Oh no! Advice on talking to third graders?

<p>Hello! I have come to this part of the forum in hopes that you can offer some much needed advice. I have been invited to speak to third graders about my learning journey. What can I possibly talk about that will be meaningful to third graders? Follow their passion? I have no idea!</p>

I am a senior who is graduating high school in two weeks.</p>

<p>I have been invited due to various achievements that I earned including being accepted into medical school before my first day of undergraduate studies.</p>

<p>Something about the short lived benefits of "popularity" and succumbing to peer pressure. Maybe what's wrong with being a bully. How to be safe on social networking sites.</p>

<p>How about "Things I Thought About/Wondered About/Cared About in Third Grade, and How Those Things Have Affected My Life Since. (Long title, but you catch my drift.)</p>

<p>Teach them Orgo.</p>

<p>I'm joking, but the image of you (I imagine you as some generic person) going and teaching them Orgo is funny...</p>

<p>I would work in the speech somewhere that it's important to do well in school, and talk about how you did well. That suggestion is serious.</p>

<p>James -- were you a reader as a kid? Try nudging the kids toward literacy and reading -- talk about how important books were in your life. You could open up by asking students to name some of their favorite books. If you are giving your talk in a classroom, you could look around to see what books are on display there to get some conversation flowing.
Also -- studies show that small kids who can delay gratification in pursuit of a goal end up doing better in life than those who have a harder time doing that. The studies were done with kids who were left in a room with a marshmallow and told they would get 2 marshmallow's when the interviewer came back, if they didn't eat the first one. So you might talk about the value of pursuing a goal even if you have to give up things you like to do that -- on terms that a 3rd grader would relate to, such as spending time practicing the piano instead of going out to play.</p>

<p>Of course you were invited to talk about things that you relate to your own life... so think about what you were doing back in 3rd grade. Were you different than most of your peers back then? How so? (And if you were a mess up back in 3rd grade but turned out o.k. - that can be inspiring as well -- so if you overcame some early setbacks or difficulties that the kids would relate to, it could be great to share those).</p>

<p>How old were you when you decided you wanted to be a doctor? You might also get a good conversation going following the theme, "what do you want to be when you grow up?" If you didn't have a clue in 3rd grade .. share that as well! </p>

<p>Don't lecture -- kids don't need or want to have some bigger kid telling them what they have to do. (The teacher can invite a police officer to come into class to tell them about dangers on the internet, LOL).</p>

<p>Calmom beat me to it. Literacy. Maybe read them your favorite book from that age or tell them about your favorite books and why they were your favorites and where they took you in your mind and imagination and how they inspired you. Also, maybe how sticking with the hard stuff -- multiplication, division, etc. may seem hard now but it gives them the skills they need and learning how to do things that seem hard or boring does have a payoff. Wear a college shirt. Find out what year they they will be the class of -- not when they graduate high school but when they graduate college. Address them as the Class of whatever they will be. Tell them to aim high!</p>

<p>Addressing them as the class of ___ is interesting. I like this idea, but I wonder if I would need to explain it? I know that when I was in third grade, I would have no idea what someone meant if they said I was the class of 2014.</p>

<p>Reading them a book is also a great idea! I did read very often when I was in 3rd grade.</p>

<p>I really don't think that the social networking thing would be a good topic.</p>

<p>I am going to be talking to a class, possibly 25 students. The teacher is also my old third grade teacher.</p>

<p>Third grade is a fun year. They have a lot of confidence and curiosity, and they'll bond with you if you can find feelings (such as being surprised) in common. They stay with a topic longer than First Graders who are more scattershot.</p>

<p>You might open by asking them a simple question, such as "what's the most surprising thing that happened to you today?" - catch a few of their answers, just nod and say "thanks" but don't converse about those. Just involve several students that way. Then say, "well, the most surprising thing that happened to ME this year was...(and tell a piece of your learning journey).</p>

<p>Again, ask: What's the most difficult thing you did in school this year? (catch a few answers), then share what was difficult for you. </p>

<p>Figure out the 3 ideas you'd like them to take away from your chat with them (for example, it's important to work hard, keep friends, and try new ideas == or whatever you think) and plan out a few stories you'll tell that demonstrate those ideas. </p>

<p>Another way is to ask them to point out things in their room that are important to them, and show some interest in their world. Then make the bridges to compare with yours. For example, if they have a science center or caged pet in their classroom, ask them about it, then tell them about some lab work you do.</p>

<p>If you can bring in a photo or object that's helpful, like a stethoscope. Let one of them listen into it. Students identify with someone called up to demonstrate something. Even if you can't show everyone, they[ll ask that kid later how it sounded.</p>

<p>Here's a magic tip. At the start, tell them that if one child answers something and they knew the same answer, they should point to their own chest (as if to say, "me, too"). That way you get to affirm lots of kids all at once, even if you can only call upon a very few raised hands. Have them practice it once with you. They'll love you for it. Frustrating at that age is to have an answer and not be the one called upon to share it. Silently pointing "me, too!" at their own chest lets them communicate with you and feel involved.</p>

<p>They also love collections at that age. Ask them "what do you collect?" as an ice-breaker, and bring in some collection of yours to share back with them that leads into your learning journey. Only, don't say I collect A's, or I love to collect money :p Bring in something tangible!</p>

<p>paying3tuitions, that is wonderful! Thank you so much! That post is exactly that I needed to help brainstorm a few ideas.</p>

<p>You're so welcome. I'm sure other members will have more. There are so many parents here in touch with that age group :)</p>

<p>Your idea about the stethoscope is awesome as well! I actually was just given one from the college I will be attending, so I would love to bring it in and have a few students listen.</p>

<p>"I really don't think that the social networking thing would be a good topic."</p>

<p>Well I guess you are right...... But I talk to kids all day long!</p>

<p>Good luck with it! You'll do great! Third graders seem to admire high school kids.</p>

<p>"Silently pointing "me, too!" at their own chest lets them communicate with you and feel involved."</p>

<p>I like that!</p>

<p>P.S. Good luck with med school too! I graduated med school "class of 1984"!</p>

<p>Hi there! I teach third grade and believe that some very important points can be made about how students must work hard to achieve a goal. Kids this age really relate to personal stories, so if you could give anecdotes about how you made choices about classes that would be helpful. Was there a time when you just felt you would like to take it easy and take easy classes? What happened? Did someone help you make your decisions about classes? </p>

<p>Kids at this age don't yet know that as they go through school they have some choices to make about school. They have only experienced school from a pretty passive viewpoint. I believe it is important that students know that they begin to narrow their options as early as 7th grade depending on what math they take. </p>

<p>I would also try to drive home any points you may have about following a passion. Did you? When did you know you wanted to go to medical school? How did you find out what classes to take? Did you get a chance to shadow a physician? </p>

<p>That's all I can think of now. We have been out of school for almost three weeks, or I would ask the kiddos for you! ;)</p>


<p>I think that hard work toward a goal could be a good focus.</p>

<p>However, I would like to know whether you are speaking alone to the 3rd graders, or are part of a panel.</p>

<p>I would worry about the effect on 3rd graders of hearing about such an early vocational focus. It sounds like it is a fine accomplishment for you, but you might want to emphasize that it is not necessary to decide early on what your educational goals are.</p>

<p>Schools are increasingly pressuring kids, yes as early as 7th grade, to think about career. Schools and colleges have become quite career-focused. I think it is too bad. In many cases, it is not even tied to the reality of the job market, which is more complicated than those few easily-defined categories of achievement such as medicine, law or business.</p>

<p>Congratulations on your accomplishments, but I do hope you let these kids know that it is okay to explore many interests while young.</p>

<p>Hard work is just as necessary, when the goal is as yet uncertain.</p>

<p>Maybe emphasize helping others or benefit to society as well, rather than money, prestige, or personal pride.</p>

<p>Most of all, maybe ask your school if they would set this up with several students, all with different interests and paths, so that the 3rd graders aren't only exposed to a student headed for medical school, but to several outcomes of students' hard work and focus on education.</p>

<p>Engage them. Ask them some questions.</p>

<p>Could you bring a picture of yourself from the 3rd grade? Especially a class picture that includes the teacher?</p>

<p>Paying3tuitions - I want to be in your class.</p>

<p>I'd talk about what you were like as a third-grader (love the pic idea!) and some lessons learned. For ds2, that would be about procrastinating, talking about that penguin project he didn't start on until two days before it was due and then panicking that he'd never get it all done -- something relatable to those third-graders -- but how you make mistakes in third grade but learn and grow.</p>

<p>they will be enthralled if you tell them that in medical school you get to dissect cadavers.</p>

<p>When asked to talk about my job to middle schoolers the teachers have always asked me to emphasize the sorts of courses you should be taking in high school. I always tell them to keep their options open. For architecture art, math and physics are important, but so is being able to write and to be persuasive. I always bring in lots of stuff from my job - special rulers, templates even electric erasers. With younger kids I usually did an activity like making a plan of the classroom. I agree that sharing favorite books is a good idea. You might also talk about summer jobs, internships or volunteer activities you have had that helped you decide you wanted to be a doctor.</p>