4th grade is the year most students are beginning at a new school. More kids, more learning material, more social and emotional challenges. Let’s make it as easy as possible to grow into the beautiful flowers they are. Here are 20 creative and captivating ideas you can use in your classroom to foster a safe and collaborative learning environment.
1. Community Classroom
Give your new students a sense of classroom community by starting off the year with team-building exercises. There are plenty to choose from, but the best allows students to share about themselves and make meaningful connections with their classmates.
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2. Do-It-Yourself Lesson Plan
4th graders are old enough to have an opinion about the content and delivery of the curriculum. Have some options for activities you plan on leading in class and let students vote which one sounds like more fun! If the vote is close, let the students give arguments for the one they favor. We’re never too young to learn debating skills.
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3. Scholastic Book Club
Create an environment of expression and new ideas with a fully stocked classroom library. Ask your students to bring in a copy of their favorite book on the first day of school so they can have access to their classmates’ picks and share stories.
Learn More: Imagination Soup
4. Daily Classroom Quote
This is a simple but inspiring idea you can get playful with in your 4th grade class. Each day put a quote that evokes inner dialogues and transformative classroom discussions. Have a different student read out the quote each day and see what your students take from it.
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5. Editable Classroom Calendar
Create an interactive classroom calendar that students can contribute to. Use bubble magnets or velcro so students can add their birthday, important assignments, and inclusive holidays.
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6. Emotional Activities
4th graders are going through a lot of emotional and social growth. They are facing challenges with other students, their families, and their growing hobbies. Play emotion charades, provide mindfulness prompts and facilitate problem-solving situations in your classroom to help them learn how to process their feelings.
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7. Read Fraction Fun by David Adler
Math never gets easier, especially in 4th grade when students are learning basic fractions. For your students who find it easier to through stories, this amazing book is focused on helping make learning fractions fun and entertaining! They’ll be presented with fractions in real-life scenarios, making this tricky concept a little easier.
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8. Counting Cards
There are so many card games out there that help students with math and counting. Make up your own fun card game or find a variety of ideas here to get you and your students inspired about math.
Learn More: Upper Elementary Snapshots
9. A Theme a Month
Students are impacted by their learning environment. Find some awesome classroom decorations to transform your learning space each month. There are many beautiful classrooms to be inspired by that incorporate themes like “under the sea”, “circus”, “Dr. Seuss“, and more!
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10. Harry Potter Classroom
Transform your room into 4th grade classroom houses from Harry Potter. Students can decide which house they belong to and you can use these fun groups for group activities, and whole-class discussions to be everyone’s favorite teacher.
Learn More: Ms. Crafty Nyla
11. Kid Activists
Show your students they are never too young to make a positive impact on the world. Showcase a different kid activist each month for your students to learn from and aspire to become in their own way.
Learn More: Ted Ideas
12. Let’s Get Artsy!
Grab a paintbrush and paint bucket and help your 4th graders channel their inner artistic genius. There are so many fun art projects that are simple enough to not discourage students who may feel they aren’t artistic. Whether it’s selfies or landscapes, your classroom will be sure to have eye-catching colors.
Learn More: Faca Art Room
13. Class Time Capsule
On the first day of school, grab some glass jars and labels and tell your students to write themselves a note to open on the last day of school. They can decorate them with glitter and stickers or use colored cards.
Learn More: Teach Starter
Now that our students are confident in their reading skills it’s time to dedicate extra read-aloud time so they can get better at pronunciation and speaking in front of others. This activity can be very nerve-wracking for many students so make it fun and relaxed with a variety of books specifically written for students to read aloud.
Learn More: Minds In Bloom
15. Family Recipes
An important skill that is not usually taught in elementary school is cooking. You can incorporate it into your lesson plans by having a different student bring in one of their family’s favorite recipes each week. Monday’s can seem less of a drag when there is some food waiting to taste!
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16. Balance Balls
Freshen up your classroom layout with balance balls instead of chairs. 4th graders are tall enough to fit on them and the bouncing can help many students with their nerves and help relieve stress.
Learn More: McKay School Educators
17. Classroom Jobs
Teach your students about responsibility by creating a classroom jobs list for students to complete on a weekly basis. This could include tasks such as taking attendance, collecting homework, and being calendar captain.
Learn More: The Simply Organized Teacher
18. Spelling Bee
4th graders know many words and love competitive games, so a spelling bee is a great way to end a class on a fun and active note.
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19. Student Teacher Swap
Role reversals are super fun and kids love them! Have a list of topics/subjects for each student to choose from. Let them pick one and when the day for that lesson comes, it will be their turn to share with the class what they have learned about it.
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20. Daily Writing Prompts
Writing and grammar are important lessons for 4th graders to learn and practice regularly. Give your students a daily writing prompt to get their creative thinking flowing and help them find their inner writer’s voice.
Learn More: Write On Fourth Grade