At the beginning of last year, when I moved from first to fourth grade, I went on a bit of a shopping spree and bought a whole lot of products from TpT that I thought would help me get settled in in the new grade level. Because who am I kidding, starting a new grade level can be a little daunting!
A year has passed, and there are a few products that I used regularly and thought were really beneficial for my students (or to save me time or my sanity!). Here are some of my favs:
Vocabulary Bundle by Joanne Miller. I started using this in Term 4 because I was looking for something to improve my teaching of vocabulary. Besides printing and laminating the word cards and deciding on the activities we were going to do that week, the only prep I really had to do was create a powerpoint to introduce the 5 words - that was very easy after I had the template made. The powerpoint was quite interactive. I started with contextualising the word in example sentences and direct teaching the definition of the word. We'd act or draw the word, turn and talk to our partner to say the word as well as give our own definition and example sentences. In partners we'd also come up with synonyms and antonyms for the word and compare with the ones I'd come up with - it became a bit of a competition to see how many of mine they could get. The words were displayed on the front board each week (before being moved to the word wall) and we'd keep a tally all week to see which word we were able to use orally and/or in our writing the most. The kids would also share with the class how they used the word in the playground or at home. Every couple of weeks, I'd do a follow up activity or task cards etc to review all of the words we'd learnt so far. As another form of review, sometimes they'd have to give me a definition, sentence or synonym/antonym for a word as an exit ticket to go to lunch etc.
Fourth Grade Language Homework - Entire Year by One Stop Teacher Shop
Each morning the bell goes at our school at 8.30am. We are supposed to let our kids in, get them settled, ready to begin our first lesson when the start of school bell goes at 8.45am. It's that 15 minute window that I use this product (not as homework). We call it our Daily Grammar (because the file is completely editable, I was able to change the heading from homework to Daily Grammar, replace American with Australian spelling and other little things as needed ). The first couple of weeks were a bit tough and the kids needed a bit of support but after a few weeks they were quite independent and quick at completing it each morning. Once the students completed their Daily Grammar they grabbed their book box and changed books and read independently or with a partner. Some kids did some laminating for me :) I grabbed a coffee and got what I needed for my first lesson ready. Occassionally I'd have to help a student with a question. Other kids followed me around and we chattered about Star Wars or their dance lesson the day before. As soon as the 8:45 bell went, everyone would just pack up without any instruction and come and sit down and I was ready to start our first lesson. It was a nice, easy routine Monday to Thursday (on Friday, they finished off any questions they missed due to late arrival or absence and just went straight to reading. They thought this was a real treat for working hard and getting it done during the week! My kids last year were always wanting to read). We'd mark together on Friday (15 mins tops). This routine set up a calm atmosphere for the rest of the day so I think I'll continue it this year with my new class.
As a brain break or Fire-Up at the start start of our math lessons, I like to use The Primary Techie's powerpoints including Yoga Skip Counting, Skip Count and Move, Say the Product Move It, Halloween Fact Family Move It etc. I thought my fourth graders would find it silly and embarrassing to do the actions or exercises, but they really got into it and would request them often!
I'd love to know about your 'Can Not Live Without' products, websites or activities etc!