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My twins will be entering third grade next year. We have just heard that the teachers have decided to have the students rotate to all of the teachers for each different subject. I am concerned that 8 year olds are too young to be going from one teacher to the next. Third grade seems a little young to have four different teachers. Why rush the Elementary experience. Does anyone have any experience with this same situation?
Hi there! My daughter is a 4th grader at McKenney this year, and last year during 3rd grade they also did the rotation between teachers...it was VERY difficult for my daughter to adjust. I agree with you 100%....they say they are "preparing" them for middle school....in 3rd grade?? I think most would agree, that seems to be pushing it a bit. I was told that they test each of the children and then place them with a teacher according to their ability, but it's strange that this year as a 4th grader they do not seem to follow that same policy. My daughter has one teacher for all subjects, except for the traditional extra's that they do such as art, music and gym. I am so so pleased with our teacher this year, I believe the teacher makes a huge difference! I have been very pleased with McKenney overall and with all teachers, except my daughter's 3rd grade teacher. I also have a son who is a 1st grader this year and when his time comes to go into 3rd grade I will without a doubt be sending in my request for the teacher I DO NOT WANT! I hope your twins do well with the rotation :) And good luck in the coming years with Math and their methods of teaching it! Some bizzare off the wall methods that shouldn't be introduced at all if you ask me! Just more confusion :(77979
There is a trend in education to have students switching teachers for every subject, or at least for some subjects. My daughter is currently in fifth grade, and at her school it does start in third grade.
I actually like it. The three teachers in third, fourth, and fifth specialize in a specific science rotation, and the kids rotate. I will say the homework can be a little challenging with a teacher you're not as familiar with, but the teachers are experts in their curriculum.
If you have concerns, why not ask to sit in on a few classes this year before your children participate?
My daughter's school starts rotating for math and reading in first grade. The children are put in different levels by their ability and it seems to really work well. In a normal class the teacher would have to teach to the middle and the middle third would be fine, but the top third would be bored and the bottom third frustrated and confused. And while it is great to have one teacher all day if you love your student's homeroom teacher, it can be less than great if you don't, and the good thing about rotating is that if the teacher isn't a good match, it is only for one subject, not for everything. So far my daughter has really liked the teachers though so it hasn't been an issue. I can see how this would really be good for the teachers too, allowing them to spend more time preparing a specific lesson plan for one subject rather than multiple lesson plans, and might increase the quality of the education. I think kids are pretty resiliant and are not that confused by having different teachers, I bet they will be fine. Many students are already used to a different music teacher or different PE teacher so probably are used to multiple teachers more than you think. Just be sure to talk to all of the teachers at the open house (not just the homeroom teacher) and get email/contact info for all of them so you can always ask questions. Third grade is also really when students are expected to be more responsible for their own work, so they should have a notebook to record assignments and keep track of the requirements for classes (rather than depending on a teacher to tell a parent what is due when). Probably the biggest challenge of having multiple teachers is the parent not being able to fall back on asking the teacher information that the student should have kept track of himself! So maybe that is something you can work on with them over the summer to develop this kind of organization to help get them ready. You could explain a "sample" assignment (or even a chore or other task) and ask them to take notes on what is required and when, and then check to see if they got the important info or not, and then work to improve their notes. 78346
Our school rotates for subjects as well and just last year began rotating at the 2nd grade level. Here is what I have found in my research as this subject disturbs me.
First of all, I too have heard administration at the school say, "We're preparing them for middle school". If they are not in middle school yet, and far from it, why push them on this? I myself did not switch teachers until 7th grade and I certainly did not need preparing. At a much more mature age, switching classes in 6th or 7th grade is quite easy. At the maturity level of a 2nd grader, quite hard. I also hear that some teachers have expertise in a certain subject. This is untrue because elementary teachers received their teaching certificate for ALL subjects in K-6 or even K-8. They are well-knowledged in ALL subjects, or at least they should be. There are no "Science" teachers in grade school. There are no "English" teachers in grade school. They graduate with knowledge in ALL subjects. Get my point. Now, they may have a favorite, but that is irrelevant.
But here is the most important reason why we shouldn't have elementary school children switching classes. I sat in my son's class and timed the kids at the moment the teacher gave the word that it was time to get ready to switch classes to the time the next class entered, sat down, and got all their papers or binders ready to work. The time runs about 20 minutes. If a student switches 3 times a day, not including Specials like PE, ART, or Music, that's 1 very valuable hour a day that a child looses - with 182 days in a school calendar year, that's 182 hours of missed opportunity. In today's age, when teachers are forced to cram a set curriculum set forth by Standardized Testing, we can't afford for our kids to miss out on an hour a day. Plain and simple math. However, someone came up with this idea -that our grade school children need to switch classes like middle schoolers and high schoolers - thinking it was going to get them more ahead or perhaps raise their maturity level. Not. I also find that these children still need that one teacher that they latch on to for support and encouragement. I have seen my children go from that sense of security and reassurance of their one teacher to know having that at all from all 3 or 4 or their teachers. Who can they trust now, who can they rely on now, and who can they go to for questions now. Let's face it; an 8 year old still needs this.
Grade school should be focused on the building blocks of education so when the children do get to a mature age and switch classes in 6th or 7th grade (districts vary), they will be well prepared. For me, the key components are Reading, Writing, and Math, with a bit of Science and some Social Studies mixed in. Once children are stead-fast on the three core subjects, the rest comes easy, and not only that, the child enjoys the process even more. If a child is struggling and stressing over trying to be more mature, then they are set up to fail. I'm not guessing at all this. I see it first hand in our elementary school as a volunteer, with my kids, with other children I watch, and other parents that stress over their children stressing.
I'm actually researching some of this and looking to bring forth my findings to our school district. I'm still trying to find out what the know as benefits to this type of learning system in grade school. Nobody seems to know how it all came about.
My daughter's school starts rotating in 5th grade. That seems to be the right age to 'prepare for middle school'. Why the rush to prepare an 8 year old for something they won't experience for several years?78349
I pulled my daughter from her school this year. She is in the 4th grade, they were rotating her for every class. These children are too young to rotate. She is now very happy in a smaller school that does not rotate. These schools are not thinking of our children, they are thinking of themselves. Maturity levels are different, the ability to adjust and feel safe are different. Stop this practice now. Yes, I now need to drive her to and from school everyday. She is worth it! It is our job as parents to advocate for and protect our children.78364
My daughter was in first grade and they started rotating classes. This was the worst thing they could have done, my daughter would cry everyday of school.This was the worst experience ever for her everything was so scary and difficult for her.78576
Rotating in 3rd grade is an awful idea. My daughter had a difficult time with it and didn't have the bond with her teacher like she normally does. I have talked to several parents in our school and they all feel that this is just too difficult for them at this age. They get overwhelmed with all the homework from 3 different teachers and my daughter seemed very confused trying to keep track of what was going on in the different classes.78692
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