Brand New 4th Grade Teacher - HELP!

Discussion in 'Fourth Grade' started by Lindysay04, Aug 3, 2008.

  1. Lindysay04

    Lindysay04 New Member

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    Aug 3, 2008

    HELP! I just graduated college and have done most of my field experiences in the lower grades and did my student teaching in kindergarten. I just accepted a 4th grade Language Arts/SS position, and I have absolutely NO idea where to start. The theme this year for the kids is "Ignite the Fire Within". I really have no idea what is even found in a 4th grade classroom? If anyone could give me ANY kind of tips, such as suggestions for bulletin boards, classroom jobs, or anything I would be extremely grateful. Thank you so much!
     
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  3. Miss Bradley

    Miss Bradley Companion

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    Aug 3, 2008

    Congrats on getting a job! Especially since it is in 4th grade!!

    I graduated college last May and I had all my experience in 1st and 2nd grades so I kind of know where you are coming from. Don't stress!!

    Last summer, I really focused on building up my classroom library. I went to places like the Goodwill and different resale shops to find books really cheap. You will want to get lots of chapter books--that's what my kids loved.

    Also, keep coming to these boards for ideas. I visit the boards at least once a day for new ideas and web pages. Just this summer alone I have saved so many files to my jump drive to use when I get back to the classroom.

    Don't be afraid to buddy up with your other 4th grade teachers. This REALLY helped me my first year! I know I drove her crazy with all the questions but she was very eager to help!!

    Good luck!!! :D

    PS. I'm going to see if I can upload a pic or 2 to show you my classroom and what was in it, if it will help. :)
     
  4. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Aug 3, 2008

    There are lots of great threads on fourth grade, so start reading!

    Bulletin boards: I do "All About Us" for the beginning of the year, a calendar, alphabet, Ohio and US map, and something for math. I use fabric background and can easily change the focus as I need to.

    Jobs: I keep it very simple and have a Morning Helper and an Afternoon Helper. The kids seem to like this, and we change helpers every two days.

    Get your curriculum. Generally fourth grade SS is state-focused, but I don't know about Texas. Pick a good read-aloud to start the year. There are lots of threads on this. I start with The Grand Escape by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor (best-known for Shiloh). NEVER start to read aloud a book unless you have read it to yourself.

    Decide what you will do for writing journals/ notebooks. I like Aimee Buckner's book, Notebook Know-How.

    Fourth graders usually like school and their teachers, and can be pretty independent at times. I don't stress "rules" a lot; they know how to behave in school, and I let them know that I know they know this (hope that made sense!)

    Good luck! Let us know specific help you need.
     
  5. peridotylayne

    peridotylayne Companion

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    Aug 3, 2008

    For language arts you will have to get an idea of where your students are as far as mechanics go. I would do a daily journal with them to get their creative juices flowing for writing. (I'll admit I was NOT a very effective writing/language arts teacher so I won't give you too much advice on that.) Social Studies is state based. It gets really fun and interesting when you get to the Texas Revolution. You do have to go through the basic map skills, you'll discuss Indians, explorers, Aztecs, and all that, but the kids will LOVE talking about the Alamo and the battles with Santa Anna.

    You'll do fine. Be happy you only have two subjects to focus on :).

    Fourth graders can be independent and a headache all at the same time, just depends on the kids. Let them know that you're not going to treat them like babies, because let's face it, they're not. Yes, they are still kids, but not babies.

    As far as your room goes. I'd try and build up a chapter book library, but I don't think it's essential. I went without until January and did just fine. Have posters up for language arts and maps of the world, US, and TX. Display student work as most of your decoration and have a word wall. I would go for 2.. one for words they should know how to spell and one for words they cannot use for writing.
     
  6. Miss Bradley

    Miss Bradley Companion

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    Aug 3, 2008

    Here are some pics from my 4th grade classroom last year: (Hope this works)

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  7. Mrs_B

    Mrs_B Comrade

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    Aug 3, 2008

    Focus on procedures!! Yes, they are older but they still need to be told EXACTLY how you want things done. My biggest advice is, explain what you want and then have them practice repeatedly and catch them doing it wrong to prove that you will follow through. For instance, walking in the hall, I said what I wanted til I was blue...it wasn't until I made them walk all the way back to the start 3 times, each time someone talked/got out of line, etc. that they finally learned I meant it. They were wonderful after that. It helps me to build that practice time in so I don't feel off-schedule but even if you are late-it is SOOO worth it later.
     
  8. nlkteach4

    nlkteach4 New Member

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    Aug 4, 2008

    Some additional ideas... On the first day of school, my team teacher and I combine our kids and create a list of expectations. Since they are giving their input, they have a sense of accountability. Also, we call them expectations instead of rules to keep the feel "positive". Don't get me wrong... we have final say on the list, but we take all ideas and build from there. We put the list onto large poster board and have them sign it and put their thumbprint almost as if it is a contract. Have an entrance procedure and dismissal procedure clearly stated and maybe even posted (I use a flow chart). I agree with Mrs. B... even though they may "know" what to do, they are at the age of challenging EVERYTHING. Things in writing make it more difficult for that. Be consistent! They will respect you more for it!
     
  9. Lindysay04

    Lindysay04 New Member

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    Thank you all so much for your input! I am completely new and love hearing what you have to say, it is definitely helpful. If anyone else has some input, I'd love to hear it. Again, thank you all!
     
  10. Mrs_B

    Mrs_B Comrade

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