Hello. I am new to fourth grade, taught 3rd in the past. I am looking for fun first day/week activities to do with the kids. I hate to use what I used last year as I will have many of the same kids in my class. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
I do a BioPoem on the first day. It is done on a piece of construction paper. I let them decorate with stickers. Directions are attached. They make the room look colorful and nice by first recess.
I have them fill out a typical getting to know you form. It is not stored on my computer though. The first day I have them color a state seal II teach California history) and I put it on my social studies board. This way, I have student work up right away
I also read First Day Jitters, Name Jar, and If She Only Knew Me.
Fourth Grade Word Search on desks-students work on as they arrive
Procedure: How to sign in lunch choice
Procedure: Organize materials in desk, label folders & notebooks
Getting to Know you Activity-”Find Someone Who...”
Procedure: How to gather for read alouds
Read aloud: Chrysanthemum
Special @ 11:40-12:20
Activity: Name T-shirts
Pass Backs: hand out tons of office paperwork, make sure everyone know what bus/how they’re getting home
Procedure: Lunch/Recess rules
Quick Classroom tour (each day for first week will emphasize one area)
Math: Refer back to Chrysanthemum- Graph number of letters in our names (use sticky notes on whiteboard-students have worksheet to complete)
Reading: back to school poem “Welcome Back to School” by Kenn Nesbitt as a shared reading, place copies in Poetry Notebooks
Procedure: How to enter the room in the morning
Procedure: End of the day
*Procedures: (throughout the day)-sharpening pencils, restroom, drinks, Emergency & drills, practice lining up, practice taking materials out of desk
I am also a fourth grade teacher in CA. Where can I find a CA state seal for my students to color? I love this intro to CA history. I would also be interested in learning of any other activities you do related to California history.
Something that I do each year is create a time capsule. The kids decorate a manila envelope and fill out a form of 'my favorites', they trace their hands and feet and cut them out, they have a partner measure them with string and put the string inside. They also write a paragraph as a writing sample and include that. On the last day of school they open them and see how they have changed. Their hands and feet have grown, they have gotten taller (or they realize how badly they measured in the first place!) and all their 'favorites' are different. I keep them in a cabinet all year. It's a lot of fun.
Hi! I have used The Important Book the first day as a read aloud. After reading, the kids follow the pattern from the book and create a page telling what is most important about themselves. They also include an illustration that shows something they feel goes along with what they said. They are great to hang for awhile and I then bind them into a class book and the kids enjoy reading them.
Hello!! I was reading your list of things you do on the first day with your kids and I was wondering if you could send me some attachments...I will be a first year teacher and I'm trying to collect everything I can so i can be prepared for the first week! I will be teaching fourth grade!! Thanks sooo much in advance!
Your ideas sound so great! Thats why i want some more info!! I posted some questions...
Me Bag *What exactly is this? A homework assignment where they put things about them in it?
Make Partner Clock -*Do you have a template?
Gremlin Letter -*Would love the attachment!
Handwriting Paragraph *Would love the attachment
Sticker Partner Venn Diagrams/Interviews *What is this?
Mystery Bag Writing Assessment- *Sounds interesting!
Crumple Girl - *Is this an ovel?
Creating a Classroom Crossword Puzzle *What do you do for this?
Beach Ball with Introduction Questions-*This sounds fun!
Sorry to be so annoying!! Thanks sooo much once again
I also enjoy doing a time capsule each year for the last 5 I think. All ages love this but last year was particularly important. We did the time capsule, other first two week fun art, poems, self awareness lessons and put some review math and DOL's in too. Then on the 12th day of school, one of my students died at home of an asthma attack. I knew all year his bio poem, his measurements, his entries into the time capsule was there. My students had known him since prek so you can imagine by the end of school how we enjoyed seeing his work. The love they had for him shined so much that day. We planned the date to open it the first of school. Unknown to me in the capsule he had put a note to me and his best friend about how much "Heart" we both had for him. After the class enjoyed the capsule, together we placed his items into a "special" box, decorated it and gave it to his Mom at the end of school during our awards. She was so pleased to know his work, art and entry into time had been preserved. I just thought you might want to know how important these little assignments can become. A 4th grade teacher.
I am wondering if you could send me more info. regarding the following: me bag, partner clock, gremlin letter, handwriting, sticker partner Venn Diagram/Interviews, Myster Bag Writing assessment and crumple girl
Hello! I'm not all that new to teaching 4th grade (I've taught multiage 3/4 for 3 years and then last year was my first year at straight 4th grade, and again this year).
Anyway, I love all the ideas. For whatever reason this year I seem to be drawing a blank on how to start this year and reading these posts are putting me on the right track again! Thank you!
I too would LOVE to learn more about the ideas listed above.
As for the "Me Bag" I used to do something like this (I called it "Me in a Bag). Basically I set a limit for how many things could be put into the bag (I used an old beach bag that I had).
I started the activity off on the first day by pulling out about 10 things I had put in the bag that were special to me or I thought were good representations of who I am. **10 items for a class of 18 is WAY too many things! I'd recommend 5 or less things if you ever want the activity to end!**
Anyway, when I did it I allowed questions/comments at the end of my sharing and then I would choose someone to take the bag home that night and fill it with "x" amount of items to share the next day. When they were done, they'd pass the bag along.
It's a great activity to help you get to know your students in a way other than just academically AND you don't have to pull the information out of them! They are more than welcome to share their lives with everyone!
I usually had my students share during morning meeting.
Don't know if this is the same concept, but it's an idea to add to your "bag of tricks".
Have a great year!!
PS-If you could send/post more info on the following that would be fantastic. I tried to Google a couple of them and came up empty. Thanks!
This is my first year in fourth. I came from first and kindergarten before that. I just found out about the move a week ago. We start on Tuesday. I'd love to get the attachments for the first day/week activities you posted if you have a chance gremlin letter. I know this is the busiest time of year! Thanks- firstname.lastname@example.org
*One of my favorite activities for the week is "Crumple Girl". I gather the students in a circle on our carpet area and pull out a picture I have drawn on a large sheet of construction paper. The picture is of a stick figure child. I don't explain anything about the picture. I then ask the students if they have ever heard anyone saying or doing anything mean or hurtful to other students at school. Usually students will discuss name calling, cutting in line, or leaving people out. As students list examples I slowly start to crumple the picture with each example students share. I do this until I've crumpled the picture into a ball in my hands. Then I ask students if they've ever seen or heard others or themselves doing kind things for other students. As students list all of the kind things they've seen or done I start to straighten the paper out. At the end we discuss what we notice about our paper person. How even though we have straightened her out you can still see the marks from when she was hurt. We talk about how words hurt and even when people try and make us feel better some part of the hurt will sometimes stay with us. And this leads into creating a class promise to always be kind to one another. I post the class promise near the front of the room. Next to the promise I tape crumple girl. As people come into the room I always have an adult or two who ask what the crumpled up paper is about and it is great to have the students explain.
Look under "Beginning of the Year". There you will find another Clock Buddies handout (but Mrs. Van Dyke has a link on her page that explains more about the activity) and the Gremlin Letter which I'm also going to attach to this post.
It may sound silly but I am THRILLED to read that I am not the only one freaked out when moving grade levels -- I have NEVER taught above 4K (that is 4 year old kindergarten) and have been moved to 4th grade -- yes folks that is from 4K to 4th Grade -- looking forward (shaking in my boots) to 4th grade and yet sooooo worried about doing a good job -- I may have an opportunity to stay in 4K part-time if the numbers go up during registration next week -- I have been gathering info all summer and now as the days loom closer I am getting more and more nervous ---- can I do this? will the kids learn? am I organized enough to pull this off? do I know enough ways to present material to be an effective teacher at 4th grade? alll those questions and more! YIKES!!!!!! thanks for letting me work through my stress via posting.........
Unfortunately, the person who originally posted the idea of the Handwriting Paragraph activity hasn't posted in a long time. I tried to search around for some information regarding this activity. I wasn't able to find much on it. However, here's what I found:
The teacher provides students with a copy of a paragraph written by the teacher on a particular back to school topic or a simple paragraph for the students to copy in their best handwriting at the beginning of the year. The purpose for this activity is to acquire a writing sample at the beginning of the school year so students can compare their handwriting at the end of the year.
Another option is to have the students write a paragraph on something they did during summer vacation as your beginning of the school year sample.
I found this PDF file that might be useful as well. I hope this information helps. Take care!
Thank you! One of my personal goals this year is to pay more attention to handwriting. In fourth grade we switch for all classes and sometimes it is easier to just make sure something is turned in instead of making them redo it and trying to follow up
The handwriting paragraph was just one of the first week of school activities that another teacher recommended. I couldn't find the file since the teacher who suggested it hasn't been active on PT for a while. However, I was able to find something that could be used.
I think she intended it as a way for student to practice their handwriting at the beginning of the year so the teacher would have a handwriting sample to start.
I have my students draw a picture of themselves wearing sunglasses. Students design the glasses however they would like. The lenses of the glasses need to be fairly large. In the lenses of the glasses they draw two things that they did that summer. Then they write a paragraph to describe the two activities that they drew. The students share their pictures and paragraphs. Then I put them on a bulletin board titled: So Long Summer!
Please do not post your email addresses on this thread. All of the information you need for all the activities posted on this thread are found above. Just search through the different posts. Thank you!
Hi, I really liked your list of ideas, could you please send me an attachment of the gremlin letter as well as the crumple girl? Not sure how you will send, new to the pro teacher community, so let me know if you do not have my email, will try to figure that out.
thanks so much
I am so thankful that I am not the only one who is worried about the first week of school! I am a first year teacher and I will be the ONLY 4th grade teacher at the very small private school. I am so worried that I will not have enough resources! Thanks so much for all the helpful links and ideas! I definitely will be using them!
I use this activity as an art project for the first week and an example of their first writing piece.
I ask the students how they got to school. Usual responses of parents driving them, bus, bicycle, walking. Then I ask, How many came to school in a rocket? a dinosauar, limo, hot air balloon. We brainstorm ways to get to school. Students then draw of picture of themselves getting to school in that particular way. Students then write a paragraph to explain their picture.