I am new to 4th grade this coming year and all the other 4th grade teachers have themes in their rooms and I want to come up with one too but have no idea what to do. I bought a rug yesterday and my wife suggested since it's a beige shag rug that it could be sand and I could do a beach theme....but I'm not sure...any thoughts?
Please help this newbie! (First full year in elementary!)
Hi, welcome to PT! You'll find lots of good ideas on here. I would suggest searching for past threads that featured "beach theme" or "Survivor" or "Island" themes. Previous posts have given details on their rooms, and some even had pictures. Also, check out all the PT boards, esp. the Busy Board and the Classroom Themes/BB board.
I have a bulletin board behind my reading center that takes up half of my classroom. I decided to turn it into an ocean/pirate theme. The first year I made a pirate ship out of black vinyl and had the Cat in the Hat driving the boat with a pirate patch/hat on. I also had a palm tree with a treasure chest and a parrot. The treasure chest had maps with classroom jobs on them and the student's names where on the treasure. I wrote above the bulletin board --You never know where a book will take you.
This year I made a tropical fish tank bulletin board. I put up blue paper and purchased a coral reef that was 3 feet tall. I sank the pirate ship and put the treasure chest in the tank. I put the Cat in the Hat in the tank with a snorkeling gear on. I filled in around the boat, treasure chest, and coral with tropical fish cutouts and I wrote above the bulletin board - catch a good tale.
Go to a party supply store and teacher supply store and see what grabs you. There are lots of ideas on display. You could do "Western" theme. Also, several teachers have posted pictures of their classrooms on this website. Just check the archives.
I am doing a movie theme this year. I even got a sign made with my name on it (it's vinyl) from Oriental Trading for like 15 dollars. I have gold stars with their names on them to go with the sign. I am also thinking of letting them make posters about themselves (like big movie posters) for a first week activity. I got the idea from Beth Newingham's website.
In the past I have used monkeys (with lower grades) but my best friend has used that with middle school kids and they LOVED her room (no one else had a theme!). Or you could have a music theme (or in the past this was just my outside bulletin board) you could find some blank cd's or even used ones and turn them over and write things on them (for example back when AOL was still real big and you could get them from free at various stores I would grab a stack and turn them over). And say "Mr.X's class rocks". I have used that theme at least twice out in our hall and the kids love seeing their name on the bright cd's.
I am going to do a patriotic theme in my class this year. I have never done a theme before, but I think I can tolerate this theme. Since yesterday was the Fourth, there should be a lot of patriotic merchandise on clearance.
I did a "pets" theme. Actually I bought all the "Wags and Whiskers" bulletin board stuff which is dogs and cats. The stuffed dog "Winn Dixie" was my library mascot. The kids loved it all year. Pets are something I'd say at least 90% of a class can relate to. Have fun this year. Fourth graders are great!
Welcome to ProTeacher and Congrats on the Fourth Grade Position!
You've already gotten lots of great suggestions that can get your creative juices flowing! You'll find that ProTeacher members are very generous with their ideas, so you've come to the right place!
You can also look for ideas in other parts of this great website. One of them you'll find by following the 'Collection' link (blue bar on upper right of the page) which consists of various collections of previous posts that were gathered around a given topic. http://www.proteacher.org/
Scroll down the list to find suggestions for 'Theme' under 'Teaching Practices'.
While you're on that page, you might also want to browse any other topics that will help you get a good start to the new school year.
You can also do a search of the website to find ideas relevant to your search. If you still have more questions, keep on asking and whoever can offer suggestions or support will be there with a response.
Wishing you the best in your new fourth grade class!
You can use almost anything as a theme. Just have fun with it. If you're into sports, something about teamwork would be great. You can do frogs, monkeys, pirates, the world, keys to success, movies, popcorn, dots, etc. YOu get the idea.
Welcome to grade 4! I spent two years in fourth and loved it...I am headed back to fifth this coming year. I love the sports theme...there is so much you can do, and a lot of it with little or no expense. The kids always love it too. Here is my web page...not updated since Feb, nut it has my beginning of the year photos. Good luck!
I do a camping theme. A parent bought a "reading" tent, and I bought a lot of bulletin board camping/nature/bug type stuff. However, a lot of stuff I didn't have to buy. My dh built a picnic table in my classroom, my sons donated unused tackle boxes, coolers, lanterns, etc. DH also made trees out of carpet tubes, etc. I love, love, love my room and I have not just my family to thank, but PTers! They share the best ideas and are always willing to help. Good luck with your choice and let us know what you decided.
If you choose to go with the ocean theme you might find some stuff at the Dollar Tree. They have several luau (sp?) things out now. I just bought some cute cutouts of fish and flowers. Not doing an ocean theme, but thought they might come in handy for something else!
Grade4guy, you will love doing a theme and this website will have every idea that you may need. And what is really great is that you don't have to keep redecorating for each new unit, season, holiday. Your theme is the basis of your classroom. I kinda see you doing a Pirate theme. I know that you can go to some of the party stores and you would be surprised at some of the accessories you can find. How about the pirate's parrot? You can find one there. Follow the advice of all the other posters on this site and scan all the previous posts regarding themes. Also checkout www.teachersclubhouse.com. For 99 cents you can purchase downloads, by theme, of any signs, labels, letters, etc. you may need. Most of the work and ideas are done for you! It's great! Don't forget VistaPrint for any theme related cards, notepads, pens, etc. you may need for your classroom. Search the threads for Vista Print ideas. I bet your wife would love to create some things for you once you decide on a theme. Have fun!
This was my first year in 4th grade and I had a sports theme. I used the motto T.E.A.M. Together Everyone Achieves More
I encouraged helping each other learn and working together as a team. Wghen playing soccer, basketball, football or even baseball team members all win together and all lose together; can't play the game all by yourself. Also, referred to the year as our train and practice for the BIG GAME (end of the year state testing). Everything we did was preparing us for that.
As for bulletin boards, I had the following:
Math was a football field background wight he title "Tackling Tough Numbers"
Reading was a Soccer Theme that said "Shoot For Your Goals"
Behavior board was basketball that had for magnetic boards labeled 1) In the game 2) 1st foul 3) 2nd foul and 4) Fouled Out. Student names were magnets that started each day on the "In the game" board. Then names would be moved throughout the day as students received warnings.
Class Jobs were listed on a board that was titled "Key Players" and I created a huge Coach's Clip board with jobs listed. I had my desks in small groups and assigned "captains" to be in charge of collecting, passing out or whatever help needed. At times I also assigned students (who had a good understanding of a math skill) as "an assistant" and they were another source for classmates to use for additional help.
Throughout the room I had Motivational posters with sports themes dealing with doing your best, working hard, never quit etc....
We even had a "line up" which was our number order and the numbers they also put on each paper next to their names. This is how they lined up each time we had to leave the class.
Every Friday we had "Team Meetings" also known as class meetings. The kids ended up running these and we had some great discussions or "Team Talks" where they would set weekly goals for the class to work on together.