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Tell me about second grade
Old 07-16-2017, 04:58 AM
 
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Hi!

After being out on Maternity leave for a year I got bumped down to second grade. I was a fifth grade teacher. Naturally, I'm a bit anxious about this. Personality wise, I got along with fifth graders because I'm pretty direct and I liked being able to communicate with my students and have them respond quickly. I liked that I could expect more of them since they are older. This is not the case with second grade I'm guessing. I have no idea how to teach second grade. I have no idea what kids that age are like or how to talk to them. I don't know how to adjust my expectations in terms of behavior and what discipline at this age looks like. So tell me:

1) What are some of the best things about teaching second grade?
2) What are some of the challenges that come with second graders?
3) What does your discipline look like? Not just your system, but how you personally talk to your students.
4) Any other tips, helpful hints, experiences or other bits of wisdom.

Thank You!

Kate


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2nd grade info below
Old 07-16-2017, 07:43 AM
 
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Just a bit further down on the board are a couple of threads about Second grade that might be helpful.

http://www.proteacher.net/discussion...d.php?t=585156

http://www.proteacher.net/discussion...d.php?t=584525
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Wow!
Old 07-16-2017, 02:09 PM
 
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Your post could have been written by me. I was a 5th grade teacher and got moved down to second grade when I returned from maternity leave, too!

I loved fifth grade. At the time, our second grade was 20:1 ratio and fifth grade was 34:1 so my principal thought it would be easier with the new baby. It was not! I still think second grade is more difficult. It took me a while, but now I actually prefer the younger ones.

Biggest changes:

1. Give lots and lots of praise in front of others. My fifth graders would have died if I had said how well they had done on a test in front of their classmates -- second graders thrive on this. As another teacher put it, "Second graders are still happy for their friends when they do well."
This took me quite a while to get used to.

2. You have to explain every step and show them exactly what you want done. At the beginning of the year, they could not even pass in papers without practice. Everything takes practice. Everything.

3. You can get students excited just by using an excited voice with them. Everything can be magical, if you sell them on it.

4. They love being read to -- and they almost all love silent reading time, too. Every year I ask my students at the end what they enjoyed most and these two reading times always come out on top -- ahead of recess, art, and science!

5. Math tests will take much less time. In fifth grade, I remember that a math test meant a good 30-45 minutes of quiet time. The first time I gave a second grade test. The first student was done in 5 minutes. I quickly looked it over (something you will be able to do easily in second grade) and said to myself, "Yes, second grade math really doesn't take that long even for second graders."

5. They will love you and hug you. They want to be around you all the time. Having to spend time with you at recess or lunch is a reward (not a punishment as fifth-graders would see it.)

6. You will see huge growth in your students. In fifth-grade, they make progress, too - but not the big jumps like you see in primary.

I was a very direct teacher too -- I still am. I have had to adjust my voice and tone and remind myself that they are just little kids. I do feel sorry for my first group of second graders because I really demanded a lot from them.

So, why do I prefer second grade now? Most students still view school as a fun place to be. They still love their teacher and love to learn. They make great academic gains. Have fun!
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