Let’s face it, science in elementary school was probably the most fun time of the day. Science meant experiments and experiments usually meant fun. One of my favorite science experiments from elementary school happened in fourth grade. Our teacher split our class into a couple of groups and we all made paper mache volcanoes. Once they were all dried, painted and ready to go we took them outside and our teacher put backing soda and vinegar and red food coloring and we all watched with excitement as each of our volcanoes overflowed with red bubbling liquid. Along with the fun came the lessons. Everyday before we worked on our volcanoes we would take out our books and learn about volcanoes. Here is a link for a how to build a paper mache volcano!
Okay, let’s talk common core standards, shall we? There are different common core standards for the grade levels. Finding the CCS’s for your grade level is pretty easy. All you have to do really is Google them. The CCS’s may vary among state to state quite differently so it is obviously key to find the standards under your own state. I am interested in fourth grade, as I have mentioned before, so I took the liberty of finding the CCS’s for fourth grade in NJ. Here is the link to the Common Core State Standards website. Feel free to take a look around before continuing with this post. Finished? Okay, moving on. Now that you’ve looked around, you might have realized its a lot to take in.
While on Pinterest I found a few things that may help.
First, something that will not only help us as educators but the parents of our students as well.
Here is a link to a website that has parent friendly CCS’s. They are downloadable and very nice for breaking down the standards. You just have to click on the grade level you want and a pdf file will open. Once you open it there are easy to follow bullet points as to what each student is expected to know and what the teacher is expected to be teaching each student. This is extremely helpful. Here is the link to the 4th grade standards pdf.
This next resource is not only parent and teacher friendly but also student friendly. This website offers an easy to understand check list for each subject and grade. Once you are one the page you can choose which grade Once you choose the grade another page opens up and you choose which design you would like and then click on the link to the pdf. This is the pdf I chose.
Looking for resources such as these are really helpful all in the learning process. It is important to not only us as teachers to understand the standards but for the students and their parents as well because the students will be doing the learning and the parents will be assisting us in the teaching.
So when I was in elementary school, specifically in fourth grade, we used to get rewarded for good behavior and or good grades. My fourth grade teacher used to have this jar, like a fishbowl, and she used to have another jar the same size that was full of marbles. Every time we were good, or we did really well at something, or worked together productively then she would put a handful of marbles into the empty jar. This would continue until the empty jar was full of the marbles. Once said jar was full then we would get to have a party. It would usually take a few weeks to fill the jar because she would only put one handful a day. When we received a party we got to pick the theme. It was a great way to ensure that everyone tried their hardest.
Now some may be against this method and say that this just makes students only want to work hard just to get a reward but I would have to agree but disagree with you. Yes, this may teach them to expect a reward for good behavior or work but in life it is the same thing. If you work hard at your job, you make money, if you work hard at helping others your reward is self gratification and so on. With this said here I am going to present a few ideas that may be worth trying.
First, this a cute idea I found on pinterest, it was originally meant to be used for your own children at home but i thought it would work just as well in the classroom. So this is the ides, you get a big jar, and a bunch of ping pong balls, then you write on each ball either a special helper chore, a reward, or anything that you feel is an efficient reward. When a student exhibits exceptional work ethic, good behavior, good communal skills, or anything of that nature you have the student pick a ball from the jar. This activity encourages proper behavior, community development skills, academic success, and much more!
This is another simple idea that is a great reward system that kids loved when I was an elementary student and that student still love. Homework pass. When I was in elementary school we would occasionally receive a homework pass. This is how the homework pass works. First you create or find a template for the homework pass then, depending on how you would like to hand them out for what behaviors is dependent on you. I used to receive them after completing a certain number of homework assignments in a row without fail. Once the student has the pass he or she is able to use it for whatever homework assignment they wish. We all know what it is like to be a kid, and sometimes we just did not want to do homework when we could have been playing outside, right? So let us not forget that with our students. Cutting the students a break every once in a while is not a bad thing. Also, a few things to make sure of when handing out homework passes. Make sure to sign the back of the passes when you receive them back. Also, make sure that you write the students name on the pass to ensure that others are not able to fill their name in on a pass that is not theirs. This here is a template for Halloween themed homework passes.
These are just a few ideas, and there are many more. Take in to consideration that rewarding success in fun ways is a good step to being a life changing teacher.
Here is a great site that I found through Pinterest. There was a pin about making an organized binder for lesson plans, substitute teacher plans, grades, attendance, and anything else a teacher may need to help organize. This link is to a blog site that was created by a fellow teacher. There are some really great tips and ideas that can be found here. There are a few binder tips as well. This will be the first topic I discuss for the blog, organizational tools such as binders. So what do we think of them? Most teacher are all for them! I know I will be. I remember my school teachers always having a binder, or a few, that they used to keep their things together in a (relatively) organized space. I feel like binders are a great way make sure everything is where you need it and can be easily accessed.
I think I will probably keep a few binders. One will most likely include basic things like attendance, basic lesson plans, daily/ weekly calendars that include notes on what I expect to complete each day. Then I’ll have a binder for each of the different subjects that I will be teaching such as math, reading, writing, science, social studies, etc. And finally I will have a binder handy to be used by substitutes if I have to call out at the last minute one day and do not have enough time to get plans ready for the sub. I think this is very standard for teachers. And something that seems crucial in these binders are separator tabs. Very important.
This is a link for another blog that gives directions for a sub binder.
Another blog: How to and ideas of what to include in organizational binders
Hey all! I am a current Rutgers University student and I was just recently accepted into the Graduate School of Education here a t RU. I accepted my acceptance into the Elementary Education 5 year program. I will be coming out of school having completed my masters. I am very interested and dedicated to education and teaching, so I have decided to create a blog based on some cool, interesting, fun, and educational goodies I have found on various websites. This idea came to me via the social media network known as “Pinterest” that is very addicting I may say. This site has an education category with really interesting and fun ideas to liven up lesson plans. In today’s society students tend to need stimulating activities in order to keep their attention. My thought as a future teacher is, why not provide them with such stimulating lessons? As log as we follow our daily plans and find a way to incorporate these new and creative lesson plans to fit in with the standards then why not? On this blog page I will find different activities and share them here and express what I feel are the pros and cons of the activities and how I would implement them into my classroom.
If you aren’t familiar with pinterest let me fill you in briefly. Pinterest is a social media site that is a compilation of ideas put into pictures with directions. “Pinners” find things they like and create pins that include a picture and when you click on the picture it redirects you to the site where you can find instructions on how to go about doing various things. There are various categories to choose from. It is essentially an online bulletin board.
From this I will find pins and check them out and try to find other sites that may or may not agree with the activity. But Pinterest will be my primary source of ideas.
I hope you enjoy!