What Do I Remember About Being in 4th Grade? From a Fourth Grade Teacher

Photo Jul 31, 8 32 30 PM

My fourth grade school picture. What awesome bangs! Haha!

I remember fourth grade being one of my favorite years of school. I had some really great friends in my class, and remember having just a fun class in general. I also remember being psyched that my kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Kramer, was moving up to teach fourth grade. I could devote many blog posts to Mrs. Kramer; she was one amazing teacher and person. She was really good at getting to know kids and developing relationships. I actually kept up my relationship with Mrs. Kramer into my adult life until she passed away last year. She was an influential person to many, myself included. I miss her!

I also remember fourth grade being a year where we had more projects and reports- and I loved this stuff! Book reports, projects on social studies and science topics, collaborative classroom efforts on posters, etc. I remember becoming obsessed with The Babysitters Club series, and putting my reading minutes toward school wide reading challenges. My school would have us record our minutes toward a small reward, or a school wide reward. One time, if we read enough minutes, we earned balls to throw at our principal in the dunk tank. Needless to say, my principal was dunked many times that day.

I remember a lot of emphasis on learning to type. I recall typing long stories, and begging for more time to finish my silly tales. Mrs. Kramer was very flexible with me and let me type or write stories as spelling assignments, as long as I used spelling words. I remember typing one story four or five pages long, and I only needed to use twenty spelling words!

One really tough day of fourth grade was the day after my dog, Oscar, got hit by a truck and died. Oscar was my first pet, a beautiful golden retriever. I remember barely keeping it together and shuffling over to Mrs. Kramer to tell her what happened. I’ll never forget what she did; she started crying right along with me, and held me tight for a long time. Mrs. Kramer loved dogs and had three small ones, they were often a topic of conversation. I actually dogsat for her on several occasions as an adult. I have my love of dogs and animals in general to attribute largely to her!

I also remember getting bullied for the first time in fourth grade. Older girls were calling me and my friends terrible names for playing “pretend” games, something which I loved. I will never, ever forget how they made me feel. I won’t ever forget their names either. Amazing how that doesn’t leave you. I don’t remember telling any adults about it, because I was worried it would get worse. I am glad my school district has an anti-bullying program in place for students. I hated the feeling of being bullied.

I remember my class entering an environmental poster contest, which we all worked on together. We won third place! Which meant $250 for our class. Mrs. Kramer let us choose how we wanted to spend it; I really appreciate that, giving us the choice. I try to give choice in my own classroom when I can. Anyways, we chose to put the money toward a field trip to Fairmont Hot Springs, followed by a McDonald’s lunch in Butte. That was one of the most memorable days of fourth grade.

Another extremely memorable, yet sad day, was the last day of school. Mrs. Kramer had told us a couple weeks earlier that she was retiring. So we decided, as a class, to plan a retirement party for her. Some of the boys planned entertainment, which included singing and dancing. Some girls planned food and gifts. I remember Mrs. Kramer crying a lot during her party, which was sad, but she also was extremely happy and appreciative.

I absolutely loved fourth grade! I hope that as a fourth grade teacher, I create similar learning experiences and offer choices, just like Mrs. Kramer did. I work really hard to develop relationships with my kiddos, just like Mrs. Kramer did too. Fourth grade seems to be a bit of a tougher transition for kids, as the workload increases and the need to be independent and responsible does as well. I can only hope that I am being as awesome as Mrs. Kramer was to me in fourth grade!