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    6th grade is awesome!
    By Kim

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    I've taught sixth grade for a few years now and I find that they are ready to become early adolescents and want to be treated as the oldest kids in the school as often as possible. Therefore, we do not use any themes in the classroom, just a consistant message that we are preparing them for junior high throughout the year (6th grade is the last grade of elementary school in my area). We closely collaborate with the 7th grade teachers and find out what their dress codes are, homework expectations, and other useful skills for our kids to acquire before they go through one of the biggest changes in the lives. It is an absolutely fantastic grade to teach!

    For seating at the beginning of the year, I arrange my kids in groups because I want them to bond with each other as soon as possible so the more friends and allies they can bring with them to junior high, the better. Later on in the year when they start getting antsy is when I change them into rows facing me. I want the focus to be on them as a team first.

    As for homework, I play Homeworkopoly every Friday with kids who have perfect homework records--they really love it. If you haven't heard of it, there are several posts about it on here--just do a search--or there is a website about it as well. For classroom management, our entire 6th grade team (3 classes) all do the same incentive, monthly, and celebrate together with raffles, parties, or excursions. It makes them feel like they are part of a cohesive group and most of all, it is fair to them.

    Good luck with your class. Please feel free to e-mail me with any other questions or to share some ideas!

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