Trained to teach 7-12... but now I'll be teaching 5th grade!

Discussion in 'Fifth Grade' started by BioAngel, Mar 26, 2008.

  1. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Mar 26, 2008

    :help::help::help:​
    God works in mysterious ways :lol: I always saw myself as a high school biology teacher.... until student teaching happened: and then I saw myself as a middle school teacher. Then I was interviewed at this amazing private academy and I've been praying non-stop to get the job. Well turns out they want me for a 5th grade science position.

    I'm a bit sad about it---I was hoping to teach in the grades I know about--- but apparently God wants me here and it's a great school so I won't complain. I know that I'm IN now and I don't have to worry about job searching or thinking I just suck as a teacher. So I'm ready for the task at hand (though I don't start until Sept)...

    So what in the world SHOULD I know about 5th graders? I'll just be teaching science (they move from class to class)--- but I'm not sure where they are mentally and emotionally at that age.

    Any books, links, or personal thoughts would be appreciated! ;)
     
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  3. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    Mar 26, 2008

    Oh those fifth graders! They change so much over the course of a year and even from year to year! It is hard to discribe them simply because they are all so different. At the beginning of the year they are more like advanced fourth graders than what I think of as fifth graders and it can take a good 4-6 weeks on average to get them where I like them as far as self-reliance is concerned. Here are some things to keep in mind: 1. They like to be treated like one of the big kids but often slip and act like younger kids. 2. They are still fairly eager to please but are also starting to try out their wings socially. By the end of the year some of them are definately pre-teens and others are still kids. 3. Mine constantly amaze me with their depth of questioning (in science, social studies, religion) and wit. As the year goes on their humor sometimes matures (but not this year; we seem to be stuck in potty humor land.) I can joke with mine and use sarcasm and they get it like younger students never would. Hope this helps. Fifth grade is loads of fun most of the time. Just keep and open mind. My first year I kind of took the no-expectations aproach and things went rather well with the kids.
     
  4. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Mar 26, 2008

    Wow, Briana! I love the 5th graders I work with.
     
  5. Mrs.Bran

    Mrs.Bran Comrade

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    Mar 30, 2008

    Hi Bio-
    I taught 7th grade for four years and really loved it, but this year I went back to teaching after being home with my kids for the past 9 years. I teach a combo class with 18 fourth graders and 10 fifth graders. I love having my fifth graders in my class, and I am hoping to teach a straight fifth next year. It is a great age. They are on the cusp of being "big" kids, but are still kids. They are a joy to teach. They are independent and starting to be deep thinkers. They still love school and are eager to learn. You will love fifth grade!
    Cheers!
     
  6. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Thanks Mrs.Bran! :)
    I'm hoping it'll be enjoyable--- I don't mind the role of teaching younger kids like I once thought I would and my *hopefully* future supervisor said the role would include motherly tendencies of watching out for the kids---though thank God, she said parents actually care about their kids' education in this school.

    I'm still trying to figure out where they are mentally and logically. Science can be rather difficult subject with its own complicated vocabulary that students hardly use in daily life, so that's one thing I think I'm going to have to specifically focus on: making sure I'm teaching to a 5th grade level and not a middle or high school level.
     
  7. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    Mar 30, 2008

    Many of them are still in the concrete state of mind; pictures, models, and visual examples are a must. Experiments are even better provided they are clearly explained and the students guided through carefully. I have found that they tend to confuse facts and theories quite a bit-the whole concept of theorizing is hard for some of them to comprehend. "It says in our book that..." in their minds often translates into "Scientists have proven that..." They are curious though, I'll give them that.
     
  8. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    I know TOO many adults do the same thing... or even worse: "I heard on the tv today..." means "It's a proven fact that..." Very annoying when it comes to science :mad:
     
  9. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    We just tackled the Big Bang Theory in class. Every year it's the same thing: "But I thought the universe was created in 7 days by God. Why is our book different?" or "So we were made because everything blew up? How do they know this?" and my favorite "What do you mean they don't know for sure?! It's in the book. Does this mean they are telling us lies?!?" I just smile and tell them "We are trying to figure things out based on the information we have and will modify things if new information is made available. And by the way, we don't know with 100% certainty how they dinosaurs were made extinct."
     
  10. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Mar 30, 2008

    Hmm... ya those religion questions are going to get a tad sticky for (just a tad though). I'm a Christian, but I've incorporated scientific theories into my faith beliefs (ex: God could have easily made the Big Bang happen and used it to make Creation). What I like about science is that while it can back up some ideas about faith, it will never prove 100% whether or not God is real--- and that's where true faith plays a part in believing.
     
  11. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    Some scientist say science almost points that there is a god. The odds of all the factors needed to create life as we know it happening in just the way and time they did is so incredibly tiny there almost needs to be some guiding force to make it all happen. Kind of like proving a black hole as far as I can tell; You can't see the black hole itself, but you can see its effect on everything around it. Anyway, I teach at a Catholic school so I get to deal with all the questions head on.
     
  12. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    run, I had heard that too about science pointing to the existance of God.

    Briana, for the vocabulary, you could always incorporate a word wall for all the vocab, using different color sentence strip for different units. I was in a 6th grade classroom that had something like this.
     
  13. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    See you're lucky--- this isn't a religious school, so I'm not sure where I would have to draw the line when it comes to a student bringing up a question about God and science. Probably something I should ask my Supervisor about--- though I don't want her to think I'm going to go SUPER CHRISTIAN on my students and tell them everything from a Biblical viewpoint.

    She already knows that I'm a Christian and that I work at a Christian forum, so I try to be careful about that. I don't think she thinks its a bad thing but I don't want to go overboard with it. Especially since I don't know where the boundaries lie yet.
     
  14. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Since I'm getting my own classroom, I'm sure I could decide what goes up on the walls. I'm a very visual and hands-on learner myself, so apparently it might do my 5th graders alot of good as well.

    I've missed having color and things to look at which is often lacking in high school and college classrooms. So I'm excited that I get to plan out a classroom myself.

    And I'm rather artistic so that should help as well. Though then its a pain going over the whole classroom to make sure there's nothing a student can cheat off of on a test :p

    Thanks for the idea!

    ~Tatiana
     
  15. sue35

    sue35 Habitué

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    Apr 2, 2008

    I also teach 5th grade science and I had a hard time figuring out what to do vocab wise. I feel like this is the year that we begin to lose a lot of kids in science so I try and make it as interesting as possible. I don't worry so much if they remember formulas (like density) or technical definitions as much as they get the idea and can explain it in their own words.

    Mailbox has great science books I use them a lot! PM me if you have any questions, this is my second year in 5th grade science and I love it!
     
  16. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    I think if you just emphasize that this is a theory and emphasize what that means you should be OK. I tell mine, "A theory is the best conclusion/answer we have been able to come up with based on the information we have now. If new information is presented then the theory could change. Keep in mind one person doesn't create scientific theory; MANY scientists ove the years and decades have worked together to try and figure things out. They are still working together right now."
     
  17. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Yes that's something I would like to spend with my students the first couple of days in science class. Understanding what a law is (such as Newton's laws or the idea of gravity) compared to what a theory is (Evolution, etc).

    I know that can be rather abstract for a 5th grader but I think it'll better prepare them for future science classes.
     
  18. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    Just a comment about God and Science...

    Someone somewhere said something that resonated with me.
    Scientists climb the slippery slope of theories and proofs and knowlege and if they ever get to the top of the mountain they'll find God smiling at them.

    I take that to mean God approves of our struggles to find knowledge.

    And you will LOVE fifth graders.
     
  19. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Apr 4, 2008

    I think that's so true and I think that's why I don't hound people about God. God has His ways of showing others that He is truly there--- sometimes us opening our mouths does more damage than any good.

    And alot more of scientists are realizing that based on research of living organisms there HAS to be something that created all of this. It's too amazing to have all of this work so perfectly and just have it happen by mistake. I'm not saying the Christian God is the person who did all of this--- but something had to have made all this.

    Thanks for the quote and words of encouragement.
     
  20. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    Just like Jacob's ladder and the tower of Babel, I think He may knock us down a peg or two if we start getting too powerful or knowledgeable for our own good. Personally (and I'm NOT trying to stir up a controversy here folks, just my humble opinion) I think we're getting to that point pretty darn fast.
     
  21. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    Sorry about the hijcak.

    And now, back to our regularly scheduled discussion thread.
     
  22. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Apr 7, 2008

    God made us intelligent for a reason--- but I agree and think that humans shouldn't be "researching" everything that they are or can.
     

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