Adjusting to elementary school

As I have mentioned before, this year I am going back to teaching both elementary and middle school.  I am starting to learn some tips and changing some of my practices:

  • Remember when I ditched my bellringers for a few years?  Well we are off our break- kind of.  I don’t need them for my early childhood class or 8th grade.  I am also starting off 3rd grade with some TPR.  But for my fourth and sixth grade classes, bellringers it is!  However, I am making some adjustments based on what I know about primacy and recency, I am starting to work more with readings at the beginning of class.
  • However, I have added in a smaller routine worksheet to my third grade class.  After we sit on the floor to do TPR, students return to their seats and fill out the form with the date, weather, how they are feeling etc.
  • I am switching back to more either or questions or yes or no questions.  With my fourth and fifth grades, I was asking too many open-ended questions.  While a few students were able to participate, I am engaging more students by asking more either or/yes- no questions.  This has also allowed me to sustain attention for longer.
  • Some of my students may need movement, but some of the classes need small movements.  Thumbs up/thumbs down or small TPR has been more successful with them.
  • I have incorporated some Senor Wooly songs, but I am remembering how much elementary and middle school students LOVE Senor Wooly!!  Currently, we are working on Me Duele in 3rd grade, No lo tengo in 4th grade, and Guapo in 6th grade.
  • My Venezuelan unit is going really well with 8th grade!  We did the MovieTalk yesterday, and it was really engaging.
  • I am also loving incorporating Heather Sherrow’s unit for descriptions with 6th grade.
  • I am also trying to be more cognizant to give students more support as they transition to writing more.  I like to give them sentence starters or a word bank to help them transition.
  • I am using more emojis when I write stories!  While I saw this on Twitter, I have found it helpful to support all of my students.  I just wrote this story to discuss schools in the Amazon in fifth grade as we talk about the fires in the Amazon.  I am using an article from Mary Glasgow magazines (Que tal).  At the end, students can compare the schools.

I am enjoying my students and figuring out how to make each topic work for them.

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