first grade wigglers

Today while my kids were suffering through art (a topic for another post), I went to a first grade room in my role as a mentor teacher.  I sat in on a math lesson, and couldn’t believe how restless and distracted the kids were.  My four year olds sit in a circle and pay attention soooo much better than these six year olds!

The lesson went okay, but the teacher and I talked about it later and agreed that classroom management is the big issue.  He said he was open to suggestions, and said that this feels like the first time that his classroom management skills aren’t doing the trick.  I’ve been in his room before and I know that he is a good teacher — but this class!  Wow!

I remember how they were last year in kindergarten — they were rolling around on the floor like puppies.  All the kindergarten teachers would talk about how that group of kids seemed so self-centered, pampered, and immature.  Now the first grade teachers are saying the same things.

So we talked about doing things in a more structured way, and using some of my organizational tricks to keep transitions at a minimum.  And then I blurted out, “when I come back on Thursday, would you like me to teach the lesson, so you can watch?” 

He said yes, of course.  So now I have to get ready to teach a first grade math lesson to a group of wiggly worms, and make it useful to their teacher, as well.  The good thing is that I had several of the kids in my class two years ago, and I know several more from all the time I spent in K last year as a mentor.

I’m kinda psyched.  I like a good challenge.

But…perhaps this wasn’t the best week to give up caffeine?

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4 thoughts on “first grade wigglers

  1. Whenever I’m coached I LOVE watching someone else with my kids. It is really the most helpful of anything the coach’s can offer to do.

    In Yardsticks by Chip Wood he discusses how their is a behavior regression in children about the time they are in first grade. I’ve heard that in first grade children are going through more developmental changes than any other time in their life other than puberty. Until last year I had only taught first grade so I didn’t necessarily believe it because I only knew firt graders. Last year when I worked in kindergarten I was shocked by how true that was. They can sit still in kindergarten, but in first grade it’s like someone flipped a switch. I think Wood says it’s because their minds and bodies aren’t develping at the same rate and they become more wiggly and have more energy because their minds are working faster. The effort they put into controling their bodies is now going into exploring the world (mentally) and making connections with what they see.

    good luck!

  2. I think that this is a great idea. I think that you will be very helpful to him. It’s always easier to observe your students being disciplined by someone else. I think that you will be very helpful to him and I think you will learn a lot too. I think that it’s great that you volunteered to help him. Good luck to both!

  3. I think this is a great idea! It is always a good idea to get someone else’s perspective and see how they respond to someone different. I know a kindergarten teacher who says her students constantly get “the wiggles.” In order to get out some of their energy and “wiggles” she will have them stand at their desk instead of sit whenever possible. I know it can be a little distracting at times, but at that age they can’t help but be a little wiggly at times.

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