2nd grade questions

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by flutterbye, Dec 18, 2010.

  1. flutterbye

    flutterbye Rookie

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    Dec 18, 2010

    I'm a relatively new teacher. All of my experience has been in Kindergarten (1.5 years) and Head Start(2 years). I was just hired to start teaching a 2nd grade class after the Christmas Break. I am very nervous about coming into a class where all the students will have had to be transitioned into my room from other teachers, having no experience with children of this age (other than having a couple of them of my own), and being in a new school where I don't know the procedures used.

    I've been reading over 2nd grade state standards and looking up lesson ideas for those standards, I know the other teachers in my grade group will be willing to help out and that they will have some strategies I can adapt, but I'm still feeling unprepared.

    Does anyone have suggestions on how to ease the transition for both the students and myself? In my Kindergarten classroom we only really had one rule "Be Kind" should I keep that or do an adaptation of what the other teachers had that the kids would be more accustomed to? In Kindergarten we 'move tickets' or pull colors, but 2nd graders may be more mature and respond better to more sophisticated classroom management methods, what has been effective for other teachers?
     
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  3. teachgrade5

    teachgrade5 Comrade

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    Dec 18, 2010

    You can still move tickets or pull colors at the second grade level...it is not inappropriate.

    I think the main thing you need to be prepared for is the students telling you that they other teacher didn't do it this way. You need to establish with them that you are the teacher now, and some things are going to change about the way the classroom is ran. You may need a standard answer such as, "Yes, I realize that your other teacher did it this way, but we are going to start trying things differently." It will be a huge adjustment for all. If the other teachers in your grade level are willing to help, then be sure you ask for it. Check and see how they handle management in their classrooms.

    I know you said you have looked at the standards. Do you know if your school has a pacing guide or list of what standards should be taught during each grading period? If so, be sure you follow those very closely.

    I am sure you will do fine, but you need to take one day at a time and ask for help! Congratulations on your new job.:D
     
  4. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    Dec 18, 2010

    I know teachers who have also made this transition, and they don't necessarily move away from what has worked for them at the lower level. (2nd graders are not "too mature" for anything.)

    In other words, you can meld your Kinder/Head-Start procedures and methods into your 2nd grade classroom just fine. If you did Calendar in your K classroom (and liked it), use it in 2nd. Anything that you liked and thought was purposeful, you can use in a 2nd grade room. Reading out loud, discipline systems, etc.
     
  5. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Dec 18, 2010

    I agree! Many things you did before would work just at a different level. If you can get into the school and check out the other classrooms or observe before starting this might be beneficial. I know that my district is already on break, but some neighboring districts will go one break one day next week.
     
  6. flutterbye

    flutterbye Rookie

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    Dec 18, 2010

    I'll talk to my new principal about getting a chance to observe first. I'm supposed to start t right after the break- they are already done for now. She has a reputation for working well with the teachers, I bet she would be willing to let me do that. Great idea. Thanks.

    I'm relieved to hear not a lot of things need to change. After the joy of getting the job wore off, I woke up this morning and realized that I didn't ask nearly enough questions during my interview.
     
  7. teach'ntx

    teach'ntx Comrade

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    Dec 18, 2010

    I teach 2nd grade and they pull colors for classroom mgmt. In my class (and hopefully yours is not like mine), Be Kind is not the only rule. They need it explained in more detail like keep hand and feet to yourself.
    I came into my class in Oct and it was a tough transition, but 2nd grade is great!
     
  8. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    Dec 18, 2010


    Definitely observe if you can. I am having to leave during Christmas break because my husband has military orders. My replacement has been in the room with me daily for the last 3 weeks to help make the transition easier on the kids. It has made me personally, and the new teacher, feel a lot better about things.
     
  9. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Dec 20, 2010

    I have my kids pull a card for any sort of behavior infractions. You may be surprised to hear that 2nd graders respond to the same sort of positive reinforcement and classroom management strategies that work in a kindergarten classroom (my mom teaches kinder, so we always chat about the similarities between her kids and my kids).

    Little things like stickers, high-fives, stamps, etc. make 2nd graders happy! For the most part, they're highly motivated and just want to please their teacher!

    Be firm at the beginning and let them know your expectations!
     
  10. flutterbye

    flutterbye Rookie

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    Jan 15, 2011

    Thank you all for the advice. I did observe for two days before starting, and I have just survived my first week. Sadly, because my class is an overflow class, all of my students were moved from other teachers' rooms, and we had to all learn my specific classroom procedures this last week, while also still maintaining a regular curriculum schedule. My new students did very poorly on tests on Friday that the whole grade level had to give, we were trying to do too much, while dealing with transition problems.

    Also, until more bureaucratic paperwork gets taken care of (can take up to 6 weeks) I can not run a copy machine, have a computer, get a school email, or basically anything else that I need. I have begun taking my personal laptop to the school and hooking it up to my SMARTboard to present lessons, and then I have the children write the answers on regular paper, that way I can still use the worksheets and such the other teachers use. Next week will be better. And I really LOVE teaching 2nd grade.
     
  11. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Jan 15, 2011

    I'm glad you love second grade and found a way to make it through week one! Each week will get better and better, but the time you are taking to teach the procedures and rules is so valuable and you will not regret it in 6 weeks time!
     
  12. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Jan 15, 2011

    Have you thought about giving the kids dry-erase boards (mini-white boards) to use for writing their answers? It's a quick and easy way for you to check for understanding without having to look at each paper (they can hold up their white boards for you to see their answers--it works especially well during math instruction).

    Anyway, I'm so happy to hear that things are going well for you! Keep your head up and let the positive vibes surround you!
     
  13. UVAgrl928

    UVAgrl928 Habitué

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    Jan 16, 2011

    Glad that things are going so great! My first year of teaching I took over two months into school. Don't worry about the test scores... I'm sure the admin realizes that there is a transitional period.

    In regards to worksheets... have you asked any of your teammates to run copies for you? My first year I had a great mentor teacher that would run me off a set of worksheets anytime she made copies. Ask your team for some support in regards to the things that you don't have access to... hopefully they are filling you in on any staff emails!
     

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