What can 2nd graders do on their own?

Discussion in 'Second Grade' started by CD1980, Apr 9, 2010.

  1. CD1980

    CD1980 Rookie

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    Apr 9, 2010

    I have been hired to serve as the sole teacher of a 1-8 private school.

    My concern is this: Though the younger students will probably get most of my attention, I will of course have to work with the older ones, too. How can I keep second graders occupied with independent work while I focus on other grade levels? I'm thinking about learning centers, but I want them to actually be LEARNING at these centers, not just playing.

    Any ideas for how I can keep kids with minimal reading skills engaged in learning on their own? Any good books or websites on the topic would be helpful, as well.
     
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  3. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    how many students all together...?????

    2nd grade shouldn't have minimal reading skills.....
     
  4. CD1980

    CD1980 Rookie

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    That's true. I should have said moderate reading skills. And I don't know, yet, how many students. Probably only 12 - 15. There's also an aide, so it's not like these kids won't get plenty of attention. I'm just trying to cover all my bases (I'm a planner!), so I'm on an idea hunt.
     
  5. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Second graders are amazing- but they deserve your attention as much as anyone- don't give them short shrift. :down:
     
  6. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Wait a sec...there is only ONE teacher for the 1st through 8th graders? Am I understanding this properly???
     
  7. Rebel1

    Rebel1 Connoisseur

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    That is going to be a lot of diff grades to teach for one teacher! I know there is an aide too BUT you have to cover every grade up in there. It's going to be required that you meet every child's needs, esp the academic ones.
    Rebel1
     
  8. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    czacza, I think these second graders aren't the "younger ones" who can expect the bulk of CD1980's attention but rather the older ones.

    YoungTeacherGuy, I can think of places even in Southern California where the one-room schoolhouse (which is what this amounts to) is a practical alternative to having kids stuck on a bus for four or six hours a day.

    CD1980, you've got a challenge, all right. It's not unheard of, though: one or two of our members have taught in massively multi-grade classrooms. Let me see if I can get one of them to check in here.
     
  9. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    TG, didn't Jaime teach something like K-8 one year?

    My friend taught in a one-room (well, it was actually about 3 rooms), grades 3-8. She survived very well. It was very much like what you used to hear-she had a table, and would call up each class in turn. The kids would participate in their lesson, then go back to their seat to work independently. She had lots of stations set up that could accommodate different age levels.
     
  10. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    That's who I was thinking of, kc; I've already sent her a PM.
     
  11. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Don't stress yourself out. Don't plan for grade levels. Plan for ability levels. Your second grader may be reading at a 4th grade level and doing math at a 3rd grade level. Your 8th grader might be working at a 6th grade level. You need to meet with the aide (assuming the aide has been there for a long time). Your aide is going to have to be a teacher too. Find out what her/his strengths are, if it's science then she/he teachers science. You will have sit and plan with her. Again ability grouping is going to be the way to go.
    Oh I know this because I taught kindergarten to 8th grade my first yr of teaching. I truly miss that little school.
     
  12. tgim

    tgim Habitué

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    Great advice, Jaime - you have to know where they are. To know where to take them, I would also advise being very familiar with your academic standards for each curricular area at each grade level. As a teacher who has taught K, 1, 2, 3, 4 (not all at the same time, though) - many standards overlap and only add another layer of difficulty as you progress up the the next level. Introduce the skill/concept/lesson to a few of your levels, then differentiate by adding to the complexity for the older grades. Does that make any sense?
     
  13. CD1980

    CD1980 Rookie

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    Yep, that makes sense, and that's pretty much what I'm planning to do. It's basically instruction differentiated to ability levels, which I would be doing in a single-grade classroom, anyway. Thanks for the advice. It's good to affirm that I'm on the right track!
     
  14. CD1980

    CD1980 Rookie

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    I will be meeting with the aide soon and I'll be looking to learn how things are usually done there (though the school is moving from 2 to 1 teacher, so a lot will change).

    It's good to have someone here who has done this before. I may pick your brain from time to time, if that's okay. :)
     
  15. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Kudos to those of you who've taught in multi-age/multi-grade classrooms! It's tough enough teaching ONE grade level--I can't imagine having multiple grade levels!
     
  16. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    (chuckling)

    CD1980, I'm the only one in these parts who goes by the moniker "TeacherGroupie", but I'm surely not the only one who, presented with an opportunity to clean your metaphorical chalk erasers, will be waving my hand and blurting, "Me! Me! Can I help, pleeeease, Teacher??"

    Ask away!
     
  17. Elcsmith

    Elcsmith Companion

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    Apr 12, 2010

    I think you'll be really surprised by what good readers second graders are!
     
  18. queenie

    queenie Groupie

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    It's not the grade level- it's the personality of the kid! For the most part, though, second graders can work independently pretty well! My kids move through 4 stations independently (10 minutes each) and do very well. They can read and answer questions, do activity sheets, complete hands on activities, go online and do assigned activities, and much more! I admit they have to be trained to do it, but they catch on quick and usually do very well. No worries with second graders! You do have to explain activities and make sure they know what you want them to do, though, because they are eager to please you and want to make sure they do everything just right =)
     
  19. demijasmom

    demijasmom Companion

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    May 2, 2010

    There may be a student who is in 8th but reads at a 3rd or 4th grade level or a 2nd grader who reads on a 4th grade level and math on a 3rd grade level.I would have to agree with JaimeMarie, plan based on ability. Use the help of your aide.
     

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