First Day Ideas

Discussion in 'Fourth Grade' started by Miss G, Jul 19, 2012.

  1. Miss G

    Miss G Rookie

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    Jul 19, 2012

    Hello,

    I'm new to 4th grade and am working on ideas for the first day of school. What types of things do you have your fourth graders do on the first day?
     
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  3. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    Jul 19, 2012

    You can work in a little measurement by measuring heights, hands, and feet. I put them with partners and use string, then they measure the string. You can repeat at the end of the year to see how much they've grown. Mine always get a kick out of that.
     
  4. springmac

    springmac Companion

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    Jul 20, 2012

    I taught fifth, but am moving to fourth this year. The students are usually set up in groups of four. I gave each group a paper plate, a toothpick & a small tube of toothpaste. I asked them to squeeze all of the toothpaste out onto the plate. I then tell them to work as a group & put all of the toothpaste back into the tube. Impossible, of course. I let them struggle, laugh and get to know each other for a while. I then tell them to imagine the tube of toothpaste as them and the toothpaste itself as their words. We discuss how when we say something hurtful, while we can always apologize, we can't take those hurtful words away. It's a good lesson for them & it helps set the tone for our classroom. It's just one little think I like to do.
     
  5. MsG

    MsG Companion

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    Jul 20, 2012

    We do a time capsule with the same activity as agdamity. They also write a letter to themselves about what they think 4th grade will be like, what they are excited about, what they're nervous about, etc. They fill out a page about their favorite things and then I take a picture of them. We open it at the end of the year. They love it! I usually just have them put it in an envelope and decorate it. Once we did Pringles cans, but I refuse to try and collect 22 cans again.
     
  6. Ellensmom

    Ellensmom Companion

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    Aug 1, 2012

    I give them a quiz about following directions. Then I have them free write about their summer- EXCEPT, what they write CANNOT be true! I usually get some fun stories. This gives me a non-threatening way to assess their writing from the beginning. They enjoy writing these, and for most of them, actually think of writing as fun!;)
     
  7. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    Aug 1, 2012

    I love the writing project, Ellensmom!
     
  8. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    Aug 1, 2012

    That's a cute idea!
     
  9. Ted

    Ted Habitué

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    Aug 1, 2012

    I really like the toothpaste and "Fake Summer" ideas! Thank you for these. :)

    I'm not sure I do anything really special. I have some jigsaw puzzles that I created (blank, purchased a school supply store) with names of their Region characters (Long story made short: each child is in a group, AKA "Region")... as a Region, they need to put the puzzle together.

    I've also had them work on Card Houses (houses made of playing cards).

    I try to work in many team-building activities so as to ease the nerves. But also, it allows me to observe who the dominant personalities are going to be and those who are shy, quiet. I also can observe who is not going to work with whom. :)
     
  10. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Aug 1, 2012

    I love the writing idea, ellensmom--that may be my first day diagnostic!
     
  11. stampin'teacher

    stampin'teacher Cohort

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    Aug 1, 2012

    FYI stealing the toothpaste and fake summer ideas!

    One of the first things I do is send the kiddos on a scavenger hunt around the room. This allows them to get a sense of the class and figure out where to go to find things. We also act out all out procedures...what TO do and what NOT to do. That can get pretty funny!

    I also open it up with an "unpack your personality" where I bring a small travel bag with some items that give the kids a sense of who I am. Throughout the next couple weeks each of the kids do the same.
     
  12. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Aug 1, 2012

    I always start by having the kids do an "All About Me" packet that I have -- with pages about their favorite specials, their favorite subjects, etc. It helps me learn about them, and gives me something nice to have on the desk for Back to School Night.

    I also have them do their baseline writing sample. I have that as a packet, as well, with prewriting, and handwriting samples, etc.

    We go over procedures. No need to do a tour of the school, since all but one have gone to school here before, and the school is tiny, but when I worked in a larger school, I did a tour.

    We practice what to do when the fire alarm goes off (again, they all know from last year, but I feel better going over it.)

    Then we do some math review from last year.

    I explain about the book boxes they will be using, and book shopping, etc.

    We also put stickers on all of their folders and notebooks -- I use shipping labels and have them all premade. It takes a while to hand them all out and to make sure they go on neatly.

    I always play a new game with them of some sort.

    Does that give you any ideas? I hope so.

    Good luck! :thumb:
     
  13. Ellensmom

    Ellensmom Companion

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    Aug 1, 2012

     
  14. quixotic

    quixotic Rookie

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    Aug 6, 2012

    Wow, there are some awesome ideas in this thread - add me to the list of people stealing ideas! Now I just need to figure out how to fit all these great ideas in. :)

    Here's a small (but fun!) activity that I picked up at a training.
    Give each student an index card. This is what they write:

    Name (First & Last)

    1. Something most people know about you (e.g. I have blue eyes).
    2. Something some people know about you (e.g. I love soccer).
    3. Something few people know about you (e.g. I went to Disney World this summer).

    I emphasize that anything they write needs to be something they're comfortable sharing with the entire class. And they can't tell others what they wrote.

    Then throughout the week, I pull out a random card and say, "Stand up if you're in the fourth grade." [Everyone stands]. Then you start reading things from the card. For example, "Keep standing if you have blue eyes." [Everyone without blue eyes sits down]. Then, "Keep standing if you have blue eyes and you love soccer!" And so on until the student who wrote the card is the only one standing. I ask that student to elaborate on a few things, such as "What was your favorite ride at Disney World?"

    The kids LOVE this, it's a nice way to get to know each other, and it's a nice brain break/way to transition.
     
  15. Ellensmom

    Ellensmom Companion

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    Aug 7, 2012

    Oh, I just remembered I usually play 20 questions/ question/answer with them. (Or 13 depending on the number of students). I call on a student and they can either answer a question about themselves, or ask me one. The questions they ask can be about me personally, or things in the classroom. It makes a good icebreaker. They USUALLY ask me more questions than learning about the room.
     

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