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SusanTeach 02-14-2018 05:08 PM

Changing from 3rd to 2nd?
I love 3rd grade, so I never thought I'd ask this question. But for reasons I don't want to get into, I may talk to the P about moving down to 2nd grade next year. I've never taught below 3rd (other than student teaching many moons ago), so I'm not sure what I'm getting into. I've taught 3rd for a long time.

Has anyone taught 3rd and made the switch? What do you love? Dislike? Regrets?

Thanks for your honesty. I'm not sure if I'm going to make the leap, but I'm keeping my options open.

vttraveler 02-14-2018 08:07 PM

I went from 3rd to second. It was struggle at the beginning of the year because it felt like they couldnít do anything independently. But I really enjoyed them the second half of the year. Iíve been back in 3rd now for many years. Itís where I belong.

lovelife07 02-15-2018 02:07 AM

I went from 3rd to 2nd six years ago and I love it! The previous poster is right they cannot do as much in the beginning especially. But if you train them well they will learn and totally amaze you with how much they grow by the middle of the year. It's not for everyone. I've had friends go to 2nd and back to 3rd in a short time. Maybe talk to some 2nd grade teachers in your area to get some insight. Good luck in your decision.

cheerio 02-16-2018 07:43 AM

I did the opposite, I went from many years of 2nd grade to 3rd grade this year. The difference in independence at the beginning of the year is huge! I couldn't believe how they could just "do things" without me having to explicitly model and explain every little thing. So you might find it difficult to go the opposite way. I love both grades and would be happy teaching either one.

hopealope 02-17-2018 03:40 PM

I did
I taught third grade for 5 years and then switched and found that they were still babies and couldn't do much independently at the beginning of the year but I love the grade. Once you get used to the fact that they are still little ones at the beginning and need a lot of support it's awesome they still love learning!

kidsrterrific 02-19-2018 02:10 PM

Fourth grade to second grade
My experience is different than previous posters. I was asked, after teaching 20 years of fourth grade, to consider moving down to second grade. I wasnít sure it was anything I wanted to do.

However, I decided to make the change and it ended up being my favorite grade of all the ones I had taught- which would be third, fourth, fifth, and sixth- before. Best thing I ever did and second grade is the grade I retired with!!!

Previous posters are all correct. The students come in as ďfirst gradersĒ and everything needs to be modeled. They are very dependent and some can be a little clingy at the beginning of the year.

One thing I noticed that hasnít been mentioned yet is the amount of parent involvement. Parents still hover with second graders which leaves, for the most part, by third grade. So, I made sure communication was prompt and frequent.

Of all the grades I taught, second grade was the grade in which I noticed the greatest dramatic amount of growth from the beginning of the year to the end of the year.

Second graders are a lot like third graders in that they still are enthusiastic about school and love their teacher.

Good luck with your decision and keep us at PT posted.

TheGr8Catsby 02-21-2018 05:38 PM

I've taught K-6. There's a big difference between 2nd and 3rd. 2nd grade is full of big little kids. 3rd grade is full of little big kids.

hapE 03-03-2018 05:47 AM

2nd grade's the best
I made the switch this year and I love it. I taught third for 2 years then went to 2nd. At first I had a hard time dealing with how needy they were and still so young but I just set up a classroom climate that works for me. I started teaching them how to be patient and not follow me around the room. They have to try by themselves first and they learned that sometimes they will work together but other times they work independently and try their best. I set high expectations for my students knowing what they will need in 3rd grade.
I really liked the curriculum also and helped them prepare for 3rd. I noticed where they are some big gaps between 2nd and 3rd grade learning too. I think 2nd is pretty cool and I hope you enjoy it!

luvtulearn 03-03-2018 09:05 AM

19 years in second. . .before CC
I agree also with the previous pposters and would like to add that the 2nd grade curriculum focuses more on foundational skills with phonics, word attack skills, word work, blending, sound spelling cards etc. . . especially at the beginning of the year. If you are in a state like I am ( CA ) the adopted curriculum does not include nearly enough phonetic guidance and practice in their core program for 2nd and we supplement a great deal. I am currently a reading intervention teacher and we hit phonics hard in 2nd and 3rd grade for rti. I did love teaching third grade too. I loved how we could dive deeper into various aspects of comprehension. Close reading is a difficult concept for 2nd graders to wrap their heads around. Many of then are still learning to read and are not quite ready to read to learn. Good luck with your decision. I loved the change .

MAMASUZE 03-04-2018 05:48 PM

Go slow
Have lots of patience with them. 2nd graders love to love you. They look for guidance daily. I moved from 4th to 2nd and wow what a change. However, the love and confidence they have in you is well worth it. They except you silly, serious, and full of fault. Nothing matters to them except for the fact that you are willing to grow with them each day. Good luck with your venture, I hope it's a good move for you.

disneynut 03-10-2018 08:02 AM

This is my first year in 2nd grade after 10 years in 4th and 4 years in 3rd. I am so happy that I made the move.

I had clear expectations and procedures right from the start of the school year and was pleased at how quickly the students adapted. It's such a great age in that they still want to please their teacher.

The area that I still feel a bit shaky with is foundational reading skills. I am learning every day and have two wonderful colleagues that have been super supportive.

As with any change to a new grade level, it has been a ton of work, but I don't regret it for a moment!

Marcee 03-10-2018 09:08 AM

Second Grade
2nd grade is a fun grade to teach! In California they don't have to take THE BIG TEST, so you can spend more time making sure they can read, write, and do math!

I taught K-2 for many years. 2nd graders at the beginning of the year are very dependent. They want to please you and tell you endless stories about their pets. They think they are "big kids", but really many of them are still babies. Especially the boys (?) seem to have lots of fine motor skill issues, which I see increasing due to spending too much time with game controllers. Most of 2nd grade curriculum seems to be cementing skills that were taught in 1st grade, with some added complexity of thinking.

The jump from 3rd to 2nd is most noticeable at the beginning of the year, because in June you are sending out kids ready for 4th grade, and in August you are getting first graders. So it's a big jump.

Good luck. You will like 2nd.

Marcee 03-10-2018 09:11 AM

Foundational Reading Skills
To help the kids with foundational skills, make sure to have lots of Word Work activities (making words, sight word practice, etc.) built into the day. It's preferable if it is in a game format. Look at the book, Words Their Way for ideas.

Smurfyteach 03-18-2018 04:34 PM

People might say it's the best
Hi, I have moved down and even after over five years in Grade 2, honestly I regret it. The gap is too great. I love 3rd and they're more independent and I love in finding where they each fit in to their subjects. Lots of fun and there are so many benefits of it and differences to scatty 2nd graders so I would definitely not do it.
Good luck in your decision-making.
Be Smurfy :)

SusanTeach 03-23-2018 04:05 PM

Thank you!!!
I appreciate all of your thoughts and tips so much! I didn't think I was going to make the switch personally, but then my principal asked me yesterday if I'd be willing to do it.

So, I'm making the switch!!!! After 13 years in 3rd grade, this is going to be so different for me. I'm honestly looking forward to it, and they have a great team of 2nd grade teachers, so that will help. :)

Thanks again for all of your posts. I needed to hear different thoughts to wrap my little brain around the idea. I'll be picking your brains more as the months progress! <!--giggle-->

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