First year = First grade

Discussion in 'Elementary Education Archives' started by Miss H., Jun 5, 2005.

  1. Miss H.

    Miss H. New Member

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    Jun 5, 2005

    Hi. My name is Kelly and I am new to this site. I have watched but just recently signed up. I just got my first teaching job in first grade. I did my pre-student teaching in 1st, but that was 2 years ago, almost 3. Can anyone give me ANY tips regarding the first few weeks? Things to remember things to buy that really would help. I have been garage sales and found lots of good stuff, but I am wondering for those *important* tips, suggestions etc. THank you, in advance!

    Kelly :p
     
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  3. Noel

    Noel Companion

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    Jun 5, 2005

    A silly thing

    I just finished my 1st year of 1st grade and this is really going to be a silly thing that I would suggest that you get but I can tell you that it has saved me over and over again. I have tons of other ideas but this one came to mind 1st, so here goes, smiley face stickers.....this will become your brave boy/girl stickers....it seems as though 1st graders are prone to getting very minor boo-boo's and at the rate of a few a day....so this is what I did, I had a role of smiley face stickers...whenever they got a little boo-boo (one which I classified could be "healed" with a band-aid and a hug, and did not require the nurses attention, I gave them a brave child sticker, the condition was that that was to be the end of the talk and attention to their boo-boo, for the day. If they stuck to their end of the deal, I usually gave them a extra stamp on their reward chart, or a piece of candy, if not the sticker came off. This worked like a charm for me, and I didn't have too much drama surrounding this minor boo-boo's. I did not use these stickers for anything else. Just bravery.
     
  4. TiffanyL

    TiffanyL Cohort

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    Jun 5, 2005

    Hi Miss H.,

    I teach 1st grade and have for the past three years. I would say that the beginning of the year is modeling, modeling, and modeling some more. Model everything for them. If you want to teach them a procedure, such as pushing in your chair and lining up, model it for them. Show them how you want them to do it and then ask for a volunteer to try their hand at it. The more they are clear on what you want, the smoother the day will go. Also, model activities too. If you are completing a "fill in the blank poem" or something along that line, model it first. Enlarge it onto bigger paper, or use sentence strips, and demonstrate what you want them to do. Sometimes, I model it for two days (fairly quickly) and then they try it on their own. I found early on that first grade is full of confusion. The less confused you can get the kids to be, the sooner you will be on your way to smooth routines and procedures. Confusion leads to chaos so make sure you take your time and clearly show them everything you want them to do. Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions.
     
  5. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Jun 6, 2005

    I agree with the MODEL!!! I taught my 1st year in 1st grade, but most of the kids knew me because I was a sub the year before for them in class and their special classes (which was a whole other topic of discussion in our class). The first few days we would have circle time I said to them that I know they know a lot of rules because they were in K last year and I asked them to help me make the class rules. They really liked this and it was a GREAT way to break the ice. If we saw someone break the rules, then we would talk about it.

    Also, remember the first few weeks are review!!! Some will go quickly & some a little slower. This is also a great way to see who are your "stronger" students & those that may need that extra help. This also helped me when I rearranged their seats. I arranged them many times ( I had a VERY chatty class...just their personalities), I would try to put a "strong" student with a "weaker" (I don't like how that is coming out, but you know what I mean).

    Also, in the morning while waiting for stragglers taking attendance or whatever I had them coloring fun pictures the first couple of days and then review letter dot to dots or something of this nature.

    Good Luck and if you need any help with something let me know.... I spent a lot of time looking at stuff to help the kids!!!
     
  6. ABall

    ABall Fanatic

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    Jun 6, 2005

    You can get good ideas from other the teacher A to Z tip section, or check out what other teachers have done on their websites. some of the ones I have found useful are:
    http://sherryskindergarten.homestead.com
    http://bcmnc.blount.k12.al.us/link.htm
    http://mwcs.neric.org.elementary/firstgra.htm
    http://mrsmcgowan.com/
    http://www.dowslane.org/fgrade.html
    http://www.gouchercenter.edu/blaur/firstgrade.htm

    some of these can give you a prespective how to set up your room, things they do in the school year plus have links to web sites the kids might like to use, like pbskids.org, funbrain.com, learning planet.com, etc...
    there is also a lot of advice posted in the discussion part of Ato Z teacher stuff, read some old threads on the topics your intersted in in. I have learned so much from others sharing advice.
     
  7. TeachGrd1

    TeachGrd1 Rookie

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    Jun 6, 2005

    I'm so glad you posted this topic. I too just recieved my first teaching position with the first grade. Have you given any thought to your room arrangements? Are you going to do groups, or no groups?
     
  8. Miss H.

    Miss H. New Member

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    Jun 9, 2005

    Teachgrd1- I have not given that stuff too much thought yet, I just recently saw my room. I have been buying everything I can st garage sales. You can find a lot. I got a rocker for 18 dollars! I am working on ordering things with my budget.

    Have you thought about those things at all? I'm not too sure yet.

    Thank you everyone for all the tips too.

    Any ideas of thing that are a MUST to order?

    Thank you, again, everyone.

    Kelly
     
  9. Danny'sNanny

    Danny'sNanny Connoisseur

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    Jun 9, 2005

    Garage sales are my favorite place to buy supplies. A few weeks ago I bought 150 brand new easy-reading books from a teacher who was moving. They made great end of the year presents for my students, and they were from a curriculum sampler so each child got a book that was at his/her level.
     
  10. hescollin

    hescollin Fanatic

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    Jun 9, 2005

    BOOKS, Books and more books. All reading levels. Plan twice as many activities as you think you will need in a day. Organize ideas, worksheets, in file folders. By holidays, phonics, books, themes, and behind the main folder put folders for art, math, and etc that go with the main folder. Keep all the phonic folders one color, all the book folders and activities one color. Easy to use and know where to put it back quick. Copy things off the web as you see them and put in your folder. You won't have time or energy to sort thru a pile of ideas or hunt a web site for that idea you remember. You need the ideas at your finger tips.
     
  11. TeachGrd1

    TeachGrd1 Rookie

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    I have visited my room, and fortunately it has a ton of items in it. Garage Sales are a great source! I have found so many good games, math manipulatives and even a new microwave at yard sales. If you have a dollar tree where you are located, it always has teaching supplies. Tonight I got cute borders and award certificates. Some of the items I have heard to be necessary are: books (of course), calander, alphabet border, number line, reading rug, pillows or bean bags for the library area, and pocket charts.
     
  12. hanvan

    hanvan Connoisseur

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    Jul 2, 2005

    I teach first grade and one thing that has saved me this year (may sound dumb) but a basket for parent notes. I had a ton of dismisal changes, notes about anything this year. So instead of having the kids bring me the notes in the moring they placed them in a basket and I read them during their DEAR time. I also used this first thing in the morning to get us going. They can't all read at the beginning of the year so some just look for words they know, and pictures. I got the books for our beginning of the year DEAR time from our literacy library and i made sure to get easy levels for all the kids. I use tables in my room-I hate desk. I found the room stays cleaner with tables b.c they don't have a chance to store gross things in their desk. As far as the supplies, I used a big basket from walmart and they kept their supplies in their. I use community supplies too, so we always keep up with scissors. I found they lost those a lot the previous year but last year not one was lost. Hope some of this helps...it will be fun
     
  13. kingsworker

    kingsworker Companion

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    Jul 2, 2005

    Okay, I teach higher grades, but going into my second year teaching I can share some things you'll experience as a first year teacher. You'll feel excited (duh), overwhealmed, frustrated, and eventually insane...but, that's normal. Seriously, read The First Days of School by Dr. Harry Wong. People suggested it to me last year and I thought, "I'm not reading some silly 'self-help' book."
    Well, I finally read this summer and let me tell you....It's GREAT!!! Don't just read it and toss it either. You'll learn a LOT your first year and this book will help you use what you learn. It's one of those books that you borrow from a friend, but then go buy your own copy because you don't want to give their's back. You know you'll use it forever!!!

    I definately agree with whoever said to plan twice as many activities as you think you'll need. I ran out of things to do too many times last year...I've learned my lesson!!! :D

    Good luck!!!!! :love:
     
  14. Sheree

    Sheree Companion

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    Jul 5, 2005

    This is going on my fourth year teaching the first grade. I think the thing that has helped me alot is managing my time correctly. Setting up my classroom for the next day in the afternoon and timing my lessons. Time is the only thing that you can't get back. I type a lot of my notes that I write a lot and I just leave empty spaces and than fill it in when needed for instance no recess slips, lost reading book and missing work. That has saved me sooooo much time. :)
     
  15. Sarah Leigh Ann

    Sarah Leigh Ann Companion

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    Jul 7, 2005

    This is my third year teaching first grade. I would agree with the person stating to go to the Dollar Tree. You need baskets to organize your library, books, supplies, puzzles, etc. I love tables too. I have a cube in the middle with all the supplies the students will need to work at the tables. I would encourage you to set up your centers with the activity and extra materials if they finish early. Get whiteboards from Lowes or use Solo plates (they work just like whiteboards). You will need erasers for the whiteboards- you can use socks and used dryer sheets. In your classroom make sure you have manipulatives to use- if not you will need to order these with your budget. Lakeshore has buckets of manipulatives for 19.95-24.95. You will need overhead manipulatives for your instruction and as a center (if you let your students use this as a center).
    I would go into the other first grade classrooms and look how they are set up. The team I work with helped me set up my classroom from top to bottom. The principal also came in and made some suggestions for easier movement.
    I would go to Target and look at the summer clearance items- they have beach chairs that make adorable center chairs- reading center or drama center. Big Lots has summer benches that are the cutest.

    Freds and Big Lots have area rugs which you can use as centers for 10.00-15.00.

    If you need any more ideas please email me. I can send you pictures of some of our classrooms arrangements if you would like, just let me know.

    Have a wonderful first year!
     
  16. dee

    dee Companion

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    Jul 8, 2005

    Modeling is very important. I use the overhead on a daily basis. My principal provides transparency for us. They are babies and it helps them to follow along.
     
  17. Gopher4

    Gopher4 Comrade

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    Jul 10, 2005

    First Grade Tips

    I taught 1st Grade for 9 years. I am now a 4th Grade Reading teacher. 1st grade is very busy and tiring, but it is the most rewarding because these kids have so many "firsts" and strong beginnings during this year. I would agree with what everyone is saying about modeling. Don't take it for granted that they are quick learners. Introduce, practice, act-out, review everything concerning rules and procedures. I remember that at the beginning of the year when we practiced lining up or turning our papers in - we would have to sit down and try it again until they got it right. You have to be consistent and firm with those beginnning rules and procedures or you will pay for it down the line when it is February and your kids still don't act the way you would like. I used Guided Reading and spent 6-7 weeks training my kids on centers, procedures, how to use materials and what to do if they had a question when I was with a reading group. The time paid off. My kids were ready to work independently so that I could meet with my groups without interruption.

    Here is a supply tip that saved me alot of frustration and mess. Instead of the kids using supply boxes that they kept in their desks, I bought the long, narrow utensil plastic baskets and taped them to the top right-hand corner of their desks. They kept their glue, crayon box, scissors and pencil in there and I didn't have to hear the shuffling in the desks for the supply boxes and noone was dumping the contents on the floor. Their supplies were right there for easy access and they knew that if they messed with anyone else's basket, they would loose their's and have to keep their stuff in a plastic bag.

    Start simple. I know it's overwhelming, but you can always add new ideas later. Just get your rules, procedures and expectations worked out and that will give you some foundation to be consistent. Good luck.
     
  18. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    Jul 10, 2005

    Well, I teach K, not first, but I think this idea would be helpful to you, too. I purchase the plastic folders with the paper holder tabs in the middle. I get enough for all of the kids and in one color.........I use red because it is easy to spot! It is called our red take home folders. THey go home every night, and the parents know to look for that folder and to return it daily. I send a note home at our open house explaining how important the red communication folder is and how it works. On one side, I label HOME, on the other side I label SCHOOL. When I send papers home that need to come back to school, they are placed on the school side of the folder...........parents know it is something that needs to be returned. If it is a paper that can stay home, it will go on the home side. This is so handy for field trip permission slips, money, important notes that need to get signed, etc. It saves you a lot of headache sorting through papers , and I know the parents appreciate it too! I also put in ruled paper in the center (about 20 sheets or so per folder), that is used as my message board for parents. I write notes or reminders on it, and parents in turn can relay messages to me (for example..........leaving early for dentist appt.,) ,etc. I think you will find this folder system extremely helpful to both you and the parents. Keeps things more organized! Good luck!
     
  19. MsWilks13

    MsWilks13 Rookie

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    Jul 11, 2005

    you guys are great!

    I just stumbled upon this page a few days ago.....
    I am ALSO going to be a 1st year, 1st grade classroom teacher. Last year, I was a Special ed. assistant and it was great experience for observing different classroom teaching styles, but now I won't be in the background. I was starting to get the jitters, but this will be great to read! The library has been my best friend over the summer, and I have been reading a book called "Setting Limits in the Classroom" and its been very helpful in provinding tips for classroom management.

    :thanks: to everyone for the advice. Now I don't feel like the Lone Ranger.
     
  20. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Jul 11, 2005

    Welcome to AtoZ, MsWilks13! Hope you find lots of useful advice and friends, too. Check out the lesson plans, printables, themes, tips and other sections. You can search by grade or by subject. Enjoy!
     

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