first graders??

Discussion in 'First Grade' started by peggy27, Feb 9, 2008.

  1. peggy27

    peggy27 Cohort

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    552
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 9, 2008

    I have been teaching fourth grade for about 7 years and I am tired of dealing with their attitudes and behaviors. I am possibly moving to first grade. Any insights on first grade would be great. I am a little apprehensive.:thanks:
     
  2.  
  3. iTeacher

    iTeacher Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 9, 2008

    Be prepared to hold their hand every step of the way. Be prepared to to tie shoe laces, button coats, deal with tattle tales, tears when they don't get their way or miss their mommy. Also be prepared for unconditional love, first graders usually always love their teachers. I wouldn't leave first grade for anything!
     
  4. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    9,154
    Likes Received:
    1

    Feb 9, 2008

    Yep, they aren't as independent as we like but they are terminally curious (well most of them). They are a bit needy and that can sap the energy out of you sometimes but they are a lot of fun and for most kids, easy to please. They do require a a lot of structure and repetition for classroom rules, social rules, tranitions, etc.
     
  5. SaraFirst

    SaraFirst Cohort

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    566
    Likes Received:
    3

    Feb 9, 2008

    First grade is great! My favorite part is teaching reading. You will have a wide range of students, some who are still learning letter sounds and others who are reading chapter books. As the others said, they do need structure. They do tend to still love school and are eager to please.
     
  6. terptoteacher

    terptoteacher Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2006
    Messages:
    1,751
    Likes Received:
    2

    Feb 9, 2008

    Be prepared to feel very fulfilled--teaching wise. They aren't necessarily "blank slates" but they haven't been taught a lot, so you're teaching them all new things. It's very cool to see a child who doesn't know how to read, put the sounds together and become a confident reader, or a child who doesn't know what adding is end up being able to do 30 basic facts in 2 minutes.

    Plus also, think of teaching first grade as an opportunity to teach procedures and how to be a student - - things that you wish your fourth graders knew and wonder why they haven't been taught before! (lining up, walking in the hall, name on paper...):p
     
  7. peggy27

    peggy27 Cohort

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    552
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 9, 2008

    thanks

    Thanks for all the great replies. I think it will be fun and challenging!
     
  8. Nailbiter

    Nailbiter Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2007
    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 9, 2008

    I've got mostly 1st graders in my after school class, and I want to second that you have to be prepared for a wide range of abilities. I've got some who can barely read, and some who have read all the Harry Potter books! But all of them, regardless of where they started out this year, have made so much progress since the beginning of the school year! They change so quickly at this age.
     
  9. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    9,154
    Likes Received:
    1

    Feb 9, 2008

    The thing I've heard people say when they come down from a higher grade is not realizing how many mini steps there are involved in a single step when it seemed like they were on the first step already. Eventually you find your step though. First graders also tend to take things so literal which can be cute at times.

    I bet you will do great because it will be a fresh new learning challenge for you.

    Btw, why is my name cutnglue? Another teacher and I joke that in first grade we went to college to learn how to cut and glue.
     
  10. dizzybri14

    dizzybri14 Companion

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2007
    Messages:
    165
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 9, 2008

    I LOVE my 1st graders, but as cutnglue said earlier there are many things that you will teach them. They will suck the energy from you, but other days energize you just from there eagerness to learn. It was a fresh start and really helped my realize why I chose to teach when I went from 2nd to 1st. They all still love school and come each day ready to learn!
     
  11. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    Messages:
    17,362
    Likes Received:
    46

    Feb 9, 2008

    Never taught 1st, but I have taught kinder and 2nd grade, and to me (IMO) they just aren't for me. I have found through subbing that 4th-5th or 7th-8th grade are the grades for me.
     
  12. maroki

    maroki Comrade

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2006
    Messages:
    490
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 9, 2008

    First graders are great! They usually still have more energy at the end of the day than you do, but are continually loving of their teacher and always think you are the coolest. :2up: It is extremely satisfying to work with students who may start out the year not reading at all, and watch their confidence grow throughout the year as their reading ability grows.

    1st graders rely and thrive on very structured environments. They need very simple, straightforward, explicit directions for almost all assignments. And every step of the assignment will need a direction. (Example: "Step 1 is writing your name. Step 2 is cutting out the pictures. Step 3 is gluing the pictures in the correct order. Step 4 is coloring your paper." I use visual cues to help them remember the directions.) Directions will need to be explained and reexplained, especially if it is an assignments where few or none of the students can read the directions. Students are still exploring social and emotional relationships and boundaries, and there usually need to be many classroom talks about appropriate school behavior, appropriate social responses, and ways for students to express their feelings, positive or negative.

    1st graders go through glue and pencils so quickly, you'd think they eat them for lunch. You can get them excited about pretty much any activity, and they love to see if they are up to any challenge you set forth; reading a certain amount of words correct per minute, completing a challenging puzzle, or even having their lunch table completely clean by the time I walk into the cafeteria.

    It is a very rewarding grade level! I love it; we have to fill out a survey for our principal about our grade level choices, and 1st grade is going to be at the top of my list again for next year.
     
  13. teach1st

    teach1st Comrade

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2007
    Messages:
    314
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 10, 2008

    I moved from 2nd grade to 1st this year and even though it is only one grade level difference I was amazed at the difference.

    I come home with a feeling of acomplishment almost every night. I have never taught upper grades, but have no desire to leave the first grade wonders.

    Just remember if you take 10 steps back one day, you better believe you will take 20 forward the next day. They may not get the concept the first day, but you better believe they are eager to catch the concept the next day.

    They plug along hard because they want to learn still! They still think it is important to learn everything!
     
  14. DaveF

    DaveF Companion

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2005
    Messages:
    191
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 10, 2008

    This is my 1st year teaching, so it's also my 1st year teaching 1st grade. Here are some observations from a 44 year old male teacher.

    1st graders do eat pencils and erasers. :pThey like to tattle. You can take nothing for granted. They must be taught every procedure. Don't cut corners here. Some can't tie their own shoes. They are tireless. Some will cry at the dop of a hat. If you make a promise, they will not forget it. If you tell them 2+2=4, they will forget it. They will frustrate you.

    They are sponges. They can and will learn everything that is well taught. They do love their teacher. They love being in school. Nothing is more fun that to watch them read for the 1st time. :2up:
    I wouldn't trade 1st grade for any other.
     
  15. flowerpower31

    flowerpower31 Comrade

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2007
    Messages:
    372
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 10, 2008

    I taught a combined 4th grade and 5th grade classroom last year. This year, I moved to 1st grade. It is a HUGE change. HUGE HUGE. I knew it would be big, but I didn't expect it to be as big as it was. I LOVE 1st grade. I wouldn't change it for any other grade. It took some getting used to after being in 4th/5th grade, but it's wonderful!
     
  16. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2007
    Messages:
    4,463
    Likes Received:
    1,491

    Feb 10, 2008

    Another perspective...

    I am a former first grade teacher. Due to grade-level fluctuation, I was moved up to second grade this year. Having experience in both grade levels, I can definitely say that first grade is extremely rewarding. Although first graders are very needy, they are at a very tender age. They thrive on learning, and they are very easily motivated. I enjoyed my time in first grade; however, I prefer second graders! :p

    Give it a try--I'm sure you'll enjoy it!
     
  17. MrsPatten

    MrsPatten Comrade

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2006
    Messages:
    348
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 11, 2008

    Throughout college all my experiences were in 3-7th and when I got out in the real world I landed a job as a long-term sub for the last 1/4 of the year in Kindergarten. And I realized that lower elementary is for me--especially 1st grade. They make so much progress in both reading and math. It is *so* rewarding. They'll do anything for the teacher. I'll be honest--there are days when they seem to have forgotten everything we've learned. But most days are good. I can't think of anything I'd rather do---except stay home and eat bonbons. (But that would get boring after a while.)
     
  18. turtlegirl

    turtlegirl Companion

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2006
    Messages:
    161
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 11, 2008

    I taught 3rd/4th grade for 4 years before moving to first grade! I loved teaching 4th grade but found that they weren't great readers and it was hard to teach them that by 4th grade....

    I moved to 1st grade the year I had my son... big mistake! First graders are all the things that the others have posted but if you have children around the same age or younger... somedays can be utterly exhausting..... I know that when my children are older and I don't constantly have someone pulling on my pantleg or calling my name, I will enjoy it much more then I do know!

    I don't want to leave because they are such eager open books! Who can say they make such gains in reading as 1st grade teachers- Nobody!
    Good luck in whatever you choose!
     
  19. love2teach

    love2teach Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2003
    Messages:
    2,042
    Likes Received:
    1

    Feb 12, 2008

    Well said!! For the first time in 6 years, I have a group that does not like the taste of erasers! I usually go through boxes and boxes of them, but this year the kiddies are still using the sames ones I put out in September?!!
     
  20. bakingdiva

    bakingdiva Companion

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2007
    Messages:
    204
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 13, 2008

    I love first grade. I wouldn't want to teach any other grade.. but they wear you down. Ditto to everything everyone else already said. I love to see the excitement that a child experiences when the "lightbulb" finally goes off.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. TeacherNY
Total: 429 (members: 1, guests: 409, robots: 19)
test