Third Grade - "Primary" or "Intermediate" culture

Discussion in 'Third Grade' started by FourSquare, Jun 15, 2011.

  1. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Jun 15, 2011

    Hello, 3rd Grade Teachers!

    There's something I'm wrestling with that maybe you can help me sort out. I did a year long placement for student teaching in 2nd grade. Before that, I worked briefly in Pre-K. I thought I'd be pigeonholed forever as an early childhood teacher, but lo and behold I've been hired for 3rd grade in the fall. (first year)

    I feel like my teaching style is very young due to my training. I like cutesy things; coming to the carpet, picture book read alouds, my star pointer, a colorful "decorated" classroom, games, music, etc. Fortunately, my principal is very supportive of all these in 3rd grade because she feels like 3rd is still the tail-end of early childhood and it's all developmentally appropriate.

    But I'm still worried people will think I'm weird. Does your school consider 3rd to be a primary grade or intermediate? What differences do you think this means for the style in which you teach the grade?

    :thanks:
     
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  3. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Jun 15, 2011

    I really think it depends on the school and team of teachers. My district considers K-4 as primary, 5-6 as intermediate.
     
  4. newbie23

    newbie23 Comrade

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    Jun 15, 2011

    Good question!

    At my school, K-3 is considered primary and 4-6 intermediate. I anticipate this would change in a K-5 building. I know where I attended school a (K-5) Primary was K-2 with intermediate 3-5.

    In the next year, we're hoping to switch 3rd grade to "intermediate" in regards to recess, lunch, and cooperative activities. My kids are more mature, play "rougher", and find it difficult to relate to the younger students at times. I think part of this is due to my teaching style but also just to our general school climate.

    I'm not sure that it has to be one or the other. I think you can have a good blend of both. My goal is to blend both cultures together as my students are transitioning from one to another.

    My students meeting in a "carpet area" each day, I read picture books to them (maybe once every week or 2 but I read from a chapter book each day), I have various pointers, we choose a class mascot, etc. It's more about your teaching style and what you're comfortable with rather than a label.
     
  5. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    Jun 15, 2011

    Same here, but I know many elementary schools are k-5 so it may be different.
     
  6. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Jun 16, 2011

    Here in Ontario, K-3 is primary, 4-6 is Junior, and 7-8 is Intermediate!
     
  7. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Jun 16, 2011

    There was a thread on here about coming to the carpet all the way in 6th grade. Go ahead. I bet they have fun in your class. You can still reserve a few elements to make them feel like big kids, but overall I think it will work well. If your P supports it, go for it.
     
  8. zoerba

    zoerba Comrade

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    Jun 16, 2011

    My entire school is an 'intermediate' school and it's 3-5. We treat the 3rd graders appropriately, but a bit more maturely than say 2nd or 1st grade. However, I am good at mixing many of the things you mentioned (carpet time, read alouds, bright fun classroom, class pet, games, etc.) with solid structure and routines.

    You can have both! The kids will respond to your teaching style, whatever it may be.

    Good luck! You'll love 3rd grade!
     
  9. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Jun 21, 2011

    Thanks for the replies! This and the carpet thread make me feel so much better. I think I get into my room next week to start planning. :celebrate:
     
  10. queenie

    queenie Groupie

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    Jun 23, 2011

    Our school views K-2 as primary and 3-5 as intermediate. There is a HUGE gap between second and third grade (I don't like it!) Our P OFTEN says that from K-2 the kids are learning to read...from 3-5 they are reading to learn. Third grade in our district is where the kids first take standardized tests, and before third grade, they don't take quizzes or tests in Social Studies or Science- but in third grade they do. They go from "looking at" a map of the US and finding our state in second grade to memorizing ALL the states and capitals in third grade!! We don't even have carpet or calendar time in second grade at our school...
     
  11. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Jun 24, 2011

    *doh* I guess this is irrelevant anyway because by some twist of fate I have be switched to 2nd grade! I haven't asked details yet. I think someone decided to loop to 3rd. YAY!
     
  12. jenejoy

    jenejoy Companion

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    Jun 25, 2011

    I was a third grade teacher and then went down to K and in my opinion it was the best training ever for me to become a better third grade teacher when I returned. My third graders want to be treated differently than the younger students. So would actually answer your question with a mixture of both. I believe that 3rd grade is a transition year and it's part of our job to help make a smooth transition. I use primary strategies as well as intermediate strategies. One thing I can add from my experience though is that they appreciate being called ladies and gentlemen rather than boys and girls (its also academic vocabulary they will need).
     

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