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Fourth Grade Book Ideas

Hey everyone! A while back, I posted on Instagram about needing book suggestions to build my fourth grade library as I gear up for my big move (EEK!). So many of you came to my rescue with some absolutely amazing book suggestions! So many suggestions, in fact, that I felt that I needed to compile them all in one comprehensive list for you! Okay, okay. This list is LONG overdue, I know. The end of the school year got me good. But, since it’s the first week of summer, I finally have a chance to sit down and put it all together for you!

*This post contains affiliate links, which means I may make a small commission off a purchase to keep this blog up and running!

Here we go!

Favorite Series:

Dog Man by Dav Pilkey

-Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey

-Diary of a Wimpy Kid  by Jeff Kinney

-Who Would Win? by Jerry Pallotta

-The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart

The Wild Robot and The Wild Robot Escapes by Peter Brown

-Divergent by Veronica Roth

-Wings of Fire by Tui T. Sutherland

-I Survived… by Lauren Tarshis

-Ivy and Bean by Sophie Blackwell

-Who Was…? by Various Authors

-Where Was…? by Various Authors

-What Is….? by Various Authors

-City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau


Favorite Authors: 

-Judy Blume

-Beverly Cleary

-Gordan Korman

-Rick Riordan

-Kate DiCamillo

-Brandon Mull


Favorite Books

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

-The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

-Wish by Barbara O’Connor

-Ms. Bixby’s Last Day by John David Anderson

-Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

-Frindle by Andrew Clements

-Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate


So…what do you think? Do you see any of your favorites on the list? Any that should be added? Let me know and I will add them to the list! I will also be adding more as I read them or get suggestions from others!


Happy book hunting!


Guys, I have big news to share.

As you may know, I’ve been teaching Kindergarten since starting out four years ago. It is where I struggled as a first year teacher, felt as if I knew (a little more of) what I was doing my second year, and really grew as a teacher in my third and fourth years. This year has been especially full of growth as my teammate and team leader was out on maternity leave for half the year, leaving me as the pseudo team leader for quite some time. It taught me a lot about my strengths and weaknesses as both a leader and a teammate. These past four years have been extremely formative in my career and I am so thankful for all that I have learned as a Kindergarten teacher. I learned that, yes, kids do poop their pants on the first day of school on your first EVER day teaching. And no, it is not mud that they stepped in on the playground. I learned that it’s really important to clarify that put your finger ON your nose when you have an answer does not, in fact, mean to put your finger IN your nose when you have an answer. And I’ve learned that freeze dance Friday is really the best way to end the week. I’ve also learned that young children are capable of truly amazing things. They are compassionate, empathetic, kind, loving, funny, and so very, very smart. They make tremendous growth in such a small amount of time and it has been the most wonderful feeling to watch their pride as they do so.

However, as much as I have enjoyed my time in K, my heart is pulling me elsewhere. I am very much they type of person who needs frequent change and challenge. I am always looking toward the next thing. At this moment, the next thing for me is a new grade level. I’m so excited to say that next year I will be teaching FOURTH GRADE! I am so thrilled, but so terribly nervous. I am excited for new content, new teaching strategies, and new challenges. But I also know that the challenges I face will be very different than many I have already come across with the little ones. It is so hard for me to leave this grade level where I feel confident and comfortable, but I know it will be a great thing for me both personally and professionally (I mean, it will be…right? Someone tell me this is a good idea!) It will be a whole new ball game for me! Well, except for the kids. My class next year will be many of the students I had in my very first kindergarten class! Cool, right?!


Anyway, enough rambling. Here’s where I need your help. I want to know what you love about fourth grade and what works for you! Who do you follow on social media that gives you great ideas? What are some must-haves for my classroom? Any behavior management tools that you love? What books should I add to my library? What should I absolutely AVOID? Anything you want to share about is fair game, I’m all ears! Leave a comment below, message me on Instagram, send me an email, whatever you want, just give me the low down!

I’m so excited to share my journey with you as I transition from K to 4th and I hope you follow along and enjoy the ride!




Math Strategy Practice

Math is one of my absolute FAVORITE subjects to teach! I think my favorite thing about math is that it is so universal and that there are so many ways to solve one problem.

In Kindergarten, we expose students to multiple ways to solve both addition and subtraction problems. We use counters, fingers, pictures, number lines, and counting on/back!

To help visualize our strategies, we made this anchor chart. It’s such a simple visual for students, and they absolutely love it!


As the year goes on, we explicitly practice each of these strategies, but we also encourage students to find the one that works best for them. And that might change throughout the year! I find that students start working with pictures or fingers, but then gradually move to counting on (or even just solving in their head when they are ready!).

We did this math activity as a refresher of a few frequently used strategies.

math strategy practice.jpg

Students solved one addition and one subtraction problem using this worksheet. To make sure they were solving one that was “just right” for them, even within a whole class lesson, problem cards were differentiated by color. As students came to pick a card, I simply asked them to pick either green, blue, or pink. Then, they were given materials at their tables to solve the problem using counters, a picture, and a number line.

It was a great way to see who gravitates toward which strategy and which ones we could practice a little more!

You can grab the math activity here! It also includes word problem options and is editable!

What are your favorite ways to practice math strategies? Let me know! We are always looking for fun and exciting ways to problem solve!

Sight Word Practice Pages!

Hi guys!


BUT- I have been on a roll lately creating products for my Teachers Pay Teachers store. I set a goal at the start of 2017 that I would post at least two products a month. And I reached that goal tonight…with more to come in the next week or so! A big thanks to the two snow days we had this past week, and the one I now have tomorrow (5 day weekend!), I finished something I have been working on for a while. My Sight Word Practice Sets!


I am so excited about these, I just had to blog about them. These pages ask students to practice their sight words in a variety of ways. First, they box it to practice letter size/formation. Next, they simply write the word to get down the spelling and formation. Then, they use it in a sentence- practical application always helps my students to contextualize the word. Finally, they read a short (beginning-learner friendly, for the most part) passage, and find and circle the sight word as they read it.

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I love these pages because they allow learners to write, use, and read the sight word, so they are practicing it in a variety of ways. The short passages also allow for reinforcement of other sight words while reading, phonics skills (blends, digraphs, silent e, vowel teams, etc.), and fluency practice!

So far, I have created my Ultimate Sight Word Bundle for Kindergarten (a compilation of 86 sight words, my most comprehensive set), as well as my Dolch Kindergarten Sight Word Set containing the 52 words on the Primer list. Up next are the first 100 Fry words!

If you want to try them out with your Kinders (or other learners!) before you buy, download my Freebie here.

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Let me know what you think! I would love to hear your feedback or how they went for your students!


New year, new behavior management

So, it’s been a while since I’ve blogged. Okay, if we’re being honest, this is my first post about anything in my classroom…and I haven’t even used it yet.

I just couldn’t contain my excitement about some new behavior management strategies that I am planning for this upcoming year!

Truthfully, when it comes to behavior management, the struggle is REAL for me. For the past two years, I’ve used a clip chart. I changed it a bit this past year, but overall, it was still ineffective for me. I was inconsistent, the same students were picking from my prize bucket time after time, and some days my kids’ clips never even moved! Like I said, struggle city.

So this year, I’m trying something new and fresh- and positive! Year three is going to be full of positive reinforcement, both individually for students and as table teams. Here’s what I plan to do:


Individual management: Sparkle Strips! 

Recently, I stumbled across a blog post by Kristin from A Teeny Tiny Teacher about her gold tag behavior management program, and I fell in LOVE with it. Basically, what happens is students receive gold strips of paper called “gold tags” for doing the right thing around the classroom. At the end of the week, they get to cash in their gold tags for Fun Friday centers in order of who collected the most tags that week- love that incentive! I also love the way she chooses to send home a weekly report to go with it  (check out her product here). After reading this blog post, I knew I wanted needed to use this in my classroom.

Enter: Sparkle Strips

I plan to use Kristin’s gold tag program, but with a small twist. Are you ready for it? Are you sure? Okay…here it is: the paper is sparkly. Literally, that’s it.  And I’m thinking that with our schedule, Fun Friday may have to be on Thursdays…I know…it’s not Fun Friday then, but I’ll find a name. Give it time. That way, students don’t miss out on their incentive on our two short Fridays a month that we have in my school, AND it gives them a chance to turn their week around and end on a high note if they had a tough week. I think it’s a win-win! Thanks Kristin!

Group Management: Table Jars!

table jars

Simple table jars: just mason jars and Scotch expressions tape

Next up is my group management idea, which I’ve wanted to implement for the last year, but never did. Then, I was inspired by the amazing idea of a VIP table that seems to be the latest trend, thanks to Rachel at The Tattooed Teacher (and many others since that blog post!). 

Here’s the plan: as a table team, students work together to earn pom-poms to fill their corresponding color jar for doing the right thing and working together. For example, staying on task during an activity when they are working at their tables, being the first and quietest to clean up for transitions, etc. When a table earns pom-poms, each student at that table gets to put one in the jar (so they fill up 4 at a time). Who knows, maybe sometimes, depending on the situation, they’ll get double pom-poms.  Things could get wild! 

Here’s where the VIP idea comes in. Once a table fills their jar, they become the VIPs for the next week! This means, they get a special caddy full of exciting supplies (think scented markers, glitter crayons, fun pencils instead of the usual yellow ones, etc.) for the following week. I’m toying with the idea of VIP lunch in the classroom, too, but we’ll see about that.

Once a table fills their jar, we dump the pom-poms and start over. It could take a week to fill their jar, it could take two, maybe three. My hope is that the fact that the VIP caddy only comes out every now and then will keep the incentive exciting throughout the year.


So there you have it, my grand plan for the upcoming year! Sorry for lack of pictures- I only started prepping today (we don’t start school until September, I swear I’m not that last minute!). Once we get a few weeks in, I plan to post an update about how it all plays out. Stay tuned to see how it goes! Happy behavior managing!