Sunday, September 9, 2012

are you smarter than a 5th grader?

I've been pouring over this year's curriculum, and boy, am I learning quite a few things I either never learned during my early education, or possibly the skills taught are very different now than uh hm forty years ago, or maybe I just paid more attention to the cute boys than I did to the lessons.

When I first began teaching someteen years ago, I was assigned a 1st grade class. Seven years later I moved to 2nd grade. Maybe four, five, or even six years after that I was bumped up to a 3rd grade classroom. And now, this year, after five or so years teaching third, I am teaching my first combination class, consisting of six 4th graders, and twenty-seven 5th graders. (Yeah, I know, but that's another story).

Both grade levels are new to me; therefore, I have had to spend quite some time reviewing what it is the students need to learn. 4th graders have a state-mandated Writing assessment that I will need to prep them for, and the 5th graders are tested in Science. And of course, there's the Big End of the Year Test to contend with. You know, calculating how much these kids learned while hanging out with me.

As I was browsing through the Teacher's Manual for Science, I found myself reading, then re-reading, and reading again, the many different lessons. It was then, I realized that I Am Not Smarter Than a 5th Grader! But, by the end of this year, I might be.

Put me up on that platform, against those 5th graders, and I'd surely lose. Those kids would laugh me off the stage, as a stumbled away, Teacher's Manuals clasped tightly against my chest.

I am already loving the independence, of both the 4th and 5th graders, and I can already see their intelligence oozing from their thought channels. So, I'm in for a challenge, I know. Two weeks in, and I can already see that on a daily basis, I will be on my own personal platform, being questioned and corrected by these game-show worthy kids.

Game on!

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