Buying stuff for classroom

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Haley Kraemer, Jul 7, 2016.

  1. Haley Kraemer

    Haley Kraemer Rookie

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    Jul 7, 2016

    I am currently an unemployed teacher. I anticipate working my first full-time teaching position in the fall. I am wondering what I can do to prepare, and do I start buying a bunch of stuff for the classroom? Keep in mind that I am someone who really feels better/less anxious when I am prepared. If I don't start buying things, what kinds of things can I get or do to be prepared if I don't know what I am teaching?
     
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  3. talknteach

    talknteach Rookie

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    Do you have classroom library books? Do you have storage for them- book bins, tubs, etc?

    Do you have any idea if you will be primary or intermediate? An ABC chart that runs along the top or bottom of the classroom is great, but if you will be teaching cursive you need that rather than print. Grades 2-3 would need both.

    Classroom rug
    Teacher chair for gathering time- a rocking chair in case upholstered is not allowed! It can also double as a sharing chair.

    Popsicle sticks for choosing names for things- jobs, sharing, lining up, etc.

    Good luck!
     
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  4. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Read the state standards for the levels you are applying to and get to know them well. Not only will that help you in your first position, it would help you get your first job.

    Besides building up your classroom library, right now you should focus on your job search. Do you have any interviews coming up? Have you been on any?

    Read the interview threads on this forum. If you don't have any interviews coming up, send your cover letter and resume to every principal within your commuting range.
     
  5. Haley Kraemer

    Haley Kraemer Rookie

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    I have had one interview, but the position has not been officially opened up to hire. The director of human resources has to give the okay to hire. I know that the school I interviewed at has a new principal and is currently in the process of filling the assistant principal job. I have not heard back from them yes or no on the position. I sent out emails with a follow up message and my resume after the job fair. The job fair went really well. There were 2-3 principals that said I was recommended to them by a colleague. I did not hear anything back from the follow up emails, which were essentially a cover letter in email form. I looked up all of the etiquette for these things. I sent it to everyone I visited at the job fair. I visited all of the elementary schools.
     
  6. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    I recommend not buying a lot of stuff until you know what you're going to teach. I student taught in kindergarten, and amassed a lot of kindergarten/primary stuff before I took my first job. When I took my first job, it was teaching intermediate grades, and I had to go out and buy a lot of chapter books. Much of what I had gathered collected dust.

    I will say, there are a few things that are always good to have. Look for back to school sales for pencils, glue, highlighters, crayons, etc.

    TeacherinTexas is right, the best thing you can do is focus on your job search! If you want to be prepared, you can also get a good classroom management book to read this summer.
     
  7. Haley Kraemer

    Haley Kraemer Rookie

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    Right! I feel a lot better. I really needed assurance that I was doing what I could to be my best come the beginning of the school year. I left my last long term substitute position in great standing. I had a light bulb go off. I figured out classroom management, and I left at the end of the day much less tired. I am still feel a total sense of relief following that experience. It was at a rough school too, so that made me feel even better. Trust me, I have been reading everything I can as far as professional development goes, and I even have been watching Jan Bengel's webinars for free online. I follow her blog at Out of This World Literacy. Her resources on TPT put me at ease too as well as her step by step walk through. It was all I needed to hear. Thank you!
     
  8. Haley Kraemer

    Haley Kraemer Rookie

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    I realize I didn't hit reply on your post, but on the thread in general. Here is my response.

    I have had one interview, but the position has not been officially opened up to hire. The director of human resources has to give the okay to hire. I know that the school I interviewed at has a new principal and is currently in the process of filling the assistant principal job. I have not heard back from them yes or no on the position. I sent out emails with a follow up message and my resume after the job fair. The job fair went really well. There were 2-3 principals that said I was recommended to them by a colleague. I did not hear anything back from the follow up emails, which were essentially a cover letter in email form. I looked up all of the etiquette for these things. I sent it to everyone I visited at the job fair. I visited all of the elementary schools.
     
  9. Haley Kraemer

    Haley Kraemer Rookie

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    I am primary. I am certified to teach grades 1-5. I have more books in the upper elementary reading levels than in the lower elementary reading levels (1-2) I have bough a few bargain books at Books-A-Million, a local thrift book shop, and garage sales. I got a whole set of Dr. Seuss books, plus a few leveled (easy) readers for younger students. I do not know what to get for a classroom rug. If I have 1st-2nd grade, a large area rug is a MUST for me. The last long term substitute position I completed was in a first grade classroom. That teacher had one of those ABC area rugs with designated spots for sitting. I asked that teacher if she was getting rid of that rug, but she said she left it at the school because she bought it with school money. :( Also, I don't know where to start for a good teacher chair. I think I may want to get a rolling utility stool for small group tables I saw a teacher recommended that in her blog. I have subbed for a couple years while completing my Alternative Certification degree, so I have seen what all is out there. I have been in TONS of classrooms in ALL different schools from Title I schools to a popular neighborhood school with ample parent involvement. I have popcicle sticks. I have been a long term sub three times, and I have student taught once. So I have all of the essential survival level stuff like classroom roster forms, popcicle sticks, stamps, stickers... I do want a small rug and comfy seating for my reading area. I'm thinking that can be super inexpensive and can be bought new for cheap. I figure I could get a small, round rug and some bean bag chairs. I saw some kid bean bag chairs at target, and the price was not unreasonable. I don't remember what it was. I think it was under $100 though. I have a lot of frog classroom themed decorations and things, so I figure I could get a blue rug for my frog "pond". The thing is each school is different on the expectations. The last school I left is having a college theme for their school. Each teacher has to decorate their room with a College and also decorate their doors. I am not a matchy-matchy person, but I want it to be an inviting place. I don't want to look completely mix-matched.
     
  10. Kellie McGrath

    Kellie McGrath Companion

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    I am unemployed as of right now too. I do buy some things that I can use at anytime if they are on sale. Like book bins etc. I have also bought books for a variety of ages and store them. I am certified pk-6 so I don't know where I will end up and don't want to have to start a library from scratch. I actually have found some really good deals on lots of books on eBay. I got a bunch recently that averaged out to about $0.40 per book and most in pretty good shape.
     
  11. Haley Kraemer

    Haley Kraemer Rookie

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    I just ordered some book boxes for if I use them for reading workshop. What are some good bins to get for organizing your library? I know I need to wait until I know what grade I am teaching to know how to categorize my books. I don't even know what my categories would be. I want to keep it fairly simple, and I would love to have author specific bins like Junie B. Jones or other popular ones. I know a lot of kids like devouring a whole series. I have some of them labeled with AR Reading levels/points already, but I also have read a lot in favor of not labeling books, so maybe I might not worry about labeling the rest even though it is pretty easy with the iPad scanner and book leveler. I have never had big issues with printing/editing the lables.
     
  12. Kellie McGrath

    Kellie McGrath Companion

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    I have some of the rainbow book bins from lakeshore that I have a lot of picture books in. Then I have rectangular bins I got from really good stuff for chapter books. I have them sorted into genres/authors. When I get a classroom I will probably pull a variety to make a leveled section to use in small group but to store I like it by theme and author. I number the bins and keep a spreadsheet in excel that I add to when I get new books. Mostly so I know what I have and where it might be if I want it.
     
  13. Haley Kraemer

    Haley Kraemer Rookie

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    Nice! There is a gigantic book sale near where I live that a local college hosts every year. It is in September. I hope to attend and get a great selection there as well. I have a bunch of books. I would say I have more books for upper elementary than for 1st-2nd graders. I have been procuring some here and there. I bought some at many different places including thrift shops and garage sales. I hit a jack pot on Dr. Seuss at one garage sale. I will have to check EBAY but this book sale I mentioned has most books costing less than $1 as well. It is the best.
     
  14. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Leveling books is another thing you might want to wait on. I leveled my books all by grade level, and my school very strictly used Lexile. Either way, it's definitely a good idea to make sure your name is in every book.
     
  15. Haley Kraemer

    Haley Kraemer Rookie

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    Good! I have a "This book belongs to" stamp for my books. I labeled mine by AR, but a lot of them are not labeled. I could always add a circle sticker for guided reading levels, but that sounds pretty confusing if there were two levels. Oh well, I feel like the books might rip if I try to remove the labels. I covered the printer labels with clear packing tape.
     
  16. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Put aside money for a rug and a chair, but don't buy them until you see your classroom. Those things are often already provided.
     
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  17. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Yes! Great advice!
     
  18. talknteach

    talknteach Rookie

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    Yes on waiting to label your books until you know what your school uses (AR, lexile, etc.)
    As far as rugs and chairs go, I have always purchased whatever is cute and a good deal. My current rocking chair is from Cracker Barrel! I have bought rugs at WalMart and HomeGoods to match my decor. Those special ABC rugs are pricy.
     
  19. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I would be hesitant to purchase furniture or a rug; here, all furnishings in the classrooms must meet fire and health and safety guidelines. I know several teachers who have had to take items they purchased home because they didn't meet the criteria.
     
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  20. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Did you end up buying a rug for your new classroom? I'm curious because I'm looking for one now and want a bargain. :)
     
  21. Haley Kraemer

    Haley Kraemer Rookie

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    No, I did not end up buying a rug because the school I got hired at already had a rug that the previous teacher left. I got lucky. I was going to end up buying a classroom rug for $75 that somebody near me was selling on a Teachers Buy, Sell, Trade site. These are great, and it is less sketchy than buying from your city's buy, sell, trade site. Usually teachers will meet you at their school to buy or pick up whatever they are selling. So it is a public place.
     
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  22. LisaLisa

    LisaLisa Companion

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    It's sometimes best not to spend any money until you have seen your classroom. Unfortunately all the school supplies are at rock bottom prices before school starts so if you do make purchases, make sure they are items you will use year after year or will always need.
    I've worked at different schools and they have all offered different levels of supplies - I teach Special Ed so I'm used to scrounging around the supply room.
    You can put notes in the staff room or say something at the first staff meeting.
    Go to garage sales and look for the Free Bins. Look for virtual yard sales online and also try Craigslist - sometimes on these sites/pages you'll find freebies or giveaways.
    Finally, try DonorsChoose or similar sites.
     

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