Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Is there a 2nd-3rd grade Math gap? (Ashley Russell)

Ashley Russell - How has the experience of being a 3rd grade Math teacher helped you with your transition to 2nd grade? Do you feel there is a gap between the 2nd and 3rd grade Math curriculum. If so, do you have suggestions as to how to better bridge the gap? Kathi

In my opinion, my experience as a 3rd (and 4th) grade teacher has been an enormous asset in my work as a 2nd grade teacher. Even though I have not taught 2nd grade, I feel like I have an advantage because I know what the students will be expected to do next year (and the next for that matter.) As I teach, I often find myself “slipping in” 3rd grade terminology or skills thus making my job easier for next year as I hope to loop my kids to 3rd grade. I also feel that I have been able to help my 2nd grade math colleagues better understand what their students will be expected to do next year as I am on the only one who has taught in the intermediate grades.

As far as a “gap” between 3rd and 2nd grade goes, when I taught 3rd grade I used to think there was a gap but now I have come to a new realization. As I have been teaching my heart out this year, I have come to understand that students in 2nd grade must learn everything that is taught. There is absolutely no room for missing any of the concepts in order for them to be “successful” in 3rd grade. This so-called “gap” seems to be the result of any concept that was not learned in 2nd. The curriculum is set up well enough; however, it is my job as a 2nd grade teacher to make sure that the concepts are not just taught, rather that each child has a deep understanding of the concepts. No math concept can be skipped in 2nd grade. Great question!!Ashley


Suzanne said...

Thank you for your reflective post! And, for bringing a different view to the whole idea of a "gap." It proves that safety nets in math at all grade levels are imperative for students to have mastery of concepts, and success at the next level. We are fortunate that you took this opportunity to loop. Thanks for the hard work!

Melissa Ross said...

Very well said Ash.