Tuesday, August 6, 2013

4th Grade Back to School Plans {Tried it Tuesday}

Good morning everyone! I meet my students at our orientation today and I'm so excited to see them all! I wanted to link up with Holly over at Fourth Grade Flipper to share all my "tried" and true back to school plans as well as a few new ones I plan on using this year! 

I think the first day is so important to set the tone of the class for the rest of the year! I make sure I spend this time working on getting to know my students and sharing my expectations with them. Starting the year out right can make such a big difference!

Warm Up
As students come in they find their seats and have a warm up waiting on their desks. This is usually a back to school themed word search. I want to make sure this first activity is something ALL of my learners can be successful at and enjoy!

First Read Aloud

Read early and often! My first read aloud this year will be First Day Jitters! I'm always excited to share this with my students.

During the big teacher appreciation sale at TPT I purchased this Fabulous Back to School Fun pack from Fourth and Ten. It is 50 pages of really AMAZING back to school activities! I was so pleased with this purchase and I plan on using several of the activities on the first few days of school. Here is what I've chosen to use on the first day of school: 

All About Me Tees
Top Ten Things About Me
Time Capsule 

These will be great independent activities for my students to work on while I catch my breath take care of supplies, housekeeping, and paperwork that seems to take forever on those first few days! 

Community Building Graffiti 
During our rules review I will jot down some words and key phrases the kids usually use. You know, the words kids have heard their whole school career - responsible, respect, manners, kindness. Maybe you would choose different words - it just needs to be something you want to focus in on. 

I write these words on letter size paper and put students in as many groups as I have words. I give each group a certain color marker and one paper. Groups write down what being responsible would look like, sound like, etc. Each group takes 3-5 minutes with each sheet to write down as many new ideas as they can. 

When we get finished with the activity I read aloud all of our ideas and then I post them in our room. It is a great way to build community and have students actively talk about what THEY can do to meet my expectations. Best part - it's fun! 

Friend Venn
This one is one of my all time favorite activities! I randomly pair students and have them talk to each other and use a venn diagram to record their findings. I model this activity with my special ed. teacher and I usually provide some question prompts. I learned from experience that if I don't model this students can get waayy off target with this one! 

While students are working together I like to mingle, ask questions, and take pictures of the pairs working together. I always post the diagrams and pictures together for one of my first student work displays. 

I don't know about you but I always feel like there is so much to learn about my students in those first few days, but it is difficult to remember it all. Having a few tidbits written down and displayed on the wall makes it easier for me to go back and reference when I have a free minute. 

Find Someone Who
I love this activity because it gets kids up and moving! It is also a great way for me to get in and mingle with the students in a more informal way. If you missed my post with this freebie a while back you can click here to download it.

I also plan on doing this activity from Pinterest. 

What is your favorite back to school activity?


  1. You have some great ideas here! I've done a find someone who has before and the kids really enjoy it. There is a great LiveBinder with all kinds of activity ideas for the first days of school. http://www.livebinders.com/play/play/873869?tabid=a7ffdf3d-96bd-8294-1298-ecef0d5dd5ec

    Sixth Grade Tales
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  2. Thank you for sharing all your back to school ideas. I need to sit down and get everything together in my head still. I hope your Orientation went well!!!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  3. You have some great ideas for back to school activities! I haven't even thought about lesson plans yet and am still trying to get through my to-do list of big things. I will be referring back to this later. Thanks for linking up!!
    Fourth Grade Flipper


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