NEW 6th grade classroom teacher - HELP!! - ProTeacher Community





carek carek is offline
 
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 6
New Member

carek
 
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 6
New Member
NEW 6th grade classroom teacher - HELP!!
Old 08-03-2009, 06:51 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #1

I have been teaching for the past 2 years in a middle school setting -- math. Now, I have just accepted a new job as a classroom 6th grade teacher, teaching ALL subjects to the SAME group of students. I know how to cater to 6th graders for math, but how do I do so for all subjects?
I am absolutely overwhelmed because I have no idea where to even begin preparing for this job - how do I set up my classroom? Because it's still in the "elementary setting", would it be similar to a typical, say, k-5 classroom? How should I organize each subject? Should I require a folder for each subject for the students to keep at their desk, so that all of their handouts/etc are organized in the correct place? Is it OK to teach (esp math) having the students take notes? Or does it need to be more interactive? How can I make sure that students actually retain the information, if they're taking a more "hands on" learning approach? Is it just easiest to just treat my day as though I was teaching middle school, and split the time for each subject evenly, even though students are not moving from class to class?
I would really appreciate it if I could get some insight especially for teaching ELA. Coming from a Math background, I especially have NO idea how to incorporate the other areas of ELA (ex- spelling) into my classroom.
Since I am completely in the dark about being an all-inclusive classroom teacher, I readily welcome ANY insight/ideas (no matter how menial or insignificant) on any realm of this topic (decorating your classroom, how to set up routines, organization from subject to subject for students, how to teach ELA!!, etc). Thank you!!


carek is offline   Reply With Quote


love2learn's Avatar
love2learn love2learn is offline
 
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 456
Senior Member

love2learn
 
love2learn's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 456
Senior Member
You will love it
Old 08-03-2009, 08:28 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #2

I started with an all inclusive 6th grade then went to another school and now only teach 6th Math and science. I loved my 6th graders. Its good because you can really hone in the classroom environment. You will see the same kiddos all day (both good and bad). The one thing I remember about my 6th grade class is they loved being read to. It seemed a bit youngish but my mentor teacher did it so I incorporated it into my classroom. It was the quietest half hour of my day. They missed being read to and I really believe it helped with vocabulary and language rhythm. Have fun!!
love2learn is offline   Reply With Quote
mrsb12247's Avatar
mrsb12247 mrsb12247 is offline
 
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 956
Senior Member

mrsb12247
 
mrsb12247's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 956
Senior Member

Old 08-04-2009, 04:12 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #3

Congrats on your new job! You are going to love sixth grade.

I just came from sixth grade where I taught Reading, Writing, and Social Studies. A few tips I found worked for me:

I like your idea of splitting your day as if you were in middle school...then the topics and activities will change every hour or so, so the kiddos won't get bored and act up. I would think of something you could do with them to show that it's time to transition from one subject to another, as well..we used to use a bathroom break for that

I required students to have one giant zippered binder, and the separated that binder out into all then subjects they had, each subject with it's own folder. That way, there was never a "I forgot that binder in my locker.." conversation, they always had the right notebook.

A good rule of thumb is that kids need to move or change activities about every 1/2 hour. I would advise NOT having them sit and take notes for endless stretched of time..try to incorporate some centers (we called them stations) or games to get them moving around and talking to each other.

I used to spend the first 3 days of school introducing EVERY routine: how do I walk to the pencil sharpener, what does silent reading look like, how do I take out a class library book, how do I move my chair away from my desk, etc....a few days of prep work makes a big difference throughout the year.

As far as decorating, that's totally personal choice...I've seen 6th grade rooms that carry themes, and ones that are just organized and colorful. I tend not to go with a theme becuase I think it's too elementary, but some teachers love the idea. Whatever works for you.

That's what comes to mind at the moment. 6th graders are awesome, they crave independence and responsibility but are just learning what to do with it when they get it, and they love to move and talk....organize your days around those basic concepts and you'll be great!
mrsb12247 is offline   Reply With Quote
ShadB ShadB is offline
 
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 4
New Member

ShadB
 
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 4
New Member
Some ideas
Old 08-07-2009, 10:10 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #4

You will love 6th grade if you love variety, love to laugh, are open to interactive teaching. I agree that about 1/2 hour is just about right for this age group. I teach science and math, and find that you must mix it up or you lose them. One thing that helps is to put a list of what you plan to do today on the board. (I do change groups but have each for 1/5 to 2 hours at a time.) I start with any whole-class activities, then move to small group or individual work, where the faster ones can move on to the next listed thing. This allows me to navigate around the room as needed.

The only time they are silent for any long period of time is during a test or a movie. HAHA. If you try to have them take in a lecture for an hour...you'll soon find little pockets of trouble that rapidly expand.

I also mix the seating up about every 6 weeks or so, to help them learn to get along, to break up cliques, etc. It helps to control the discipline issues that can come up.
ShadB is offline   Reply With Quote
ABC7324222222
 
 
Guest

ABC7324222222
 
 
Guest
Sixth Grade
Old 08-29-2009, 01:55 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #5

Good luck this year! Sixth grade is a lot of fun to teach! I have a similar background that you do. I taught middle school math and switched down to sixth grade last year, but I also had experience teaching grades lower than that. You'll be fine!

Your idea of switching subjects every hour is a good approach. I pretty much structure my sixth grade class as an upper elementary class but challenge them as middle schoolers. I use the "Card System" where they have a card pulled if they call out, do something inappropriate, etc. I also send home reports to their parents every Friday & have them signed and returned that Monday. If they get on "orange" any day of that week it gets written on their report. If they get pink, it's an immediate phone call home. I will literally pull that student into the hallway with my cell phone and call their parent on the spot. The kids know I will do it, sometimes you have to make an example out of a student. Once they know you will do it, they know you mean business and will not mess around. My students get panicky if they are on yellow because they know. Just make sure you keep those phone numbers in your cell phone of kids that you most likely will need to call.

I also used the fingers for signs to get things. 1 finger meant they needed to sharpen their pencil, 2 fingers meant they needed to get something in the room (tissues, etc.), 3 fingers meant bathroom, 4 fingers meant water, and a whole hand is a question. It's a great system because you can wave a student to go do what they need to do without stopping instruction. I highly recommend this.

Even though it's sixth grade I have the kids line up quietly and I have them walk in the hallways in a straight line quietly. I carry paper and pencil and if they act out in the halls, it's a card & I write it down so I don't forget.

I also have classroom jobs and switch them weekly. The kids love responsibility and look forward to getting particular classroom jobs.

My sixth graders took notes, but I did not give them the same amount of notes that I had given my 8th graders. I tried to keep things lighter, game oriented, and more hands on. Last year my sixth graders told me that they loved their classroom and how it was decorated. They loved all the colors on the wall, their work everywhere, the bulletin boards, decoration, and they took pride in keeping it neat. Sixth graders are still very young kids and don't mind being in a comfortable room that is decorated "cute". However, the work load obviously does need to be heavier to get them ready.

A good "break" for the kids is reading time, art, or crafts. If you have a computer lab, projectors, etc. Have the kids create their own PowerPoint Presentations and give a speech to the class on a relevant topic. My kids LOVED doing this. They also LOVED writing plays & acting them out. But every class is a little different. My advice is to decorate the classroom in sections, have a math, science, english, and social studies corner. Hang posters & info. in that area and leave room to hang up student work. I found a U shape works best. Groups talk a little too much, rows are too old school, and U's are a great balance of it all.

Sixth graders love games, so if you can make anything into a game they will be happy. I played a game called "Snake" with spelling which they loved. After they had their spelling words for a day or two, I'd have them all sit on their desks (which they loved). I would go around and give a spelling bee. If they got it wrong they would sit down. The last one sitting on their desk wins. I have a projector so I like to make any chapter in a textbook to be a "Who wants to be a millionaire" or "Jeopardy" game on the computer. If you have projectors at your school (or want to front money to buy one), your students will learn & have so much fun. Check out this site: http://teach.fcps.net/trt10/PowerPoint.htm

They also loved "Silent Ball" when we had like 15 minutes extra at the end of the day after clean up. They would, again, all sit on their desk. They couldn't talk or they would be out. Students would pass a soft ball to each other around the room and if they missed or passed it back to who gave it to them, they were out.

They also don't mind being a little babied at this age, which is why they are okay with a comfortable, colorful classroom. I hope you have a great year & I hope this helped a little!


  Reply With Quote

Join the conversation! Post as a guest or become a member today. New members welcome!

Reply

 

>
Sixth Grade
Thread Tools



Sign Up FREE | ProTeacher Help | BusyBoard

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 10:22 AM.

Copyright © 2014 ProTeacher®
For individual use only. Do not copy, reproduce or transmit.
source: www.proteacher.net