A Bit of My 2014-2015 School Year So Far - The Learning Effect

A Bit of My 2014-2015 School Year So Far

Classroom desks

Today I'm sharing some pictures from this year. I'm teaching 4th grade again and have 26 students - 20 boys and only 6 girls!

At Back to School Night {back in August 2014} this was the first year I felt completely prepared for the event. I found plenty of amazing ideas through other teacher blogs to help me make the most of the beginning of year madness. The only thing I'd do differently next year is for those papers that need to be returned to me, I'd write "4th - Ford" on every sheet. I ended up with some of the wrong sheets back from families with multiple children attending our school. Whoops!

Ideas or forms borrowed from: Teacher Intro Letter - Rowdy in Room 300; Getting to Know Your Child Form - The First Grade Parade; Parent Email Contact Form - Mrs. Terhune's First Grade

Classroom desks

Forms on a desk

Being an entrepreneurial-focused school, we apply for jobs each quarter in 4th grade and have a classroom economy system. I absolutely love reading students' job application forms. They take so seriously and their reasons are always fun to read.


To go along with the economy system, we have bankers. Each student has a banking folder where their salary sticky note and banking log are kept.

Paper in a folder

This year I got more creative and more organized and labeled each banking folder with Scotch Expressions color tape and then put matching tape on the binder clip as well. This allows student bankers to quickly find their banking clients when we bank each week.

Folders in a box

I went all out over the summer and redesigned our 4th grade money. We only have 3 different denominations. I love our new money! I also designed money for 6th grade with a sports theme, and it turned out super cute.

Class money

This picture is actually from last year, and I've updated the sheet since (I realized that my picture from this year was blurry when I went to upload it). We use a Homework Hot Spot to turn in homework each day. My homework checkers simply "X" if a student has turned in their homework and leave it blank if it's missing. I can quickly glance at who's missing work and add an "M" to my online grade book to let parents know immediately. When students turn in all homework on-time, all week, they get their homework card punched. A full card = $500.


I redesigned my schedule magnets this year with Melonheadz clip art. I absolutely love them and I feel like they're easier to read from afar than my old ones.

Classroom schedule cards

One of my biggest pet peeves is messy desks. So this year I made a poster for students to refer to as to how their desk should be organized. I got the brilliant idea color-coding their notebooks with a marker on the sides from A Cupcake for the Teacher. I use ClassDojo to award points which students can redeem for rewards at the end of each month. One of the positive/negative points students can earn once a week is Clean Desk/Messy Desk. It's one student's job to check 6 desks randomly a day and award/deduct points for this.


In November 2014 we had a Multiplication Mania Week. We focused each day on two numbers and did a bunch of fun activities throughout the day to practice our math facts. (Gumball Math - Made in 1st Grade; Multiplication Rings & Multiplication Bracelets - Joanne Miller)


After many of my students buzzed their way through multiplication math fact timings, they were ready for division. I couldn't find any assessments that were set up like Gumball Math with 50 problems to complete in 3 minutes, so I created my own and Monster Math was born.


And finally, this past week we took our first "end of year" test...yes, in February. The writing portion of the Utah SAGE test was given early this year so that they could have educators from around the state participate in PD that shows how the writing portion of the SAGE is graded and allow educators to grade essays in their grade level that they teach. We've been focusing a lot on writing this year and it's one of my goals for my professional portfolio. I made my students little treats for the two days of testing.

Hershey kisses

Blow Pops


  1. I love these ideas Tiffany!! I'll have to implement some of them! ;)

    Katie @ www.buildingahouseoflove.com


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