Fabulous Ideas, Finds and Tips for 4th Grade
1. Create a classwork group wheel.
This group wheel is fun for students and teachers alike. Separate the kids who might not work well together by putting them on the same wheel, but keep the element of surprise by having a different combination for each partnering.
From http://fabulous-fourth.blogspot.com via Pinterest
2. STOP! (In the name of class!)
We love this method of letting a student know his behavior is off-task—without interrupting the flow of the lesson. Hand one of these to a student who needs a reminder to focus and you’ll be in the clear. Click here for free printables from Rock and Teach to make your own!
3. Practice math skills with the most mathematical icebreaker ever.
This is a great first-day-of-school activity that doubles as both an icebreaker and a math review of last year’s skills. Students create a poster of math equations representing different aspects of who they are, and then they can get to know each other by solving the problems. Bonus: You’ll have instant wall art for Back-to-School Night!
5. Play Behavior Bingo.
Your fourth graders will love working together to achieve five in a row! Bingo rewards might be extra recess, watching a short video, solving a riddle or puzzle, or an ice cream party.
6. Try social studies inquiry circles.
Address the required standards through inquiry-based learning! Here’s a how-to guide from the One Stop Teacher Shop. Watch your kids sink their teeth into the “thick versus thin” concept, and the Work Plan Form will help students take control of their own learning.
7. Learn about area and perimeter with robots!
How fun are these ’bots? Students apply their understanding of area and perimeter by creating different robots based on mathematical specifications provided to them.
8. Use technology for formative and summative assessments.
The WeAreTeachers HELPLINE! community weighed in on the best digital assessment tools. They love: Class DoJo, Turning Point Clicker Systems, Plickers, Socrative and Quizizz. Ditch the traditional paper-and-pencil testing for online quizzes and tests you can create and automatically grade through these sites!
9. Write a double journal.
Encourage your students to think beyond the literal in their reading by writing a double journal. Textual bits go in the left column, and the student’s reaction to the text goes in the second column. If you want to take this to the next level, add a third column for a peer to read and share a response to the student reaction.
10. Read to them every day!
They still love listening to stories in fourth grade! Here are some top read-aloud picks from The Sunny Patch.
11. Use paint chips to inspire sensory poetry.
Let color work its inspiration for your fourth-grade poets.
12. Checking homework, three ways …
1. “Pick what’s most important about the lesson, not the small details, and grade that way. Don’t worry about spelling or grammar. The important thing is, did they understand the content?” —Megan P.
2. “For my gradebook, students receive credit for returning homework completed. I go around and mark them off, then I put the answers up and students correct it themselves. I then go over any problems that the students request for me to explain.” —Montoya M.
3. “I have a box of clothespins with each kid’s name on them. They clip their pin to their homework and drop it into the homework file up front. It’s easy to tell who didn’t hand in homework because you just take a glance at the remaining clothespins! I set a two-minute timer for them to complete this so it doesn’t take too long, and my fourth graders do it in no time! You just have to practice and train them. Make a game out of ‘beating the timer’ without pushing or shoving.” —Jamie S.
13. Out with boring worksheets! Engage your fourth graders with:
“Thinking maps that students create.” —Aimee V.
“Brain-based activities and games. Look up LaVonna Roth for a start.” —Joy W.
“Foldables. Check out Dinah Zikes for ideas!” —Dianne K.
“Interactive notebooks!” —Shanna J.
14. Create classroom jobs for your students.
Here are some creative ideas from our Helpliners: tech support, environmental support, organizer, textbook coordinator, sanitation engineer, librarian, substitute, chief in charge, messenger, paper passer, supply clerk, IT technician, human resources officer, administrative assistant, waste management.
15. Showcase students’ math skills with awesome foldables.
Percents, fractions and decimals, oh my! Students can both practice and highlight different conversions with this foldable activity from The Teacher Studio.
16. Make big plans!
We love this start-of-year activity from Write On, Fourth Grade! Start by reading Big Plans, by Bob Shea and Lane Smith. Then, on construction paper, have students create their own plans for fourth grade, for their school career, and for adulthood. Hang ‘em up and label the wall “Our Big Plans”!
17. Establish an anti-bullying culture from day one with resources from Kid Pointz.
Download free and kid-centric anti-bullying printables from Kid Pointz to help your students understand the importance of avoiding peer pressure and handling bullies constructively. “I also went to the dollar store and got these cute little ‘pledge’ cards that kids can sign at the beginning of the year to pledge that they won’t bully each other and will report bullying when they see it. It’s a great way to start the year!” —Jen B.
18. Pick a fun theme for your classroom.
“‘Science is Outta This World’! Do a space theme with rockets above different locations you are studying, a mad scientist mixing up a potion and vocabulary words coming out of the smoke puffs!” —Johnna M. “The Jungle works for so many subjects, like life and how things change in time.” —Liz H.“What about ‘Your World Matters’?” —Mindy J. “The Rainforest!” —Ann M. “‘Heroes All Around Us’ with monthly featured ‘heroes,’ both famous and local.” —Ashley M.
19. Set up interactive, exciting centers in your classroom.
Having centers, or work stations, in your classroom allows students to work independently. “When introducing a new independent activity, I usually do it in small groups first, so when put in the independent stations, they are able to do it without my help.” —Carol V.
“I have center folders that students keep their work in, and at the end of the cycle of centers, I grade the work as 100, 80, or 60 based upon what’s done and the quality. I give one center grade for each cycle.” —Gary F.
20. Spice up student writing with an adjectives anchor chart.
Variations on this might include brainstorming adjectives with students, or brainstorming exciting lists synonyms for specific, basic words, like “big,” “small,” “good,” and “bad”.
Read this post with more tips and tricks here!
Author and credit for composing this article by WeAreTeachers