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Be on a team of 3 or be self-contained?
Old 07-07-2019, 02:54 PM
 
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Hi! I'm about to start my tenth year in elementary 6th. The whole time I have taught ELA and Social Studies (which I love doing both of)! However, it looks like we may add a teacher to 6th grade next year, which would mean that we would go to a team of 3 instead of two. This means we need to think if we want to go to a team of 3 (ELA/Science and Social Studies/Math) to team or one of us go self-contained. In other grade levels, they've said that a team of 3 gives too much time for math and not enough for ELA. Thoughts?


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team of 3 or...
Old 07-08-2019, 02:15 AM
 
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We did a team of 3 one year because our numbers were low and they moved a teacher to a different grade level. . It was the worst of my experience! We did not budget enough time. I was teaching reading 3x daily and hated the repetition. Our classes were not equitable .

On the other hand, I could never be self contained since I haven't taught math in 5 years!

It is a tough decision for you. Good luck!
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Old 07-08-2019, 04:48 AM
 
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We're switching to teams this year. It used to be we would teach every subject and keep all our kids. Now we are moving to a team of 3 as well. I'm incredibly upset about it. I loved having my kids all day. You could really connect all the subjects together. It would also mean less written papers for you to grade. Research doesn't show any benefits to switching at the elementary level. In fact, the research shows that the more teachers a student has at the elementary level, the worse their growth/scores tend to be. I think the team of 3 is doomed to fail.
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Old 07-08-2019, 06:59 AM
 
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When I was in fourth grade, we went from two to three classes. One teacher taught Ela, one taught math, and one taught science and social studies. It worked out fine. I would departmentalize and not do self contained. Everyone has different opinions about this. You need to think what will feel better for you.
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Given a choice, I'd prefer
Old 07-08-2019, 07:20 AM
 
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to be self-contained. It allows for flexibility and for in-depth knowledge of the student's strengths and weaknesses. It's also easier to, and a teacher is more likely to make connections between math/science and reading/social studies.

If you do a three way team, I would think you'd get a better balance if you split

1. Math
2. Reading/L.A.
3. Writing/Science/Social Studies


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My personal preference....
Old 07-08-2019, 07:21 AM
 
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I personally prefer self-contained. I like all of the subjects. I also wouldn't like it if the others on my team and I had a different expectations for academics or discipline.

Could you each pick a subject, one where you need relatively the same amount of time and then the other subjects are taught by your homeroom teacher? For example, one does science, one does social studies, and one does English/Writing. Then reading and math is done my your homeroom teacher?
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Next Year
Old 07-08-2019, 09:15 AM
 
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I prefer to be self contained. I'd rather have my kids all day than deal with other classes. It also makes scheduling easier.
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Team of 3
Old 07-08-2019, 09:55 AM
 
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When taught 6th grade elementary it was on a team of 3. We each taught our own ELA/Reading and departmentalized math, science, and social studies. We had a 90 minutes block for ELA and 60 minutes for the others. It worked out well for us.
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Old 07-08-2019, 01:21 PM
 
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We were a team of 3 last year. We had hour and a half rotations. We were split by ELA, math, and science/ss. It worked fine and our scores were good.

Next year we have a team of 4! I'm a little nervous for 4 rotations.
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Old 07-08-2019, 01:30 PM
 
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We did a team of 3 with a Reading/Math/writing approx 65 min period each, and each teacher did a short 40 minutes SS/sci period (which was also taught some in readin/writing) I really enjoyed those years, and felt we had adequate time for everything.


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Old 07-08-2019, 01:41 PM
 
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In 6th, I prefer being departmentalized, but right now there are just 2 of us. When i did my student teaching back in the early 90ís, the school had a team of 3 in 6th grade, and it worked well. Subjects were broken down differently then. One teacher had reading and spelling, one was math and English, and one was science and social studies. A team works well because there isnít as much planning, but self-contained gives more flexibility, so I can see the merits of both.
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Old 07-08-2019, 04:52 PM
 
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When I student taught I was in a 3 person team. My teacher taught ELA/Social Studies; another teacher Math and the 3rd taught Science. It was broken up in Humanities/Sciences.
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Old 07-08-2019, 07:15 PM
 
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Too much time for math! Is that even possible?? If you are teaching math the right way in a problem solving brain based way, you must have at least 90 minutes.

I’ve done teams of 4 and teams of 3 in 6th. This past year we had a team of 3. We each had 1 hour 50 minutes. It was heaven! I did stations for 25 minutes each day where I fit in my intervention time. My ELA partner did the same. My sci/SS partner split her block and taught both subjects most days unless she was doing a big experiment. It worked well!
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6th grade
Old 07-08-2019, 08:48 PM
 
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I taught 6th self contained one year....never again!! I was new to the school so the other teacher did not want to work with a stranger. 6th graders need a fresh start every hour or so. Their attitudes build and fester and they need to move on to a teacher who wasn't frustrated with them 2 hours ago. Self contained also isn't doing the 6th graders any favors in preparing them for jr high transitions. I was at a really tough 100% free title school which made it even more challenging. Now I'm teaching 5th and 6th science and feel like I am a better and more focused teacher.
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With the right team.....
Old 07-09-2019, 05:14 PM
 
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If I went back to departmental teaching it would have to be with the right team -- an absolute must. I could never do jr high or high school and teach the same thing up to 7 times a day potentially!

We have switched from self-contained to departmental once in my 10 years. It was a disaster for me and I said I never wanted to do departmental again! It wasn't the repetition -- loved less planning. It wasn't the students or parents -- it was great to get to know even more of them. It was working with my teammates!

Turning grades into each other -- we still have to do handwritten progress reports and report cards -- so stressful. Coordinating parent teacher conferences was also unnecessarily complicated. Planning together wasn't bad as we had worked together before but you really found out a lot about the other teammates! Also the disruption of students changing rooms and then quieting back down was exhausting sometimes. Sorry for the rant but it just wasn't well thought out and that is probably why we've never done it again!

I teach 4th...we were divided by ELA with Spelling and handwriting alternating, Math, Science/SS/Technology and Reading. I did Science/SS/Tech 4x a day but didn't mind because we alternated between science and ss each day of. We had a "homeroom" and then those same students were in the first rotation and it went on from there.

A lot has changed since we last tried it in terms of technology we utilize for grade and behavior tracking but I am still recovering lol. Technology is also now a separate special in my school so we would probably have a team of 3 due to enrollment size. It was an experiment to see if it would help students in 4th and 5th with the transition to middle school, which is 6-7-8 here.

Good luck...it sounds like you already have a great team! I also agree never too much time for math!!!

Last edited by mario2019; 07-09-2019 at 05:43 PM.. Reason: Sadly, grammar and spelling corrections! Damn autocorrect!
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