Thursday, February 7, 2013

Going West...

Teaching fourth grade gives me the wonderful privilege of teaching Nebraska history.  One activity I especially like to do is to form groups with desks and build covered wagons.  I have special "wagon rules" that ensures good behaviour while students are in groups.  I tell them if they talk or have inappropriate behaviour then they will get kicked out of the wagon. :)

Here is how to make the covered wagons...
First I form groups of 4 students and tape 4 yard/meter sticks to the four corners of the desks (I make sure they are really secure).  Next I take wire hangers and unwind them and shape them in a arch shape.  These wires are also taped securely to the top of each hanger on two ends.  Lastly, I cut paper long enough to cover the entire the space between the arches and fold the ends in and tape or staple them to be secure.

My fourth graders build these with my directions and really they just do what works the best.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Starting a New School Year

Welcome back to school!  It's amazing how nervous I still get and this will be my 7th year of teaching.  As I look at my new students walk in the door with anxious smiles on their faces I can't help but feel that same excitement that I do every year that this year I will make a difference!  It is a clean slate and I can change what I didn't like about my teaching for this year (that's the best part, because I'm always changing things, always trying to find the best way to do something).

Setting goals is very important for me to do at the beginning of the year.  I am not a write-it-down-and-do-it person when it comes to goals.  I store my goals in my head.  Immediately the first day I can tell who will need some extra help in certain subjects.  I can tell if a student will need a bit more attention from me to help them stay focused, and I can tell if a student will need some help boosting their self esteem and become more comfortable around me and their classmates.  

This first semester I welcome a student teacher in my classroom.  I look forward to learning some things from her as well as I hope to teach her a few things.  Being in a smaller school like I am I touch on a lot of areas that other teachers don't.  I help to build our curriculum, scope and sequence.  I recommend getting in on that type of work if you can because it really is beneficial to your teaching when you know what other grades are teaching and how all of your standards match up to what you teach.

Well enough rambling on for one night.  In a nut shell... I am the luckiest teacher to be teaching in an awesome school.  Here's to another great year in fourth grade!

Fourth grade is the place to be!!