Classroom Preparation

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by karypal, Jun 15, 2018.

  1. karypal

    karypal Rookie

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    Jun 15, 2018

    Hi there! I am very fortunate to have accepted a position at a school district and have signed my contract to begin in early August. However, I am still waiting to hear about what grade level and school I will be placed in.
    I am eager to begin preparing items and necessities for my classroom but am hesitant to begin preparing without knowing the grade level. I could be placed anywhere from K-5.
    I have accumulated a few items from other teachers who are getting rid of things. Are there any things I can begin preparing while I wait for my grade level assignment?
     
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  3. Hokiegrad1993

    Hokiegrad1993 Comrade

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    Jun 15, 2018

    Storage containers for student work

    Supplies like pencils, markers, scissors etc...

    Books of all age levels (use them for read alouds!

    Reading nooks

    Oh and Congrats! :)
     
  4. kellzy

    kellzy Comrade

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    Jun 15, 2018

    Pencils. So many pencils. You'll start the school year with 1,000 of them and by mid September you'll be using a 1/2 pencil you found on the floor.
    Scissors, markers, crayons, colored pencils, glue, rulers, pens, etc.

    Tell the P you'll do anything for third grade, because third grade is the best of all the grades. And I'm not biased at all. I promise.
     
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  5. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Jun 18, 2018

    Honestly, just wait. Enjoy your summer. Don’t buy anything yet. Wait to find out what you need. You may just be wasting money if you start buying stuff now.
     
  6. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Jun 19, 2018

    I agree! Even with pencils, wait until you know what you will be teaching and what your school will provide. Congrats on the new position! I remember how excited I was to get into my first classroom, and I still feel that way by the end of the summer every year.
     
  7. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Jun 19, 2018

    Our kinder and first graders use different pencils than everyone else. They’re quite large. That being said, I’d wait on pencils.

    Our district doesn’t provide fadeless bulletin board paper. I’d either invest in that or fabric for my walls. Oh, and nice, bright borders.
     
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  8. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Jun 19, 2018

    I would still wait on these things. My school doesn't allow "teacher-store" stuff, like borders and bright colors and patterns.

    I ran out to buy all of that stuff as fast as I could when I changed jobs and was preparing to start at this school. I had to run back out and return all of it after I found out that my school prefers neutral or earthy colors and decorations that you would be willing to put up in your home. We go for a minimalist look. It's less distracting... and a lot less work for the teacher. Everything that goes up on my walls, other than two small paintings, the alphabet chart, high-frequency words, the fire escape route, and our school-wide character info is created during the school year by or with students. No paper or borders necessary on the one bulletin board in my room.

    Just wait. Learn about what your school wants and what they provide you. Then go buy it.
     
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  9. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Jun 19, 2018

    I would love to see how this looks! Sounds neat!
     
  10. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Jun 19, 2018

    This was my classroom two years ago (16-17). I changed it up a little bit last year, but it was fairly similar. I don't have recent photos uploaded anywhere, though, so this will have to do for now. :)

    https://goo.gl/photos/XaatYCrSgy5LX98y8
     
  11. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    Jun 19, 2018

    ,
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
  12. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Jun 20, 2018

    I agree. You may find that many of the things you need are already in your classroom. When I got my first job, I was so excited that I ran out and started buying things right away. When the Target dollar bin started putting out teacher stuff, I was there every couple of days!

    95% of what I bought was either unneeded or was something I could have gotten for free from the school. The room I inherited even had things like bulletin board borders. I just finished my 8th year and we're moving to a new building next year. We were limited on how many boxes the movers would take, so I had to take a hard look at what I actually use on a regular basis.

    I still had stuff in my room from that Target dollar bin that I literally never touched- foam clocks, homework passes, hall/bathroom passes, little award things, dry erase math facts stuff, math flashcards, etc. The only thing that's stuck with me all these years are these cute little containers that I put on my desk to hold my office supplies (and no- this doesn't mean you need to run out and buy containers for office supplies).

    Seriously, just wait on everything. When you get to the school, make sure to ask a mentor or teammate if there is a supply closet or supply budget that you'll have access too. I also recommend checking out the recent thread about new teachers and $$. Please do not fall into the new teacher trap of spending hundreds (or thousands) on making your room look like pinterest. It's unnecessary, often overwhelming, and screams "rookie" to the other teachers in the school.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2018
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  13. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Jun 20, 2018

    Ya know, I felt the same way when I found out that I had to return all of my stuff to the teacher store. And, you’re right; it can be bland. That said, after being forced to do it for two years, I can honestly say that I’d never go back. I no longer spend my own money on decor annually (maybe a plant but not much else). I don’t have to spend hours decorating before the first day of school. The kids actually use the stuff on the walls because they had a part in creating it. And it truly does make the school, as a whole and individual classrooms, more calming. The intention is that it is safe and also inspirational. It’s not the teacher’s room to decorate. It’s the students’ room as well, so we start with mostly blank walls that they help to fill.

    I have been told stories of our high schoolers who went to summer school in a district where the decor was the usual teacher store stuff (we partner with a neighboring district for summer school at the high school level because we are both small districts). Apparently the students were in disbelief at how tacky and chaotic the classrooms were. I had one of my own students ask me at the end of the year if could put up fewer anchor charts next year or take down more of them when we don’t need them anymore because he found them to be too much distraction (We loop at my school, and I was asking my students to reflect on things I should change or keep the same.). That really cemented my buy-in. I had heard all about kids finding some rooms too visually busy before, but I wasn’t sure I believed it. Now, straight from a nine year old’s mouth, I’ve been told to make it even more bland and boring.

    We do get to create our own space. We can have plants, pillows, pictures, and small decorative items. We can do it in our own way, putting out items that are meaningful to us or will be purposeful to our students. The bottom line is that the room has to look clean, organized/free from clutter, and inviting. They don’t want old junk from your house that you thought was in too poor of shape to stay at your house, and they don’t want bright, visually distracting things. Personally, I find it reasonable and even preferable, although quite different from any other school where I’ve worked.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2018
  14. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Jun 20, 2018

    I love this and I loved looking at the pictures you shared earlier in this thread.
     
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  15. ssgirl11

    ssgirl11 Companion

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    Jun 20, 2018

    I LOVE this idea, and the pictures you shared. Not going to lie, I wasn't expecting it to be so aesthetically pleasing :) It's simple, but not boring!
     
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  16. Been There

    Been There Habitué

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    Jun 21, 2018

    I once worked with a fifth grade teacher who used his construction skills to create a different theme in his classroom every year. Twenty-seven years later, I can still visualize his elaborate space exploration theme - a large poster of our solar system adorned one wall and models of space ships hung from the ceiling. The centerpiece was a huge realistically-painted structure in the form of a rocket that reached the ceiling. Students were able to climb into the cockpit that was outfitted with a massive control panel complete with switches, buttons and blinking lights. Imagine seeing the students' reaction on the first day of school!
     
  17. Lysander

    Lysander Companion

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    Jun 29, 2018

    I'm currently working on creating Every Pupil Response folders for my students. Just a folder to contain a multiple choice card, a true/false card, a laminated hundreds chart (other side is blank) - for dry-erase activities, and a double sided card (green on one side "I'm ready to share" and yellow on the other "I'm still working", and a Plickers card (look up Plickers online...a very good way to integrate technology even if your school doesn't have 1:1 devices). These are folders that you can use with almost any grade you get, and can be customized once you know exactly.
     
  18. miss-m

    miss-m Devotee

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    Jun 30, 2018

    This is about what my classroom looked like my first year. Other teachers always commented on how clean and open it looked. Mostly I just am very minimalistic myself and didn't want to spend money on decor!

    I can't imagine how overwhelming some classrooms must be for students; the pictures on pinterest of some rooms make ME anxious as an adult, what must those rooms be like for younger kids??
     
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