Tell me all about 1st!!

Discussion in 'First Grade' started by Danny'sNanny, Apr 1, 2013.

  1. Danny'sNanny

    Danny'sNanny Connoisseur

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    Apr 1, 2013

    Just got the news... I get to move down from 2nd to 1st next year:partyhat:. Tell me all about first! Any favorite themes/units/lessons?
     
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  3. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Apr 2, 2013

    I have a love-hate relationship with first. I love the facts that the kids are soooo malleable, and that most experience huge growth through the year. I hate that they are such babies in the fall! (I've had 1st day criers, pant-wetters, you name it.) I love the fact that, no matter how hard I have to "come down" on them for behavior, I always get hugs morning and afternoon. I hate "snocky" noses, lol! I hate that I can't truly teach science and social studies, because I am so busy with interventions for my babies who are below K level. I hate that I am unable to really teach writing for the same reason (time). I have heard that first is the hardest grade to teach (the most work), but I don't know, because other than a stint student teaching in 3rd, it's all I've ever taught! I hope I don't sound too negative - just trying to be totally honest!
     
  4. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Apr 2, 2013

    I totally agree with this. I also have a love-hate relationship with first grade. I love how much progress they make - most come not reading at all and leave literate. I also love their enthusiasm for EVERYTHING and that they still believe in magic.

    I hate the interventions, assessment and how much work has to go into 'training' them in September. I also hate that this is the year when issues become apparent but don't get dealt with until grade 2.

    It's a fun year, but it sure is challenging!!
     
  5. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Apr 3, 2013

    pwhatley-I think first is the hardest grade of elementary to teach.

    They absolutely to show huge growth (hopefully) but it takes a lot of work to get them there. You have to differentiate so much and for me assessments were the hardest part of that-creating fair ones, deciding how much weight it would have. I think it's also a difficult transition for kiddos (and parents) to get used to grading systems and promotion standards-some have a hard time stepping up to those expectations.

    I love to do a unit comparing fairy tales from different cultures, I do projects like the egg drop around this time of year.
     
  6. Danny'sNanny

    Danny'sNanny Connoisseur

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    Apr 3, 2013

    I student taught in first, but I had a horrible relationship with my CT so I've tried to block that semester out of my mind!

    I'd asked for kinder, but was moved to first instead. I let myself be sad for one glass of wine, and then started browsing Pinterest in excitement! I liked 2nd grade, but really found myself dreading second semester each year - they're too old once they're 8!

    Kindercowgirl, I like your comparing fairy tales idea!

    MissScrimmage, I totally agree with what you said about the issues that don't get dealt with until 2nd grade. Every year I've been in 2nd, I've had several kids qualify for SPED by the end of 1st quarter! I'm hoping that knowing where I need them to be will help me plan great interventions!
     
  7. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    Apr 3, 2013

    I am a first year teacher, so my experience is all brand new, but I LOVE LOVE LOVE first. I can see myself staying here for a very long time. It is totally exhausting and it can be very frustrating, but the rewards are SO numerous. I absolutely cannot believe the growth my kids have made this year. At the beginning of the year, most of them could barely read or write sentences - now they are READING and WRITING! I had heard about the growth but experiencing it has been...magical, really. The director of our school always says first is the hardest grade and if you can teach first you can teach anything. :)

    I love how excited the kids get about anything and everything. As was said before, they can be disciplined for something and 5 minutes later want to give you a huge hug. They can be needy of course, but watching them gain more independence and confidence is amazing.

    My kids have grown so much that I know it's going to be hard getting a brand new crop in August - it has taken a LOT Of training, work, and time to get them here!

    For me, as a first year teacher, I've been really worried about them not making enough progress. I still feel like that, especially about certain kids. I feel a lot of pressure to make sure the kids are reading.

    I think you will LOVE it, I know I do!! :wub: I always said that I would NEVER teach kinder or first because they're so little, but as it turns out I adore first. :)
     
  8. MrsM7

    MrsM7 Rookie

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    Apr 4, 2013

    Teaching first grade used to be the hardest grade to teach, now it's kindergarten thanks to the curriculum crunch. Kindergarteners are expected to be reading and writing by May. 86 sight words and a guided reading level of D is the expectation of my district- and I teach 30+ kids in my half-day kindergarten classes! Next year, I am moving back to first and am looking forward to it!
     
  9. jteachette

    jteachette Comrade

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    Apr 4, 2013

    I've been teaching first for a long time, and the curriculum crunch is becoming ridiculous. Young children aren't developmentally ready for abstract concepts, yet they are taught in common core, especially in Math. Plan huge blocks of time for Language Arts, Math, and Reading. You are going to need every second that you can get. Be prepared for tears and temper tantrums, as children respond to demands for which they aren't developmentally ready.
    On a more practical note, if you aren't familiar with the Daily 5/Cafe for Reading/Language Arts, and for Math, read about them this summer.
     
  10. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    Apr 5, 2013

    I taught second grade for two years before being moved to first and I couldn't be happier. Here are some pros and cons:

    1. Pros:
    - the kids are still young enough that pleasing the teacher comes first before peer pressure, looking cool, etc

    - they are old enough to work independently, but young enough to still have fun with (ie: when I show them basic projects they get excited)

    - most make a lot of progress by the end of the year (ie: I have kids coming in reading a K level, who leave me reading on or above grade level)

    - there's some crying in the beginning, but most are trying to be "big kids" and have already had a year of K so they understand Mommy is coming back

    - they are extremely helpful. If I drop a pen I have 5 kids diving to get it. If I toss a paper all to the trash can and miss, someone grabs and throws away w/o complaint.

    I get told I'm pretty/beautiful, nice, smart, funny and cool several times a day as well as "I wish u were my mother"

    Cons:
    -they are still learning space boundaries. Once I was really sick and coughing and sneezing. I was sneezing so much my face was hueting plus a little swollen from congestion. Snot was ERYWHWRE and I turn around for a tissue there's a kid in my face asking a question with no regard for my discomfort. I also have to remind them not to follow close behind me because I will turn around and literally step on a kid.

    - they are gross sometimes. I've seen kids eat boogers, play with boogers, rub boogers on people. They let their noses run and it dries making a rhick crust on their face (hence why I keep banby wipes in my room) they are need reminders to cover their mouth and noses

    - sometimes you get a young first grader who just barely made the age requirement for 1st rather than K. In those cases they are less mature and sometimes have a little trouble fitting in with their classmates (ie: I had one young first grader who used to cry that he missed mommy everyday for six months at random)

    - some parents try to brush off misbehavior a ad " be patient, they're only 6/7". Serious stuff like a boy sexually harassing a girl in my class or a kid who attacked me viciously ( at times the admin does this too).

    - low academics are sometimes brushed off by parents and admin ad "well s/he just needs more time. They're so young". There's a developmentally delayed child who wasn't ready for 1st grade but they pushed him on for that reason. Now he is a failing 1st grader and they are still going to push him on b/c "staying back won't help him he's too far behind" (huh?)
     
  11. Miss_H

    Miss_H Rookie

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    Apr 7, 2013

    I agree 100% with the pros! You are going to love First and they are going to love you! :D
     
  12. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    Apr 9, 2013

    Ditto Daily 5 CAFE
    1st graders especially need to be taught how to do everything and this book will get you rolling. Even if you do not plan to use the Daily 5, I use the concepts all the time for other things.

    1st graders love to write!
    During writing instruction time, we work on simple sentence writing building to 5 complete sentences. During work on writing in Daily 5, I allow them to copy books, poems, etc. They also love to write on Kidsblog. PowerPoint is also a fun writing tool. We made powerpoints of animals, weather, lanforms, etc.

    Math...Day 100 is unlimited!

    Games...They love to learn tic-tac-to, dominos, checkers, rack-o, etc.

    100 peice puzzles are great to have out for early finishers.
     
  13. Tek

    Tek Comrade

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    Apr 15, 2013


    Wow, I could have written that post out word for word... I'm in a very similar boat! This is my 1st year in 1st, after I told myself I would NEVER EVER teach 1st grade full time. And I am loving it (for the most part). They show so much growth.

    I can't wait to have 11 weeks off to plan and read up on the Daily 5... something I want to try next year. It's exciting to think about!

    Have a blast in 1st!
     
  14. katrinkakat

    katrinkakat Connoisseur

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    Jan 23, 2014

    I realize this is an older post, but your comments are helpful! I taught Kinder for 7 years and am being transferred to a new campus and new grade, 1st! next year! You all are giving me a lot of hope. I was shocked and sad for about a half day, now I am just excited!
     

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