Empty 1st grade classroom. I need to know what to buy!

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by LucyS, Aug 17, 2007.

  1. LucyS

    LucyS Rookie

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    Aug 17, 2007

    I was all set to teach 6th grade this year, but TODAY I was told I would be teaching 1st instead.

    Needless to say, I'm in a bit of a panic. I never student-taught (or even subbed for) the lower grades and had never intended to, although I do like younger kids. It's not that I don't want to teach 1st, but I simply am not prepared!

    One of my problems is that I'm faced with an empty classroom and nothing to fill it with. Like I said, I never thought I'd be teaching the lower grades, so I never bothered to collect things that would be appropriate.

    Can you help me make a list of things to get? I don't want to panic and buy things that will be useless in the long-term, and because this is my first job and I just got out of school, money is very limited. I need the bare basics, but I'm not confident I know what those are.

    I need to get this room ready to go.
     
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  3. tchecse

    tchecse Companion

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    Aug 18, 2007

    WOW! Talk about short notice...probably the best thing to do for specifics is to skim through the curriculum and see what you have to teach...Then go to a teacher store and find some stuff that would supplement those skills. Book wise, I would get on scholastic's website and find the k-1 book order and buy books from them for a starter library. they are pretty quick about mailing stuff and not too expensive. Plus, you can earn bonus points for other things for every dollar you spend. Tell them you are a new teacher and you will get extra bonus points and a calendar for free books/extra bonus points for every month. Games that work on math skills (adding/subtracting) are good, since that makes it fun. Maybe some magnets activities for hands on stuff...If you have centers or times where kids can choose activities, get some tinkertoys or erector sets. Girls still like artsy stuff, so again if you have the time for the kids to choose activities, markers/fun art stuff is always good...
     
  4. hescollin

    hescollin Fanatic

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    Aug 18, 2007

    Ask the janitor if there is a supply room where you can get supplies at your school. If so ask who has a key and get what you can. Ask if they have big rolls of paper to cover the BBs. Sometimes in big school is a central office where you get supplies. ----paper, glue, pencils, scissors, paper clips, sticky notes, magic markers, dry markers, stapler, hole punch, pencil sharpener. Kleenix

    Then ask the person who hired you for money to buy supplies for your room because the room doesn't have anything. Ususally the answer is yes if you ask. You need books for class library for students to read. You need books for you to read to them and go along with your lessons.
    You will some markers for the white board or chalk for the chalk boards. Scissors, glue sticks and bottle glue, extra pencils, colors.

    Books of all kinds. The Super Big Book for First Grade by Mailbox isn't cheap, but it will have ideas and patterns that go with first grade. You will use it alot.

    Go to the thrift shop. You will find books, games, file cabinets, book shelves and etc Cheap Go more than once because that stuff comes and goes from week to week. The small church shops are the very best.

    Go to the public library and check out some books to get you started. Tell them you are a teacher and they will let you have extras. Be organized with them so that you don't loose them and have to buy them in the end and have nothing.

    Go to the Dollar Store and buy the super big picture coloring books for patterns for BBs Use your overhead machine to make the pictures larger. Your school probably has a machine some place in storage.
     
  5. hescollin

    hescollin Fanatic

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    Aug 18, 2007

    Stickers. Lots of stickers. Buy them cheap at the Dollar Store.
     
  6. LucyS

    LucyS Rookie

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    Aug 18, 2007

    Thanks, all.

    I am upset at the last-minute change, but trying to get over it so I don't start the new year very badly.

    They did a bait-and-switch on me. You know: "The job you interviewed for and accepted is no longer available. It's the day before the last week before school starts. All we can offer you is a 1st grade. Feel free to decline...."

    Right. Like I could find another job if I ended up jobless at that point. :mad:

    I'm looking on the bright side, which is that the kids will be very cute and I'll have a wider range of experiences when I look for a new job at the end of the year!

    Did I mention they also bait-and-switched my rehiring reassurance? The 6th grade job was practically guaranteed to re-hire. This one is ONLY for one year. :down:
     
  7. hescollin

    hescollin Fanatic

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    Aug 18, 2007

    Still another thought plan quite a bit more than you expect to cover the first few days. They will finish up projects quicker than a wink.

    I'm sure you will end up loving first grade.

    Kissing Hand book and activities are great for the first day. Google and you will find lots of ideas and activities.

    You need something on their desk as they walk in the door, while you are greeting others and wiping away the tears. Maybe a small can of play dough from the Dollar Store. You can use it later in the day to form letters with.

    You will tell them over and over how to do things. Be exact the first few days and it will save you later in the year.

    Say push your chair in and line up to go to recess. Walk, don't push in their chair. They go back and are at the end of the line.
    At the door, "Remember straight line, hands to yourself and no talking"

    If they don't follow the rules, Oops. Go back to your desk and we'll try again. Do it until they follow. Next time out the door the same thing. After the second day or so. "Go back to your desk and lay your heads on your desk" Only twenty seconds, this is a long time for first graders. Try again.

    Attention Getter. One, two, three. All eyes on me.
     
  8. hescollin

    hescollin Fanatic

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    Aug 18, 2007

    I have lots of ideas and activities, but I can't share them until you have posted over five times.
     
  9. terptoteacher

    terptoteacher Connoisseur

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    Aug 18, 2007

    For the empty classroom... get a calendar wall. I have on mine: the calendar, a weather graph, a chart with odds:1,3,5,7,9, evens:0,2,4,6,8 ; velcro money chart to count money (day 12 = 1 dime and 2 pennies) , a ones/tens/hundreds/ straw pocket chart, days of the week, months of the year, yesterday/today/tomorrow, stips of adding machine tape to count the days of school.

    First graders love the morning meeting time. I read a morning message and give any announcements, then we go onto calendar. We sing songs and count.
    In the morning message, they love to go up to the white board and find mystery words or sounds. Example: if we're studying the short a sound, I have many words in the message with the short a sound and they can come up and circle all words with that sound. (or high frequency words or spelling)

    I have a bulletin board for great work, for a community building puzzle, our check in pocket chart.

    I got some colorful clothes pins and have them suspended from the ceiling.

    Have fun!! I didn't ever think I would go below 4th grade but now I'll never go back!!! First grade is the best!!!!!
     
  10. SaraFirst

    SaraFirst Cohort

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    Aug 18, 2007

    Are there other first grade teachers who may have extra stuff they would be willing to let you borrow? We just added a new first grade teacher at our school and the rest of us have all said that we will let her borrow stuff until she is able to get a school order in. A lot of times I have found teacher idea books at the library. I just make copies of activities/worksheets I like. This saves a lot of money over buying teacher resource books.
     
  11. LucyS

    LucyS Rookie

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    Aug 18, 2007

    Almost the entire K-4 staff is new. There are a couple of teachers who are going to be entering their second year. I haven't really had a chance to meet my co-workers yet. :(

    Library is a good idea. I'm going to try to get along with library books for the first two weeks or so until I have a good idea of what I will REALLY need in the classroom.
     
  12. Carebear05

    Carebear05 Comrade

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    Aug 19, 2007

    This will be my first year teaching 1st grade too. Luckily for me there was a lot of stuff in my room. You need a lot of books. 1st grade is pretty much a HUGE reading grade. Even tho schools have libraries, it is still important for you to have your own library as well. I want my students exposed to as much literature as possible. Hit up the Goodwill for those because I know they can be expensive. As long as you have some to get you started you can always buy more as the year goes along.
    Make sure you have math manipulatives such as, unifix cubes, linking cubes, bears, etc. for them to use during math.
    If you can find some cheap somewhere, buy small dry erase boards for the whole class. These can come in handy for many things.
    Magnetic letters for phonics instruction.
    Have a goodie box for them.
    Behavior management chart.

    I'll post more when I can think. I'm scared myself about teaching 1st grade!
     
  13. MMRbella

    MMRbella Companion

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    Aug 22, 2007

    I was just offered a 1st grade position this morning! :) I'm very excited, and looking for ideas and tips. I would love it if you could please pm me with some advice. :thanks:
     

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