How are third graders different from kindergartners?

In last week’s board meeting, Mr. Sanchez asked for more dialogue from third grade teachers regarding this year’s increase in class size. He doesn’t seem to understand why the board is only hearing from kindergarten teachers even though both grade levels had class size averages increased from 21 to 33 students. When the Assistant Superintendent of Instruction, Maureen Latham, asked for direction from Mr. Sanchez about what kind of a forum he’d like her to put together to get him feedback, he was unable to provide direction. He said that his number was available and he would be happy to take calls. He again reminded us that kindergarten is not required and could be eliminated in the future.

Mr. Sanchez told us earlier this year he doesn’t have a child in kindergarten, and if he did he could see why some parents are concerned about kindergarten. I have a 2nd grader and a four year old; I think with some help from other parents and teachers, we can help Mr. Sanchez remember some of the differences between kindergartners and third graders. Here is a quick list I’ve put together:

• 3rd graders usually don’t need to be reminded to go to the bathroom
• 3rd graders have had three years of classroom experience and are not away from home for the first time
• 3rd graders are able to read to themselves when their work is done
• 3rd graders have a longer attention span
• 3rd graders are not as self centered as kindergartners
• 3rd graders have already learned how to be part of a group

I’d like to hear from any of you who’d like to add to this list. You can post a comment or email me your list to lwhite@ourfocusourkids.com and I will add your items to the above list .