new teacher (5th grade)

Discussion in 'General Education Archives' started by kidsIam, Jul 9, 2005.

  1. kidsIam

    kidsIam Rookie

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    Jul 9, 2005

    Hi, I am a new teacher and in September, I will be starting in a 5th grade class. Are there any other 5th grade teachers or previous 5th grade teachers who can give me some advice or pointers?
     
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  3. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Jul 9, 2005

    Sure, I would love to chat about 5th grade. Welcome!
     
  4. Iheartteaching

    Iheartteaching Rookie

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    Jul 18, 2005

    I am a new 5th grade teacher too. I would love some help! Anything!
     
  5. Dee452

    Dee452 Comrade

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    Jul 18, 2005

    I am new to teaching 4th, 5th, and 6th Resource. I taught at 5th grade level for a semester two years ago and would love to read any advice that you have. So much has changed.
     
  6. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Jul 18, 2005

    How great to have lots of new 5th grade teachers. I have been teaching 5th for 4 years, this will be my fifth year. I love the grade. They are still young children, not preteens yet. I read aloud daily and have hooked in some reticent readers that way. They need plenty of support in anticipation of entering middle school, but they need to be encouraged to be independent, too.

    Please post any particular questions you might have.
     
  7. LionPride

    LionPride Companion

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    Jul 18, 2005

    I agree with Upsadaisy that students at this age still need to be read to on a daily basis. This way I was able to get more reluctant readers to read more. I also model how to read when it was time to read independently. I read a book and share with them what I read about.
    I just finished my third year in fifth grade an absolutely love it. I am able to do so much with them and let them be independent at the same time. I do a lot of small groups in my classroom so that I am able to help those that need it more.
    I still use some type of behavior management chart. The students I teach really need to see where they are on a daily basis. This helps some of them really control their behavior.
    Good Luck this year!
     
  8. kidsIam

    kidsIam Rookie

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    Jul 19, 2005

    This is a great way to exchange ideas and learn from the more experienced teachers. I was wondering if anyone has suggestions on organizing the classroom library. I got some great buys on ebay and from some other bargain stores. What are some of the good books this grade group likes?
    I would love to hear any advice on starting the school year. Should we still have a word wall in 5th grade?
    What can we expect from 5th graders? It is a hard age, because you do not want to treat them to babyish.

    Upsaidasy, I like many of your idea, especially how you teach spelling. I will definitely try that method in my class. Lionpride, reading to students is one of my favorite things to do, so I am glad to hear that they enjoy that.

    I look forward to read more advice and I am very excited about starting.
    One more thing…, how do you stay motivated?
     
  9. LionPride

    LionPride Companion

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    Jul 19, 2005

    Fifth Grade

    As for the library, if the students have a chance to organize it some way, they will take "ownership" of the library. If they have ownership of it they are more likely to use it. I usually have topics such as: fiction, biographies, science, mysteries, social studies, holidays, fantasy, book series (Boxcar Children, Magic Tree House, etc)

    I always greet each child at the door in the morning with a "Good Morning, How are you?" When they leave, "Have a Great Afternoon, see you tomorrow!"

    I hope these suggestions help!
     
  10. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Jul 19, 2005

    Word Wall is optional, I guess. I haven't done it in the past (space) but plan to use one this year.

    Library - mine is organized like a regular library. Fiction is arranged by author, non-fiction by subject, biographies alphabetically. I separate out historical fiction and fantasy/mystery. They get better about filing in the right spot as the year goes on though some never get the patience. When they browse through a book they pull down the book next to it as a place marker. When I get new books I try to announce it during morning meeting and go over the titles with them, maybe reading a blurb from the back.

    I have small classes. Still, time is an issue. There is no way not to be motivated!! They grow on you easily, you feel protective in a way, always hopeful to reach the struggling ones, sympathizing with others, sometimes getting frustrated. Speak to them as though they are very mature - and know that they aren't!!
     
  11. HrnDebbE

    HrnDebbE Rookie

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    Aug 8, 2005

    I too will be entering my first year in fifth grade and appreciate all that you have to share and will probably be asking question after question :rolleyes:

    My daughter just completed the fifth grade and shared with me that they really enjoyed when their teacher would read to them. She read through the Chronicles of Narnia while they finished up any work or just rested their heads after recess. They had a class library and it encouraged more independant reading.

    This age is special because they are itching to stretch their wings and grow, yet at the same time crave your attention, even seeing you being silly :p
     
  12. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I am so looking forward to my class of grade 5's this year after teaching combined classes (4/5 and 5/6) for the past 3 years. This is my "perfect" grade (if there is such a thing). I used a word wall with my 5/6's last year, but found that they didn't use it much. This year, they will have personal dictionaries to help with their spelling. I do plan to continue (and expand) on my math word wall--this was used all the time when writing math journals and tests.
    I arranged my class library by genre (adventure, mystery, non-fiction, animal stories, "Mrs. Cadel recommends) and by series (Series of Unfortunate Events, Harry Potter, etc). I included lots of magazines and the newspaper in my classroom library--even reluctant readers can find something to captivate them!
    Students this age are starting to spread their wings, but they still want to please you; they are like little sponges soaking up everything you throw at them; you will also find that some have a "wicked" sense of humour--my favourite part!
    Have fun!
     
  13. teacher62604

    teacher62604 Companion

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    Aug 8, 2005

    I'm a 3rd grade teacher, so I can't give you any pointers, but I just wanted to say good luck on your first year! :D

    [​IMG]
     
  14. bonteach

    bonteach Companion

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    My library actually is not organized at all its a giant jumble of books. I've tried over the years to categorize and lable books, but I can never keep up with the flow of new books. Now I have library cards and pockets in each book . Students sign out the book and leave the card in a file box on top of the library. When they bring it back they put the card back in and put the book back onthe shelf. about once a month I read through the file box aloud. I helps me know what the students are reading and if anyone has more than 2 books out they are encoureged to bring them back. At the end of the year students know that each lost book costs them $5. Meanwhile as we get new books (ususally from book orders) I read the backs aloud and have the students fill out the information on the library card. They actually fight over this job, because who ever has their hands on it can check it out first!:) By the way, I also read the book order forms outloud with them to try to gage what books have already interested them. anyone who has already read a book is encouraged to share. Also I try to read as many books as I can so I can tell them what I like!:)
     
  15. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I put up a small pocket chart with a space for each child. Before they can check out a book they must list it on a card. They will check it off when returned.
     
  16. TeacherRW

    TeacherRW Cohort

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    Aug 9, 2005

    Re: 5th Graders

    Welcome to the world of 5th Graders!! This will be my 8th year teaching 5th grade... and I LOVE IT!!! They are the perfect age... independent but still need you, fun-loving and ready to work hard..... can you tell I love this age?!?

    The first thing that I would suggest that you do especially as a first year teacher is to read Harry Wong's The First Days of School. It is an awesome book!! Then, start establishing your procedures and expecations. Children crave routine and Wong's book gives you wonderful advice. There is a great attention getter in there... GIVE ME FIVE! which works wonderfully. He also goes through starting the first days of the school year... very valuable to get started on the first day.

    As far as your room and such...
    ~Behavior Management... I have a chart that I use. It is on a clipboard for only my eyes to see. (I never post names on the board because of FERPA rules.) The chart has each child's name going down the column on the left and the days of the week along the top. When a student does not follow an expectation or procedure, I mark it down. There are three main categories... behavior (B), organization (O) and homework (H). I place a checkmark in the correct column for any problems. In the 'v' of the checkmark, I put the letter of the problem (B, O, or H) and below the check the "incident". Perhaps it was math homework not complete... there's a H above the check and below it I write 'math'. On a weekly basis, I send home results of the problem areas. I have really steered away from giving treats and bribing kids for behavior. I just set up my expectations and most rise to the occasion.

    ~Classroom Library... Our district is really going towards Balanced Literacy. So, I have labelled all of my books by not only genre but by reading level. Using the Fountas and Pinnell book, Guiding Readers and Writers, I labelled all of my books. I have also included a Lexile score inside the front cover for those books that are not included in the F&P guides. (One of our assessment pieces produces a Lexile range for our kids.)

    ~Word Walls... I have never used them for an extended period of time. For a specific subject, I post the pertinent vocabulary but students are to write it down in their notebook for future reference. In the past, we have also used personal spelling dictionaries. (Photocopied little books with the high frequency words alphabetized and space to write additional words.) I found that most kids will not use that resource unless they need to have a word spelled for them. I would never recite the spelling aloud but rather request that they bring their personal dictionary to me & I would write it in for them. I don't think it has been valuable for my students so this year, I am saving on the copy paper. I am having them design their own book with notebook paper and then they can start copying/keeping words for themselves.

    ~Classroom Rules... I have 5 rules. 1)Be prepared for school. 2)Be respectful of those around you. 3)Raise your hand. No blurting. 4)Do not talk when someone else is talking. 5) "Four on the Floor!" (This refers to the four legs of the chairs being in contact with the floor at all times. I do NOT want anyone tipping their chairs over and risking injury.)

    Any other questions??? Blast away. There is plenty of knowledge and experience on these boards to help you out. :p Good luck!!

    ~*Robin*~
     
  17. SimplySue

    SimplySue Rookie

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    Aug 9, 2005

    Hello,

    I have taught 5th grade for 16 years. It is a wonderful age. They can do so much. They are sponges awaiting their learning journey. We are departmentalized in my school. I teach only science, yet I do have a homeroom. My library is organized by science topic. The other books(other than science) are also organized by genre.

    The other 5th grade teachers have given you great tips. Remember that your 5th graders can take much more ownership of their learning than other grades. They could take your books and organize them. It would be "their new library".

    We have class meetings every morning. We do different activities to get to know each other at first. Then they use this time to find solutions to problems or to just talk about topics of interest. The students run our website by listing the homework and upcoming events. I do read to them every day whenever there are a few minutes of downtime. They do love this.

    I also teach the best subject to captivate and motivate them. They love learning by doing with a hands-on approach. We do most of our projects in school. They help each other and often work as a team. They learn what teamwork is all about.

    The main way I stay motivated each year is to find a new spark for me. Last year while teaching space we built a space station and called it the "Interclass Space Station". It was interactive and built by all 5 classes working together. We had teleconferences with NASA where the students shared their projects and ideas. It was awesome. :eek: :wow: It will be even better this year.

    Find your spark! Enjoy! Teach! Have an awesome year! :angel:

    Sue
     
  18. Dee452

    Dee452 Comrade

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    Aug 11, 2005

    Welcome :)
     
  19. Rainey

    Rainey Rookie

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    Aug 11, 2005

    You hit it right on the head! "The best way to stay motivated is to find a new spark for me!" You must be a fantastic teacher. If you are strongly motivated, I can just imagine your impact on your students. :)
     
  20. 5thgraderocks

    5thgraderocks Companion

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    Aug 12, 2005

    Welcome to the wonderful world of 5th Graders! I am beginning my 20th year teaching 5th Grade in the same building. Hey ... the grass isn't always greener on the other side! I LOVE my job and still get nervous and excited as the 1st day approaches! I will be happoy to share ideas with you! The book by Harry Wong, The First Days of School, is mentioned in one of the responses! I think it's a "MUST" for every teacher and "NO" Mr. Wong is not my long lost uncle!! Let me know if I can help! Have fun!
     
  21. 5thgraderocks

    5thgraderocks Companion

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    Aug 12, 2005

    I Love Your Signature

    I love your signature!! Pink & a butterfly, too!! Both my favorites! How did you so that? Can you use it on your everyday email? :thanks: :)

     
  22. PelhamPower

    PelhamPower Rookie

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    Aug 22, 2005

    I teach 4th grade, but I think a great read aloud is There's A Boy In The Girl's Bathroom by Louis Sachar. It is great for character analysis and keeps older kids very interested.
     
  23. MrHansen

    MrHansen New Member

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    Aug 23, 2005

    Well, I guess I can safely throw my hat in here as well, starting with a 5th grade (and a first year as a full-time classroom educator)...yikes, next week! I'm hoping I've got everything covered at this point -- materials, welcome letters for parents and students, class library, empty-and-eager bulletin boards, and all the other in-betweens I've been spending the last two weeks in the classroom preparing for. Stress? Me?!

    I don't plan on doing much actual content-based instruction for the first few days...between Wong's suggestions, and those in The First Six Weeks of School, I know that establishing a cooperative and trusting classroom community is critical, as well as establishing myself as a "firm but fun" figure in that community. I do wonder, though, whether there are certain start-of-year activities for the fifth grade age that have proven best to establish comraderie, develop tolerance (or better yet, acceptance) of diversity, and really take the group one step closer to a family-like cohesion. Sure, dynamic grouping and "get to know your neighbor" activities are great, but aren't there some alternatives? I'd love to have some input from this extremely vocal (in a good way) set of intermediate elementary teachers!
     
  24. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Aug 23, 2005

    Glad you are here, MrHansen. Stress? What stress? Teaching is easier than preparing for the year.

    Check out the tips section of AtoZ for lots of fun things to do the first week. Also, use the search feature of the discussion boards and put in keywords first week and you will see lots of threads about it.

    I give a test about me, back to school Mad Libs, scavenger hunt (I posted it on another thread), students interview each other ....... lots more.
     

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