Here's more info on my fourth grade class. I didn't notice this until I looked at the class roster, but there are three sets of twins in my class. Two boys, two girls, and a boy/girl pair.
Now I understand what was happening on the first day of class, when Joey switched nametags with the boy next to him. Fortunately, they started laughing like crazy when I called one of them by the wrong name, so I was able to figure out what was going on instantly.
The fourth graders are most well-behaved. The main problem is that they're all so enthusiastic that everyone will shout out the answers at once. That's bad, because some of the shyer students don't get a chance to speak up. Also, once the students are all talking at once, it's kind of hard to get them to stop.
The teaching guides say that fourth grade children can get restless during class, especially because our class takes place right after donut time. The guides recommending having some sort of activity halfway through the class, to get the kids to stop being so antsy. Last week, I had drawing time as the halfway break, and it seemed to work well. The kids loved drawing, and they're good at it. I'm going to try drawing time again someday, after I try out some other class activities.
The fourth graders are not the only kids I teach. I also teach a group of middle schoolers, who are mostly sixth graders, I think.
It's hard to believe how different the sixth graders are from the fourth graders, given that they're only two years older.
I said that the fourth graders all shout out the answers to questions. The sixth graders, on the other hand, seem to have a disease which prevents them from ever answering any questions. During the 30 minute group discussion time, I kept on trying to get them to give good answers to the discussion questions, but mostly they just sat there and stared at me, never saying anything.
It's just so weird. The fourth graders need time to cool down, because they get hyper. But the sixth graders need time to warm up, because they will literally sit there and not do anything for the whole hour and a half.
Drawing time didn't work so well with the sixth graders, because only one of them actually put some effort into making a good drawing.
In conclusion, the fourth graders are fun, but maybe a bit too enthusiastic, while I have no idea how to get the middle schoolers to react to much of anything. Suggestions?