Sunday, September 11, 2011

What I Learned My First Week in 3rd Grade!

The first week of school is over!  I very much so want to sing this to the high heavens!  I am reminded, however, that we still have a LOT of work to do before we get into a regular routine.  Here's a list of my Top Ten lessons I learned this past week.  (I should remind you, if you have forgotten, that this is my first year in 3rd Grade as I'm moving down from 5th.  This is most important to the following list...):

1. Third Graders talk A. LOT!! Holy moly.  I wish someone would have warned me. It's been a week of full blow intervention! Luckily, I have a pretty hefty bag of tricks. We're moving forward...(albeit at a sloth-like pace.)

2. Third Graders need CONSTANT reminders AND praise.  This leaves me very tired by the end of the day.

3.  For planning purposes..a simple mathematic equation:

Length of 5th Grade Lesson x 4 = length of 3rd Grade Lesson

4. I may not be able to teach content until November.  I hope my administration, parents, fellow teachers, and state understand.

5. When they rewrote our new Common Core Standards, were life lessons at all considered for the curriculum?  If so, my 3rd Graders could probably already graduate.

6. What teacher wears heels?! (And who knows where I can get a pair of slippers that look professional?!)

7. I need to learn to put in a catheter.

8. Third Graders get excited about a lot!  I like to joke a lot.  This is not a good mix.  I'm limiting myself to one joke a day for the first few weeks of school.  By October, I'll consider two. On the bright side, if you call something a "game" (even a regular lesson), they think it's a game and consequently love you.  I use this to my advantage.

9. It's really easy to get to know your 3rd Graders!  I pretty much had every personality down after the first day!  This makes it 8,483% easier to connect with them and help them to learn.  I love this part!

10.  And number ten...I need to create several intervention plans for things I never expected.  Fifth grade management is in no way like 3rd Grade management.  I can't even do drinks, bathroom, and hallway walking the same way. I need a professional assistant.  Any recommendations are greatly appreciated.

So, four days down and many more to go!  To those of you who teach Pre-School, Kindergarten, or even First and Second Grade....God bless you. You are saints and I truly believe you are going straight to heaven no matter what.


  1. This is my second year as a third grade teacher & I relate SO much to you! Sending positive thoughts! And I'd send large iced coffees if I could, they get me through the first couple hours of the day! :)

  2. This post cracked me up! Thanks for the weekend giggle! Good luck getting the kidos into a routine.

  3. I have been teaching 3rd grade now for 13 of my 14 years. If it makes you feel any better :) everything you said I find to be true at the start of EVERY school year with my new kiddos. I'm sure you feel it even more being your first year with this group as compared what you're used to with 5th graders. Hang in there!!

  4. haha! I've never taught anything but 5th, so the only advice I can give you relates to the "heels" comment. I still wear heels occasionally, but have a pair of Dr. Scholl's Fast Flats in my desk drawer for emergencies. These are foldable black flats (with their own wristlet) that you can get at Walmart, Target, Walgreens, etc. and they cost around $10.00. They are quite thin, however, but definitely save my feet when I think, "I just cannot walk to the playground/do car duty/go to the office/take another step/etc. in these heels!?!"

    I love them so much, I even wrote a post about them:


  5. This is my second year with 3rdies!! I love this group I just got and I'm realizing that having it so hard last year is going to be helpful for this years group. My first year in 3rd was very hard last year and it taught me a lot. I use "I spy" a lot!! I spy John walking respectfully in line. I spy Sally with a clean desk and her name on her paper. They all want you to spy them. I'm like you and I LOVE to joke around. I have trouble behaving myself. Your right though they can't take it, it throws them all off. We do bucket filling and I choose bathroom monitors that have to choose one person to give a ticket to. Someone that was on task, respectful, and responsible during the bathroom/drink break. The kids love getting to give away a ticket because usually only the adults do. I have the boys and girls line up opposite each other. This cuts down on numbers, noise, and temptation.
    They need a lot of movement so I incorporate a ton of brain break type activities. We started the Daily 5 last week and it is going awesome!! I don't know if you have dabbled in that but 3rdies really dig it. :)
    I hope you have a wonderful 2nd week!!
    I'm still working on my website. I'm struggling a little because webs is new to me and I'm so stinking tired every night I about pass out by 9. :) I hope to get mine looking as rockin as yours!!
    Thoughts of a Third Grade Teacher

  6. I love your post - it's all so true! I bounced around grade levels for several years and I think it is soooo hard to go down a level (or two!). My hardest year was moving from 4th to 1st! However, I bounced into third grade many years ago and have yet to bounce out. I love them! They have a great sense of humor and everything's an adventure. Enjoy them and you may be surprised with quickly they get into the routine. We're starting our 4th week this week and we're almost there (most days and moments anyway!). Good luck!

  7. I'm a new follower! I love your blog. I can feel your enthusiasm for teaching while I read your posts!

  8. I LOVED reading your post. It made me laugh out loud, which resulted in me reading it to my husband who just had to know what was so funny. I think that your perspective is so interesting. I was a 1st grade teacher who moved up to 3rd grade last year so my kiddos seemed so independent. Don't worry, your students will get there and before you know it, you will love teaching 3rd grade.

  9. I too am moving from 5th to 3rd. It was a whopper of a move at first. I am just now starting to get the hang of these young kiddos. However, they are such eager volunteer and I have yet to deal with the drama that came with 5th grade hormones.

  10. I am so laughing out loud! I am a first year teacher in theirs grade and your list was spot on! Good luck!!

  11. I too am going to 3rd grade from 5th grade, so I totally get you! Can you imagine the jump from 3 years in Kindergarten going to 5th? I loved the change! Now I'm going to 3rd. I'd like to think of it as the "happy middle place." Wish me luck.