Classroom materials

Discussion in 'High School' started by NewMathTeacher, Jul 20, 2010.

  1. NewMathTeacher

    NewMathTeacher New Member

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    Jul 20, 2010

    I just recently accepted a new job as a Freshmen Algebra teacher. This will be my first year teaching so I am starting from scratch. Can anyone give me some ideas on things I will be needing for my classroom? And what supplies would you recommend asking my students to bring in? Thanks in advance.
     
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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jul 20, 2010

    Totally stream of consciousness here:

    I don't own it, but if I were just starting out, I think I would buy this:

    http://www.amazon.com/Plus-Notes-Be...=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1279628849&sr=8-5 I do have quite an assortment of math books around, and they're great for test questions and examples.

    Also, think of investing in an SAT prep book-- maybe a Barrons book. I use SAT prep as my Do Now problems every day; I've cut up one or 2 old SAT prep books and use them. The parents LOVE that I'm starting that with Frosh!

    I have a vertical file on my desk. Each class gets its own folder, with extras for my homeroom, extra copies of tests, and so on. If a kid is absent when I give back a test, it goes into the folder.

    Oh,and each class has a folder of the same color. After they finish a test, it goes into their folder to take home. When I get to school the next day, the graded tests go into the appropriate, matching colored file folder.

    It has simplified my life more than I can tell you!!

    As far as decorating goes, I buy a $3 sheet from Walmart for the background. I have a collection of borders to go over it, and a bunch of the Argo Motivational posters--everything from Ziggy to scenics. I put up a "problem of the week" on my bulletin board as well: I printed up a bunch of brain teasers, one per sheet. It goes into a plastic page protector which is stapled on to the board, with the answer on the back.

    Also, on the first day, I ask each kid in my homeroom when their birthday is. Each month I post a birthday card to the appropriate kids, from me and the others in our homeroom.

    But much of my bulletin board space is taken up by memos-- the cafeteria menu, and the billions of meeting notifications we get.

    I give stickers for test grades of 90 or better. Cheesy, but the kids love them.

    For supplies, I ask my kids to get a BIG notebook, to be used only for math. They also need a folder, and something to write with. ( I don't care whether it's pen or pencil) When we hit graphing in the spring, they'll also need a graphing notebook.

    We don't use calculators until they hit Geometry as sophomores. Check with your school and find out your policy. When we DO use them, it's the TI 30XA, and it's on sale in the bookstore. Find out what goes on in your school.

    I have a white cardigan that lives in my homeroom. It's great for days when it gets unexpectedly cold, or when I'm starting to come down sick and just need something cozy.

    I also have a box in my cabinet for personal stuff: a brush, spare stockings, tylenol (Of course, never, ever for a student!!!), some lifesavers, femine hygiene. It's been a real occasional lifesaver!!!

    I get a marble covered notebook (now, on sale for 25 cents at Target or walmart) to keep track of who is at extra help. It's always handy at parent conferences, when Johnny swears he's attended extra help. I hand him the book, and ask him to find the number of tmes his name appears while we talk.

    I have a pail on my desk (dollar spot at Target) for pens and pencils I find on the floor. (I do "prime the pump" every September with a few. The kids know they're welcome to take one if they need to.

    I keep a box of bandaids in my desk. There's no need for a kid with a paper cut to miss 15minutes of class as he strolls to the nurse.

    I also keep a sewing kit with safety pins inmy desk. Both have come in very handy!
     
  4. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Jul 20, 2010

    It's super easy to go overboard your first year because you really won't know what you need until you're in there!

    I can't add much to Alice's list, but I also keep a full change of clothes in my room. You never know.
     
  5. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jul 20, 2010

    That's always in my car, but it would most certainly NOT be professonal attire...usually sweats in the winter and shorts in the summer. I keep a set for everyone in the family.

    In a crisis, I think I would get someone to sub and take the 12minute drive home and change.
     
  6. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Jul 20, 2010

    I don't have the option to run home and come back. I think it would be silly to have to take a half day off just because tea was spilled on my shirt/slacks. I keep a pair of black slacks and a button-down top in a garment bag in my closet.
     
  7. deserttrumpet

    deserttrumpet Comrade

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    Jul 20, 2010

    I personally like clipboards to keep track of important stuff. Sometimes (okay, often) my desk gets cluttered, but a clipboard is easy to find even if you put a bunch of tests on top of it.
     
  8. BCPMWK

    BCPMWK Companion

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    Jul 20, 2010

    1. Think "KISS" (keep it simple stupid)~mantra for myself my first couple of years.
    2. Decide how you want to organize yourself, then think about how you want the students to organize themselves.
    3. Once you decide your own organization strategy move to : Do you want students to use a spiral notebook or binders? Will they need dividers for either? Will you have separate sections for your "bell ringers/openers", homework, and classwork, or do you want everything just placed in the notebook chronologically (day 1, day 2, day 3)?
    4. You will then know if you should put graph paper, notebook paper, binder/spiral (w/size), and pencils on your syllabus.
    5. As someone else stated, check with your school about the calculators. I know that our math dept has class sets of regular calculators, but I believe the older kids buy graphing ones.
    6. If you plan to grade most everything on a 100pt scale, buy yourself and easy grader.
    7. Call the school and find out if you will need to purchase your own gradebook and planbook, or if all of it will be computer based. Many teachers still prefer to use the paper product for back-up. (I personally print my computer gradebook every three weeks, so I wouldn't lose everything if the system crashes.
    8. Bulletin boards can be very simple or very complicated. Since this is your first year, I'd definitely go with simple. Maybe use one to post (FYI stuff) bell schedule, tutoring times, lunch menu, and the like. At least you wouldn't need to mess with it very often. Then maybe do one based on the unit you're teaching.
    9. Go to Dollar Tree or somewhere, buy some pencils and extra paper, and a pencil sharpener (unless you know there's one in the room. You may also want a 3-hole punch.
    ....That's really all I can think of right now.
     
  9. NewMathTeacher

    NewMathTeacher New Member

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    Jul 20, 2010

    I really appreciate all the responses! They are much appreciated. My school has given me some money to buy some things for the classroom, are there any manipulatives you all would recommend? Normally I would have this all figured out but since it is such short notice, things are hectic and I am trying to not miss a thing. I thought about a classroom set of whiteboards for sure.
     
  10. NewMathTeacher

    NewMathTeacher New Member

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    Jul 20, 2010

    Oops, didn't mean to repeat myself. :lol:
     
  11. WaterfallLady

    WaterfallLady Enthusiast

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    Jul 21, 2010

    I teach special ed. but I do have an algebra 1 class. I recommend you look at enasco.com and ETA Cuisinaire (here is a link directly to the algebra page: http://www.etacuisenaire.com/catalog/department?deptId=ALGEBRA&d0=MATH&d1=ALGEBRA)

    I love using whiteboards in my class, especially for practice problems.

    You also might consider getting a supplemental book of algebra problems or an Edhelper HS subscription so you will have extra practice. Most of the time, in my experience, the book doesn't have enough.
     
  12. TechnoMage

    TechnoMage Companion

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    Jul 21, 2010

    Smart Board

    Smart Board, Gotta have one........ or two.....
    Not overboard, just NICE and would NOT want to be without one.
    TechnoMage
     
  13. HArak24270

    HArak24270 Rookie

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    Jul 30, 2010

    Hi!

    I'm a newbie teaching freshman next year, too. I'll share a couple of tips I've picked up while supply shopping over the summer.

    Office Depot has a star teacher program that includes decent discounts on supplies and copies. They also have Teacher Appreciation Day (usually in August), where they give out breakfast, deep discounts, and goody bags. Can wait for the August date!

    Someone posted that they were using the color-coded filing system for each class. I'm doing the same thing, using plastic crates and hanging files. Hanging files are expensive.:mad:

    In the next week or so, I'll be investing in either a DLP or LCD projector. Unbelievably, my school does not provide this for classrooms. I consider this an essential teaching tool.

    I did some searches on the Internet for teacher freebies. Didn't come up with much. If anyone knows of a good site, I'd like to hear about it!
     
  14. lifeguard_911

    lifeguard_911 New Member

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    Sep 2, 2010

    As a math teacher, you should definitely join the NCTM group. National Council of Math Teachers. Great resource for lessons, professional development, articles and the like. Also has when national conferences are held twice a year or so. You can also receive journals from them as well. I have found them to be a pretty good resource. (They also have all the National Standards and such on their site too, so it's all easy to find.) I would also recommend getting a few books, anything by Ruby Payne is good, also Never Work Harder Than Your Students.

    As for a plan book, it depends on how your class periods are set up. I have a block schedule (4x4 blocks) so there are 4 blocks during the day and I teach during three of them. I made my planner pages on an excel spreadsheet because I couldn't find anything that fit my needs. But your school may have something that most people use, or you should get friendly with another math teacher there and ask them what they use. Teachers are wonderful in the respect that they are always willing to help out other teachers. Ask where you can get discounts. Staples has a similar program to that previously mentioned at Office Depot. It depends on what you have in your area. This summer they had different 1 cent sales. Spiral bound notebooks, filler paper, pencils, glue, and as a teacher (with a special discount card you sign up for) will let you have more than the usual limit. (the limit is 20 this year). Plus they also have a Teacher Appreciation Day.

    Dollar Store will become your best friend. Look for great discounts on markers, calendars, white out tape, fun pencils, etc.

    The key I have found is to be organized. If you knwo where everything is kept and can find it at a moment's notice, you will make your life soooooo much easier.

    Hope all of this helps. I am only teaching my second semester as a teacher, pre-algebra and algebra 2. So if you have anything you would like to ask, feel free to email me: seebaj1@gmail.com
     

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