Regions of California Project

I think this might be my first official 4th grade post!  We are learning about the regions of California in our social studies curriculum.  Lessons with Laughter had this brilliant idea of making a California regions foldable!  I had the students make this regions response craft instead of answering the questions at the end of the chapter.


                      

First, we did a directed drawing of each of the California regions.  I drew each region on the board, and they copied me in pencil.  We did the simple outline together, and then they went back and added detail and color after they finished their writing.  


Their assignment was to read the chapter about the different regions in CA, and then they had to write 3-4 sentences about facts that they found.  Three of the facts had to be from the chapter, and the 4th fact could be something that they already know about the regions.  



We made these the second week of school, and it turned into a great California history bulletin board for Back to school night.  The kids response was, "Can we always do something fun like this in history?!"


Thanks Molly for the amazing idea!
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Parent Wish List for Back to School Night

Back to School Night is this week and I wanted to make a cute parent wish list bulletin board.  There are some items that I would love to have in my class, and parents are always asking me if there any supplies that I need/want .  I made this "Help Our Class Pop" bulletin board to give the parents a chance to donate some goodies to the class. 

 
I used this popcorn set from Teacher Created Resources and turned it into my parent wish list.  The parents can come up and take a popcorn if they see something that they would like to donate!


 
Most of the items are really cheap and basic, but if I had to purchase all of them, then it would cost a pretty penny. ;) 

 
I think this popcorn bulletin board is adorable, hopefully the parents will too!
 
Here is a little popcorn treat that I am going to leave on everyone's desk.  It says, "Thanks for popping in!" and it is attached to a package of popcorn!
 
 
 
 
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Number Form Craft

I am trying my best to let my creative juices flow for 4th grade math.  Sadly, my days are over of sorting apples and graphing our favorite apple color.  The culture shock of 4th grade is still strong as ever, as I am teaching number forms in math.  I was staring at my curriculum, trying to figure out how to make day four of reviewing "expanded form" more fun.  Then I thought...pasta noodles kind of look like commas...

Here is my first attempt of doing a math craft in 4th grade.  The students really enjoyed it, and I was able to put something on the bulletin board for math...so we both win, right?

(download HERE)

I gave each student a colored square piece of paper.  They had to write seven digits total, one on each paper.  The directions where, each number had to be different.


Next they glued them down on their paper, creating a number in the millions.  They left space for the "commas" to be glued down after.


The pasta noodles were the perfect addition to our number in standard form.  It was such a treat not to have to give a lesson on how much glue to use!


Once the number and pasta was glued down, the students had to write the number they created in word form, standard form, and expanded form.




The students had fun making this math craft, and my first math bulletin board is complete!  You can download the template for free in my TpT Store!

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Fall Unit: Language Arts and Math

Fall is just around the corner, so here is a Fall themed language arts and math unit.  This bad boy is aligned to the Common Core Standards.  My students absolutely LOVED this last year, especially the math center when they could compare "more or less" leaves vs. pumpkins.  I included centers and easy printables for you to send as homework or center work.



It is available in my TpT Store!


Here is what is included in the Fall Unit for Kindergarten:


8 math centers:
-Number recognition and printing number practice (1-5, 6-10)
-Ordering numbers 1-10
-What number comes before?
-What number comes after?
-More or less than (3 variations)

6 Language Arts Centers
-What letter comes before? (3 variations)
-What letter comes after? (3 variations)

-5 cut and paste letter matching
-2 can, have, need, sheets: pumpkins and leaves
-2 describing maps: describing pumpkins and leaves
-1 graph: What is your favorite fall leaf color?
-1 cut and paste sorting activity: fall things vs. not fall things
-2 dice games: roll and color: one more and one less

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Fall Journal Entries for Primary


I have been working on a fall writing pack for primary since the end of last year.  Things have finally settled down after starting school again, so I was able to finish it.  I am really excited to share this fall writing pack because I made it with three different writing options depending on the level of your students.  Check it out...



This is a pack of fall journal entries for primary grades. This fall writing pack includes journal prompts for back to school and the fall season.  

Each topic has three different styles of paper for you to differentiate among your students.  If you want to use this as fall journal entries for kindergarten then could use the "draw it" option, where the students draw a picture to illustrate their sentence.  If you have advanced kinders, or you want to use this for fall journal entries for 1st grade you could use the "copy it" option, where the students copy the sentence provided, or they fill in the blank.  The final option is for your advanced writers, and they are asked to draw a picture and write a sentence.  


Head to my TpT Store to see more details!

Any of these would be great to keep as an end of the year journal or for a monthly bulletin board display!



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A Pocket Full of Synonyms

I have been freaking out over moving from Kindergarten to 4th Grade (you can read about my thoughts on this here).  The main person that has helped me keep my head above water the last month was one of my best friends, Layla.  We got our undergrad, credential, and masters together AND taught at the same school our first year.  She teaches 4th grade and has given me countless hours of advice!  One of my favorite things that she has shared with me is A Pocket Full of Synonyms.  Make sure you read her blog post HERE about it, so you can get all of the details! 
Here is a snapshot of the cutest, interactive bulletin board EVER!

You can make this bulletin board with anything that has pockets.  I found these colorful popcorn bags at a party store, and stapled them to the wall.  On the outside of the pocket you place (I used Velcro) the "overused words," and inside are "impressive synonyms" that can add flavor to their writing.


During writing time, the students are encouraged to come up to the wall and choose a word in the pocket to help making their writing more colorful.



I just introduced this synonym bulletin board to my kids and they are OBSESSED!  


Thank you Layla for all of the advice and encouragement!!!!!! :)
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A Tour of my Classroom (4th Grade)

This summer, I set up my classroom, without any idea of what a 4th grade classroom should look like.  We are in our second week of school, and I am quickly noticing things that are working and not working in my classroom.  Here are some photos of the boards and goodies around my room.
 
 
Here is my "class jobs" wall.  I stapled ribbon on the board and then added little pockets with numbered sticks in them.  Each student is assigned a number, and the sticks will rotate to the next pocket each week.  Everyone in the class has a job (that was difficult to think of), so it keeps them engaged and accountable!

 
Here is our "focus wall" where we will display the weekly vocabulary and details about the focus story.  The pennant flags are available in my TpT Store.

 
I decided to start the year with a clip chart.  I made it out of scrapbook paper and made the little signs.  Each person has a clip and they can move up and down the chart.  For the "refocus" the student has to fill out a "refocus sheet" in another classroom to reflect on their behavior and how to correct it.

 
This a small bulletin board in the back of the room that has notes and details for the parents.

 
This is the background for our writing wall.  I will hang up the student's work on top of the scrapbook paper using paperclips.

 
I am obsessed with this interactive synonym wall, made by Fancy Free In Fourth (I will have a full blog post on this, on Friday)

 
Here is our calendar, daily schedule, and birthday cupcakes (I need to add the candles!).

 
Our first assignment was a "Social Media Profile" get to know you activity.  The kids fill out information about themselves and write four "status updates" from the summer.  It is in my TpT Store. :)
 
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I've changed grades............!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So I'm terrified, excited, anxious, blessed, terrified, terrified... I moved from Kindergarten to 4th Grade!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  ahhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!



Here are my thoughts on why I changed grades..

I have been teaching for 7 years.  I taught 2 years in the public school system.  My first year was a 1/2 combo class, and the second year was in Kinder.  I kept getting laid off because of the budget cuts, etc. 

At the end of my second year it wasn't looking like I was going to get my job back, so I ended up teaching Kinder, overseas in Cairo, Egypt (I haven't blogged about this...maybe one day?).  After one semester, I came back, and got a job teaching Kinder at a private school, that I am currently at (and I LOVE it there).  

Almost all of my experience has been in Kindergarten.  I love it. I'm good at it.  I have a blog revolving around it.  But I am so early in my career, I don't want to get stuck in one grade forever.  What if I'm better at teaching another grade?  What if I like it MORE?  

I have dreams of teaching college one day, writing a children's book, speaking at conferences, the list goes on...  I feel like I need experience in other grades to become a well-rounded educator before I land in one grade, and stay there.  

For the last couple of years I have been talking with my principal about moving up grade levels.  I thought there would be a 2nd grade opening, and that would have been a perfect new grade to try!  But it ended up being 4th grade!  4th grade?! The BIG KIDS?!?!?!  My first thought was.... do they like glitter!?!?!??!!?  So now I am on this wild ride of the world of 4th grade, and I just finished my first week.  :) 

As for my blog, it has been centered around Kindergarten for the last two years.  That grade is where my creative juices are, and I have MANY posts and products that I'm waiting to share with you on my blog.  My thoughts are, that I will have "4th Grade Fridays," and share 4th grade ideas that day.  The rest of my posts will still be about Kinder or ideas for the classroom that could be used in several grades.  I hope creative ideas start flowing for me in 4th, and I love it just as much as Kinder!!! Thank you for visiting my blog and for reading it once or 100 times!

-Michelle

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All About Apples Unit and FREEBIE!

One of my favorite themes to start the beginning of Kindergarten with is an Apple Theme!!!!  Apples are amazing because you can teach all the subjects using the same topic!  You can graph apples, explore them with your five senses, read books about apples, write about them...the options are endless!  I want to share my Apple Unit with you that might be helpful in teaching your apple theme.

Pick up the Kindergarten apple unit HERE


One center included is sorting upper and lower case letters.  This fun apple activity is a quick assessment to see who knows the difference between upper and lower case letters.



A different skill is matching upper and lower case letters together.  The students look at the upper case letter in the big apple and clip the matching lower case letter.  


Each center is accompanied with a response or recording sheet for you to check for understanding.


A difficult skill for the beginning of Kindergarten is writing down what letter comes before or after a certain letter.  I hide these cards around the room, and the students place the recording sheet on a clipboard.  They wander the room to find the cards and write the letter that comes next in ABC order.


 This picture shows some of the printables that are included in the unit.


My favorite apple activity is this math center!  The students count the seeds on the apple, and place it in the correct basket.  


I also have a freebie to share with you...

You can display these in a pocket chart to practice ABC order or match the upper and lower case!


Grab your freebie here!




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