Category : Fourth Grade

Christmas Math Puzzles

I love the holiday season especially Christmas!!! It’s probably my favorite holiday, at least after October 31st it is. I think it’s awesome if children can celebrate holidays in class without missing out on pivotal math topics. I’ve made a lot of different math and literacy for different holidays just for this reason.

One Christmas unit that I really love is Christmas math puzzles. There are several different types of puzzles. Most children love the math stories the most. It’s a fun way to let math dictate the story. There are also graphing puzzles, drawing puzzles based on math questions, number search and more.

The great thing about my math puzzles is that I’ve made them for first through 6th grade. This allows young children enjoy them, as well as, older children. Depending on the grade level, the math skills are practiced for that particular grade.

You can check them out here.

Teaching Tolerance through Teaching about Religion and Cultures

In today’s world everything is constantly changing. We as teachers have to ability to teach tolerance through teaching about different cultures and teaching about different religions. It’s not about trying to convert anyone, of course. It’s about to understand the differences between people’s religion. Many religions do have common threads and with these common threads we can teach tolerance and empathy to our students.

I know when I was young, I didn’t know anything about any other religions and just a little about a few different cultures in Europe and Mexico (I lived in Texas). I really didn’t learn much about these things until I went to the University of Texas in Austin. I learned some through the classes I took, but most from the people I met. I took lots of foreign languages because I was so interested in learning more about these neat cultures. I took Malayalam, Japanese, Russian, French, Czech and Latin. I guess you could say I was a little bit obsessed. I embraced learning about the differences.

Today with the dawning of the internet, we can teach our children so much earlier when their minds are open to learn about new cultures and religions. One of my favorite things to make for my students and Teachers pay Teachers are units on different countries, religions and ancient civilizations. I hope you can use some of these products in your classroom to help teach about tolerance! We all can help make the world a better place to live together!

Five Ways to Use Interactive Notebooks in Your Classroom

What is an Interactive Notebook?
I’m sure you’ve heard about Interactive Notebooks by now, but let’s just review a bit in case you haven’t heard about them yet. Interactive Notebooks are a way that your students can interact with the subjects you are teaching them. They can cut, paste, draw, expand and really experience the subject they are learning. No two interactive notebooks are created equally. Some may say they are interactive, but they aren’t. Some may have too much cutting and pasting, which will interrupt your lesson plans. The best way to judge them is to look at previews and read all of the details before you purchase one.

Five Ways to Use Interactive Notebooks
1. Review and Test Prep – A lot of the reasons I started making and using interactive notebooks is because if you have a printable you use with your students, the students finish it and toss it into folder never to look at it again. With my interactive notebooks, the activities are designed to have the students come back and review what they’ve just learned. There are flaps, envelopes, yarn, brads and more all specifically used to help your students redo activities for test prep and to show their parents what they’ve learned.

2. Confidence Booster – Using an interactive notebook, your students can keep all of the things they’ve learned throughout the year in one place. Students can look through all of the different things they’ve learned and feel achieved.

3. Introducing New Topics – You can use the activities in an interactive notebook to help students learn new topics. Sometimes students are scared about learning new things. A fun activity will help relax them and allow them to learn new topics (especially fractions which can be frustrating for students).

4. Assessments – You can use the activities to finish up a unit. Instead of or in addition to a quiz, you can have students do an interactive activity to make sure they understand the concepts that you taught in the lessons.

5. Spice Up Lessons – If your students get bored with a topic (you know it’s bound to happen), you can pull out an interactive activity and use a little art and interactiveness to spice up your lessons.

If you’re interested in looking at my interactive notebooks, you can find them here. They have the perfect combination of low prep and high interactiveness.

Here are a few of my best sellers, you can click on the picture to see more information and a preview about each:

Learning about the American Revolution

History is really interesting to me, but I know some students get bored in history classes. My kids really enjoy learning about history with interactive notebooks. It combines history with hands-on activities and a bit of art.

Here are few picture of my American Revolution Interactive notebook in use.

I think it’s great to actually get the students excited about History and present it in a different format than they are used to. If you’d like more information you can check out my American Revolution Interactive Notebook on TPT.

Is it Ever Too Early to Plan?

I have to admit I’m a planner. I like to plan every aspect of my life. I’m completely aware that things might not turn out the way I want them to turn out, or that things might change. However, if I plan ahead then I don’t have to spend all of that time worrying that I don’t have anything planned. Sounds odd, but for me it works. With teaching, I think we all need to learn from our strengths and weaknesses and see what works for us.

With that said…let me introduce my Halloween Interactive Math Printables. I’m entirely too early to post about Halloween, but as stated before, I’m a planner. I love these interactive printables. These are quick printables that you can print out early and use for homework, classwork, bellwork, subs or anything during the month of October. They are very interactive and keep the interest of students.

October Quick Printables 3rd grade - BC sample4

You can find these Halloween Interactive Printables in levels from first grade to fourth grade. Each packet comes with age appropriate math work.

October Quick Printables 3rd grade - BC sample2

If you’d like to see more information about these interactive printables, click here: Halloween Interactive Math Printables

Interactive Reading Notebook for Fourth Grade

Grammar can be a dull subject for students, but making the lessons interactive actually make the subject really fun and enjoyable. It’s amazing what a little cutting, pasting, fun graphics and folding can do to a lesson. Fourth grade is chock-full of great grammar skills that will set up your students for success in future grade levels!

This activity has students roll a die that they create. The die will land on a Greek or Latin affix or root. Students will then brainstorm words that have that root or affix and paste the words onto this little boy’s thinking hat.

interactive grammar notebook for 4th grade (1)

Modals are useful in English and can be especially difficult for some students to distinguish the difference between should, would, could, etc. This activity gives students the opportunity to practice making sentences with modals about certain topics.

interactive grammar notebook for 4th grade (3)

Another topic of interest is teaching students when they should use informal vs. formal English. In this activity, students can turn the arrow as they decide if a phrase or sentence is formal or informal.

interactive grammar notebook for 4th grade (2)

To find out more about my latest interactive notebook click here: Interactive Reading Notebook for 4th Grade

STEM – Reflection

This is the last step in the Design Process for STEM. Reflecting is often overlooked due to time constraints, but it is probably the most important step in learning. It’s always good for students to center in for what they do well, but also pinpoint exactly what they need to work on to grow as a person. That is why I like to use two hearts and a wish, where I ask the students to think of a thing they did well, followed by something they could’ve improved upon and because it is always nice to end on a positive note, we finished this design process with a second thing that they did well.

reflection - STEM

When my nephews built their apple schoolhouse, they were really disappointed with thee final product, although I thought it looked great! So, they decided to take more time, reflect on it and create a new one. Here’s their first attempt:

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They decided that they didn’t like the way the roof looked, so they built it the second time without using the paperpalte as the roof. Here’s their final product.

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Do you think reflection is necessary in learning? Leave a comment and let me know.

To check out my STEM projects, click here: Back to School STEM Challenges
October STEM Challenges

Russia Country Study

Today I wanted to show you a little about my Russia Country Study printables. It’s a great set to introduce your students to Russia. They can even learn a little Russian as well.

All of my individual country packets have a letter written from a child from that particular country, fast facts, a crossword puzzle, word search, post card writing activity, comparison writing activity, crafts and more! Here is the ‘All About Russia page’ that your students can fill out while they are learning about Russi or you can use it as an assessment to see how much they learned about Russia.

Russia Country Study

My favorite activty of this packet is the Nesting Dolls (Matryoshka) craft. Students can create their own designs for the dolls or use the provided design.

Russia Country Study

They each sit on a ring of paper and can stand up.

Russia Country Study

They actually can nest inside of one another as well.

Russia Country Study

Russia Country Study

If you’d like more information about my Russia printables, click here: Russia Country Study

STEM – The Testing Phase

I really have enjoyed having a STEM filled summer! It’s so great to see my children, nephews and niece really get into science, especially the whole design process. It was awesome to see their projects come to life! The hardest STEM project we had was to build a piece of playground equipment. My nephew was a little frustrated because what he wanted to design didn’t work. Or it would work for a second and then fall down. We had to do a lot of testing and revisions to help his project work at last! Here you can see it!

STEM - The Testing Phase

I really liked using the journal aspect of STEM design because it allows students to have a little quiet time and really think about what they are trying to accomplish. Here’s a sample page of the journal for the Testing Phase.

STEM - The Testing Phase

Here is one of the two apple school houses that they made.

STEM - The Testing Phase

I loved the testing phase of my oldest nephew’s backpack. His test was to make sure it was wearable. Because he said, “Why build a backpack if it isn’t functional?” This STEM project was a complete success.

STEM - The Testing Phase

If you’d like to add some STEM into your classroom, check out: STEM Center Challenges – Back to School STEAM

Learning About Islam

With so many references to Islam and Muslims in the news lately, my daughter asked me about the Islam religion. I teach English to adults in my free time and I’ve learned a lot of Islam because many of my students are Muslims. There are so many stereotypes that are out there and so many are false, so I thought I’d make a packet about Islam to teach some of the beliefs of Islam.

My daughter found it interesting that we do have a lot in common with Muslims. We both believe in one God – that was the most surprising fact that she learned. I think she thought that we believed in a different God or that maybe they believed in more than one God, but it’s not the case.

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My Islam printables has many components to it including a letter from a Muslim which explains their daily life with prayers and more. There are also facts, crafts, writing prompts and more. My daughter loved making her own mosque and adding her own designs to it.

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I think she learned a lot and it made me happy to teach her something important and to end stereotypes.

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To check out my Islam printables click here: Islam and Muslim Religion Study