3rd, 4th, and 5th Grades--What is each grade like?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by futureteacher13, Feb 19, 2016.

  1. futureteacher13

    futureteacher13 Rookie

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    Feb 19, 2016

    I want to become a 3rd, 4th, or 5th grade teacher in the near future! :) What is each grade like? How do you build positive relationships with your students in these grades? Classroom and Behavior Management strategies? Curriculum? I have experience working with elementary aged students as a Volunteer, Mentor, and Paraprofessional. I also have been working with middle schools for 6 years! :)
     
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  3. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Feb 19, 2016

    3rd graders are sweet little creatures. All the teacher-pleasing qualities of younger students, but the upper elementary independence is developing. The biggest drawback is that they are probably the chattiest age, from my experience anyway.
     
  4. futureteacher13

    futureteacher13 Rookie

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    I currently work with middle school students and they are a chatty bunch. This is where good classroom management, consistency, procedures, and high expectations are essential. I have learned and grown so much over the last 6 years from where I was to where I am now! :) Being a Paraprofessional has definitely given me a different perspective on teaching and I still am very much excited about the next stage of my career! :)
     
  5. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    Third graders, more than other grades I think, seem to mature rapidly throughout the year. Third, fourth, and fifth graders are very eager to learn. They seem to work quite productively in cooperative learning groups. Social learning is especially important in fifth grade and they seek to find ways to do activities in their free time together as a group. 5th graders, especially, sometimes make independent life decisions from what they've learned in school; some of the lessons might trigger an interest for further studies in middle and high school, hobbies, or eventual careers. The key to building proper teacher-student rapport is the same as for any age--the key is to listen. I figure I have 2 ears and only 1 mouth, so I listen more than I talk. I agree, in third grade, there is a lot of student chatting in class and of course students must be redirected back to the work at hand; the reason for the chatting is that their brains are developing at a lightning pace and using discussion among their peers to do so. You'll also notice note writing and even secret communications (made up words, initialized words, parts of a sentence, gestures, etc.). Concerning curriculum, encouraging reading is probably the most important goal I can think of. By the way,this age range is very much into the Disney Channel and Nickelodeon. During class discussions about the textbook, often a student will relate it to something viewed on these channels.
     
  6. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    These are the 3 grades that I have taught. Each grade I have taught at least 5 years at. Here has been my experience with each grade.

    3rd grade--these students love their teachers and are in general very pleasant. They might be the most pleasant age to deal with as they like their teachers and are fairly independent. They are still young enough to tattle and struggle a bit in working in groups. Also while they can follow directions and often do, they need to have directions broken into simple steps and given out one step at a time. This is an age where skills are still very important. Much time needs to be given on math facts (times and division facts), regrouping subtraction, and understanding place value. In reading, yes they can read chapter books and should, but time must be taken to get the lower students into readers by developing phonics skills and fluency skills, as well as comprehension skills.

    4th grade--these children seem also like 3rd graders in August, but they change a lot during the year. They still like their teacher, but have gotten much more into their peers as well. This is a great year for discussions as students are mature enough to think more critically, and are young enough to not be overly timid in sharing in front of their peers. Fourth graders tend to like school and enjoy the new experience of learning more content and a bit less on skills. This year is a jump academically for them as they go into more "learning to read", to "reading to learn". A teacher who is both patient and willing to challenge students is a great help.

    5th grade--this might have the best curriculum of any grade. Students get to learn about US history and some very interesting things in Science. There is more time for content, and a teacher that takes the time to make content interesting will really enjoy teaching this grade. A teacher who "just goes by the book" will lose their students interest who hunger for meaningful content. Fifth grade can be a challenging grade the first year to teach because of all of its content, but after a year or two, it is the favorite of many teachers. The students are very independent and great at working in groups. This might be the best age for cooperative learning. Students get much more into their peer groups, and while they like their 5th grade teachers often, they show it a lot less. They are getting more concerned about how their peer group sees them and their friends are very important to them at this age.

    Hope this helps. Personally, I have enjoyed all 3 grades and think many teachers would too.
     
  7. futureteacher13

    futureteacher13 Rookie

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    I have been a Paraprofessional for nearly 7 years. I have worked with students in grades K-5 & 6-8. Out of my very short time as an elementary Paraprofessional, but also with my two years of experience as a Mentor and Classroom Volunteer, I enjoy 3rd-5th grade the most. I have nearly 7 years of experience working with middle school students and I like working with the upper elementary aged children. I thought I wanted to become a middle school Social Studies teacher (as my degree is in Social Science with an Education Concentration), but I thought about my experiences in elementary and how passionate I was about seeing these children grow into successful, independent individuals with a fire for learning! :) Thank you so much for your input and advice about all 3 grade levels and I look forward to embarking on the next stage of my career! :)
     
  8. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    Feb 22, 2016

    This was extraordinarily well-written. I have taught all three grades as well, and couldn't add much more. I find that at the beginning of grade three things move soooooo slowly! There is a lot of growth/maturity developed in grade three. A lot of the Math concepts that you describe as grade three are grade four here, but I suspect we are the exception as opposed to the rule.
     

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