Brand new 2nd grade teacher! Help please!

Discussion in 'Second Grade' started by hot4teaching, Jul 27, 2007.

  1. hot4teaching

    hot4teaching New Member

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    Jul 27, 2007

    Hi there!

    I'm a new member here and a brand new teacher as well. I was just offered a second grade job today! I will be teaching at a school that is right on a military base, so I already know I am going to have some challenges with my class constantly changing.

    I was looking for some advice on what I need to do to get started. I already have a few ideas for a classroom theme. Should my theme of the room match with the curriculum or can it be anything? Should I try to pick a theme that can stay year round or should I mix it up every now and then? I definitely want to have a themed reading corner because I have over 750 children's books that I would like to use. I'm picturing animal print pillows, a rug, beanbags, and vines everywhere with "Wild About Reading" up above.

    Also, I know the first few days should be spent going over routines and for icebreaker activities, but how long do I wait until I start getting into the curriculum??

    I appreciate any advice!!
     
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  3. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

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    Jul 27, 2007

    Is this a DDoD School?
    Congrats on the new job!
    I doubt your theme matters as much as making sure you adhere tightly to the curriculum so that students coming and going will not have gaps in their learning. The mobility rate is the highest you'll find in any school system so the main thing is to stay on track with the curriculum. I attended over 10 schools in 6 countries between 1st and 9th grades and my learning never skipped a beat. The teachers really were on top of things so that each student could pick up at the next school and be right where they would have been in the curriculum had they not moved. I wish all school systems had a sure-fire way of making sure kids don't lose out when moving.
     
  4. Touchthefuture

    Touchthefuture Comrade

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    Jul 27, 2007

    First of all congrats on your new position. I was in your shoes last year so I am by no means an expert but can offer a little advice.
    1. As Zoe suggested don't worry about theme for entire room. Your reading corner sounds cute. Maybe for your 1st year just tackle that.
    2. Focus on lesson planning. I was fortunate to be at a school where they team plan. That was helpful. I still spent numerous hours trying to prepare for the lessons.
    3. Get your classroom management system ready. Without that all of the above can be in some jeopardy.
    4. I am spending the first 3 days ( we start on a Wednesday) on procedures and getting to know each other activities. I will integrate math, reading and writing into those. The next week we start the actual curriculum. We will still allocate some time to practice those procedures.
    5. Have fun!
     
  5. BarbB37

    BarbB37 Rookie

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    Jul 27, 2007

    Hi! I've been teaching since 1983, and my recommendation is for you to keep it as simple as possible. I'd say keep a theme you can use all year which would save a bit of time changing bulletin boards, etc and allow you to focus on the kids and lessons. You can always change during the year if you want a change, but keep it simple this year. You're ALWAYS hit with the unexpected!

    Congratulations! I still love teaching and passed up leaving the classroom more than once! :)
     
  6. Daisyd

    Daisyd Rookie

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    Jul 27, 2007

    Welcome to 2nd grade! I always save one display area for student work and save one bboard for seasonal switching. Otherwise I like to keep it simple. I have also found it best to dive into curriculum asap. Consider the first 2 days preview days for the kids but then dive in :rolleyes: If it's all games for too long, then they resist and groan when it's time to "work."

    Remember the theme is just to keep things cohesive. It's not the real learning tool. Above all, have fun adn enjoy your kids!
     
  7. hot4teaching

    hot4teaching New Member

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    Jul 28, 2007

    Thanks for all of the advice everyone! That really helps a lot. I think I am going to focus a little less on theme for now and really start organizing and finding a place for everything, and in the meantime, soaking up those manuals/textbooks! It's hard to not get swept up in the tidal wave of making your room look "cutsy". I am going to try hard to create a classroom that is efficient and effective and a teacher that is very knowledgeable in everything she teaches (and in a limited amount of time)! :)

    Zoe: By the way, my school isn't a DDoD. It's a regular public school within the county system, but just happens to be located on base.
     

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