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Moving to 2ND!!!

Sebastian

Full Member
I could use a little advice..... I am moving to second grade in Sept. I have gone from 5th - 2 yrs. in 4th - 1 year in first and now 2nd. What would you say is the most important thing I should know about the 2nd grade child? I hear this is the best grade bec. they can read and are more independent. HELP! THANK YOU!!
 
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NCteacher

Senior Member
I did the same thing....

I taught middle school for 9 years, then 4th, 3rd and this year 2nd. I was stunned at the beginning of the year- I had taught 3rd and did not expected my 2nd graders to be that different from them. Wow! There is a huge difference in those grades! (or at least in my school) At the beginning of the year, I was ready to resign and go back to middle school. I thought I would go crazy because they couldn't do the things I expected them to do. Now I realize that I had set my expectations way too high. The big thing in 2nd grade is routine, routine, routine. They need to say it, do it, write about it...if I stay in 2nd next year, I will spend the first few weeks of school setting up my classroom routine more than I did this year. At the beginning of the year, I tied shoelaces, undid belt buckles, and helped wipe noses. I should have stock in hand sanitizer! It was an enormous shock for me- but- you have heard right. They are the most fun! They absolutely love you, school, being "big kids". They still believe in Santa, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter bunny...their enthusiasm is contagious. You can put a child in silent lunch, write a note to the parent and the kid will look you in the eye, say, "I love you- you are my favorite teacher" and give you a huge hug. Makes a nice change from attitudes that older kids can have. They respond to your enthusiasm level...so the first when I do things I know they won't like- I get them by saying, "I don't know if you can do this- it is for big kids..." they go crazy trying! It was definitely a huge adjustment for me and has been one of the hardest years I have ever had- but totally worth it! Good luck to you!
 

Sebastian

Full Member
thanks

Thanks for you reply. I needed to hear the positive points!!! I feel you pain about expecting too much...... I moved from 4th to first and I didn't expect anything at first and that helped. However, even with me not expecting independent ability it was still a struggle!!!! But one I would never have traded!
 

Tracey276

New Member
My Favorite Grade...so far

I did my student teaching in a 2nd/3rd multiage class, then taught 5th for a year, and this was my second year in 2nd grade. As other posters have said, routines are very important. Anytime we have a break (my year round school has 2 week breaks every 9 weeks) we need to review the rules, expectations, and procedures for the first week back, but the kids are great. It's a fun age, and they can (mostly) read already, so they can be given some independence. I've learned that they can only be independent once you teach them how to be so. Make sure you model, have them try, discuss what went well and what needs to be changed, then let them try again. When they get it, make sure you reward them, even if it's just, "Did everyone notice how well Johnny looked at his partner while he listened to his partner's story! Good job Johnny!" Be specific about what you want, but give instructions in small chunks or they'll get lost. I also find that showing them the "3rd grade" version of what they're doing motivates them, because they know what they're being asked to do is worthwhile. If they're adding 2+2+2=6 to answer a word problem, I tell them that a third grader would have solved it like this: 2x3=6 and explain how it works. They love it!
 

Jonesy

Junior Member
Moving to Second Grade

Second Grade Rocks!!!! I have taught second for 15 years and I love every year. It takes lots of patiences, discipline and creativity to have a successful year. My advice is to be organized and to have high expectations. I have found that second graders will meet your expectations if you model, practice and hold them to what you want them to do. Take the first two weeks and show them exactly how you want them to line up, where to put their papers, how to behave in centers, how to treat others, etc. Then you will need to practice, practice, practice over and over so that it becomes second nature for them. Then most important is to hold them to the expectations. Call them on any thing outside the boundaries you have set. They will respond to you. Spend time organizing everything. Hope you have a great year.
 
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Emily1

Guest
I am moving from 2nd grade to a 4/5 split. I have taught 4th before but never 5th.
Like everyyone else has said 2nd grade is a lot of fun but they are very young especially at the beginning of the year. I find it amazing though how far they come throughout the year. Major changes it is very cool.
Is there any advice you can give me on 4/5 graders? I am little nervous but I had these kids when they were in 2nd grade also. So I kind of them and what to expect. But any little bit helps.
 
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shoppingpam

Guest
helps

Second graders will respond well to any strategy that you have learned to help students who have Attention Deficeit Disorder.
They are little anxious people that can't focus for long and love to innocently blurt out ideas that will make you "bird walk". Stay focused on your goal.
Tell them "Never fear when Mr. Sebastian is here. I will take care of YOU!" :) Enjoy them they are innocent. Stay positive, positive, positive.
They will ask when recess and lunch is. Tell them that you want recess and lunch as much as they do and that you have never missed going to one yet. Encourage them to know how to tell time.
Know what you want students to do with their lunch money so they don't play with it while your teaching.
Emphasize the "Golden Rule". Compliment "tattlers" for knowing the rules.
No one own a pencil or pen in my class. We share them. If they have a special pen they want to use, they may use them at home for homework. Have a supply area where found or lost objects are stored. Don't let them hand fuzz, string, staples, and other stuff to you. They should know what to do with it.
Use the overhead projector and ask them to correct their own math papers and just grade the tests. Have them correct their own homework too.
Have a plan on where to put each paper. I currently use a folder with a "To Do" side and "Done" side. It works with this years class.
Don't allow any loose papers in their desks. Have a plan for how the inside of their desks should be organized if you use desks.
 

NCteacher

Senior Member
Great!

I wish I had known of this online community last year when I switched to 2nd grade. These ideas are great-- I never thought of using ADHD strategies with 2nd grade- that is perfect. I laughed out loud the "anxious little people" because it is so true. Yesterday at school, a student very proudly handed me 28 staples he had picked up from the floor. It sounds silly, but if you say, "Oh thank you, Billy, what a good helper you are!" then you have 20 kids on hands and knees looking for other staples! They are so funny! I wasn't prepared for them to be so literal. A nurse was talking to my class about nutrition and food choices- she told them that some of the things that they ate for snacks was just like trash. That statement created 10 minutes of chaos while she tried to explain that potato chips do not come OUT of the trash!
 

Tracey276

New Member
Clean Desks

We have particular folders for different things inside their desks, but about midway through the year that was getting very lax and desks were more dangerous than underneath a teenager's bed. To solve the problem, every so often I check desks for cleanliness afterschool. If the person's chair is stacked, floor beneath the desk is clean, inside is organized, and anything on top of the desk is neatly stacked, their name goes into a jar to be pulled for a prize. The only prize I've been giving out for this is to sit in a booth at lunch with one friend, but it is AMAZING how much cleaner the desks have gotten! We have the first 5 minutes or so of lunch without talking, but those sitting in booths are allowed to talk from the beginning. It doesn't cost a dime, and it's been very effective (and teaches probability since the more often your desk is clean when it is checked, the more chances you have to win).
 
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RedSoxGirl

Guest
I LOVE 2nd!

Congratulations, you will love 2nd grade! Here is what I have found to be true of 2nd graders:

Socially: they start to play a lot more cooperatively, where rules matter more, but they are more willing to compromise. They continue to have different best friends, but are more consistent w/ friendships. Boys start to want to play with boys more, but girls tend to still go either way, although their friendships w/ girls are very important, too.

Academically: They are people pleasers for the most part, and want to do everything right! They stress more than they do when they were in first, and from what I hear, more than they will in 3rd. They start off writing big and then miniscule and then it tends to balance out. They are more independent, but still need guidance. Reading can still be lower, and some are super high, but most are right in the middle where you would expect them to be. They are more able to make choices on their own, and are forming an idea of what kind of books they like. Vocabulary becomes broader so their writing is really fun to read! Although they are still technically in a concrete-operational stage of thinking, many you will find are touching in the abstract.

Emotionally: they like to try things their own way and may get annoyed when you steer them in a different direction. They love Teacher but are not AS cuddly as they might have been earlier. Teacher is still very, very important and bonds are essential.
 

Sebastian

Full Member
Advice For 4/5

SORRY this has taken so long to reply. My biggest advice is to not get caught up in their "feuds' or disagreements. My principal once told me on a bad catty 5th grade day.....ask the child Now are you telling me this info (tattling) to get the person in trouble or to make sure they don't get hurt or into trouble? Boy does that stop the tattling!
Enjoy their sense of humor and their ability to act more adult like with sharing sports or dancing recital stories.
 
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