4th Grade: Integrating Social Studies and Reading

If you are an upper elementary teacher, particularly fourth or fifth grade, then you are aware of the massive amounts of content that teachers are required to teach and students are required to master in the area of social studies. I have had parents say to me here in Georgia, "This social studies curriculum is beyond ridiculous!"  My response has always been, "I agree with you that it is a lot of material for a fourth grader to learn, but please understand that I don't decide the standards to be taught, I simply teach them."  With that said, I teach them to the best of my ability, and yes, it can be quite the challenge to get all of the material covered before standardized testing time.

After spending many challenging years trying to get all of the fourth grade social studies content covered,  the best solution seemed to be to try and  integrate the two subjects, such as work on reading skills while covering some of the social studies topics. It all seemed fine and dandy, but  the next problem would be trying to find social studies reading material to cover the content I needed it to cover.

Because I wanted very specific content, and I wanted it written in a certain way, I decided the best thing to do was just write the material myself.  Keeping in mind that my husband is a high school U.S. history teacher, I was able to converse with him about important details or facts that I should include,  in addition to referring to the Georgia curriculum standards. After working all summer, the finished product makes it very easy to integrate socials studies into reading.  I ended up writing 25 close reading passages that begin with Native Americans and end with Westward Expansion.  Many of the major historical events that fall between those two time periods are included in the close readings.  In addition to the close readings, there are teacher questions, as well as activities for each passage to be used in an interactive social studies notebook.  I am proud to share the finished product with you, and offer both notebooks to you for sale in my Teachers Pay Teachers store.  Here is a sneak peek, and then click on the links to get more specific details.

Please note that the grade level in which specific social studies content is taught varies from state to state. These notebooks happen to follow the Georgia fourth grade social studies content, so if you teach 4th grade in Georgia, this would be perfect for you.  If you are not sure if these notebooks follow the content for your state, please look closely at the detailed descriptions and then decide.







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Place Value and Number Sense Lessons Link Up

Most teachers start off the year with number sense, which means working on the common core standards that fall into the category of "Number and Operations in Base Ten". Below you will find some fun and interactive lessons that will help you meet that standard in your classroom.


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Got Black Lines on TpT?

If you are seller on Teachers Pay Teachers then you are all too familiar with the black line question. If you are a buyer who is opening a file that has black lines, is blurry, or some pages just don't seem to print when others do, TpT offers suggestions on how to hopefully fix the problem.  

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If You Give a Teacher a Compliment.....

Here is my take on teacher morale and what it can do for a teacher, the kids, and the school.

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Teaching Super Powers

Sometimes it definitely feels like you need super powers to be a teacher... especially the first week of school. I hope everyone is enjoying their first few weeks back. Most everyone in the South is back in school, but I know the north may have another week or two.... remember, patience and understanding can be two of the most important super powers to have.

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How to Add Your Own Text to an 'Editable' PowerPoint File

If you purchase a Powerpoint  file from Teachers Pay Teachers that says it is 'editable', this most often means you can add text to it. In very rare cases you might be able to change the graphics out, but most graphics are embedded into the file in order to protect the images for copyright reasons.  If the file is saved as a PowerPoint file, here are some steps to follow if you don't know how to add text boxes to the file.  Hope it helps.

Click on the images to enlarge.  Hover over the images to pin.







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Teachers Pay Teachers Back to School SALE

Don't miss all of the great deals during the Back to School Sale at Teachers Pay Teachers.  Lots of teachers, including myself, will be offering 28% off.  WOW!  As always, thank you for your support.



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That's a Fact Jack Teacher Poster

So, as I said yesterday, I am a die-hard Ducky Dynasty fan. With that said, here is another Duck Dynasty inspired teacher poster. Teachers do make a difference..... that is tea he is drinking, right? Have fun displaying in your room.


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Happy Happy Happy Teacher Poster

Yes, I have a love for Duck Dynasty!!  I even cried the other night watching the Season Premier.... the wedding. (oh gosh, did I just share that?)  So, why not combine two of my favorite things to make a fun poster!  If you would like to download a copy for your classroom, click the link below.  Enjoy!

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Printable Bubble Sheets


Let's face it.... I think testing is here to stay.  Along with the testing comes the infamous bubble sheet.  I have a love hate relationship with those little bubbles.  I love to use them for a quick quiz or a short assignment, but I hate to use them for standardized testing because even my fourth graders get messed up on their bubbling.  They may be bubbling in number ten when they are actually on number eight.  They've skipped two and then they are totally screwed up until the monitor/teacher catches it. Monitoring tests is a whole other topic.... is that like the worst job in the world!!  I mean, who likes to walk three miles in their classroom in complete silence while trying to focus on circles a fourth the size of a dime.  ... UGH!

You will NOT believe this part.  For our very important state testing this past year, we were told that if we were walking around during the test (you know, the one they want to eventually base our salary on), and we saw a kid get screwed up on their bubbling, we could not say anything to them.  Now, if they realized they got messed up and asked for help, we could then help them, but if we noticed they had gotten off and they didn't realize it themselves, we could not say one  damn stinking word to them.  We had to watch them bubble incorrectly all the way 'til the end.  Thank goodness all of mine caught themselves, but in the lower grades, I'm sure some didn't.  That was about the craziest rule change I had heard in a while.

Regardless, bubbling is a thing of today.  I have made some printable bubble sheets if you would like to go check them out. I included lots of different kinds, even some for beginners learning to bubble and a ticket out the door bubble sheet. 

 
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And here is another thought from me on bubbling.  :-)

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God in the Classroom

After church today, I was inspired to make this poster.  It's also something I have told myself each year before I start the year, and the service made me think about it.  I know it doesn't pertain to everyone. :-)  I then had some requests for a copy after it was posted on my Facebook page, so I thought I would make it available.

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Positive Reinforcement in the Classroom

positive- affirmation, approval, indicating acceptance, having a good effect, marked by optimism

reinforcement- the act of reinforcing, making stronger, to stimulate or encourage

I don't know about you, but I love positive reinforcement.  I think it is a natural desire to want positive affirmation for our actions.  Even in my teaching job, I love it when someone tells me I did a good job or gives me an award.  In the teaching world, it may be something simple like a note left on your desk from your principal or being given a special jeans pass for doing something over and beyond. Wouldn't you be crushed if your principal walked out of our room only leaving you with a negative comment.  Just imagine!  I don't want people to focus on what I have done wrong, and I don't think when it comes to a student's behavior the focus should just be on the negatives. Now, I am not completely saying that kids don't need to have inappropriate behaviors pointed out to them, because I feel they do.  But, once you have given a child an understanding of what appropriate behaviors are, I think it vital to catch them in the act and point it out to them, offering them the positive reinforcement for that behavior.  Tell them right when  you see them do something good.  Make it a point to be positive, and with some teachers this is not an automatic, so they may need to make a conscience effort to do this. One suggestion is to set up a behavior management system in your classroom that is based on positive reinforcement.  I have done this for years, and I have found it to be very effective.  Most kids naturally want to please, and I have even found over my twenty years of teaching that 'bad' kids want to do well too.  Sometimes those kids are the ones that hear negative after negative after negative.  It is up to us, the teacher, to stop that for them.  Tell them how well they did.  You never know, you might be able to offer the positive affirmation that the child has never before received.  Try it. :-)

As a reminder to think positively, I made this FREE positive thinking Poster.

Feel free to pin.  Just hover over the image.

For your classroom, you will love this positive reinforcement "Pocket Bucks" money system.  Check it out in my Teachers Pay Teachers Shop for all of the details.  It has everything needed for a colorful positive reinforcement bulletin board.  This can be used for whole class, or you can use an individual pocket for one child if needed.

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Another fun idea that the kids will love are my Arm Charm Brag Bracelets.  Check those out too.

Feel free to pin.  Just hover over the image.

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If Only We Were Just Teachers

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