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Bella Flower Bella Flower is offline
 
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Help! 3rd or keep 4th grade
Old 05-09-2015, 09:56 AM
 
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I really would appreciate some insight to a decision I need to make. I have the opportunity to move to 3rd grade. For many years, I have taught 4th and here in our state we have 33 in a class while primary has 25. But I don't want that to be the only deciding factor. My 4th grade students are independent in their work skills. The downside is the drama and off task behavior. Can anyone share their thoughts on 4th vs 3rd grade. Describe your 3rd grade classroom and how you like that grade level. I just can't seem to make up my mind.

Thanks everyone.



Last edited by Bella Flower; 05-09-2015 at 09:59 AM.. Reason: More information
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Old 05-09-2015, 10:46 AM
 
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I LOVED 4th grade and would go back in a heartbeat. I've been teaching 3rd for 3 years now and it's far from my favorite. The first half of the year is really difficult for me, it's really an extended 2nd grade in my opinion. I have to do a lot of hand holding. 4th grade is definitely more independent. There is lots of drama and off task behavior in 3rd grade as well. I don't know your state, but 3rd grade is a mess in NC with added assessments and monitoring.
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Love Third Grade
Old 05-09-2015, 11:40 AM
 
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I taught fourth grade for 8 years. This is my 11th year to teach third.

Third graders are pretty sweet for the most part and still love their teacher.

It is the big year to grow up in my opinion. They are starting the second half of elementary and they need to accept responsibility for their own learning. They are almost always up to the challenge. They want to be the older and act older.

They learn to multiply. This is a hard process and challenging. But it is worth the effort when they have mastered the process. It is a real right of passage.

I teach in Texas and we still teach cursive writing. Many of the students are excited about this learning. We practice until they are fluent. (at least most of them) I also require mine to read cursive daily by writing a riddle on the board daily for them to solve.

Our third graders learn to touch type as well. This really starts building their skills to use computers efficiently. Our goal is for them to type 15 words per minute and with 85% accuracy. This skill is fun to teach as well.

They start to read to learn, rather that learn to read. I find this the most exciting of all. I love teaching reading comprehension. I like finding books and stories they will enjoy and help them learn to like reading. FUN!

I like teaching this level because I know what they need for fourth grade so I feel I can get them ready better.

The literature is a little simple. It is not as meaty and get a little boring at times compared to fourth grade literature.

Our third grade social studies topic are not as much fun as fourth grade topics. Fourth grade learns about Texas whereas third studies community, government and economics... Not as much fun in my opinion as fourth.

There is drama with behavior but not as much in my opinion.

Good luck making the right decision for you. It is always nice to have a choice.

Last edited by 1956BD; 05-09-2015 at 12:47 PM..
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Summerwillcom Summerwillcom is offline
 
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I have taught both for many yrs
Old 05-09-2015, 02:14 PM
 
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I like 4th grade best. They can do so much more and help w/ practical stuff. They have longer attention spans and things can clip along more to my pace..3rd is still usually nice...they will seem like babies at the beginning of the yr if you are used to 4th. An advantage to 3rd is that I think ( maybe wrong) most standardized tests are way easier in 3rd than 4th....so there is less test pressure in a way. I think both are the 2 best grades to teach. Good luck in your decision...
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RetiredKat RetiredKat is offline
 
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if in nc...
Old 05-09-2015, 03:24 PM
 
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I so agree with smannes! I retired just in time. I went back 6 months later to volunteer and was astonished by the amount of testing. Right now k-3 is finishing up the one on one TRC testing just in time for EOG tests in a couple of weeks.


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Old 05-09-2015, 06:42 PM
 
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I would rather do 4th than 3rd. 3rd seems to be an awkward transition year. They aren't babies, but they aren't old enough to be real independent. For me, a big thing would be all the testing that starts in 3rd in my state. I wouldn't want to be the first teacher to take them through it.
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Old 05-10-2015, 02:08 AM
 
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I sub in many different grades, and third is my absolute favorite! I'm a math person, so I love teaching multiplication. Third is also state history here in MA, which I find a lot of fun as well.

As far as the kids go, I like the balance in third. They can work independently, but still love their teachers. You can reason with them and explain the "why" of rules, but Christmas is still magic, and you don't get the "romance" drama yet.

Consider location and the teammates you'd be working with as well. Here, third grade is the end of our lower elementary, and forth is the beginning of our 4-6 building, so the atmosphere, and even the hours, are different.
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Old 05-10-2015, 02:44 AM
 
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Third grade is a year of huge transition. It's really a hybrid. The students come in as second-graders, primary students, and wrap up the year as fourth-graders, ready for intermediate. The pace starts slow, picks up in January and is flying by April. You teach multiplication and cursive. You move from learning to read to reading to learn. (At least, we hope so. My class this year has more struggling readers than I've had before.) The students are still somewhat innocent and willing to work and follow directions, not as sassy as fourth grade. They also should be more receptive to learning study skills and organizational skills--planners, homework, that sort of thing. Originally, I wanted to teach fourth or above, but I landed in third because that's where the job was. I'm set now and won't move unless I'm required to.
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years ago
Old 05-10-2015, 02:56 AM
 
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Years, actually decades ago a teacher told me her favorite grade to teach. If she had her choice she would have the second half of third grade and the first half of fourth grade.
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Love Them Both
Old 05-14-2015, 05:58 PM
 
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I taught 4th grade for 7 years and this is my first year to teach 3rd grade. I was really disappointed at first because I was hired (new school) for 4th grade but was then asked to move to 3rd grade a few weeks before school started.

I couldn't be happier with 3rd grade!! It has been an absolute joy! I don't miss the drama and attitudes that appear more in 4th. The kids are sweet, happy to help, and still old enough to get my jokes!! 😎 I can also relate to what a previous poster mentioned about knowing what they need to be prepared for in 4th grade.

However, I teach in a private school that doesn't have to do all of the testing the public schools are subject to so I can't say much regarding that.

Do you know the teachers on the teams? To me the team makes the difference. That would be one of my biggest deciding factors. Best wishes to you on whatever you decide!


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