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need advice for fifth grade class



I just graduated with my teaching degree in December, but am substituting until August. I have been working with a fifth grade that switches teachers for different subjects. I am meeting a new group of kids every hour. I've been in their room once and they walked all over me. This has never happened to me before. Anyone have any brilliant disciplinary ideas or strategies for classroom behavior? I am going to be subbing with them again tomorrow. AHHHHHH!!!!


fifth grade


I'm sorry nobody responded to you! I think it's because there is no real answer. I work in a K-5 school where my son is IN fifth so I know all the kids and they still try to get away with whatever they can. I once asked an aide, "should I be yelling at them?" when they were working on a project and chattering away. She replied, "it wouldn't matter if you stood on the table and screamed your head off, they wouldn't listen."

So don't feel that it's you. The other day I was "floating" and had two of the three classes for about an hour apiece. The best you can do is hone in on or two and try to keep them under control as an example to the others. This works to some degree, and at least in an hour, you get another class!

I hope it went better for you the next time you met up with that group.

Mrs. Monica

Full Member
I think 5th and 6th grades are the hardest!

They are just smart enough to think of creative ways to be a pain, and too immature to realize the consequences of their behavior.

If you want/need to get control of the classes, you need to lay down the law right away. As soon as they come in insist they sit in their assigned seats and don't smile yet! Ask who is absent and just mark those names. I avoid calling out names for attendance. If you mispronounce or stumble on a name you've given them their first line of attack. After attendance I tell them my name and my expectations or the posted classroom rules, then get started on the lesson.

If someone breaks a rule or is disruptive I ask the person's name and give them one warning. I let them know that on the third warning there will be a consequence paid (either a time-out in the hallway, or a referral or both) And, at this point I tell them that I leave very detailed notes for the regular teacher. If this doesn't shape up the class, then punish someone. Sending someone out to the hall or to the office usually does the trick. Having a stack of referrals and a pen in hand works wonders too.

I also praise the students who are not giving me hassles. I get their names as much as possible too so I can leave a note of appreciation about them to the teacher. HTH :D


Full Member
Secret 3 or Secret 5

This works with a lot of 3-5 grades I sub in:

Explain Secret 3 to the class:

You have a chance to be in a drawing for some prizes/treats; however, to be in the drawing, you have to follow all of the classroom rules.

1. First warning (name on the board)
2. Second warning (check by your name) and you are OFF secret 3.

If a student is off secret three, they will not be allowed to submit their name for the drawing.
Five minutes before class, have each student that is not "OFF" put their name on a colored slip (I keep a bunch of colored slips of paper in an evelope) and put it in a basket or bag. I usually pick one of the students to draw 3 or 5 names and they get to pick a treat/prize from the bag.

I usually get hard candy, gum (if permitted in school), cool pencils, erasers, or little prizes (the dollar store is a great resource!)

I have had a lot of success with this--however, I know it may be hard since you have a new group come in every hour! Good Luck!!!

mme NPB

Full Member
"secret 3"

Trailpaint, I liked your idea. A few questions about it. First, why is it called "secret 3"? Second, if you had one class all day, how often would you do the draw for prizes? And last, do students have a chance to get their names(and checkmarks) off the board, if so, how?

Mr. Peter

classroom mgmt

I do sort of the same thing only I call it..."Not Working". I tell the kids it is a game and they get excited until I tell them the rules. If I see they are not working I write their name on the board. If I see they are not working for a second time, I put a check mark next to their name. If I see them not working again I put one last check mark. But before there is a check mark, I do allow the child to "work" and remove their name. Once there is a check mark they cannot get their name erased. If they get two check marks I will take 5 minutes of their recess. Most schools I sub at the classroom already has something in place such as moving clothes pins or colored cards (white, green, yellow, red) with each color representing a different consequence. I also say I am going to leave the names on the board so the teacher will see them the next day. Something else I do is mention that at the end of the day I will do something fun. I then write the name of the activity on the board. Every time I have to ask the class to be quiet, I erase one letter. If there are no letters left, I do not do the fun activity. If there is one letter left, I do the activity. This worked for me with a 4th grade class.