Overwhelmed

Discussion in 'Elementary Education Archives' started by Turtle712, Aug 11, 2005.

  1. Turtle712

    Turtle712 Rookie

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    Aug 11, 2005

    I'm new to this site, but i have been reading lots of messages and all of the advice is very helpful. I am a first year fourth grade teacher. I am very excited and also a little nervous. I have been getting my room ready for the first day, and i feel like I need to add more information to the bulletin boards. I have the basic birthday board, helper chart things, but i dont know what else to add. I dont want the room to be overcrowded. I am also stuck on the classroom rules. I am worried about them not being age appropriate! Any advice that you can offer to me about teaching fourth grade will be MUCH appreciated!!! :thanks:
     
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  3. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Aug 11, 2005

    Welcome, Turtle! Fourth grade is awesome! :)
    Bulletin boards - I don't start with everything. Calendar, 100 chart, Wild Words (for vocabulary), Fun Facts (3 medium size maps and facts about Ohio, US and world, and the facts change every week or two), something the students will put together on the first day (not exactly classroom rules, but more of a philosophy statement about how our room should run). Near the door I will have the lunch menu, specials schedule, job chart, and section for News.
    Hope this helps! Please visit often. Good luck!!
     
  4. paperheart

    paperheart Groupie

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    Aug 11, 2005

    I've been a first year 4th grade teacher before. (now in my 4th year of teaching.)

    A few thoughts: Your bulletin boards are probably great as they are. Most of my bulletin boards are blank other than the background and borders. The kids will add the work to them later.

    A quick easy touch to make the room less blank: I printed the words: Its going to be a great year! (each word on its own paper). I clip these to a clothesline with clothespins and it adds a bit of decoration until the kidwork goes up.

    Another idea I heard is to put the yellow construction tape/banner up in blank areas and tell students that the success of the classroom is also up to them. They need to contribute as well.

    How much decoration you put up in your classroom is a personal preferrence to a certain degree. Some teachers like a lot of decor and others like to keep it simple. I personally feel it is important ot have a print-rich classroom that looks neat, orderly and inviting.

    What are the rules you are thinking of? I'm sure we can help you tweak them so you feel comfortable.

    Alicia :)
     
  5. Andrea L

    Andrea L Habitué

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    Aug 11, 2005

    I taught fourth grade last year and I pretty much had a blank classroom when the students came in on the first day. I had up a calendar for them to look at, birthdays, jobs, lunch/attendance chart, my expecations, a number line, alphabet, daily schedule, a bulletin board that had all their names on it,and a bulletin board about me that they could look at. Other than that, I posted their work as we did it. The students LOVE to have their work up on the wall and feel so accomplished.

    Don't worry about not having much stuff up. You will get things put up as the kids work and it will feel more inviting having their stuff up.
     
  6. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Aug 11, 2005

    Welcome to AtoZ! I have a big welcome sign on my large BB. On either side are LA posters. I put up a presidents set on my closet doors and other things about U.S. history around it. Also, I have a few maps, number line, area identified for book reviews ..... Some of the student work has to be hung outside my room because I don't have wall space for all of it inside. It's okay to be nervous. Just realize that no teacher ever really knows for sure what will work and what won't because the dynamics of each year's class is different. Hope that reassures you somewhat!
     
  7. lovinteach

    lovinteach Rookie

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    Aug 12, 2005

    I have taught 5th grade for several years. At the beginning of the year I always feel excited and nervous. From what I hear most teachers feel nervous at the beginning of the school year no matter how long they teach ;) I posted a thread about decorating my room and how much was too much earlier this week. What helped me was going back up to my room the day after I decorated it. At that point, when my head was clear, I realized that my room looked great! My principal actually called me at home yesterday to say that my room was one of the best in the building :p

    As far as classroom rules are concerned, on the first day of school the 5th grade class and I write the rules together. I do this so that the students must think of what rules are important for them to learn. I am also able to guide things along to make sure everything I want on the list is there. I am sure 4th graders can do that as well. I then write them on a large poster and have each student sign his or her name. This helps to show ownership over the rules. It is a great first day activity and the students really enjoy being able to "own" these rules.

    Good Luck!!
     
  8. teacher62604

    teacher62604 Companion

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    Aug 12, 2005

    Just something to think about rules...

    Try to make the rules you put up "general", for example, instead of saying...Don't talk out without raising your hand, make a rule like, "Respect your teacher and classmates. Using the word "respect" covers A LOT of things! That way, no matter what the student did, you can say, "are you RESPECTING me/your classmate?" It really works! I use it w/ my 3rd graders. Plus, I don't ever make too many rules. I think 5 would be the max! You don't want students to be overwhelmed, and any more than 5 they will forget.

    Good Luck!

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Turtle712

    Turtle712 Rookie

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    Aug 12, 2005

    Thank you all so much for the advice! I feel much better knowing that i am on the right track! I am definitely going to be spending more time at this site! Thanks again!
     
  10. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Aug 12, 2005

    I am changing grades this year (going to 5th after teaching 4th for 8 years). The degree of decoration is totally up to you. I have a lot because that's my personality, my best friend that I teach with has much less because that is hers. Neither is better than the other. I have a set of patriotic symbols, the scientific process, cursive alphabet strip, and lots of motivational posters, banners. I put up other posters as needed throughout the year. I only have one bulletin board that changes (1 is covered by book shelf, 1 has my checkout pockets for library, 1 is a permanent picture bulletin board (criss crossed ribbon and tons of kids pictures), the one that changes is my calendar). On your rules, keep them simple and not that many. I have 4. (1. Respect everyone 2. Keep your hands and feet to yourself 3. Raise your hand before speaking 4. Always do your best) Remember that they are still young. 4th grade is a transitional grade. They are coming to you as babies and leaving more independent. Each child in my room received a plastic folder from me as their homelearning folder. They have calendars for each month of school in the folder and then they load paper. Each mondy they copied the test schedule and then each day they copied homework. I initialed each day that they had copied it correctly and the parents initialed each day that they had seen it. We put holidays and other special days on the calendar. I had a drawer set up with several staplers a couple of rolls of tape, a hole punch, a staple puller, all those things that they needed often, that way I didn't have to keep stopping to pull them out. To make sure that they had everything in their heading they "wrote their names in lights" (highlighted name, date, and number). It is a wonderful grade to teach. They are so fun at that age. Have fun!!
     

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