Fourth Graders, Yo

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    I'm writing a kids book about 4th graders and have realized many of my references are like 25 years out of date. It doesn't affect the majority of the book, just like 4%... the yummy details.
    Like do they still even have pencil sharpeners on the wall?
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    So I decided to outsource and ask my nieces and cousins in that age bracket.
    But guys, they are the WORST communicators.
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    I ask my niece what her classroom looks like and to include every detail. She responds "normal"
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    I ask her sister what she works on in school and to be specific. She tells me "math."
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    I text the cousin to ask what music groups her and her friends like. She replies "means Lambert" after 4 days. I asked her if that is a group and she said no.
    I asked her what is "means Lambert" and she said yejsnshshssgdu
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    A week after that, she sends me this
    She hasn't replied about my fifth harmony inquiry. So I imagine that'll take her 3 weeks. She only likes NSYNC because we listen to it when we are all together. But I'm sure she likes something current. She's a super cool kid. She goes to slumber parties every weekend and avoids me like the plague.
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    Can you help me out? What do 4th graders like, what's funny or cool to them? What is different about classrooms than in the olden times?
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    Even if you have a first grader or a tenth grader, I need your halp!
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    Anything?
    Lots of you guys are teachers, so you can tell me if kids even use paper and pass notes anymore. They tell you to "write what you know" so I may end up making this a book set in 1994
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    They DO still have pencil sharpeners, they do still pass notes. Frankly they haven't evolved muchπŸ˜‚
    Only difference is SOME fourth graders have access to technology. You could make your fourth grade characters be sheltered and be on point with early 90s kids. We do have a lot more kids who are diagnosed as allergic, diabetic, ADHD and so on. Therefore 4th graders have more awareness of this stuff
    Suggested by Β  @karlalucia
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    Did they have inclusion in the classrooms when you were growing up?
    I can't remember when inclusion started? Also we have a lot more bilingual schools in Texas now than we used to
    Suggested by Β  @karlalucia
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    They've still got wall sharpeners but they don't work well so the teacher usually has an electric one. But a lot of teachers outlaw kids using them (spend too much time there using it in the middle of class. So the teacher has to sharpen it for them. It's ridiculous)
    They still trade stuff. Music-wise, it's tough because some kids have awesome parents who educate them musically and some listen to Radio Disney.
    Suggested by Β  @supercommonname
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    The group of students I have this year are empathetic, kind, caring, inclusive and mini-activist which I wasn't when I was 10 BUT the 4th graders this year are rude, eye-rolling, back talking etc so kids are pretty much the same - some great/some rude lol πŸ’πŸ»πŸ™„πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ
    Suggested by Β  @jennifer1482
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    I teach 5th grade and my students are very into Instagram stories, music.ly, still like One Direction, anything 'fail' on YouTube, the girls love Justice the store for clothes, they wear a lot of athletic wear. I have a wall sharpener as those electric ones always break since kids stick things they shouldn't 'to see what will happen'
    They FaceTime, they play sports and like to make groups for plays or songs but once home they are mostly on electronics, they are crazy for Frappucinos and frozen yogurt. A lot of my students have recently been into making all kinds of slime.
    Suggested by Β  @jennifer1482
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    I teach 5th! Puberty and that insecurity hits earlier than it did way back in my day. Kids are on Instagram, Snapchat, Vine... they still pass notes- I found an EMPTY cootie catcher/ fortune teller in the hall last week and it made me sad. MOST Classrooms are MORE student generate posters than those old school Garfield posters we had.
    Suggested by Β  @kate81
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    More technology in classrooms (iPads, laptops), more hands on exploring activities and experiments - less worksheets & textbooks. A bit more entitlement in some cases. More positive and leadership focused than consequence & punishment
    Suggested by Β  @kate81
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    The kids I work with love folding paper into "poppers". So you fold the paper in a way that when you snap it the air rushes through the folds and it "pops" and makes a loud sound. I have thrown away literally thousands. They also fold paper into wolverine fingers (they prob call it something different) and those fortune tellers are still a thing!!!
    ^a visual diagram to constructing a popper
    Suggested by Β  @rachellewis
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    My nanny kid who is a fourth grader is a big Broadway fan. Broadway is cool. Also she loves one direction and all those things. Also iPads are huge. Not getting real grades but number rankings are in.
    Suggested by Β  @bsizzle33
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    Yes sitting in clusters or pods or groups and I have a bouncy ball (I had 2 until a punk popped one) but these stools are becoming more common and are more durable - I have 3 I wrote a grant for
    Pic from google images
    Suggested by Β  @kate81
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    My nephew is in 5th grade and he likes top forty music like Ed Sheeran, Shawn Mendez, etc. Last week he told me everyone in his school was saying "Shape of You" by Ed Sheeran was "about sex, but I also think it could be about dancing" πŸ˜‚
    Suggested by Β  @beanbag
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    I have a seventh grade boy, but Minecraft (video game) has been an obsession with him and all his friends since fourth grade.
    Girls play too, but boys play MORE. It doesn't seem to have fallen out of favor in the past years. And it is a frequent topic of conversation, as are games in general, especially mobile games. "What level are you on?" Is heard often regarding most games. Also, kids that age play Magic the Gathering (collectible card game). This tends to be more boys than girls. Magic is popular because cards can be acquired and traded.
    Suggested by Β  @cordeliane
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    I have a 5th grader and his interests haven't changed much since last year. He's super into Minecraft, Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, watching YouTube videos. He makes the fortune tellers (MASH) games like I did at his age. He likes to play with this liquid slime stuff from Five Below.
    I have been able to assert my influence and his favorite band is Nirvana but he also likes Twenty One Pilots a lot. He's a lot like I was as a 4th/5th grader except more hormonal and into electronics.
    Suggested by Β  @andlamb
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    My little 4th grade buddy is crazy into PokΓ©mon cards and figurines. He loves superheroes, too. Both he and his girl-friends like Minecraft. Some of the girls are starting to get interested in girly stuff such as accessories from Claire's, nail polish, and glitter. Both genders like crafts and board games related to their interests. My 2 cents πŸ’œ
    Suggested by Β  @Heartsounds
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    You guys got me past the hump! I finished my hardest chapter (first draft) tonight! πŸ™‹πŸ½
    I also just searched Getty Images and stole kids pictures off of there so I made sure I was explaining a 9 year old and not a 5 or 12 year old in the physical descriptions. Love to you all!!! 😘😘😘😘
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    What do teachers call students besides their name? Like, in conversation, do they say "dear, kiddo, ma'am, sir, young lady, young man, sweetheart, dude, chickadee?" I realized this information fell out of my brain. Here's an example sentence "you are up next [sweetheart]" or whatever they would say that is legal.
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    I work in a French school so I say 'mes amis' which translates to my friends lol which sounds lame in English. πŸ’πŸΌ sorry I'm not much help. I sometimes add miss or mr to a name (thinking I'm funny lol which is also not funny) like to Aleera. How are you today miss Aleera? Mr Jace can you hand out the papers. They kinda smile. Lame again
    Suggested by Β  @jennifer1482
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    When I'm speaking to them as a group I call them friends. "Let's go, friends! We'll sneak outside before the fire drill actually starts."
    If I'm talking to them about each other, I say neighbor. "Please pass the door to your neighbor."
    Suggested by Β  @amieshmamie
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    Sometimes if they're being particularly weird or bad or silly I call them "crazyface."
    Example: "Hey, crazyface, stop licking your neighbor's desk."
    Suggested by Β  @amieshmamie
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    I call them bud, buddy, friend, their initials, a short version of their name, or their class nickname (I have a kid called Jonah that we all call Jonut. Jonah plus donut).
    Suggested by Β  @amieshmamie