That Fifth Grade Attitude!

Discussion in 'Fifth Grade' started by shouldbeasleep, Aug 21, 2009.

  1. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    Aug 21, 2009

    Why am I highly amused at that fifth grade attitude?

    Today, a student in another fifth grade class was in line waiting to go out to recess. His teacher saw him and said, "D...., I don't believe you did your homework. Report to study hall." And he turns away in disgust and says, "Ahhh, man....!"

    It makes me laugh.

    I had a student who wouldn't stop tilting back in his chair. I explained why I didn't want him to do it, and he kept on. I told him if he did it one more time, he could put his chair in the hall and stand the rest of the period. Of course he was standing within five minutes. Kept leaning down to rest his body on the desk, and I kept telling him to stand up straight. He thought it was a hilarious game for about ten minutes.

    However, I'm the one who found it to be pretty funny. He was trying so hard to outlast me, a veteran teacher of 23 years.

    Two students stayed after school today until 4:30 working on things they hadn't done during the first two weeks of school. Did they really think we were just going to say, "Oh, well...."? They had such miserable looks on their faces when the buses pulled away.

    The new fifth grade teacher across the hall has got it down pat. Her favorite expression is "You must be out of your mind."

    I do love teaching these pre-adolescents.
     
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  3. Lionteacher

    Lionteacher Companion

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    Aug 21, 2009

    I love this age, its great when they get your jokes. The just say the cutest things. I love that in fifth grade many still don't have a filter and just say what they are thinking.

    My class this year isn't very lively yet they all seem to scared since I am at a new school this year and they don't know me at all.

    I did have a kid tell me that every year the kindergartners just keep getting smaller and smaller. They didn't acknowledge that they were growing.
     
  4. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

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    Aug 21, 2009

    I love my 5th graders too because they do what we ask, for the most part, and still want to please their teachers. They aren't too tainted yet!

    However, our state law prohibits making a child to stand during class. Our principal forbids us to take away recess=physical activity as a consequence, and city law prohibits keeping students from boarding their buses on time.

    I'm always amazed at how different areas are prohibited from doing things and others aren't. I found out about the no standing law when I asked a child to stand because he was being disruptive. Another teacher happened to be in my room and later gave me the heads up. I was glad she did because I could have been dismissed.
     
  5. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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    Aug 22, 2009

    shouldbeasleep,
    I use the line your co-worker uses-"you must have lost your mind"
    My kids flip out because I know what they are doing when they think I don't know. I always tell them it is the mom in me...so I have become their "school mom".
    I love when they get my jokes, and of course, love it when they tell me their corny jokes. I think the funniest thing I do when teaching is "mimic" their attitude-overly dramatic of course-and they lose it! It is so funny to see a 46 year old woman trying to roll my eyes and "talk to the hand"!!!!
     
  6. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    Aug 22, 2009

    That's it, of course. They are still young enough to think it's pretty funny when you mimic them.

    It is odd to find the different rules that are enforced around the country. The "don't take away recess" rule was in effect for a couple of years in our school until meeting AYP became such an issue. Now it's "do whatever works" to get them to pass.

    The staying after school is allowed only after we've contacted the parent and the parent is so annoyed at their kid for not working and because they've been getting a few calls about it already and are tired of hearing about it that they say, "Yes. Keep his a$$ after school and we'll see if that works."

    And as for standing, it hasn't happened much through out the years. This particular child seems to be pretty defiant. I'm glad I was able to make my point about who was in charge of the classroom in such a "visually appealing" manner. As I said to the child, "Remember when we discussed the rule on the first day of school? You respect me; I'll respect you. All it takes is an apology to start fresh."

    I really do love fifth graders. They want to be independent, and they can get that attitude, but most of them recognize that they are acting silly.
     
  7. Matt633

    Matt633 Comrade

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    Aug 22, 2009

    I have a chronic tilter also; after reading this I am going to try to have him turn his seat around. If he leans back....he'll fall off the chair. We'll see if that works?!?
     
  8. harbodin

    harbodin Companion

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    Sep 5, 2009

    I love them because they get my slight sarcasm. I am never rude to the students, but try to keep them in check without making myself crazy. For example, when the students do that loud SIGH because they are annoyed, I ask them if they are breathing ok and that they could go visit the nurse. That stopped her in her tracks! Another student said "I'm bored, I don't want to read this". I told her that was ok, she needed to go tell the principal though (I was very nonchalant). Then she changed her mind quickly!

    I also have made children stand who cannot sit in their sits (in both kindergarten and fifth). In my opinion, it is more dangerous to sit in a chair and lean back then to be standing!
     
  9. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    Sep 5, 2009

    My co-worker, who is in her second year of teaching and first year with 5th graders, made the mistake of asking a child who had whipped out a book to read during math..."I'm sorry. Am I boring you?"

    You know what he said.
     
  10. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    Sep 6, 2009

    What's hilarious about my grade level, 4th grade, is that they are at a crossroads between third grade (which is more tattle-y, whiny, and just... different in general) to your grade, which is more "Yo, I'm ready for middle school, I'm grown up now, I'm a mini-adult, I can try to see if I can get what I want, etc." Little delegators and future lawyers. Fourth graders start showing this attitude more in the second half of the year, of course, and at times, it is hilarious to watch.

    Awww to the "Am I boring you?" statement. Of course I know the response the child would give in that situation if you set it up for yourself.
     
  11. Go 4th

    Go 4th Habitué

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    Sep 12, 2009

    Spelling sentence to use the word obviously......"Obviously, I wish Mrs. ---- would just let us do whatever we'd like." I couldn't help but laugh!
     
  12. living4God

    living4God New Member

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    Oct 26, 2009

    What am I thinking???

    I am a college student studying Mid level math and science. When I observed in Education Profession last semester, 5th and 6th grade were my favorite! They seemed eager to learn and it didnt take a whole lot of redirection during the day to keep them on track. Was I just in a really good class or what? I guess though, you will always a few kids that really try your patience. I often wonder how I am going to deal with all of the attitudes and misbehaviour problems:(
    It seems as though you have it down pat as well. Did you get it right off the bat or did you learn it over time. I have always been told that it takes a couple of years to get the hang of teaching. I know that this is my calling so I cant let little things such as attitudes in a few students discourage me and my decision:) Your stories made me laugh too and I can't wait to start teaching with a lifetime of learning!:D
     
  13. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    Oct 27, 2009

    It definitely took awhile to learn to be amused instead of annoyed. And I still get annoyed. But mostly I let things roll off my back and just stand firm.

    The biggest mistake rookie teachers make is trying to be friends with students. (Friendly, yes, but not friends.) But also, equally important, is to have a good memory of what it was like to be a young adolescent.
     
  14. kim@kto5

    kim@kto5 Rookie

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    Oct 30, 2009

    This is tricky age, and sometimes natural consequences will occur and they will learn from their mistakes (like the child tilting his chair back who may fall). When natural consequences don't occur, a set of rules always helps, like a classroom guideline list that is laminated and posted for all to see.
     
  15. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Oct 30, 2009

    Ah, when I moved up from kinder to fifth one year, man was that a shocker! I absolutely, 100% loved that year, though. Yes, I felt like a brand new teacher, but it really helped that I had an amazing, awesome class. And, *brag coming here* I had a great behavior management plan which really helped because I did have a handful of stinkers too. :) I had so much fun with them though. I loved that I could finally joke around and be sarcastic with my kids (ever try being sarcastic in kinder, yeah, it doesn't go over too well).

    Teaching this grade you need to be consistent, fair, understanding, firm, flexible, fun, friendly, and you need to get your teacher stare down. :)
     
  16. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    Oct 31, 2009

    Ha, I remember this post from awhile ago. I actually think about it when I'm confronted with a particularly snotty 5th grader. I try to see the "Underlying cuteness" and it's actually easy to laugh it off inside sometimes.
     
  17. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    Nov 23, 2009

    How about kneeling?
     
  18. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    Jan 15, 2010

    Today, one of the fifth graders was told to stop doing something by me and he muttered "It's a free country."

    The next thing he said was "I'm going."

    That was because my finger was pointing at the door.:lol:

    Then after a few minutes I got to go out there and explain that unfortunately he was in a part of the country that was ruled by a dictator (me).
     
  19. Miss E.

    Miss E. Rookie

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    Jun 13, 2010

    would u share your behavior plan? im moving from 2nd to 5th (i was just told 2 days ago) and im very nervous about the behaviors- i had a VERY rough class this year, though i have always kept a good handle on management, this year seems to really challenge me and i am not trying to have two years in a row with that....any suggestions would be great thanks!
     
  20. cmw

    cmw Groupie

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    Jun 13, 2010

    I like that! :lol:
     
  21. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    Jun 14, 2010

    Behavior plan. Hmmm...

    I have one word on my class rules chart. It's RESPECT. I tell them it refers to four areas. They will show respect to me. I will show respect to them. They will respect themselves, and they will respect their classmates.

    When I had my own class all day (we're departmentalized now), I gave green cards made from laminated green cardboard to teams of around four students. They earned them for various accomplishments such as everyone on their team did their homework, they were the first to get the book open to the correct page, someone did something very nice to someone else in the room, they said something profound during class discussion, they worked well as a team, they won relay races or answered review questions correctly, etc.

    The point is that they were working mostly as a team. Peers are important to fifth graders. If someone in the group didn't do the homework, I didn't have to say much. The team scowled. I have noticed things like someone on the team reminding a person to take home their math book, or helping someone study, or push all the chairs in so that their team can get points.

    At the end of the day, the top two teams got a treat. Just to change it up, there were days I had "double green card" day, or "first two teams over 50 win", which might go on for a few days. They could only count their green cards at certain times. I could keep the cards in an envelope at the front of the room, or give them something to keep them in but that would take a bit to get into so that I could see that they weren't playing/counting them at inappropriate times.

    I had silver cards and gold cards. They could trade in 5 green cards for a silver, and 10 green cards for a gold.

    And yes, occasionally I would take away a green card. But not often. It was better to tell the person talking when they shouldn't be to come up and hand him/her five cards and tell them to "give them to every group but yours." That having to get up and do so (while I continued teaching) was very effective.

    But the best behavior system for fifth graders is to make them believe that you actually enjoy being with them. Do not let them see you sweat. They are piranhas when it comes to teachers without confidence. If you think you are going to lose your temper, they will egg it on or smirk at you. It's better to master that icy silent look. Practice it in the mirror. IF you can raise one eyebrow and stare for a full minute, all the better.
     
  22. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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    Jun 14, 2010

    I firmly believe that as well. Friendly, yes, but friends, no. That is the number one mistake I see some of my parents make. They treat their child like a friend. They give their child choices and decision abilities that adults should be making. Children need guidance, they need discipline. That being said, I do agree with always remembering what it was like to be that age, and how difficult peer pressure is,and how sometimes, all it takes is an open mind and a listening ear.
     
  23. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    Jul 24, 2010

    Thanks for this post! I really like this system quite a bit and may try it this year with a few changes.
     

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