but administrators go straight to it.
    btw, I may also end up in 6th grade next year. I'm looking forward to it.
     
  15. Dynamite Boys

    Dynamite Boys Companion

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    May 20, 2008

    I'm just finishing my first year of teaching - and at the 6th grade level. I teach in the Middle School, so that's a little different, but I'll admit - students love to see some of their work displayed! I teach math so each time we did a fun project, I'd hang them up! They loved it . . . especially the projects that went into the hall!

    As far as themes - I actually loved how my classroom turned out. I have one corner of the room all decked out in Boston Red Sox stuff. This has been great - it creates all sorts of converstions with the kids! I've got kids who have never watched a baseball game following the stats and letting me know what they've discovered the next day! (Could a math teacher ask for anything more than students wanting to look at statistics?!?!?) The other theme I have that the students love is M and M's. I bought some really neat postcards, desk decorations, stickers, etc through MandM World in Las Vegas when we went on vacation last summer. The kids have more than added to my collection as the year went on! It was a ton of fun . . . so, I have two "themes" in my room, but with the kids I have, both have worked!

    Good luck - 6th graders are fantastic! I've loved my year, learned a ton and look forward to next year!!!!!!
     
  16. katrinkakat

    katrinkakat Connoisseur

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    May 21, 2008

    After hearing only negative things about 6th graders at my school as I tell them I will be teaching 6th, I LOVE hearing from people who are positive, enjoy their job and love 6th graders. I really need and appreciate that. Thanks!!:)
     
  17. LiveNLearn

    LiveNLearn Comrade

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    May 26, 2008

    Themes

    I don't really have a theme for the whole room, but another teacher has the room decked out in frogs. It makes the room really inviting and cute.
    I just have a space with construction paper (9x12) for each student. When we have a finished product, each kid has a space on the wall for their work. We recently did tessellations for Open House, so the kids did several and chose their best for the wall. We also have an art wall with our most recent element of art project.

    Congrats on the job. Some people will give you this look of pity (including teachers) when you tell them you are teaching sixth, but just ignore them! :up:
     
  18. cheeryteacher

    cheeryteacher Enthusiast

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    May 26, 2008

    I taught 2nd and 3rd grades before moving to 6th grade. I love 6th grade. They get attitudes, but you can pretty much deal with their attitudes the same way you would deal with 2nd graders who display negative behavior. They need constant reinforcement and modeling on procedures. In fact I thought my class was a bit talkative and fixed it by going back to day one and focusing on procedures.
    I loved my primary kids, but love getting to know the big kids more. They aren't nearly as lovey dovey to the teachers as primary kids, but the things they talk about will crack you up. They need guidance just as much as primary kids. To me they need it more because their bodies are changing and they are starting to feel pressure from other kids that they have never had to deal with before. Don't be afraid to pull someone aside and have a heart to heart about anything. Like any kid, if you love them and respect them, they'll follow you anywhere!
     
  19. andrea71981

    andrea71981 New Member

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    Hello! I am a 6th grade English teacher. Congratulations on your new job! In middle school, teachers usually do not worry about overall classroom "themes." However, the kids LOVE a decorated room! Stick with a "Welcome" theme for the beginning of the year, and once the year gets rolling you can decorate the room with the work from your students. I have Christmas lights (paito lanterns) around my bulletin board and bookcases, and they LOVE that!

    Katrinkakat ~ You will absolutely LOVE 6th grade, and I am not just saying that. I am so in love with this age group. You can joke around with them, and you can have some really engaging conversations since they are older. They still love to "please" their teacher, and they are developing a sense of independence.
     
  20. StillTeaching

    StillTeaching Rookie

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    CONGRATS! I've taught sixth grade 30 years out of my 36 years of teaching...and I'm still excited about next year! Each year is a fresh start!

    Don't forget to leave some bulletin board space for students to display their work. I like to let each student choose a piece of work to put up every Friday––that way they take greater effort in their work. You might also want a current events space, especially in an election year.

    I like to use key words in our class themes at this age: journey, choices, together, etc. Give the students a week to think about a theme using one of these key words. Try a suggestion box, vote, or have a class meeting to establish your theme.

    One bulletin board I use every year is a GUESS WHO board. The first week of school, I have students type out a list of their favorite things. Each student's typed response is stapled on top of his/her photo. Students enjoy reading the "favorites" and trying to guess who loves horses, takes gymnastics, etc. Then they flip up the typed "favorites" to see the student's photo. Great for Open House, also.
     
  21. CC_GT

    CC_GT New Member

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    Jun 11, 2008

    Welcome

    I am a new 6th grade teacher. My advice:

    (1) Work on classroom management the first day

    (2) Read a book about how 11 year act? Once I understood 11 year olds constantly talk because they wanted to socialize and weren't doing it out of spite I learned to incorporate lesson plans that ask them to socalize.

    (3) Wait for everyone to stop talking and listen before you begin.

    (4) Talk in a low tone!... Changed my year once I realized I was talking too loud. The softer I talked, the quieter they became.
     
  22. NUMB3RSFAN

    NUMB3RSFAN Rookie

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    Jun 12, 2008

    New Teacher too...

    I am also a new 6th grade teacher and I wanted to seek some advice.
    This is my first teaching job and I want to prepare as much as I can for next year. I already have keys to my new room and my summer is booked with conferences and summer school beginning in July. I was wondering if it is too early for me to go into my room and start going through everything that the former teacher left in there? If I wait until after summer school, that will give me only 1 week before school starts to get everything set up. I was hoping to get a bunch of work done now and then just finish the decorating and "first day" set up at the beginning of August.

    As for the original post regarding 6th graders....I love them! I did my student teaching with 8th graders last fall and then substituted in the same district for the remainder of the year. I found that I love the middle grades! They have so many new ideas and questions!
     
  23. StillTeaching

    StillTeaching Rookie

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    Jun 15, 2008

    Congratulations! Good plan. If you have the keys, it's your room. And it's never too early to get started! You might check with the custodians to see if they have a LARGE trash can in case there's a lot to throw. Have fun!
     
  24. WorldTraveler

    WorldTraveler Rookie

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    Jun 21, 2008

    Theme

    Congratulations...I teach 6th grade now...this year was my first year. I had a hollywood theme in my room. It was cute. The students liked it. Basically, my room was red, black, and silver. The BB had titles like...Award Winning Work, Bonus Clips (bonus work), Now Starring Room 312 etc. Good Luck
     
  25. Mandyb180

    Mandyb180 New Member

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    Students definitely notice when you put in the time and effort to create a positive learning space for them. A reading corner is always a great idea to keep your students motivated and excited to read. I use mine as an incentive for good behavior. It doesn't have to be fancy...a few chairs or bean bags are better than sitting at their desks!

    Make sure you check with your principal on their furniture policy within the classroom. Some are a little touchy with what they allow you to put in there.
     
  26. Coolvp4

    Coolvp4 Rookie

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    i was wondering what kind of questions they asked you?

    :)
     
  27. RRBoudin

    RRBoudin Rookie

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    Jul 26, 2010

    I'm teaching 6th in an elementary school this fall and I'm doing an owl/star theme. I wanted to incorporate the stars since we'll be studying the moon and constellations in science, and the owls were just because I love them! I figured owls are usually associated with night and so are stars, so voila!

    Carson-Dellosa has come out with some new owl bulletin boards this summer, which are quite cute, but I can't really afford any right now since the first paycheck is still a month away. I planned on decorating my door with the heading "Who's WHOOOO in Ms. B's Class?" and having each student's name written on a die cut owl.

    My classroom library/reading area will have a tree I make myself with an owl on a limb stating "Reading is a Hoot!" As you can see, lol, there's plenty of ways to incorporate owl-speak into your headings and titles.
     

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