The adventures of a fourth grade teacher in East Central Illinois.

First We Work, Then We Play

One of the common mantras heard in my classroom is this: first we work, then we play. Sometimes I put it in the singular second-person using you instead of we. I have said it more times than I can count, especially this week.

The most common thing I’ve said all this week has been, “Boys and girls, we are going to work through the end of the week. After Friday, we will have time to play and celebrate. And we’ll have fun during the week. But we’re going to do a lot of work, too. Just stick with me through Friday afternoon.”

We spent the first part of the morning working with protractors. The students were experimenting with making angles and measuring them. They worked with partners and took turns. Then we did a quick assessment. The boys and girls did a great job working together, although a few had a hard time maintaining their focus.

We finished the morning with our last silent read of the year. (Well, maybe. I can’t imagine not having class read on Monday and Tuesday next week, especially after I just bought a bunch of new books for the room!) If there is one thing my class has done exceptionally well this year, it has been reading. I love to read, and I have shared that love of reading with my class.

After our silent read, it was time for lunch, and then we wrapped up the day with a fourth grade celebration to conclude our Fourth Grade Red Fish Society.

It was a good way to end the week and to end direct instruction in core content areas for the year. The last two days and an hour will be for closing activities that go along with the PBIS framework for community building and social-emotional learning.


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