New Male 5th gradeTeacher

Discussion in 'Fifth Grade' started by ryjenn, May 4, 2011.

  1. ryjenn

    ryjenn New Member

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    May 4, 2011

    Hello,
    I will be starting my first year teachig in August. I am male an I will have a 5th grade class. I know it is silly but I am having a hard time trying to decide how I should "decorate" my room. Having 5th grade I want it to look good but also appropriate for the age of my students.

    Also does anyone have any tips for the first day??
     
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  3. Kat53

    Kat53 Devotee

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    May 4, 2011

    Congrats on the new job! As for decorating, I would start with bulletin boards. I really like the look of black paper with a colorful border. Don't worry so much about having stuff up at the beginning of the year. You will fill bulletin boards with student work as the year goes on. Also, don't feel like you need to buy all those resource posters to fill wall space. You can add those as you are working on concepts throughout the year. (that's the piece of advice I wish someone would have told me my first year. I bought all those stupid posters and didn't use them.)
     
  4. ryjenn

    ryjenn New Member

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    May 4, 2011

    Thanks!
    I appreciate the tips.
     
  5. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    May 4, 2011

    Think of a theme. There are plenty of male-friendly themes that also work well with female students-car racing, Hollywood, space, animals. A friend of mine did pizza as a theme this year-all of her bulletin board backgrounds are those red and white checkered table cloths, which I though was ingenious.
     
  6. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    May 4, 2011

    You may want to invest in a bulk package of plain folders or chart paper. Then, instead of buying all the pre-made posters, you and your kids can make them as you go along. (The steps of a multiplication problem, the scientific method, etc.) There is a lot of power in posters they have a hand in creating. If you aren't comfortable with doing a theme, just think bright and cheerful. Simple curtains for the windows, etc. Also, don't forget to hang your certificate and degree. I started doing that when I started teaching. My master teacher made me promise to. You never walk into another professional's office without seeing it, we are professionals, too. Besides, my kids love looking at them! lol
     
  7. Kat53

    Kat53 Devotee

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    May 4, 2011

    Exactly!
     
  8. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    May 4, 2011

    Welcome to the boards. I agree that you should try to figure out a theme, but also don't feel that all the decorating has to be done by the first day. Slowly but surely it all eventually gets up. If your school is like ours, there are so many meetings the week before school starts, getting things completely decorated is not very realistic.
     
  9. ami6880

    ami6880 Companion

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    May 4, 2011

    I teach 5th grade and astronomy is a big part of our science curriculum so I have a space theme, which is fun. Maybe see if there is something fun that they study and develop a theme.
     
  10. husker_blitz

    husker_blitz Companion

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    May 4, 2011

    You sound a lot like me when I first started. :haha:

    I had some posters I threw on the walls and also did what has been suggested and had the kids help with decorating the room. Eventually as I acquired more permanent items I moved away from as much student-designed stuff.

    And congrats on the new job!
     
  11. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    May 4, 2011

    I do colors instead of themes. I have a red, black, and white classroom. I also don't put tons of things that are bought up on the wall. The wall space is not for decorating. It's for use. But who says "use" has to be bland? Just keep that mantra in mind.

    I do have one wall which I consider "busy". It's a "math wall". I'll start off the year with hot gluing a blank Venn diagram up there, a blank laminated chart tablet piece of paper titled "Vocabulary", a large poster of the standards for the first unit, hand-made posters on the steps to doing word problems, and an "I Can" board (blank at the beginning of the unit) which are statements in student language about what they can do as they learn. ("I can find the common denominator by ......") Finally, I might put up a few colorful posters that I have collected through the years from Mailbox magazine about a concept in the unit. I wouldn't go out and buy them.

    That's my most hodgepodge wall. But I use those things. The vocabulary poster is a work in progress. Usually some girls decide to decorate the bottom of it with Vis-a-vis markers during the year. They go with holiday themes. It's cute. The Venn diagram is a great way to prod them into thinking deeply about math processes.

    I also teach writing and grammar. I put the standard up (be sure to make the writing large so kids can see it), and then again a couple of blank laminated posters. These are for use during an introductory lesson. Maybe a list of strong verbs will be developed. Or examples of terrific sentences... etc. Point is, it's useful in teaching.

    My only bulletin board has writing prompts.

    I also have samples of "good" writing up.

    I have a teacher-made poster for students to record the stories that they've written and a "Portfolios" sign above the bookshelf where the writing files are kept.

    What ties them all together is the red and black borders.

    Don't go out and buy a bunch of things. Learn to use the poster-making program on your computer.

    Invest in black cloth for the bulletin board, a color trim that you want to use (I prefer to keep it a simple color, but you might like those patterned ones.) Get fadeless bulletin board paper and cut up some boxes so that you have a flat surface. Cover those flat surfaces with the bb paper, and then attach the teacher-made poster on top of it, making sure you now have a border around the poster. Attach the covered cardboard posters to the wall, and "ta-da!" Instant homemade display.

    Have fun!

    Oh, I forgot. Since we're the "Wildcats", I did put some random pawprint tracks in black and red going up and across some displays...like wildcats had run across the wall and left their pawprints.
     
  12. ryjenn

    ryjenn New Member

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    May 5, 2011

    Thanks for all the tips! It's nice to know I dont necessarily need to go out and buy a ton of stuff.
     
  13. Rainbowbird

    Rainbowbird Groupie

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    May 7, 2011

    wallpaper

    Hi,

    I am not a 5th grade teacher yet, but I have taught 2nd and third. Something that works for any grade is wallpaper and borders. Sometimes you can get them really cheaply at dollar stores or WalMart. They really add a nice homey touch to the room. There are bound to be colors that suit a male teacher. My husband found some forest-green borders that he uses for his. The bonus is that they do not fade!
     
  14. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    May 8, 2011

    Google images can be your best friend too.
     
  15. AsherDasher

    AsherDasher Companion

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    May 9, 2011

    Oh my goodness, this is a great thread. I recently got hired as a 5th grade teacher as well, and even though this topic could work for multiple grade levels, it is great to hear all of the suggestions geared more towards 5th grade. Thanks for posting this!
     
  16. Mr. Fifth

    Mr. Fifth Rookie

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    May 17, 2011

    Congrats on the new position. As a fellow male, I understand. I have done a sports theme for years. The kids love it, and it is pretty simple and cheap to do. I seem to add one or two new things each year. Start with your local high school team and add nearby colleges and the professional teams in your area. Not only do the kids love the theme, it helps to add to a teamwork theme. If you would like some specifics please send me a private message and I will reply. Again congrats!!
     
  17. round stanley

    round stanley Companion

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    May 18, 2011

    Let the kids decide

    Store bought stuff is garbage and the kids ignore it. Save your money. Let your students decide what theme (if any) they want. If there is major debate you might want to divide the board. You do need space for word lists, etc. but don't make it too permanent. There is nothing an admin likes less than August papers and ideas up in Oct.
     
  18. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    May 30, 2011

    I'm a male 5th grade teacher too. In general the students love a room decorated with them in it. Take lots of pictures of students and find ways to make bulletin boards with them in it. Believe it or not, they also still like to have their work hung up--but never if there is a bad grade associated with it. I don't place a grade on any work that I hang up with 5th grade. They need to see the class is about also about them, and not just about the teacher. Otherwise, they are turned off. Also, make sure you use lots of color and show that your class is an exciting place.
     
  19. AsherDasher

    AsherDasher Companion

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    May 31, 2011

    Great tips!
     
  20. heartofateacher

    heartofateacher Companion

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    Jul 26, 2011

    I totally agree. I buy very few posters. The charts, etc that are made during the year will quickly cover any wall space.
     
  21. The Fonz

    The Fonz Math teacher (for now...)

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    Jul 26, 2011

    my 5th grade teacher was male...he was the first male teacher i had other than gym class.

    he was actually one of my inspirations for going into the field...i forgot how he decorated the room, but i want to say it was the standard teacher theme, nothing fancy.
     
  22. DaleJr88AmpFan

    DaleJr88AmpFan Cohort

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    Aug 3, 2011

    Sports
    Race Cars
    Color
    Animal

    Any "theme" works... don't overdo it and don't under-do it. :)
     

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