Tales From A 4th Grade Teacher

It's All Good……

I’ve moved….to Blogger June 25, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — mrsbarker @ 1:55 pm

Well, I did it! Last night I created my new blog over at Blogger.

Here is the new URL for the new blog: Tales From a 4th (and 5th) Grade Teacher

Please take a second and go over an become a follower of my new blog.



To move or not to move….

Filed under: Uncategorized — mrsbarker @ 2:00 am

I have a dilemma….I want to move! Not to Paris, or someplace sunny and warm…I want to move to Blogger. I have had this blog on Word Press for a while now. I like it, but I want to get really custom and really fancy, and let’s face it, Word Press is not good about playing well with others.  Hopefully this post won’t get my blog shut down, and hopefully I can figure out how to move everything and everyone over to blogger. I’ll keep you posted.


What have I gotten myself into?!?!?!?!? June 11, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — mrsbarker @ 9:03 pm

Tomorrow I am presenting at a technology conference on blogging in the classroom.  WHAT?!?! Yes, I blog, and at times much of what I write makes sense, but ME, presenting on blogging? Yikes! While I have yet to have the dream about standing there in an empty room and no one showing up for my sessions…the fear has begun creeping into my head!! Will it make sense?…Will they get my bizarre sense of humor? Or will they want their money back…oh wait, it is a free conference. WINNING!!

I went to pick up my presenter’s packet this afternoon and it wasn’t until I got there that I realized just how many people will be there for the next two days. Hopefully I will see some traffic in my two sessions. Lots of presenters…some vendors and tons of attendees. Its kind of a big deal….and I know that the folks who are organizing it have put so much effort into organizing it!

Actually, I am very excited about it. I have a decent presentation…some hand outs, lots of advice ( like don’t let them talk you into presenting at a technology conference). I conned some people into letting me showcase their blogs, and will showcase mine as well. It will be okay…. I will survive….and hopefully encourage a few people along the way to give blogging a try. I am by no means an expert blogger, but I do have an idea or two about how to use it in the classroom setting to help improve teacher-student communication.

And I am also excited that I will get the chance to see other presentations while I am at the conference for the next two days.   Hoping to pick up some great ideas to bring more technology into my own classroom.  And of course there are the prizes…. everyone loves prizes….maybe I’ll win an iPad (I am not even sure they are giving iPads away…but how cool would that be???)

Yes! I can do this….check back on Thursday and I’ll fill you in on my adventure.


I am loopy about looping! June 7, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — mrsbarker @ 4:16 pm

ImageWow! So far so good..second day of summer break and this is my second day in a row blogging (note to self–next school year, make daily blogging more of a priority)!!!

So, I am eating a little crow these day. A few years ago, I was adamant that I would NEVER (and I do mean  NEVER) teach 5th grade!! I said 4th was as high as I would go unless I updated my certification to teach Middle School Social Studies!  Well, I am teaching 5th grade in the fall. But the great part is, I am looping up with my class from this year. And I am SO EXCITED about it!!  I have been thinking about some of the things I will NOT have to do because I already “know” this class and they already know me. Yes, I will still have to go over procedures and all that stuff….and practice them. Yes, I will have to restate and reinforce my expectations. But I know their reading levels, their strengths an weaknesses, what motivates them (and what doesn’t)…we have a relationship already, so I won’t be spending so much time and energy at the beginning of the year getting to know them…and I can focus on getting to know them BETTER!  I am looking forward to finding new and exciting ways to teach them….and help them learn.

Yes, it is going to be an adventure, and it won’t be without its challenges. My partner teacher is looping up to 5th with her class as well, so in reality I will have close to 40 of the same kids I have taught over the past year, next year. Our 5th grade team is awesome. and we will be working closely with the 4th grade team (same hall) so I am really looking forward to it.

I would love to hear from other teachers who have looped with their classes…any advice would be greatly appreciated!!


Hello Summer…. June 6, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — mrsbarker @ 6:37 pm

Well, yesterday was my final day at school for the school year, so today is my first official day of summer break. I have taking lots of good-natured ribbing from non-teacher friends about how easy teachers have it, and how we only do it (teaching) for the summers off!

Well, I am here to tell you, we earn every second of our summer break–and reality is, we really don’t stop working. For example, I am presenting at THIS conference next week so I will be working on my presentation between now and then. And in July, our district holds a month long Summer Academy, full of great PD opportunities, so I will be attending classes for several day.  After that, August will be here, and I will need to start thinking about getting my classroom ready for next year.  And throughout the summer I will spend lots of time reading other blogs looking for great ideas for next year, as well as learning all new curriculum because I am looping up to 5th grade with my class. So much for summers off, huh!  I am not complaining…I wills till have plenty of time to read (and not jsut books for my classroom or for PD), lounge by the pool, go on vacation (VEGAS, baby!!)

For my teacher friends that are still in school for the next week or so…hang in there…summer is coming for you too!!!


Linky Party- from Fabulous 4th Grade March 17, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — mrsbarker @ 11:56 pm

Lorraine over at Fabulous 4th Grade is having a Linky Party for all the fabulous 3rd, 4th and 5th grade bloggers….I follow her on Facebook as well as her blog and she always has the GREATEST ideas to share…head on over to her blog and check it out!


Can someone tell these kids it is still February??? February 25, 2012

Filed under: Classroom,Uncategorized — mrsbarker @ 12:29 am

Wow! My students have been a bit on the chatty/mischievous side these past few weeks. Wanna know why? My theory is that the weather is to blame. For the past few weeks, instead of 30-40 degree temps….we have had 60-7 degree temps.  So the kids think it is already springtime. And if they think it is springtime, they think summer is around the corner.

Sorry little friends…it is late February and we got a whole lot of material to cover in the next  60 school days.  We have MAP testing coming up….then once Spring Break has come and gone, we are on the fast track to PASS (our state testing here in SC)!!!!

I am already starting review and we haven’t even covered all the curriculum yet…at least not in Social Studies!! We just finished the American Revolution and have to get to Reconstruction by early May. Yes, I know we are behind (that was for my readers who are also 4th grade teachers in SC) but there is so much content in SS in 4th grade.

I am excited about starting our next unit because I found some awesome ideas on Pinterest for teaching the Articles of Confederation. I  “heart” Pinterest!!  If you have to teach this subject matter, check out this link….

Also, if you need a cool idea for a Colonial America/American Revolution project, try this….I had my students research people and events from the American Revolution and write a paragraph containing 3-5 interesting facts. Then they draw a picture to go along with it. I used my fun scrapbook scissors (which I never use any more…who has time to scrapbook???) and scalloped the edge of their picture and glued it to construction paper to make it look like a postage stamp.  Here are a few pictures…..