Saturday, September 7, 2013

Back to School ~ Two Weeks Later

I literally feel like I blinked the last two weeks away. They definitely flew by. I've read all over facebook and pinterest that "There is no tired like the beginning of school tired," I completely relate to this. The first day back, at 5:00 after school I was ready for bed. Back to School is always a special time for me. First of all, getting to know all my new students is one of the most rewarding parts of my job. This year, I gained 64 brand new fourth grade friends. I am only teaching reading this year to the entire fourth grade, so learning 64 new names was a new challenge for me. I am happy to say I have conquered that challenge. I wanted to post a few pictures of my room and share a little about the past few weeks. My mind is spinning with all the new fun things I've implemented this year.

Classroom Pictures 2013-2014

Here is my bulletin board/door decor for the beginning of school. Our school mascot is a Star.

I gave all my homeroom friends a welcome to our classroom treat on the first day of school. I push the fact, to my homeroom friends, that we are a family and my classroom is their home. I got this adorable printable from teacherspayteachers, and I apologize to whomever made this gorgeous printable, but I couldn't find you to give you credit. We also have a root walls where we will add the root of the week we study and leaves with the words. I borrowed this idea from Dandelions and Dragonflies, (Thank you SO much).

This is our classroom jobs and AR club. On the left of the AR Club is a "What's Your Purpose" chart I created for our school. We have a school wide language that we use with students. This chart is to help students understand their purpose for being in different situations in the school. We can ask a student, "What's your purpose for being in the bathroom?" and they will recite, "To use the bathroom and wash your hands." We use this to show students when they are not making smart choices.

This is my "I Can" board where I display my I Can statements, and my reading notes board where I will put different charts we create in class as a visual. 

I started using Whole Brain Teaching this year and let me tell you the first day of school I was terrified. My worst fear was that I would start making all these hand motions trying to get my fourth graders to mimic me and they would start at me like I was crazy. Luckily, that didn't happen. They were very receptive and LOVE saying the rules and being active. I love how much energy WBT has brought into my classroom.

Sweet Rhyme & Pure Reason
Over the summer, I linked up with Sweet Rhyme & Pure Reason with the idea to share popular songs to teach figurative language. This week, I taught similes and metaphors using the song "Roar," by Katy Perry. (This is now new class theme song.) I LOVE LOVE LOVE listening to my wonderful fourth graders sing as one. I've attached the lyrics I used with my class. We also discussed onomatopoeias with this song, but this is an EXCELLENT song to teach metaphors.

Click here to get the printable lyrics to "Roar," by Katy Perry.

The last thing I want to leave you with is a chart I first found on pinterest created by Finding JOY in 6th Grade. For the past two weeks, I've heard so many distracting connections that I am making this chart this weekend. I think it is very fitting for all students and very visual to remember, "The best connections bring you back to the text..." 

Hope everyone is having an excellent school year so far. :)


  1. Your bulletin boards are darling! I switched to teaching only reading to my little 4th grade friends this year too AND I have 64 kiddos - crazy huh?! I'm really enjoying it, but like you said it is flying by and there is so much I want to do with them!!
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  2. Glad to find another 4th grade blogger! Excited to follow you now.

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