Switching to 3rd...a million questions

Discussion in 'Third Grade' started by MissaG, Jul 10, 2007.

  1. MissaG

    MissaG Companion

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    Jul 10, 2007

    I have so many questions, I think I am stressing out over this switch even though I asked for it. I have previously taught 5th and 6th.

    I know that 3rd will be less independent than I am used to. But, are there any 'need to knows' about this grade level?

    Also, a few of my questions:

    1. If I want to do a classroom economy, when is the best time to introduce it? How long of teaching it before the kids can go with it?

    2. What kind of behavior management do you use/is best to use with this grade? If I do debits for behavior with the classroom economy, will this be enough (and additional consequences as needed)?

    3. Reader's/Writer's Workshop....I have read the books...what are the first steps I need to take? Will Reader's workshop work with the use of a basal too?

    4. Independent Reading...do you use AR? We have AR, but don't have to use it. I think I will because they are used to it from K-2. What should my expectations be with AR? Certain points or certain number of books? Do you have parents sign nightly?

    I think that's it for now. Anything else will definitely help, I can't help stressing over it!
     
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  3. born2teach84

    born2teach84 Comrade

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    Jul 10, 2007

    Third is a great grade!! I think they are very independent and love to show you how they can do things on their own.

    I use AR everyday and the kids have to take a test once a week with a book they have read. They love to see the results.

    I use an economy as well but do it a little diffrent. I have large ziploc bags of ones, fives, tens, twenty dollar bills I have copied cut out an laminated. I introduce it the first day as we talk about our essential agreements. We talk about what things can earn money and what things will cause you to lose money. Then we take large envelopes and make wallets. They get to decorate them and make them their own. Then I give money and take money. During lessons I have some in my back pocket always looking for people who are working hard. They always want that money. It is easy because they don't have to write anything down or worry about subtracting anything. Then when it comes to store time is when they have to think about adding and subtracting. They can only buy two things from my store each week. I let them count their money before we start and then let them go shopping. I am only the cashier, so they have to find someone to help them if they can't add it very well. It build team work. They love it!!

    We don't use a basal but many schools do and they use readers and writers workshop. The main goal is to teach is small groups on the children's level. One group may ge tthrough the story in one day and the other group it may take a few days. That is the great thing about readers workshop. You are able to work with the students at their own pace. I love being able to work with them in small groups because I get to know them and their ability. They share more and feel better in small groups!!

    Hope this helps a little!
     
  4. Teaching Grace

    Teaching Grace Connoisseur

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    Jul 10, 2007

    A note for the AR. Our school has it. I'm going to have a set goal for my students. They'll have to take 2 tests a week. One will be on a fiction and one a non-fiction. When they get to 35 fictions (i'll keep a chart) then they can ask for permission to get some type of fun book from the library. or i may have them meet a goal of certain points a week. like 1 the first week then by the end of the second week they have to have 2 and so on... anyways, i've seen this done in a 4th grade class, i figured that 3rd graders could handle it too.
     
  5. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    Jul 10, 2007

    I'm not sure which basal you use, but HM has a guide that tells you the level of all the stories in the basal. When you do reader's workshop, you can assign kids stories based off their level. You can also supplement with leveled readers that go with the basal if your school ordered them. All kids do not have to read the same story from the basal at the same time.
     
  6. 2tired2teach

    2tired2teach Companion

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    Jul 10, 2007

    Switching

    Just remember when they show up in Aug or Sept - they are more like 2nd graders... I tend to forget because my 3rd graders that left in May acted more like 4th graders......You will be fine though! ;)
     
  7. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    Jul 10, 2007

    Answer to #3, coming from a fourth grade teacher- YES. Yes, yes, yes, yes, and again, yes!!!
     
  8. lanie750

    lanie750 Rookie

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    Jul 24, 2007

  9. 2tired2teach

    2tired2teach Companion

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    Jul 24, 2007

    Switching to third

    Yes I've seen that website, she must teach in a perfect world and have endless energy - but hey, I got a lot of good ideas too!!!!!:eek:hmy:
     
  10. Scout About

    Scout About Rookie

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    Jul 24, 2007

    Welcome to third grade! I love my third graders, but at the beginning of the year, they are definitely 2nd graders. I have to remind myself of that every year! With a lot of modeling and practice with routines, they become quite independent quickly.

    To answer your questions...
    1. I introduce my classroom economy at the beginning of the year when I do my expectations. They receive incentives for positive work habits and behaviors, and pay consequences for broken expectations.

    2. While the classroom economy is a great way to manage behaviors, I have something more concrete for the parents. It's the ticket pulling system. They pull tickets according to the expectation they broke. They fill out a daily behavior chart to get signed my parents on Fridays. I also do whole class rewards, as well as table group rewards. I will be happy to explain these in more detail if you are interested. Feel free to PM me.

    3. Reader's Workshop can work with a basal. I tend not to use mine, but I might do a little more with it next year. Perhaps the basal occasionally for shared reading, and then a trade book or something else for your mini-lessons.

    4. AR - I suggest you talk with your team and come up with a concensus. It helps when a grade level is on the same page, especially with an issue like AR, where parents tend to get involved. We set AR goals in my classroom, but they are individual goals based on the child's ZPD. If they achieve their goal at the end of the nine weeks, they get $20 (classroom economy) and if they don't, they pay me $20. Our school implements a 30 minute nightly required reading, and I make my kids complete a reading log as part of their HW. Parents do have to sign it nightly.

    Good luck this year!
     
  11. I_love_turtles

    I_love_turtles Rookie

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    Jul 24, 2007

    This will be my first year in 3rd grade. In the past I've done 5th,
    6th, 1st and 2nd.

    1. I have not used a classroom economy before, but will this year. I plan to introduce it right away along with the rest of the classroom procedures. How long it will take before they can handle it on their own will depend on the kids and how vigilant I am with practice. :)
    2. At this point all I plan to use is the Debit/Credit system. If that isn't enough, I'll try plan B, C, etc. Our students have agendas that have to be signed each night. I will also write brief notes when behavior becomes a problem.
    3. Reading Workshop: I've done this in various forms in all of the grades I have taught. Classroom setup of course is a first step. You'll also have to decide if/how students will respond to their reading, if you're going to do reading buddies or they will be allowed to read in groups. If they will be responding, what kind of form or notebook they will need. There's more, but that's enough for now because I don't want to overwhelm you. Feel free to PM me if you need more info. or think of specific questions.
    4. It is definitely a good idea to see what your grade level team has to say first. We use AR and there are goal setting charts in the program that can help you set point levels for your kids based on their ZPD. I really like the idea from Scout About to link it to the classroom economy and I think I'll try it out. In the past I haven't had difficulty getting the kids to make their goal, but you never know.
     
  12. MissaG

    MissaG Companion

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    Jul 24, 2007

    Thanks to everyone who has responded! Unfortunately, speaking with my grade level team is impossible, as I am the only 3rd grade teacher in the school (very small school). It is difficult at times, because I would love to have someone to run to with these questions, but all I have are other teachers in the school who can't speak for my grade.

    With the classroom economy, things like rewarding them based on meeting AR goals...should there be a list posted somewhere of all of the things that they can earn money for? I feel like I probably should formulate one, but wouldn't want to leave anything out.

    I like the idea of setting goals based on ZPD, this really helps differentiate within the reading system. How long does it typically take to set goals with the students? Do we continue to set new goals every quarter? Would anyone mind writing up what your basic expectations are for AR in your classroom so that I can use it as a model? If I use AR during workshop time, do I still require nightly AR reading?

    I know I am asking tons of questions, but these are the things that keep me up at night!! Any additional information would be wonderful!! Thank you all, as you are my "team!"
     
  13. Scout About

    Scout About Rookie

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    Jul 24, 2007

    Don't worry about feeling like you're asking too many questions! That's how you learn! It's good to do some planning ahead to get your ideas organized. But, I definitely know the feeling about these things keeping you up at night!

    Regarding the list of things available for purchase, when I introduced the idea of a classroom economy, I provided some of my own ideas of things to buy: HW pass, lunch with me, etc, and then had the kids brainstorm more ideas. They were very creative and came up with a great list! Then we figured out together what each item should be priced at. The more valuable, the higher the cost. Once we had made some decisions, I typed up a "menu" and posted it. Prices can also change based on supply and demand, which is a great economics lesson!

    With AR, I use it in conjuction with independent reading. It works to motivate some students but not all of them. So, yes, they do independent reading in school, as well as at home. Some of their independent reading books may be AR, some aren't. I don't want students to shy away from great literature, simply because they aren't AR. If you emphasize AR too much, in my opinion, this is what happens. I set goals based on the ZPD for the first two quarters (my goal guidelines are on my school computer - sorry!), and then I let students set reasonable goals for themselves the last two quarters.

    Hope this helps!
     
  14. I_love_turtles

    I_love_turtles Rookie

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    Jul 25, 2007

    Being by yourself could be both good and bad. Good, because you get to do things how you want instead of management by comittee. Bad though because it's all on you.

    As I said, this is my first year for the classroom economy. I do, however, plan on posting a list of things that will definitely get you "money in the bank." I will also reserve the right to give out extra as needed for good behavior and other things. Goal setting doesn't take very long for me. I use the chart that is provided in the AR program and then you set each kids goal based on their ZPD and the amount of time they spend reading in class. I'm not sure how much you've use AR, but you can then set their goal so that the computer tracks how they are doing toward their goal and you can print it out as often as you like. Then I sit down with the kids and show them their goal and discuss how they will meet it. Their goals get reset every quarter when their new ZPD has been established. I don't require AR reading at home. They are allowed to read whatever they want at home, but they certainly can read an AR book if they want to. I'll try to find last year's expectations poster and get the info. to you.

    Asking questions is how we learn. I'm really happy to be able to help in any way I can. :)
     
  15. mcangel

    mcangel Rookie

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    Aug 1, 2007

    There is a book called Guiding Readers and Writers by Fountas and Pinnell that is an EXCELLENT resource for your reading and writing workshop! It tells you exactly what to do (and in most cases, what to say) to establish your procedures and expectations during these times. It contains sections called "The First 20 Days of Reading" as well as "The First 20 Days of Writing." My school invested in many copies of this book for our professional library, and it is used by most of the teachers 3-5. I highly recommend checking this book out!

    Hope it helps! All the best! :up:
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2007
  16. teachu

    teachu Rookie

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    Aug 2, 2007

    I am new to third grade this year coming from special ed. I agree with the person who said that sometimes AR can be a hindrance in allowing the students to choose books just for pleasure. I have decided to hold my students accountable by making them choose between taking an AR test or writing a short book report. They must do at least one of these each week. I will keep track of what they have done and if they do not do one of those in a week they will stay in at recess to finish it on Friday. What do you guys think?
     
  17. Luv2Teach3rd

    Luv2Teach3rd Rookie

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    Aug 2, 2007

    When our kids go to the library, they are allowed to check out 2 books at a time. I require them to check out 1 AR book on their level, but their other book can be anything they want.:)
     

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