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Many 4th graders are still "parent pleasers." Never underestimate the value of a positive phone call home early in the school year.
Always stick to your rules, and go through with the consequences. Some students may try to test you to see how far you will let them go, and you need to let the students know that you will go through with it. When doing seating arrangements, I find it is good to change it up either every nine weeks. Moving one student that misbehave next to a well behaved student is very helpful. Students around this age range can also benefit from having responsibility within the classroom. I find that by having roles given to students on a weekly rotation can make not only the class more functionable, but also help with preventing some unnecessary misbehavior. Rewards for good behavior is something else that students look forward to. The award does not have to be something extravagant, it could be something simple, like a pat on the back, a small treat, or even a little handmade trophy to be placed on their desk (or at the group table) for a week.
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