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    take a deep breath...
    By chalkdusty

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    It must be very stressful moving to a new grade level. I've taught the same level for 9 years. You have a right to feel nervous about this.

    Now that you've taken a breath. Let's brainstorm some solutions. First, are you the only 5th grade teacher at your school? I'm going to assume that you are not alone and suggest that you find a mentor in one of your colleagues. Second, does your state have a Grade Level Expectations document? Again, I'll assume so and suggest that you go find it online and print it out so that you know what skills are expected to be taught/learned at 5th grade. Use that document to "map" out your year. We've just spent the better part of 2 days doing that in my grade level team. It's a rough guideline, but we'll fine tune as we progress through the year. Last, I'll hope that you have a team approach at your school in delivering instruction. Our grade level works very hard during a shared planning time to map out our week and what we will be teaching during that week. Will you have benefit of a shared plan period with your colleagues?

    edited to add: As far as your question about how to ensure that the students are doing their individual work, I'm told that it is all in the setting up of your classroom procedures and expectations for behavior. My school is changing from a whole group instructional style to a leveled reading group within the classroom style. I'm a little concerned about the issue of students staying on task also, but my trainer insists it is all in how you train your students.

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