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Departmentalizing vertically
Old 03-25-2014, 05:26 AM
 
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Next year the current 5th grade G/T teacher and myself (4th grade) are going to departmentalize. She will teach math and science to both G/T classes and I will teach ELA and Social Studies.

I am excited, as I really love and feel strong teaching reading, and she feels very strong in math and science. Plus, I'll be able to jump right in with next year's 5th grade class (my current 4th grade class), since they will already be familiar with my literature circle set up.

I'm curious if any of you have done this and what the experience was like? Are there any tips and tricks you can share, procedural or otherwise? Thinks that didn't work well?

Thanks!


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5th/6th
Old 03-25-2014, 12:56 PM
 
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I did this for a few years with our fifth and sixth grade classes. When the program moved to an intermediate campus, I moved to third and stayed at elementary; however, the teachers there teamed for several years this way - fifth and sixth.

We all enjoyed it. As you stated, the second year is REALLY great, as the kids come in knowing the routine and what is expected. I math and science and loved being able to integrate the aspects of math into the science curriculum, because it made the math "real", not just something in a text book.

I think you will really enjoy it. The one thing I will say, as with any teaming situation, discuss your discipline policy together before you get started. Some years when I departmentalized (with others) we had the understanding that every child started new when they walked into my classroom, "marks/demerits" didn't move from class to class. The reason being, that child we all know who has the attitude of "I've already lost [insert privilege here] so why bother to behave the rest of the day" comes to your class for an hour or two already in that state of mind, you have a miserable day the entire time. Because it started turning into serious management problems, we opted to start over each period, and lower the number for consequences. Where you might be allowed five "color changes" over a full day - you were only allowed three in each period class. I worked for us.

There were others who had it carry on all day, and it worked for them.. just make sure you decide what you think will work before school starts, because changing after the fact is disruptive.

Also, if you can have rooms close together it works better. We were on opposite sides of the campus, as sixth grade were in portable buildings - it took forever it seemed to move kids across campus when we switched classes.
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Old 03-26-2014, 04:30 AM
 
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Thanks so much for your insight. I was a bit concerned about management, as well as supplies and scheduling. Thankfully, we are right across the hall from each other so the transitions should be easy.
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Supplies
Old 03-27-2014, 07:40 PM
 
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Our kids had a supply box, and they took it with them when they switched. They started in home room, and ended in home room... we usually started there, taught our own classes, and had PE/Music before lunch. After lunch they went to the other class, and then about 10 mins before dismissal, they went back to home room to put their things away.

That's the other thing to consider... our PE/Music was scheduled by grade level, so we had to work around both of those times, but since they were both in the morning, that's why we kept our own students during that time.
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Old 03-30-2014, 05:39 AM
 
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Thanks for the ideas!


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