Sunday, September 9, 2012

Learning the Ropes

5th grade is proving to be quite different than 2nd grade!  While the basic principles of classroom management remain the same, I'm quickly reminded of how different kids can be.  My new district is far more diverse than my former district and that also creates different issues.

The first thing that is taking time to get used to is teaching the same thing 4 times a day.  I can switch things up somewhat because we do ability grouping so each class is a slightly different level so that helps break up the monotony of the day.  I have my homeroom for about 2 and a half hours in the morning so I have had a chance to really let them know what I expect and what the consequences are for not doing what they're supposed to do.  On the other hand, I have each of the other 3 classes for only 40 minutes a day.  I'm having a hard time remembering their names and (for the most part) they're not as well behaved as my homeroom.  It makes it more challenging to get through everything we need to do in that short period.  I've been taking time daily to remind them of what I expect in my classroom and I've been quick to discipline when there is a problem; I want them to know that I'm serious.

What are your favorite classroom management strategies for this age group?

Monday, September 3, 2012

I'm Back & Ready to Roll!

I have been MIA from the blog world the last few weeks because I've been hard at work in my classroom!  Nearly everything is ready to go now.  We had a staggered start last Wednesday & Thursday with everyone coming on Friday.  We begin our normal rotation schedule tomorrow.  

I am (still!) very excited for this year.  I have great co-workers and my teammates are awesome!  My kids all seem to be eager to learn and that makes this job even better.  Because of scheduling conflicts, I'm now teaching 1 unit of math and 4 units of social studies.  My team has about 120 kids and they are the "enrichment team."  We have been challenged by their parents and our principal to really push them to keep them growing and interested in school.  We'll be doing a lot of projects and I have lots of ideas for them!

I hope to be back to blogging more this week now that I feel more "settled."

A Tour of My Classroom

Library Corner:  Content Area & current event books are on display while books are organized by subject in baskets on the shelves.  The Cranium Club board will be in action starting next week.

from the back of the classroom

from the back corner of the room

looking to the back from just inside the door

doorway with framed motivational signs--inspired by Pinterest!

"no name" claim board--inspired by Pinterest!

Assignment Board:  blocks created with bulletin board boarder.  I added magnets to the back so it is adjustable.  The subjects' stars match our color coded folders & notebooks.

my corner-I use the blue organizer on the table to prep my supplies weekly (each box is a day)  The colored cart in front of my desk is where I keep extra paper for my students.

To display student work, I'll hang different assignments on this board.  I will organize them by what makes it "model" work:  neatness, completeness, great effort, content knowledge, etc.  The table is where students turn in work and have access to staplers.
This is my content wall.  I printed the vocabulary on sentence strips.  This wall will change with each unit.