Thursday, July 15, 2010

MPT6--4th Grade

This is the sixth in a series of 15 posts recounting my childhood. (To see parts 1 through 5, click the label "MPT" in my sidebar.) Today's topic is Fourth Grade.I'm dragging my butt to write this post--apparently I'm not feeling the love for 4th grade. I had one of my least favorite teachers, Mrs. Kaychuk (not sure I'm spelling that right). I thought she was okay, but I didn't love her like my previous teachers. And I learned years later that Mrs. K was the only teacher my mom refused to let my younger sisters have. {My school wouldn't let parents request a certain teacher for their children unless a previous child had had that teacher. Since I had had Mrs K, my mom was able to make sure neither of my younger sisters were put in her class. I don't know why my mom felt so strongly, I think she was just a bit scatterbrained, and maybe not as challenging as my mom would have liked.}

My elementary/grade school was divided in two campuses: K-4 at one campus (in Glenview) and 5-8 at the other (in Wilmette). Therefore, in 3rd grade I was looking forward to going into 4th grade. We would "rule the school" as the oldest kids. I'd always looked up to 4th graders as so old and cool. (I found this hilarious as I got older, how do you ever think 9-year-olds are OLD?! Of course, now that L is 5 I think, that's so old, he's growing up too fast. So it's all relative!)

Also, my older sister was only a year ahead of me in school, so I was also looking forward to her being at the other campus.

At some point toward the end of 3rd grade, however, I learned that we would be moving over to the other campus too. The rising 3rd grade class was big--it had 3 classes (rising 4th grade (me) and rising 5th grade (my sister) each had two classes). So not only would we not be the oldest in our school next year, we would be the youngest. And I would still be in the same school as my sister, and in fact, I'd be in her same HALL. Yuck!

I also remember I hated the bathroom in the 4th-5th grade hall so I would try really hard to not use the bathroom all day.

Good times.

Yeah, 4th grade had some strikes against it. But I have two good memories to highlight.

In science that year, we learned about electricity. I remember everyone did a project with circuits and for mine I did like a question and answer game on posterboard. The questions were on the left side of the poster and the answer choices on the right, and somehow I rigged up the wires (this is the part I remember, carefully configuring the wires so the game would work) so when you chose the right answer, a lightbulb lit up. I can't really describe it. Anyway, that was a fun project. I think we went around the room, kind of like a fair, trying out each other's games/circuits. Cool!

Creative Writing
I remember we did a lot of writing in 4th grade. I don't know how often (maybe once a month?) we would have a "Story Starter"--I loved this. Mrs. K would pass out these little slips of paper that had a sentence or two on it (everyone got the same one, I believe) that would start a story. You didn't have to use the actual sentence to start your story, it was just an idea, like "you are a grain of sand, where do you end up?"

Oh what I wouldn't give to have my imagination back! In those days, this was all I needed to spin a wondrous tale! This is where I developed my love of writing short stories. I wrote a short story in 7th grade that won a prize. I later took a summer school class for short-story-writing that I loved, but I didn't do much creative writing after that. When I took a creative writing--short fiction class in college, my imagination had dried up and I found it really hard to crank out stories. :-( Anyway....

I remember for the "grain of sand" story, I ended up in Africa. At the time, my family sponsored a child with one those Compassion-type organizations, and our sponsored child lived in Khartoum, Sudan--and so that is where my grain of sand ended up in my story.

So that's what I remember from 4th grade. Go to Mommy's Piggy Tales to read more 4th grade adventures, then come back next week for my memories of 5th grade and my favorite teacher of all time!!! Thanks for reading!


Lindsay said...

I remember thinking the 4th graders were the big kids in school too. (I mention that in my story this week) Its funny though, now that I have a 4th grader I look at her and think "your still so little!!"

Melissa said...

Isnt it funny to look back and remember being envious of the "older" kids in school?? So funny now. Sounds like a good science project too!! Thanks for sharing!

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

Fun to see that you felt you were "big" in fourth grade like I did...looks like your favorite is coming up in 5th grade. I can't remember anything I learned in 4th have good memory

Janna said...

Well for dragging your butt you sure do remember a lot. It really is amazing how so many of the things that bothered you would bother a kid today too.

I like the storytelling activity. I've never participated in something like that but it sounds fun!