1st grade or kindergarten?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Teach'em, Mar 22, 2011.

  1. Teach'em

    Teach'em Companion

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    Mar 22, 2011

    I have the opportunity to move down to 1st grade next year and possibly kindergarten. But, for the life of me, I cannot decide which I would prefer! I've had student teaching experiences in both and loved both...but of course I was not their main teacher. So, I would like to hear from kinder and 1st grade teachers about the positives/negatives of both.
    :help::thanks:
     
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  3. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Mar 23, 2011

    Is it a full day or half day kindergarten position?
     
  4. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    I've only taught 1st and 2nd grade (one year in first grade and five years in second grade) & truly can't imagine myself moving back down to 1st grade! I just didn't like it very much (I'd do it again if I had to...and of course, I'd make the most of it). :2cents:
     
  5. Miss84

    Miss84 Comrade

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    Mar 23, 2011

    I taught 2nd last year and now I'm in Kindergarten. I don't think K is for me-I prefer 1st and up. I've been a TA in 1st, which is the age group I truly enjoy working with. In K they are such babies when they get to you-I spent half the year de-babying them more than anything.
     
  6. Teach'em

    Teach'em Companion

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    Mar 23, 2011

    Thanks for the input! It's for a full-day program. My degree is in early childhood and I've always loved teaching reading, so I feel like I would love to get the little ones started on the right track with a love for reading. I'm just not sure which grade would make me feel like I was impacting them the most. I'm sure I would be happy with either, but at some point I'm probably going to have to make the decision. I may just have to draw out of a hat! :lol:

    Anyone else have any positives/negatives to add?
     
  7. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Mar 24, 2011

    Think about your school. Do they usually come to first grade reading?

    If yes, you might want a K room. However, if no, the first grade room might be better.

    Also, consider the other staff at the grade level that you will be working with....
     
  8. Mommyserenity

    Mommyserenity Devotee

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    Mar 24, 2011

    I always taught K up until this year and I LOVE LOVE LOVE 1st grade! I love that the kids are still young, but a bit older and can do more things for themselves. I would go back to K if I had to, but I much prefer 1st now that I have done it! :)
     
  9. terptoteacher

    terptoteacher Connoisseur

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    Mar 24, 2011

    I went from 5th down to first and absolutely LOVE it! In first grade, they already have some idea on how to be a student--how to sit in calendar corner, what is recess, how to hold a pencil, how to write their names and letters. If they went to all day k, they know about lunch and the daily routines. That's not to say that I don't reinforce it a lot!

    I don't tie shoes, snap or button pants or help them dress in anyway and I don't feel bad about saying, "find a friend to help you and have your parents teach you how so that you can do it yourself" I think I wouldn't feel as free to do that in kindergarten.

    I think in both grade levels the learning is incredible! You can chart their progress from reading 3 or 4 words per minute up to 60 or beyond! I have kids reading at over 120!! It really makes you feel successful as a teacher.
     
  10. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Mar 24, 2011

    I have been teaching K for 3 years, and I'm hoping to move to first next year. I like where the kids are at this point of the year, but I HATE HATE HATE the beginning of the year. The only time I have ever cried over my job is at the beginning of the year. I don't enjoy it. The kids are so new to everything. All you hear is, "When do we get to go on the playground? When do we get to eat? When do we get to play? When is it time to go home?" You have to explain everything to them. Every morning for the first 2 or 3 weeks I have to remind them what a "cold lunch" is. My school requires all grades to do the Daily 5. I'm so jealous of the first grade teachers who have everything up and running by mid-October. I usually have things up and running by the beginning of December.

    So, if you like molding very fresh/new minds, K is for you. If you would rather get to actually teaching content in the first month of school (like myself!) I would go with first grade.
     
  11. Teach'em

    Teach'em Companion

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    Mar 24, 2011

    Thanks everyone! It looks like 1st grade has the vote!
     
  12. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Mar 24, 2011

    Between your two choices, I think 1st gr is better. If it were up to me to teach any gr level, I think 3rd is the BEST.
     
  13. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Mar 25, 2011

    I've taught K, not 1st...what do YOU love about teaching young kids? K is a lot of 'mommying' as they adjust to school...there is emergent literacy, which is fascinating, but it's physically and emotionally draining...I think first offers more 'meaty' teaching opportunities...real reading, developing math skills... Kind of depends on the kind of teacher you are...what you want out of your days...:cool:
     
  14. Teach'em

    Teach'em Companion

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    Mar 25, 2011

    Cza, I definitely don't want to feel like I'm babysitting. I like structure and routine with a few spur of the moment activities thrown in every once in a while. I student taught in a very structured kindergarten class, so I know it can be done. I enjoy being the instigator of learning, where I provide the opportunities, materials, etc. and the kids take it where it needs to go (i.e. Project Approach).
    At this point, I'm leaning towards 1st grade, as I would like to begin school teaching subject matter, not how to wipe noses and throw tissues away! lol...a little exaggeration, but you get the point.
     
  15. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    Mar 25, 2011

    Personally, based on your responses, I would suggest first grade for you as well... though I'm sure you would enjoy either!
     
  16. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    Mar 25, 2011

    I have taught K, 1, and 2 and for me I prefer kinder by far. The kids are so sweet and you get to be their first teacher. What you say is the "bible" to them as they know no different. You see them arrive as "babies" and leave reading and understanding what school is about.

    Yes the beginning can be rough - but I find it so much fun!

    As far as love teaching reading - it depends on how academic your district is - my is very. I also love teaching reading. I have a masters in reading. I learned sooooo much from teaching reading from the ground up - more than 1st grade - but that is me. Now I have a great view of teaching reading from the beginning through second and I feel its given me a great understanding of the beginning reading process.
     
  17. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Mar 25, 2011

    It's definitely NOT babysitting in K...it's laying a foundation for the learning done in subsequent grades, but yes, the kids are so dependent on you...god bless K teachers!:love:
     
  18. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Mar 26, 2011

    Yes, I agree! I definitely don't wipe noses (or other things), tie shoes (over half of them can do it and they help one-another), or button jackets. I just don't like the whole lack of independence. If you don't tell them NOT to do something, they are most likely going to do it, because they are beginning to understand what they can and cannot do in school.

    The thing that makes me nervous about first grade, if I do move up next year, is the parents. Parents make me very nervous for some reason, and I'm pretty sure first grade parents will be more difficult to deal with than kinder parents. First grade is more vigorous academically, and some kids just still aren't ready and really struggle. In K, we help those kids as much as we can and think, "They'll probably get it in first grade."
     
  19. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Mar 26, 2011

    I'm on the fence with that one too. I actually think 1st Grade is harder because of all the standards they have to meet. We have standards in K but whether or not they move on doesn't hinge on them. Grading took some getting used to also. I know if I taught it again I would be a lot better, because of what I learned throughout the year. But I think my heart is in Kinder. It's not for everybody though, you have to have a lot of patience.
     
  20. Teach'em

    Teach'em Companion

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    Mar 26, 2011

    Well I still don't know...I may just let my principal decide for me. I know I would be happy with either...sometimes I hate making decisions...:unsure:
     

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