How much "cutiness" can you do?

Discussion in 'Fourth Grade' started by TeachCafe, Jun 14, 2015.

  1. TeachCafe

    TeachCafe Comrade

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    Jun 14, 2015

    I did NOT expect a grade older than 2nd. At 7, they're still babies pretty much so the cuteness factor in what you can do with them and how they are works.

    Before the end of the year, I went around taking pictures of other classrooms in my building getting ideas because I knew I'd get a general ed position eventually....but I never went to the 4-5th grade wings :eek: :help: my mistake so I have no idea how different their set up was. 3rd was cuteness central - a superhero theme, rainbow brite 101, hanging balloon things from the ceiling, whole group cute rugs in front of the room.

    I have a book on the writing process I'm studying because 4th is a testing grade and here in TX they have the writing STAAR. ELA/SS has always been my ultra strong subjects so I'm in familiar territory.

    But besides studying the curriculum my first thought is "YAY! I get to have a cute classroom now but I have no idea how "cute" I can make it"

    4th grade is 9 and 10. What's my cuteness factor limit? Do colorful things annoy them? Do they still like stickers? Can I even do a colorful rug or is that beneath them age wise? Etc.

    EDIT: I've been teaching sped for 3 years and cognitively even my 11 year olds were more like 6-7 year olds so stickers, colorful markers, scented stickers, high fives, and K-2 grade cutesy things went over real well.
     
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  3. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    I can still do cute in 5th grade. I have a rug and do a ton of whole group instruction on it, as well as using it for center rotations. I used to have a themed room, but six years of safari finally got old. Now, I just have bright, complimentary colors (red, Aqua, yellow, lime green).
     
  4. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    I did "cute" in my 11th grade classroom. I'm all about the pandas. I had stuffed pandas and panda toys/figurines everywhere, and my 16 year old boys and girls loved them! I say just be you and let your classroom decorations reflect that. I'm a "cutesy" person by nature, so it worked for me.
     
  5. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I'm not really sure what grade you are from your post. I'm grade 3, and Was grade and 2 for 9 years. Calling kids or identifying or identifying themes as cute undermines your vision of who they are as learners. Don't underestimate what learners of any grade can do just because of bulletin boards or themes.
     
  6. TeachCafe

    TeachCafe Comrade

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    I'll be in 4th grade. I just want to respect that they are getting older and not treat them like kindergartners. I had two 5th graders this year who were on the level of Pre-K so it was an odd balance. I've always had pretty low sped kids regardless of age.

    You can go from Kinder to 12th grade and be all about Kinder. I know I have to be myself but I'm naturally pretty peppy and energetic so that's why I wanted K-2. Really Kinder or 1st but 4th grade here I come.
     
  7. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jun 14, 2015

    Typos :lol:
     
  8. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    I think you definitely could still have a cute classroom with 4th graders. I try to not put up too much non-content things, though. Most of my "decorations" are core subject area material. There's so much stuff that I should have up (parts of speech posters, literary elements, etc) that I feel bad dedicating wall space and time to cute bulletin boards with messages such as "Hop on in!" with frogs. I'd rather be able to do those cute bulletin boards, because I think it's fun and looks very inviting, but I don't want to have too much stuff up, so it's a space prioritization issue. Most intermediate classrooms in my building are not decorated, they just have educational materials up.
     
  9. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    My fourth graders loved smelly stickers and smelly markers. I had a color theme with some frogs thrown in. You'll need a lot of room for anchor charts. The writing test is a booger.
     
  10. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    And you'll need all of that energy in fourth. Don't worry that your energy level will be wasted!
     
  11. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Jun 14, 2015

    I used stickers and stamps, a prize box, and other cute things in 5th grade. My posters were all content-related. I did put up a birthday chart and we did an (advanced) calendar each morning. I wouldn't use any of those cutesy animals or cutouts with faces on them.
     
  12. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    My 5th graders love color. They adore stickers, colorful markers, and high fives. Big kids love lots of things that little kids love! ;)

    I didn't really do "cutesy" even when I taught 1st. It's not my personality. I've never really been a theme person. My classroom has a color theme - blues, greens, and yellows. My partner teacher has frog accents, and the kids like those.

    I still teach my 5th graders' whole group lessons on a rug. However, it's solid navy blue instead of the primary colored squares I had back in 1st. I think you can definitely do a colorful rug in 4th, as long as it's not obviously created for primary.

    I agree with otterpop - I don't have a lot of cutesy stuff in general because I need all of my wall space for instructional things.

    OH, big kids LOVE photos of themselves. This year I had a small section of my wall dedicated to a display of classroom pictures that changed throughout the year. They loved that.
     
  13. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    Jun 15, 2015

    My kids love stickers too!
     
  14. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    Jun 15, 2015

    I have a coworker who is in 6th grade, coming up from elementary school. Her class is super cutesy with matching colors, funny words, big pictures, etc. I had to have my class in her room for a few days and my kids (8th grade) LOVED IT. In fact they kept saying "why is your room so boring?" and this year my room was a lot nicer than previous years. Haha.

    I think kids of all ages like coming in a classroom that's bright and interesting. I'm going down to 7th next year and I'm going to try really hard to make my room more cutesy.
     
  15. TeachCafe

    TeachCafe Comrade

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    I'm not really a theme person. I'm a little too OCD and would go overboard

    But I was thinking lots of colors. A neutral colors, area rug is a good idea. The ones I've seen like the Lakeshore ones are too primary.

    Older kids are a mystery to me because everything is so technology heightened I really didn't think they'd like prize boxes or stickers and such. Every kids I see over 8 has some kind of DS, smartphone, iPod, Kindle device glued to their hands.

    The younger ones too but they still like tangible, cutesy things like pens and stickers and such.
     
  16. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    Here are the prizes I use for my 5th graders: lunch with teacher, 10 minutes free computer time, homework pass, gum pass, sit by a friend for the day, pick your partner pass, sit in a rolling chair for the day, pink chair day (I have a comfy chair I found for $5 at a garage sale--the boys fight over it more than the girls do!). There's lots of options once you find out what motivated your class. None of mine cost me any money.
     
  17. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    This is exactly what I do for prizes, too - privileges that don't cost money. They eat it up! I really like the gum pass idea - my kids would go nuts for that. I think I'll also make a pass for using Mr. Sketch scented markers - my kids LOVED those things last year!

    This line from Creative Teaching Press would be perfect for big kids, and it's very colorful: http://www.creativeteaching.com/categories/798/painted-palette-designer-decor I have my eye on a couple things I may purchase.

    Or I may just make and print everything like I usually do, lol.

    I love having inspirational quotes hanging with the big kids. They love stuff like that.
     
  18. ChildWhisperer

    ChildWhisperer Groupie

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    I remember an English teacher in High School who had M&M's EVERYWHERE. The entire classroom was covered in posters, pictures, figurines, etc. in anything M&M related so it was very colorful. He also had a ton of motivational posters mixed in as well. You couldn't see the walls at all. He also had a corner of stuffed Harris Bank Lions (His last name was Harris). He was a popular teacher and everyone loved his classroom. I had him my Sophomore year.
     

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