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Really stupid question actually for Grades 3-5 teachers...
Old 10-19-2019, 01:59 AM
 
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I moved to a new district this year, and I am absolutely loving teaching again!! It's my 25th year, and at my old district I was completely stressed and pressured to do more, More, MORE!!!

This new district is much more laid back, teachers can be creative, not as much pressure, etc. However, I'm finding that the kids are, overall, a bit lower in skills than in my previous district. My previous district had LOADS of professors kids who had way more life experiences than the kids I now teach and there were so many parents that pushed and pushed and pushed their kids, etc.

At my new district, they seem to want kids to be kids and they don't put as much pressure on them. I think this is awesome! What I'm finding, though, is that I'm struggling with my pace and expectations. I keep expecting too much right now, and my poor kids are struggling.

Does anyone have any great ideas on HOW to slow down a pace you've been used to for years? If you are in a similar district, how do you teach reading? Any great ideas for helping kids really dig deeper into the text to understand what they're reading?

I know this is a ridiculous question, because as a veteran teacher I feel like I should know this. I'm just finding it hard to relax my pace and expectations after having been pressured to go faster for so long. Can anyone relate to this or am I just being ridiculous?

Thanks for any help you can give!


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Grouping?
Old 10-19-2019, 03:42 AM
 
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Maybe forming groups for part of your Math and ELA blocks. That way you could reteach concepts for those kids who need more time to master them.
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Old 10-19-2019, 03:50 AM
 
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I would look for more activities that help students review, secure and apply skills--centers, small-group projects, board games, that sort of thing. If you don't have a teacher-run center, then you can walk around the room as students work and observe and make quick interventions as needed.
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Old 10-19-2019, 04:01 AM
 
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Iím looking for answers, too.

Iím used to kids with little life experience and lots of baggage. They are even often below level. This year is soooo loooooww. We move at a snailís pace with everything. So far Iíve remedied that with fewer texts. We reuse texts a lot more than I typically do. That has helped. We arenít spending time reading multiple texts, which makes me a little nervous. However, they are digging deeper into the text we do read, which is a good thing, too.

My issue is that some kids need really basic stuff like phonics instruction. Iím secondary certified, so I know ZERO about teaching someone to read.

Every school has its own quirks, and I suppose over time we adjust to them. Is there another teacher you can talk to who might provide insight on the dynamics of the kids? My partner teacher had these same kids as 6th graders, so sheís been a big help.

P.S. Iím glad youíre loving the new job!
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In the same district but.....
Old 10-19-2019, 04:25 AM
 
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Iím in the same district and grade level (3) as Iíve been in, but my group this year is just so different from anything Iíve experienced before. Compared to when I taught older grades, I think that the beginning to the end of the year skills are hugely different in the younger grades, which I hope gives you some hope for the coming months. Things should improve.

For my current group, instead of teaching a skill each day I am having to break down skills into two or three days. Some of them are still failing, which is just so hard for me. I have increased partner work so that I can address kids individually more often. Iíve also given up on the idea that I can practice a skill with three or four groups in a day. Instead, Iím usually working with just two groups a day and then practicing with the rest of the kids the next day. My lesson plans this year have gotten crazy, as I cut and paste pieces of the previous week into the next week because we simply didnít get to them. Iím also working really hard to find high interest materials. I think Iím doing pretty well on that score, because a couple of times last week the kids said that they were enjoying the work. TPT is the greatest!


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Old 10-19-2019, 09:49 AM
 
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If you have the time, I'd do a little backwards mapping. Look at where they expect them to be at the end, and how that compares to what you're used to. Then you can lay out the pace you need to get there. Hopefully it means that not only do you have time to slow down and dig deeper, but maybe time to throw in some fun as well!

It's wonderful to hear that you've regained your love of teaching in a new district!
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Old 10-19-2019, 11:08 AM
 
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Quote:
This year is soooo loooooww. We move at a snailís pace with everything. So far Iíve remedied that with fewer texts. We reuse texts a lot more than I typically do. That has helped. We arenít spending time reading multiple texts, which makes me a little nervous. However, they are digging deeper into the text we do read, which is a good thing, too.
This is me exactly. BUT I am also struggling with an internal sense of pressure to achieve more. I know I am working at their pace, and I know that I have to lower my expectations for these kids but...knowing I needs to doing and actually doing, as well as feeling good about it has been a constant struggle for me this year. I hate lowering my expectations, and I feel bad about knowing that they will leave me less capable and less well prepared than any class I have taught before.

For me I need to work on my mindset as much as with any curricular or pedagogical plans.
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Thank you!!
Old 10-22-2019, 05:34 PM
 
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Thank you so much for 1) not making me feel stupid and 2) for your ideas! It's greatly appreciated!!
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