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A New Year Begins

This school year will bring about a change from the normal routine for me. I have taught at the sixth grade level for 8 years, teaching pretty much all the core curriculum, although the classes have switched and so I've team-taught for most of that time.

I will be teaching in a self-contained 5th/6th grade classroom this year. At last count there will be 14 sixth graders and 12 fifth graders. This will be one of four split-level classrooms in my school this year. It is a move to cut costs, although many feel that it is unnecessary. I guess I agree with that, but I need to provide students with the opportunity to succeed.

With the new grade level content expectations I've decided it would be best to teach Math and Social Studies separately, and so I'm working on a schedule that will allow this. I will do the rest of the core subjects together. We have statewide testing about a month after school starts, in which they will be tested on material they learned last year. I'll review some of that prior to the statewide testing period.

I am expecting my students to be able to work independently for 15-20 minute spurts while I instruct and monitor other students. I will also use peer tutoring and teaching as an asset.

If you have any suggestions or thoughts on how I could make this year even more successful, please feel free to drop me a comment, or e-mail me at I'm always open to suggestions, as long as it is positive.

True, I would much rather be teaching a straight sixth, or even fifth grade classroom, but I will make this work, and it will be successful.



At 7:45 PM, Blogger rayhedrick said...


I'm a pre-service secondary-level English teacher in a Master's program. I was wondering if you introduce any technologies in your classroom? (i.e. blogs, podcasts, movies, and et ceterea)



At 7:45 PM, Blogger rayhedrick said...

oops... my blog's URL is: Just in case you wanted to check it out.

At 10:08 PM, Blogger SBS said...

Wow! Your attitude is awesome! I am thinking this will get you over a good deal of the bumps in the road your split grade situation brings you. Positive thinking is a great cure all. And, for the times you just wanna pull your hair out and your attitude has had all it can take, well, blog it. Writing it out, helps. A lot. Trust me, I have been there and got the T-shirt and everything.

I am the only teacher in my building not in a split grade this year. I am so very thankful. We are a small school with around 100 kids. So, at a classroom of twenty, I am in the majority. I will ask around to see how the others are handling the technical aspects of it all. I think that you are right on target with teaching as much to the cetner of the curriculum as you can. Is there anyway you can departmentalize?????

Best of luck to you. Fingers (and toes) crossed!!!

At 11:06 PM, Anonymous kontan said...

wow, I can not imagine having dual grades of self-contained. great attitude, and good luck to you!


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