4th Grade Frenzy: May 2023
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May 31, 2023

Stay Ahead of the Game: Early Preparation is Key for Teachers Preparing for a New School Year

The end of the school year can be hectic and exhausting, but next year will be here before you know it! Preparing early is the key to starting the year off on the right foot. Catch your breath and then consider these practical strategies to help you stay ahead of the game:

1. Reflect on the Current School Year.

What lessons were successful? What didn't go as planned? Did you have any behavior management challenges? Reflecting on the current year can help you make necessary adjustments for next year. Perhaps you noticed that your students struggled with a particular concept or skill. Or maybe you want to focus on building stronger relationships with your students and their families. By taking the time to reflect on the current year, you can set meaningful goals that will improve your teaching, your relationships, and your students' learning. 

2. Set Goals for Next Year.

Reflecting on the previous year can help you set goals for the upcoming school year. You could choose a few new strategies to try based on your reflections. By setting goals, you can find new and innovative ways to teach and improve learning. 

3. Plan Your Curriculum and Lessons in Advance.

Start by outlining your curriculum objectives and breaking them down into smaller, manageable units. This will allow you to focus on a few specific goals at a time and ensure that each lesson builds upon the previous one. When planning your lessons, consider the needs and interests of your students. Think about different learning styles and try to incorporate a variety of activities to keep students engaged and motivated. By planning ahead, you'll have more time to gather the necessary materials and resources for your lessons. 

4. Get Organized and Stock Up on Supplies.

Start by creating a list of the materials you need for your units. This could include books, workbooks, worksheets, manipulatives, and any other supplies you'll need for activities and projects. Consider creating a storage system that will make it easy for you to keep your materials organized throughout the year. Take some time to label your supplies and arrange them in a logical order. You could use color-coded bins or folders to identify the materials for each subject and unit. Finally, stock up on any additional supplies you may need throughout the year.  By taking advantage of the summer months, you can organize your classroom and label your supplies to save time and minimize stress once school begins. 

5. Attend Professional Development Opportunities.

Attending professional development opportunities is important to ensure that you are up-to-date on the latest teaching strategies and approaches. Professional development opportunities may include conferences, workshops, and online courses. These opportunities can provide you with new ideas, resources, and techniques to enhance your teaching skills. By attending professional development opportunities, you can network with other educators to share ideas and experiences. This can not only help to improve your teaching but also provide a sense of community. In addition, attending professional development opportunities can help you develop leadership skills. You could learn how to effectively lead teams and mentor other teachers, making you an invaluable asset to your school community.

6. Take Care of Yourself.

Teaching is an incredibly demanding job so it is important to take care of yourself. Make it a habit to prioritize your own physical and emotional well-being in order to avoid exhaustion and stay energized throughout the school year. One way to take care of yourself is to ensure you are getting enough sleep each night. Adequate sleep is crucial for maintaining focus and concentration, as well as for regulating moods and emotions. In addition to getting enough rest, it is important to maintain a healthy diet and exercise regularly. Eating a nutritious diet can help you feel more alert and energized. Regular exercise can boost energy levels and reduce stress, allowing you to feel more balanced and focused. Lastly, make time for activities that bring you joy and help you relax. Engaging in hobbies, spending time with family and friends, or practicing mindfulness can all help promote overall well-being. By prioritizing self-care, you can ensure that you are able to bring your best self to the classroom each day.

In conclusion, early preparation is key for preparing for a new school year. Reflecting on the current year, setting goals, planning curriculum and lessons in advance, getting organized, attending professional development opportunities, and taking care of yourself are all practical strategies that can help you stay ahead of the game. Remember, don't wait until the last minute - start preparing now and feel confident and ready for the new year! 

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May 18, 2023

Help Kids Understand the True Meaning of Memorial Day - #HonorTheBrave

Memorial Day is more than a picnic and 3 day weekend! This federal holiday is a time to reflect on the sacrifice of the people who have served our country. Explaining the true meaning of Memorial Day to children is a significant and important way to honor those who've served and continue the tradition of remembering. 

1. Read The Wall by Eve Bunting

Check out Storytime With Tristan. There's an age-appropriate introduction and a lovely reading of the story.  Storytime Channel for Kids: Memorial Day Read Aloud - The Wall by Eve Bunting

2. Decorate a Bulletin Board or Make a Hallway Display

Find easy-to-make crafts and a quick writing prompt to create a display. Short on time? Check out this Memorial Day resource with writing prompts and crafts...

3. Learn About the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Consider these resources, but preview them first to determine appropriateness for your students...

Arlington National Cemetary Education Program - You'll find lesson plans, power points, links, and printables for elementary school and up.

Welcome to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetary

Depending on the maturity of your students, consider watching a changing of the guard ceremony as a conclusion to your lessons.

Get ready to make Memorial Day a meaningful and enriching experience for your students!

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May 5, 2023

100% Fun, 100% Educational: 3 End of School Year Math Games for Kids

Kids need a break from traditional math lessons as the end of the school year winds down. These math games are the perfect way to spice up the last few weeks of school by reviewing math concepts and having fun.

1. Math Bingo

Start by having students complete this FREE multiplication chart: 

Students then fold a blank piece of paper 4 times, unfold it, and trace over the fold lines. Using the multiplication chart, students fill in the 16 boxes with different products. Each product can only be used one time unless it appears on the chart more than once such as 24. Distribute bingo chips and begin play by calling out any multiplication problem on the chart. Students cover the product if they have it. The teacher can keep track of the facts called by crossing out the products as they are used. The first student to get 4 in a row wins! 

2. Math Scavenger Hunt

Write math problems on index cards and hide the cards around the classroom or outside. Pair students up and give them clues as to where to find each math problem. Students must solve each problem before trying to find the next one. The group that finishes first with correct answers wins!

3. Math Relay Race

Divide the class into 4 teams and have students form 4 lines outside. Divide a set of multiplication fact flashcards into sets of 4 and place them ahead so that students will run and pick one up. At your signal, the first student on each team runs, grabs a flash card, and brings it back to the next student in line to answer. When the correct answer is given, that student runs to the stack of flashcards, grabs one, and runs back to their team line. The teacher should supervise the lines to make sure the problems are being answered correctly. When an entire team finishes, that group sits down silently. The team that finishes and sits first wins!

Students will better understand math concepts and be better prepared for next year. Get ready for some math-filled fun!

Check out some more math games that your class will love to play!

Whole Group Math Games

Multiplication Facts Review Activity

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