In a Panic

Discussion in 'Fourth Grade' started by desertlilac, Aug 6, 2008.

  1. desertlilac

    desertlilac Rookie

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    Aug 6, 2008

    Hello, everyone. I am new here because, boy, do I need help! I have been in Kindergarten one way or another for 18 years, and suddenly this year my principle put me in fourth grade! I haven't got a clue what to do with fourth graders! Oh, sure, I have a reading program and a math program to follow.....but what do I DO with 20 nine year olds????
    I mean, give me 35 Kindergarteners and I can keep them happy and learning all day. But my imagination hears crickets chirping while I stand looking at a classroom full of 4th graders. I am scared stiff. Anybody got ideas out there for me?
     
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  3. Becky123abc

    Becky123abc Rookie

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    Aug 6, 2008

    That is just wild that he would move you to 4th grade!

    I wish I could help you but my situation is not too different. I taught for 6 years and then went home to stay with the kids. I haven't been a teacher for 11 years and when I did teach it was mostly Pre-k through 1st grade.

    Now, I'm going to take a 4th grade class this year and I'm looking all over this board and the web for tips and info.

    From remembering my own son and his classmates in 4th grade, they were still eager to learn and eager to please the teacher.

    I'm sure with all of your experience, you will do great.

    Will they close your class at 20? Last I heard I have 16 and I'm hoping it won't get much bigger.

    I'm looking at the Power Teaching info. I am liking what I am reading about that. It sounds like a neat way to have classroom management.

    I'm also trying to learn about current language arts and reading teaching styles because my reading series is from 1989!

    Do you have any other 4th grade teachers in your building to work with? I do not, but the 5th grade teacher has taken me under her wing and I greatly appreciate that.

    Keep us informed on how it's going. When do you start? We start Sept. 2. You can do this!
    Becky
     
  4. trayums

    trayums Enthusiast

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    Aug 6, 2008

    Check out Beth Newingham's site. She teaches third grade but A LOT if not all of it could apply to fourth. You will get great ideas and give you a sense of what the older kiddos can do! Good luck to you-- you will be JUST FINE!!!!!!! It's a big adjustment changing grade levels and yours is a big jump, but your principal must have a lot of faith in you if he/she moved you.
     
  5. desertlilac

    desertlilac Rookie

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    Aug 7, 2008

    Thank you for responding so quickly! And thank you for the supporting comments!
    Becky, your situation doesn't seem that different. How interesting! You will have to post as to how you are doing and let me know. I am making some progress defining activities for my new kids, but I am still very nervous. I do have other 4th grade teachers in my area, but we haven't had much of a chance to get together yet. One of them gave me some workbooks, so that will be helpful, and I discovered I have some books that I can put in the library area (I originally thought I was going to have nothing for them to read but the reading program text!).

    Unfortunately, we have no cap on 4th grade. I am expecting 35 students. Scared, yet? We have not yet ended this current year (Ends tomorrow for the kids, Monday for teachers); then we begin the new school year in about a week, on Aug 20th for teachers, and the kids come back the following Monday on Aug 25th. We get six whole days between years, and I'm sure I will be spending most, if not all, of that time at school getting ready!
    My room is a disaster area!

    I have never heard of Power Teaching. I will look into that. I am reading a book called, "Teach Like Your Hair is On Fire" that is proving to be helpful.

    Trayums, who is Beth Newingham? I will look her up online. Thank you for your comments! I am not sure of the principal's motives. She is difficult to read and does not provide straight answers. I tried several times to get her to let me move into Kindergarten positions that were (are) open, but she won't let me. I also looked outside of my current school, but have not had any luck as of yet. I figure she either has faith in me, as you say, or she want to get me to leave.

    Again, thank you for your replies. I'll just keep pluggin'!
     
  6. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Aug 8, 2008

    I bet you will love fourth graders! They can read! They can write in cursive! Most of them still like school and their teachers!

    There are many great threads in Elem Ed forum and this forum on ideas for things such as room set-up, read-alouds, centers, etc.

    Your fourth graders will love to help decorate and clean up the room. Let them help plan some things.

    They have been in school for several years now, but show them your procedures - when to sharpen pencils, what to do with homework, etc.

    Let us know how we can help.
     
  7. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Aug 8, 2008

    I made the jump from kinder to 3rd, it wasn't as near as difficult as I thought it would be. Check out your states standards to find out what they are expected to learn, also look at the 3rd grade standards to see what you can expect them to already know.

    Check garage sales, the Salvation Army, freecycle, craigs list and library book sales for books.

    Be consistent, teach rules & procedures, and give them jobs to do!
     
  8. newtofourth

    newtofourth New Member

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    Aug 13, 2008

    I am in the exact position, 7 years of kindergarten and being moved to fourth and don't have a clue where to begin. Have you gotten any good suggestions?
     
  9. teacher333

    teacher333 Devotee

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    Aug 13, 2008

    I think once you get into the routine you will love 4th grade! Can you plan to meet with your fellow teachers on the same grade level to brainstorm? I am sure they would be more than happy to share some of the things they have done that work and be able to steer you in the right direction.
     
  10. desertlilac

    desertlilac Rookie

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    Aug 15, 2008

    Everybody, including the principal, keeps telling me that I'm going to love 4th grade. I'm sure I will find something to enjoy about it, including that the kids can read and write...and carry on a real conversation! But, the problem is with my identity and how I think when I teach. I AM a Kindergarten teacher. That's what I went to college to do, but I neglected to put a provision on my license, and here I am. We have only a week between school years, and I have spent this last entire week in my room a school working on my room (they moved me, of course), trying to get ready for 4th graders.
    Hey, NewToFourth, good name. Yes, I have gotten some support. I have been given copies of workbooks, lesson plans, and grade books, but I haven't had time to look at them yet.
    I have a reading and math program in place, but I don't know how to use it. I am going to be roboteacher, following these programs.
    I have no clue what to do with 4th graders, you know, in between times. I instinctively know how to deal with Kinders. I am scared of 4th graders. The one time I was in 4th Grade resource for all of 4 months years ago, the students were difficult and threw chairs!
    I love early childhood learning. This is all new, but I notice I am beginning to try to think like a 4th grade teacher, and have removed some things from my arsenal that I thought would be useful that I had left from Kindergarten.
    This is great! I am so glad I stumbled upon this discussion board! Thank you all for your posts! Let's keep talking...
     
  11. desertlilac

    desertlilac Rookie

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    Aug 15, 2008

    NewToFourth,
    Are you as upset about your move as I was/am about mine? Why are the higher-ups allowed to do this to us? Do you love Kindergarten?
    The suggestions I've received are mostly similar to "Change your attitude" and being given copies of workbooks and other 4th grade materials. But, like you, I really have no idea where to begin. What are we going to do when all those nine-year-olds sit there and look at us?
    I'm gonna say, "Ok, guys, do you know your ABC's?" LOL
     
  12. desertlilac

    desertlilac Rookie

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    Aug 15, 2008

    Missy,
    Thank you for the tips! I will try the Elem Ed forum. I have spent hours searching the net. I have discovered that you can tweek Kinder ideas (that I have done in the past and will miss) and use them in 4th. That makes me feel a little more like looking forward to teaching.
    Can I ask, where are you in Ohio? I grew up in Lima. I was born and raised there and moved here to Vegas when I was 17 with my mother. What is teaching in Ohio like? Do you have alot of at-risk kids?
     
  13. ograwk

    ograwk Rookie

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    Aug 15, 2008

    Hi to all,
    I can relate to your panic! I left special ed after 10 years to teach 4th grade. I wanted 1st, but you know how it goes. To be honest, the first quarter was really rough. I thought I had made the biggest mistake of my life! I am about to start my 5th year in 4th, and I am seriously considering moving up to 6th in the next few years! I couldn't even consider moving down to
    1st now.

    My advice is to give yourself time, and don't expect to figure everything out right away. They are still little kids, really, they are. They love their teacher, they want to help, and what amazes me the most is the huge amount of growth they make. They come to you as third graders and leave fifth graders. What a huge jump! They still respond to stickers and happy faces and all the things that kindies like - they are just a lot more independent and able to work on something for a longer amount of time (don't expect much more that 15 - 20 minutes of real concentrated effort though.) They absolutely love to talk, so be sure to give them lots of opportunities to discuss things - don't fight that inclination of theirs. They are, however, able to work quietly too. You will probably also find a huge range of abilities within your one class. Typically, I have some students reading at a preprimer level (generally resource, so they get extra support)all the way up to 6th or 7th grade (these tend to be the GATE students). That is probably what I find my biggest challenge, how do you address all of their needs, but that's where their independence works out nicely. Also, be sure to enlist the help of parents. They can be life savers. I was very lucky last year to have a parent who had worked with kids before and took a small group of my brightest students and worked with them on a novel one or two days a week for about 30 minutes. They loved it!

    I wish you the best of luck. With all your experience, I'm sure you will make it work. Don't be intimidated by them, just be firm yet caring and you shouldn't have any trouble. Be sure to establish procedures for everything early on. The First Day of School by Harry Wong is a great book for helping with getting things set up. Even after 14 years of teaching I still find it useful.

    All the best to you! Let us know how things are going.
     
  14. desertlilac

    desertlilac Rookie

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    Aug 16, 2008

    Thank you! That was alot of the information I'm craving. It, actually, sounds alot like Kindergarten! LOL! I am familiar with Wong, and will drag him out of the cabinet.... :p
    I have spent nearly all of my "vacation" (all 6 days of it) getting my room and materials ready!
     
  15. newtofourth

    newtofourth New Member

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    Aug 17, 2008

    Hi there desertlilac, yes I was and still am furious about the move. It makes no sense at all. I was moved to 4th and the teacher teaching a 3/4 split was moved to 1st and the 1st moved to my kindergarten. I am getting no support since the other 4th grade teacher transfered to a different building. I have 35 students and many are major behavior problems so it is going to be a fun year. I too have no clue what to do with them. I'm used to my 5 year olds, what types of things do you put on the bulletin boards? Arrange the room? Centers? Behavior management plan? ETC. This site is the only help that I have. Please keep all the advice and suggestions coming in, they are very much needed and appreciated.
     
  16. desertlilac

    desertlilac Rookie

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    Aug 18, 2008

    You're right, newtofourth. You situation makes even less sense than mine! I met the newly hired Kindergarten teacher the other day. I have nothing against her personally, but inside I was seething.
    I see alot of good stuff here! I have stumbled upon one of the best discussion boards I have ever been in! Thanks for all the support, guys! We teachers are awesome, aren't we?
     

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