First Grade Academics Often Below Standard

first grade, sisters

photo by NonnieJ

First grade classrooms are typically filled with laughter and joy--boys and girls gaining a new sense of themselves and the world around them. First grade teachers are a special bunch; they seem hand-picked for the task of keeping up with boundless energy and curious minds.

But even though all of this is true, according to a new study being published in the March issue of The Elementary School Journal, many first graders are not getting the academic content they need.


The largest group in the sample of first grade classrooms observed, almost a third, was labeled "positive emotional climate, low academic demand." Apparently, in these classrooms, teachers interacted warmly with the students, however, their "low academic demand" was revealed in their tendency to not give constructive feedback — for instance, not asking students to think a little bit harder about their questions, or by making basic facts more real to students in ways that would expand their understanding of those facts.

This study almost seems to suggest that first grade teachers look out at room full of cute kids, love them to pieces--and then forget to challenge them. We all have the utmost respect for teachers, but could this be some kind of subconscoius thing?

Moms of first graders, what do you think about this? Does this ring true to you?

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