What makes the little third grade monsters tick? motivation..
I am a third grade EFL teacher in China but I think that my question is more universally about 3rd grade students - 8-9 year old human beings (probably martians also) than about teaching a foreign language, so I put the question in this forum.
I am looking for texts and articles to help me learn about 3rd graders so that I can design a more effective classroom management system for them. What makes them tick? What is most important to them? Can they live in something other than the immediate world - i.e. can they be taught to think about the whole week? I have taught them before and know some of these answers but I would really like some suggestions for books, articles, webpages, etc that will help me improve my understanding of the beasts.
Feel free to post your own opinions/philosophies, examples, URL's, textbook names, etc. I think it would be helpful for me to get a good practical book on stages of development/developmental psychology so that I can become more familiar with the surrounding grades 2& 4 as well.
I'm currently student teaching in a 3rd grade classroom. In my opinion, most of them are able to think in the longer term (as you mentioned whole week) as well as the short term. As for motivations, you could do a combination of immediate and long term. Most still enjoy something as simple as a sticker, or even a compliment from the teacher. They are also very affected by their peers. You can use this to your advantage by rewarding students who are doing the right thing. The other students will see, and (hopefully) imitate those students.
Just some thoughts from my perspective. Other kids and classroom dynamics could be much different
I love my third graders... The curriculum is demanding but new learning opportunities can be designed to motivate and engage these learners...I'm saddened that the OP refers to his/her students as monsters and beasts...get to learn each kid as an individual and as a learner...find ways for them to feel connected, contributing and capable...this is an exciting age! Embrace the opportunity...and its challenges!