Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Alex, I'll take Modge Podge for 200...

I may or may not have been asked my thoughts on possibly switching grades. Hmm. This was completely off the record to a friend, but it's a friend who spends a lot of time talking with the principal, and could probably put in a good word for what I want, but... I don't know what I want!

My thoughts:
  • This was my first year using this reading series, this math series, and the units and field trips this school does in 2nd. With another year in the same grade level, I feel like I could really lock it all down.
  • My books, activities, files, centers... all 2nd grade-centric.
  • 3rd is a testing grade. In our state, that not only has AYP and possible pay ramifications, but there's also a new test that requires us to give failing students summer school, and if they still don't pass, they have to be retained in reading unless they fit special exemptions. No pressure or anything!
  • By this point (2 1/2 years in 2nd!), I know 2nd grade standards so well- but, to be fair, Common Core comes into effect next year so I'd be changing things up somewhat anyway!
  • I love teaching science more than ANY other subject, and there's a lot more science and social studies content in 3rd. If I had time to plan ahead, I think I could LOVE that.
  • My husband is in school and graduates after next school year, so there's a chance we could be moving in the next few years. It would be good for me to have significant experience in another grade level.
  • I have a terrific class, and if I could have some of them again, I'd love it! On the flip side, every teacher has weaker areas, and I'm a new teacher so I probably have even more. Do I really want to have kids stuck with me and my weaknesses for 2 years?
  • A third grade teacher who is retiring has given me a tour of her room and showed me the incredible wealth of organized and terrific resources that she plans to leave for the next teacher in her room, and... wow.
Basically, I'm comfortable in 2nd grade, and I would feel like I could take what I started this year and really build on it next year if I stayed in this grade. If I moved, I think I could really love it, but I know it's going to be more of a challenge. Some days, I'm up for the challenge... and some days, like any new teacher, I'm not sure I want to push myself any more than this job already does.

Any thoughts, if you've taught 2nd AND 3rd? What are the main differences and pros/ cons of each one? When it comes down to it, I may not have a choice anyway, but I'd like to at least have some idea what I'd say if the principal asked what I wanted to do!

Melly over at Stapler's Strategies for Sizzling Second Graders tagged me again! She's got a great blog, if you aren't already a follower. Thanks Melly! Also, for anyone still reading... I'm sorry. Brevity is not a strength and she had great questions!

1. How many grades have you taught during your career?
As an official teacher... just 2nd! I had field experience from K-5 during college, though, so I've spent at least a little time in different grades. Plus, I teach high schoolers during the summer.
2. Are you where you'd like to stay until retirement?

I love my school so very much, but I'm SO new. My husband's job will be more specific than mine and a little harder to find, so I'm likely going to move wherever he gets a job. Plus, I kind of miss teaching in a low-income school. Some things are so much harder, but you have such an incredible opportunity to really make a difference, as cheesy as it sounds.
3. What do you think about the new Common Core Curriculum?

I think the new math process standards are really great because they're going to emphasize really teaching kids through authentic experience and getting them to think and not just learn rote processes. I think some of the math standards for kindergarten seem too rigorous when not every school has full-day yet. Other than that, I'm excited that so many teachers online will be able to share materials more easily by having common standards, but I wish some of the standards were less vague. Our previous state standards were really specific and I liked that they were easy to understand!
4. How many students do you have in your class this year?

5. Has the number of students grown in the past couple of years?

At this school, I think it's risen somewhat, but I can't say for sure. At my school last year, we had 18 in a class. Now, they have 26.
6. What is your favorite lesson/subject to teach?

7. What is your favorite classroom management strategy?

I love the Clip Chart!
8. How many teachers at your grade level in your school?

 8 of us.
9. How many students in the school where you teach?

Around 600. It's a large school, especially considering it's K-3!
10. Do you teach in a public or private school?


In other news... is my font hard to read? I received a few complaints from family, so I've made it bigger, but I'll switch to another (less cute) font if it's really that hard to read! This is me asking- how's the font? size? Feel free to be brutally honest!

Alright, I'm almost done. If you haven't yet, ONE LAST CHANCE to enter my giveaway! Head to this post and leave me a comment with something that helps keep you organized. Only 11 people have entered so far, so your chances of winning are VERY good!

You could win a free customized lesson plan 2-page spread, and I'll be happy to help you edit in the fall if things change a lot for you, too. Comment before midnight (ET) tonight for a chance to win!


  1. I taught several years in third, moved to fourth, then second....there are definitely pros and cons! In our state, there is also testing in third, so basically after Spring Break, it's review time! On the brighter side, the students are a little more mature, a little more knowledgeable, and that leads to great discussions! Also, if you like doing "cutesy" things....having the same kids, you could still do them!

    If you loop (when I moved from third to fourth, I did not loop, but had 9 of the same students)...well, the bright side to that is you can definitely start right from the get go - no guessing where the students are at the beginning of the year! If you really like your class, I'd say go for it!

    Good luck with whatever your decision! :)

    Adventures in Second Grade

  2. My principal called me in the office yesterday morning before the first bell. She told me she needs me in third. This is my second year in second, but I spent a lot of time teaching third grade. Moving around helps you see what content needs a little more depth than the year before particulary in science and social studies. You do notice the kids blossoming as writers that can fully respond to a question. The humor is a little better, less bodily oriented.
    I have been creating materials like crazy for my brand new second grade reading series, so I won't be able to use the story specific products. I have more ideas about what type of activities worked well and can modify them for third grade. When I went from third to fifth, I saw personal growth in my students, but alsready knew their personalities, friendships, and families. We trusted each other. I think going up will be okay.

    As far as being concerned about repeating your mistakes with the kids, you know about some of those mistakes now and can fix them in a way that no one else can. You are showing them that everyone is constantly learning. Your starting the year on August X committed to the children will give you a stronger chance to teach them with them loving and following you right back. Go for it.

  3. No advice. Sorry. I'm a 2nd to 1st teacher. :)

    Just know that wherever you end up, you'll be AWESOME!!!

    Oh My Little Classity Class


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