Getting used to third grade. How do I

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by heavens54, Sep 13, 2014.

  1. heavens54

    heavens54 Connoisseur

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    Sep 13, 2014

    Achieve success? I'm having difficulty reaching them. They're too squirrelly and fast for me. What motivates them? What rewards? What can I take away to help them see the errors of their ways? I'm used to older students. Right now I feel like I'm herding cats. I am needing more tools in my tool box. Help! Please...
     
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  3. Bella2010

    Bella2010 Habitué

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    Sep 13, 2014

    I'm kind of in the same boat as you. I have previously taught only 6th and 5th graders, and now I'm in 3rd.

    During my lengthy (haha - one month) stint in 3rd, I've honestly had only a handful of days where I really felt like everything flowed well. One huge thing I've had to adjust is my lessons to match their attention spans that sometimes seem to compare to a fly's. :p I only try and "lecture" for about 10-15 minutes and then move on to group work or a game and then do a review and start independent work. I was initially really dreading centers, but I really thing they've helped. It gives them a chance to get up and do something different.

    I'm doing a ticket system. They start out with five tickets and lose them for talking in line, etc. I have cash out rewards, like x amount of tickets they can cash out for a barefoot day, which has been more popular than I ever imagined.

    You're probably doing all these things. Just sharing some things I've struggled with. ;)

    Hang in there. It'll get better. As a whole, I really enjoy this age group. :)

    Beth
     
  4. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Sep 13, 2014

    As a former 3rd grade teacher there are 4 things that motivate 3rd graders--they are curious, independent, like to please their teacher, and like anything that is made into a game. They also need a lot of time to be taught routines.

    What 3rd graders tend to be poor at are: working in groups of 4, handling too many directions at once, and handling chaos. (not that they can't work, but these are a challenge for them.)

    Knowing that some things that work great for 3rd grade. Have an easy review worksheet on their desk to start the day. Being curious they will go straight to their desk. Being independent, they will love that they can do this worksheet independently and get at it. It works great at this grade. Those in K and 7th grade who try the same thing, expect it to have problems.

    Fred Jones' book Tools For Teaching is a perfect fit for teaching 3rd graders. Rewards will work well if they are frequent. Either every week or more often. They loved to learn to earn time for learning games in the classroom. Yup, they would clean in a classroom faster than a cyclone if they could play math around the world with the time that they saved. Good luck--I love the grade I teach now, but I will always look back on teaching 3rd grade with great memories. It is a good age to teach.
     
  5. schoolteacher

    schoolteacher Habitué

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    Sep 13, 2014

    Once you get used to this age, I think you will enjoy it. They are still sweet and want to please the teacher.

    What motivates my students is recognition. Right now I have a simple chart with their names on the whiteboard and a sign that says The Stars of Third Grade. When someone gives a great question or answer, or goes out of their way to help others, I put a star beside their name. At the end of their time with me, I write down the names of those with the highest amount of stars, and they serve as our line leaders for the next day; the next highest are the door holders. A simple thing, yet they work hard for those stars. The overall winner is my helper and runs errands for me.

    I also put up stars for the best row. The row winner lines up first. Again, they are very motivated to win this and get ready quickly, transition quietly, or whatever I ask of them.

    I agree with keeping activities short and having them move around at intervals. For consequences, I give one reminder and the next consequence is a silent lunch. This is very effective, as this is an age where they really enjoy socializing. If they talk or misbehave in line, I put them on the wall at recess for a few minutes. A few minutes seems like an eternity to them.

    I do a lot of community building.
     
  6. heavens54

    heavens54 Connoisseur

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    Sep 13, 2014

    I'm not doing these things. Need to up my game. I used to sub in third grade all the time. I have a few challenging ones. I can see now that I've been too trusting. Also need to have more incentives. And I need to irk in games. These are all great ideas. Thanks everyone.
     

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