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3rd grade vs. 4th grade


New Member
I am a teacher at a k-8 school and I am currently teaching 7th and 8th grade science which I love. I was very hesitant when the principal first asked me to take on Science and these grade levels. I have worked in kindergarten and third grade classrooms and loved being with the younger students... I was afraid of the big kids, their attitudes, hormones, etc. but I have found that I love it!! I am able to do so much with them academically and they work well independently. I have recently been offered to teach 3rd or 4th grade. I am familiar with the third grade classroom as I was a teacher's assistant for two years. I am not as familiar with fourth grade . If anyone has taught both grades and can enlighten me on some differences that would be much appreciated. Thanks.


3rd & 4th

I am familiar with both grades, and I teach 4th right now. I previously taught 6th and 7th. It will truly depend on each person as to which grade they prefer, but I love middle school students better. To me, 3rd graders are way too needy, 4th graders are too silly, but 6th graders are just right. My 4th graders are so dependent and ask a million questions that it drives me nuts sometimes. I like 4th, and I love my students, but if I could, I think I'd go back up to 6th. I also like middle schoo curriculum better because it is more in-depth, and they already have the basic information before I get them. For example, I had to teach 3rd graders how to skip lines and put headings on their papers! That drove me crazy at first!

NJ Teacher

Senior Member
Third vs. Fourth

I have taught both third and fourth. I think it gets harder the more grade levels down you go when making a switch. They both have their positives. Third graders have tremendous enthusiasm for learning--it still isn't too "uncool" to like school and their teacher openly. The downside (although 4th grade might have this too, depending on your state) is the No Child Left Behind testing mandates that do drive the curriculum. I like the depth of children's literature for discussion in fourth, as opposed to third. Third grade math introduces multiplication, which is big. Third graders develop independence, but fourth graders of course being older, will be more independent at the start. If I were you, I would look at the curriculum in your school, and at this point, I would see if I could observe a second grade and a third grade class. The second graders at the end of the year would be close to your incoming third graders, and the end-of-the-year third graders would be close to beginning fourth graders. Good luck with your decision.


New Member

Thanks NJ Teacher, this has helped tremendously. I have decided to take on 4th grade. This has been my wish from the start but I began to second-guess myself. I met with the third and fourth grade teachers and spoke to them about their experiences and the curriculum. I am excited about the 4th curriculum and I will be able to do so much more with them academically because they will be less dependent and have already grasped many of the "basics." I now feel extremely confident with the curriculum and the grade level. I can't wait and am very excited, thanks for the advice!