3rd grade

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by TeacherApr, Oct 27, 2010.

  1. TeacherApr

    TeacherApr Groupie

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    Does your school classify 3rd grade as "upper" elementary or "lower" elementary?

    Do you agree with it? Why or why not?
     
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  3. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Oct 27, 2010

    3rd grade is just elementary in my school. Our fifth grade is moved into an intermediate setting.

    Not sure my feelings as I do not teach in the elementary setting. I'm in the intermediate building. But I must say that there are many advantages of having a fifth/sixth building for these students!
     
  4. diana

    diana Rookie

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    I've always thought of 3rd grade as upper elementary. K-2 is lower, 3-5 is upper. But with so many new grade setups for elementary in recent years, I guess anything goes.
     
  5. Danny'sNanny

    Danny'sNanny Connoisseur

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    I have an early childhood cert, and wish that 3rd grade was considered more an early childhood grade - they are still in that young child developmental range.

    BUT, when I look at the differences between my 2nd grade classroom and the 3rd grade rooms down the hall - they are run like an upper elementary class. And that is a huge part of why I didn't loop up with my kids last year.
     
  6. Yank7

    Yank7 Habitué

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    Upper elementary,it is the first year they are required to take the battery of state wide and of course in today's world of miseducation the exams are what counts.
    Our kindergarten teachers are told they must emphasize reading,writing and math and playtime and art and music are becoming a thing of the past,thus I guess third grade must be upper elementary.
     
  7. cruiserteacher

    cruiserteacher Comrade

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    In my school, K-2 is primary and 3-5 is intermediate.
     
  8. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Oct 27, 2010

    Upper. Having moved from grade 2 to grade 3 this year, I agree.
     
  9. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    cza, what do you feel is the biggest difference? I worked with 3rd last year and 2nd this year, but I feel like the instruction is TOTALLY different.
     
  10. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    My school is only K-4, so third grade would be upper elementary in my school. Also, it's the first year they have to do state testing, so I think that would also bump us into upper elementary.
     
  11. buck8teacher

    buck8teacher Devotee

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    I agree that 3rd grade is the transition to the intermediate grades. They are asked to become independent, critical thinkers. Many are not quite ready for it, but due to the demands of high stakes testing, we have to dive right in!
     
  12. tgim

    tgim Habitué

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    Hmm...lower intermediate? We are in the wing and on same lunch schedule ast 4th and 5th, and do the statewide testing, and do sci/ss daily, but there is a huge learning curve to locating info in the text and working more independently. It gets better as they year goes on, so by the end we are intermediate, but at the beginning they are really big 2nd graders learning to be intermediate students. ;)
     
  13. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    It's the personal responsibility required of students- they need to take 'their job' as a student more seriously...elevated levels of personal concern regarding quality of work...all the curriculum is mostly new...for many, it's the first year of 'high stakes testing'...I know, they are 8 years old, who wants to put this kind of pressure on kids but there are implications from research regarding implications for college based on third grade literacy...I still make time for fun: math games, Scrabble and Boggle for word work, spaghetti skeletons to complement health studies of the human skeletal system...but it's still A LOT on the kids (and teachers!!)
     
  14. tgim

    tgim Habitué

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    I agree, czacza - as a teacher who moved from 2nd to 3rd last year, there is a huge jump in what we expect of them. I do remember this from a couple of decades ago when I first taught 3rd grade, but back then we still had time for fun activities like doing plays, playing games, exploring in science, etc. Now I feel like it is rush, rush, rush. I prefer to go deep rather than broad, but the current state of education isn't allowing depth over breadth.
    :2cents:
     
  15. Youngteacher226

    Youngteacher226 Enthusiast

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    Speaking from a 3rd grade teacher's perspective (and a former 2nd grade teacher for 4 years), I would have to say that I disagree with calling 3rd grade "Upper Elementary". I can totally see how 3rd grade is the "big year" due to the state testing, and let me just say that we do work, work, work!! But I think state testing should begin in 4th grade only because every year, I have at least 4-5 students who are just not mature enough or ready for the pressures or demands of testing. So I have to work extra hard, with the help from parents, to get them there. It's stressful, very stressful. I think 3rd grade should involve more nurturing and room for development. They're only 8 for heavens sake! SMH.
     
  16. TeacherApr

    TeacherApr Groupie

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    And I see 3rd as lower elementary based upon several things:
    1) They are still learning to read/comprehend. Having a Reading minor, I know that starting in FOURTH grade it is expected that ALL students know how to read and during reading they are not being TAUGHT to read but rather being taught what to do with the reading they do.

    2) I am also an Early Childhood Minor which encompasses ages 0-8 (which is infancy to THIRD grade)

    3) The whole testing thing means nothing to me. I don't think it is right for 3rd graders to be taking state testing. It should begin in 4th grade.
     
  17. Youngteacher226

    Youngteacher226 Enthusiast

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    I agree TeacherApr,
    you are right that 3rd graders are still "learning to read" while students in 4th and up are "reading to learn". Big difference!! We are expecting these kids to read, comprehend what they read, then analyze it based on their own experiences and knowledge. Huh??? It just seems like too much. Now don't get me wrong, when I was moved up to 3rd, I was kinda sad because I didn't want the fun to be taken out of what I do, so I made it a point to bring the fun up to 3rd grade with me. Hahaha!! Now that I am in my second year of 3rd grade, I like it. I like the challenge! I like the idea that my 3rd graders shouldn't be able to do something and then we all feel rewarded when they accomplish it. It felt good to know that last year, almost 60% of my third graders started the year below grade level in math, but my class got a 100% passing on the state exam. That was great! We worked extremely hard!
     

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