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Year 1 to Year 6. Anyone else taken the BIG leap?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by tick/star/smileyface, Jun 1, 2011.

  1. tick/star/smileyface

    tick/star/smileyface New commenter

    Hi all and a very happy half term!

    I've spent the last 4 years in key stage 1 and am making the BIG leap to year 6 for september! As exciting as this is, it is also pretty scary! Aside from the maths I'll have to get up to speed with, how do you speak to year 6s? I know it sounds crazy but I'm so used to puppets and silly voices - i want to make sure I get it completely right! What do year 6s like?!

    Has anyone else done this - how did you prepare yourself?

    Any year 6 gurus got any words of wisdom or top tips?

    Any advice would be gratefully received!

    Thank you :)
     
  2. Hi there.
    I am a year 5/6 teacher, but cover our reception and Yr 1 class quite regularly, so i have in effect done the opposite!!
    The thing i always think with older ones is that they are people by that age - all of the classes I have had, in cities and here in the country love a laugh and a joke. Lots of my class have nick names from different exploits ('crash' 'half day danny' 'squirt' 'dave' are a few in my current group), and they seem to like those. Quite often finding the chn that are happy to be characters works well in the first few days - find common ground with them and set a rapport!
    I would say talk to them as thogh you would a group of adults (only at times with slightly less technical vocab). They will respect this much more than any babying or making them out to be younger than they are! Finding things they like to do is quite easy - ask them at the beginning of the year. They will recount games / classroom rewards they have enjoyed etc, and having a discussion with you will give them some ownership of their classroom environment.
    Another thing my year 6's love are mini projects and challenges. These can be based on anything from running the xmas fayre, organising a talent show, an apprentice style dt challenge, making and packaging the best cookies (with market research, nutrition details etc), camping - where they have to do EVERYTHING themselves, with guidance only from staff, planning their own routes for walks across dartmoor (with adult guidance!!!!) etc etc. Our Year 6's play a big part in school life, and they absolutely love it!!
    Good luck, and enjoy it!!
     
  3. Milgod

    Milgod Established commenter

    You will love it! You will love the banter, being able to hold a proper conversation (not guaranteed with all of them mind) and being able to get them to do lots of jobs so you don't have to. Just talk to them like normal people and they will respect you right back.

    As for the silly voices - my class love nothing more than when I do accents. I turned one oft hem into a character called Shane Williams from Australia. He pops by every now and again to have a chat. They might seem quite old but they are still young enough to have some fun.
     
  4. flickaz

    flickaz New commenter

    I definately agree with this. I often say the words "But of course you're far too mature for..." and get a cry of "nooooooo" frm my class.
     
  5. tick/star/smileyface

    tick/star/smileyface New commenter

    thanks again everyone. Jut wondered if anyone else has any tips or suggestions. Whilst I'm excited about the change and the challenge - the most scary bit for me is the maths and then how to 'be' in the class. I'm quite small and I'm aware that some y6 children are giants! So I need to change my ks1 approach for sure! Also, with regards to table grouping - do you generally group ability wise? Thanks everyone!x
     
  6. Just an idea.....
    Last year, my Yr 5 class were grouped by Literacy (mainly writing) ability, and sat in groups of 4. This year, my Year 5 class sit in mixed ability groups (we move around if we work in guided groups, eg. "x, x, x, and y - please sit on Table Z with Mrs W; t, u and v - please come and work over here with me"). Took a bit of planning at the start of the year based on previous levels and input from previous teachers about who worked well with who (and, more importantly - who didn't!) but has worked well. Each table of 4 has an AA, high A, lower A, and BA ch based on overall Literacy levels.
    We had a big push on independence this year - hurrah! - so instead of 'groups', they have been sitting at L-shaped tables, moving chairs around for group work but much easier to work independently.
    I'm moving to Year 6 in September and already debating table groupings and layout!
     
  7. Hiya. I did the opposite to you four years ago and moved from primary 6 to primary 2 (Scotland). Like you I worried about all of the same things and I was given lots of advice from people about what to expect, teaching ideas etc. I'm not going to lie when I say that the first 6-8 weeks were not my most enjoyable! I felt that most things I did were pitched at the wrong level, activities were not right etc. The main mistakes I think I made were that I used some activities from upper but pitched them at the lower level and the thing was I really needed to rethink my approach and what I gave them. My friend taught the infants in my school and she was a great help. She gave me ideas and showed me things she used. These were a good starting point. The main thing to share with you though is that you will quickly adapt as will your teaching and you will soon be used to the kids in year 6 and their ways and needs. I have been in infants for four years now and it makes me smile when I think of all the worrying I did before I got them and the muddle I had myself in at the start. Before you know it you'll feel you've been working with your stage for years. The good thing is that having experience at different stages is great and you will soon be confident that you could be placed at any stage and manage fine. One thing that I feel would have helped me most if I had thought about it at the time would have been to speak to the class's previous teacher more to find out about the kids and their learning and to maybe work in the class alongside that teacher while she still had them. I think this would have been more beneficial than just having the hand-over notes our school does. Then I would have had more of an idea about the specific children I was getting, what they could do, their interests etc. Good luck with your move!
     
  8. I think year 6 tends to work differently to other year groups I've been in and my groupings are much more fluid and forever changing. We do a lot of assessment activities at the start of a lesson related to test base using KS2 assessment test questions to work out where the children are. I've then worked with them to teach them how to assess their own learning and we work out what learning activities each group should do based on this. So for example if we were doing a lesson on area, it might go something like this:

    -Area assessment based on working out area in three levels:
    -Area of a square/rectangle, other shapes
    -Area of Compound Shapes
    -Area problem solving

    The children would do a quick 5 minute activity using assessment questions or another practical activity. We would then mark it together and the children would then look at where the gaps are in their learning with me and we decide which learning they need through a quick discussion. We then move ourselves into those three groups and I'll usually support those with the most progress to make. Next lesson we will do a similiar sort of activity linked to stage 1 or stage 2 of the learning from the previous day and children will decide where they need to move next. I always have to have an extension task for those children who are working at High Level 5 and lots of practical resources available for those at Level 2/Level 3. Differentiation is tough in Year 6 as there is a huge variation in abilities in my class, but also they've all got to achieve Level 4 or Level 5 at the end of the year, so pitching a lesson can be difficult until you really know the children. I would say don't plan too far ahead for September, do a week (maximum) and then go from that.
     

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