If you have a child that has been in first grade recently, can you please tell me if this is how school is or?

did I misunderstand the teacher? My son started 1st grade Monday and had been homeschooled because of health reasons through Kindergarten and the first few months of 1st grade. He has been crying every day when I drop him off and cries as soon as he sees me in the afternoon. When I ask him why, he says he doesn't know what to do, or what center to go to. I didn't understand what a center was, so I wanted to talk to his teacher about it this morning to see if we could help him figure this out. She said they have groups that move from one center to the other, like reading, science, and writing centers. When I said he didn't know what to do, or how it worked, she told me when students don't know what to do, they tell them to ask another student to help them because the teachers are busy doing one on one with other students. I said ok but as this comment sank in after I left the school, I started wondering if 6 year olds are "teaching" other 6 year olds what to do? Is this how it

Update:

works now? Do teachers NOT stand up in front of the class and actually teach as a group anymore? I guess my son is having a hard time understanding that a 6 year old child is supposed to “teach” him. She told me that my son has tried coming to her a few times to ask a question, but she sent him to another classmate to help him. Please tell me that I have misunderstood this.

22 Answers

Relevance
  • ...
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    in my children's school, teachers stand up and teach the whole class as a group very rarely at the first grade level. we're fortunate in our school to have a lot of teacher's aides at the first grade level so there is generally more than one adult in the classroom to help out. but yes, the kids, after being given directions on what to do, are generally expected to move through some activities independently. for example, the class is divided into different ability-level reading groups that the teacher meets with separately. when the teacher is with one reading group, the other kids may be working on worksheets or reading to themselves. at math time, they may go try out different math manipulatives at different "stations" with the teacher helping out at only one of those stations (moving through so many different "centers" on their own doesn't happen in our school until about 3rd grade, but it could probably work with 1st graders, too). i don't think it's that the 6-year-olds are "teaching" each other ... I think that it's that the 6-year-olds are advising students who aren't familiar with the structure and routines of the classroom.

    edit -- but if your son is crying because he doesn't know what to do, and you've told this to the teacher, i'd hope she'd sit down and explain the routine to him a little better!

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    No, you didn't mis understand her. They do have Center "time" where they go from one center to the next, and the teacher usually IS tied up with other things with other students - she may be evaluating a student, or running a center herself. There is uaually a teacher's aid in the class when center time is going on - or another parent. They are not teaching each other they are basically playing. There could be a manipulate center where they are instructed to make letters out of clay - there is usually a library center where they look at books, a painting center where they paint the subject of the day - a sorting center which builds math. Center time should only be about an hour, and she's right, he should ask a friend if he doesn't know what to do. If he didn't pay attention at the beginning and didn't hear what to do. They usually are encouraged to move through the class to get to at least 3 centers, but if they focus on one that is still fine. It's a great way to learn - expecially at this age when they would be bored out of their skulls if she just stood in front of the class and spoke - that usually comes around 3rd grade!! Why don't you volunteer in the class room for center time, and see what's going on? I did that for years, and loved it!!

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    Centers are quite common in Kindergarten and 1st grade. They are suppose to teach and promote working independently, which is important for the older grades. Students might spend 20 minutes reading quietly in one center and then move to science center where the kids might work together to figure out a science problem.

    I assure you the other kids aren't teaching your son. The group work is suppose to promote communication between peers.

    EVERYTHING that is re-enforced during centers is formal taught by the teacher first. For example, in a kindergarten writing center, the students might have to practice writing A's and B's. Well, the teacher has formal taught this before.

    Your child seems to be having difficult adjusting, which is causing problems. Kids should know what centers they are in w/o having to ask the teacher. Even if it's the first week, he should be able to know what group he's in (like group A or group b) At 6 years old, kids should be able to remember that quickly. The teacher isn't going to tell your son everyday what group he's in. Part of school is teaching kids to function independently. If she keeps telling him what to do (like the direction to worksheets, when he has the ability to read) , she is contributing to his inability to reason and do for himself.

    Also, since your son is VERY new; she might be feeling out his academic level. Some kids have a difficult time adjusting, so they "act" like they don't know how to do something. The teacher wantst to see what you son KNOWS on his own. If the teacher reads your child the directions, shows him what to do or explains to him a lesson; she can't get a real idea of where he is academically.

    More then likely, she is trying to figure out what your son knows or is capable of doing (academically and socially) before she gets involved. This is a smart move on her part. Your son has only been in her class for 5 days and is completely new to a mainstreamed school environment. She is well aware that she can't make sound conclusions on your son's academic level in such a sort amount of time and considering the circumstances.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • Lydia
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    This is teaching using learning centres. It's a way to foster more creativity and more individuality with students. They also learn more independently. And, yes, sometimes kids learn really well from other kids!

    Be assured, the teacher is still teaching 'regularly' the lessons that need to be taught other ways.

    It seems that the class had already gotten into a routine before your son joined them, and your son is most likely feeling really frustrated or out of place.

    When something like this first started, you should have been right in to see the teacher. Call her now, set up a time to meet, and go see her for a talk without your son.

    Source(s): primary teacher and mom
    • Login to reply the answers
  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • 1 decade ago

    My son's 1st grade teacher had a similar schedule & policy. She wanted the kids to start to learn how to work independently and to work as a team, supporting each other.

    She would do the same thing - ask the kids to try to check with each other first, before coming to her, regarding what station they were supposed to be at & what they were supposed to be doing at that station.

    The kids were welcome to come to her, though, if they could not come to a consensus or if they had further questions. I'm sure your child's teacher has a similar plan, too.

    What you might want to do is schedule a time to talk to your child's teacher about this philosophy & method that she's using in her class. If you schedule a meeting with her, that will give you both a little more time to make sure that you really understand each other, so that you can both work together for the benefit of your child.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • oy vey
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Ask for a conference with the teacher. Go in and meet with her and express your concerns. Have them show you the centers that they are working at. The teachers do usually have centers in the room for independent work. The independent work allows kids to work at their own pace. An advanced child isn't bored and a challenged child isn't overwhelmed to the point of giving up on learning. The old fashioned stand and talk method of teaching is outdated and not interactive for kids especially at a first grade level. At this age they learn by doing, not by being lectured. Since your son has been home schooled does he have much socialization with other children? The teacher spends one on one time with each student to focus on their individual abilities. The other children are not teaching your son, they are simply telling him what to work with at the other stations. The stations are usually very hands on activities that can be completed independently. This is more of a Montessori way of teaching that is being incorporated into many classrooms. My children were both in Montessori until this year and they still have stations and independent works in their public school now. It is a great approach to teaching.

    If you feel that your child has major issues with health and learning then you need to request an IEP, Individualized Education Plan. This can be tailored to meet the needs of your child. It allows for special time and different considerations so that your child can succeed. I would try to be more involved with the school and your sons class to see what is actually going on.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    I work in our school district and I know from 1st or 2nd grade on we have a "3 before me" policy for question such as this one. Things like "what page are we on" distracts the teacher from teaching the class. I don't believe for one second that your son should be taught by 6 year olds, nor do I believe that was the teacher's meaning. She means things like where to go next are things that he can learn from other students, so that he can learn "school stuff" from her. I wouldn't worry too much.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    what kind of school is this? It almost sounds like a Montessori or group learning school. Is it a Charter school? There is one "Charter school" here that is similar to that. Children learn in one big area, and are divided into groups based on their learning "styles" and grow together throughout their grade school experience. If it's just a regular public school, they should be following the standard format of teaching mandated by law, and guided by the No Child Left Behind.

    do they have group learning with other grade levels?

    My daughter's 1st grade class is taught in a traditional classroom and they separate into different classrooms for their "reading groups" but they are tested prior to assigning them to a group. they are divided by level of learning.

    If you are not happy with the way things are going, maybe you should check into getting your son enrolled in another school. Especially since your son is new, i would think they would give him a little more guidance as to what to do the first few days...at least!!!

    good luck!! and much aloha!

    • Login to reply the answers
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    If that was my child I would be going and tearing a new a$$hole into the teacher for slacking on her teaching responsibilities.

    6 year old children should NOT be teaching other kids. If a child has a question especially a child that is in a new enviornment that they have never experienced before the teacher should be making the one on one time with that child to help them adjust to their new surroundings!!!!!!!!

    Gees I feel sorry for your little person. I would be crying too if I had to go through that at that age.

    I have had bad experiences in grade one last year with my daughter and every time it has infuriated me that they don't tell me until it is too late. Like at the end of the school year. Keep on this teacher and express to her that it is not appropriate to have the other kids teaching her class for her. They aren't getting paid and she is not a glorified baby sitter. She has a job to do and a VERY important one at that.

    Sorry for ranting. I just hate it when teachers do s&iT like this.

    Source(s): 36 weeks with another girl.
    • Login to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    Yes, the have plenty of time in front of the whole classroom.

    We have the same set-up in our school. One kid in class is (for a while) deemed "Shoelaces Helper". If your shoelace is untied, you don't go to the teacher, you go to this person. One is deemed (for a while) "Answer Helper" and if you forget what the assignment is about, you go to this helper and they will remind you. They aren't teacher the other kids, just reiterating what the teacher told them in the first place. Sometimes kids don't listen to what's said or they get confused. During centers, teachers really have to have one on one time that is mostly uninterrupted. Otherwise, they would not have the peace and quiet to be able to really get through to each child. If 20 kids butted in every 2 seconds to ask a question (are we supposed to glue or tape this?), they couldn't function.

    They aren't teaching - they are just giving reminders on how to do it.

    I hope this helps. I would suggest him staying in during PE or recess or lunch or perhaps after school and the teacher going over each center with him by himself.

    • Login to reply the answers
Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.