Grade 2

Discussion in 'Elementary Education Archives' started by MissSherry, Jun 23, 2006.

  1. MissSherry

    MissSherry Rookie

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    Jun 23, 2006

    Hello all....
    Well I am having a panic attack. I just accepted a job teaching grade 2 next year. I have been out of university for 2 years a year and a half spent overseas then half a year supplying...but now the problem is i have no idea where to even begin!! I know I have all summer and that will be good but if anyone has any fabulous books or tips or even if anyone is in the same boat Id love to hear from you!
     
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  3. lcluigs03

    lcluigs03 Cohort

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    Jun 23, 2006

    i'm in the same boat. only its been 3.5 years for me. i have no idea where to begin. but i did buy a book that gave some great tips...harry wong's first days of school. it's awesome. however, i still find myself having a lot of questions. i know this will come together over the next couple of weeks, but i wanna know now! lol. i'm sure you're feeling the same way.
    here's what i need help with:
    *i don't know what to do with the kids supplies...are there notebooks supposed to be reserved for something special etc.
    *what do i need to buy?! do i need my own chair for reading time or my own carpet for that matter? (i haven't really gotten into my room yet)

    i know there are more questions, but i can't think of them now. i just want to know more than i do. you know? i'm sure you do. i just keep telling myself to take a deep breath and it will all come together.

    *sigh*
    LC
     
  4. amyt682

    amyt682 Comrade

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    Jun 23, 2006

    me three, but i just graduated but i still feel clueless...i viewed the classroom yesterday though...there was a reading rug already in the class, and a few center activities and games like bingo and a few readers...i am going to look over the state standards this weekend (which is the teks for texas) and look up the subject matters we will be covering and start hitting garage sales for books to put in the literacy center and science center, etc...i bought at dollar tree the other day snakes and ladders which is like chutes and ladders but each space is labeled w/ a number between 1 and 100, thought that would help with number recognition if i asked them to say the number they landed on since they wont be counting by 1's, 5's, etc...i am going to ask my mentor teacher about school supplies...in my student teaching school, some things like pencils, markers, etc were considered community property and the teacher kept it and handed it out as needed, but notebooks were assigned to kids and different subjects ie reading journal, spelling words notebook, homework notebook etc...i dont know if that is how i am going to handle it but that's what i saw at my student teaching school...
     
  5. amyt682

    amyt682 Comrade

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    Jun 23, 2006

    oh yeah forgot

    this is kinda gross but i forgot to mention...when i took the dogs out when i got home...there was a foot long snake skin lying next to the house...great for a science center!!! classroom materials can be anywhere
     
  6. MissSherry

    MissSherry Rookie

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    Jun 23, 2006

    I am so glad to hear im not alone...although I know it its nice to hear!! I think once we get through the curriculum and see what we are covering things like notebook assignment will all become clear its just a matter of time. You can always just keep them on hand and assign them as needed for anything you may have overlooked. As far as reading chair and carpet some teachers leave that stuff behind and if not I would search garage sales for a reading chair, one teacher in my school has a camping chair for hers. Instead of a carpet in my reading corner, I have bought the big foam squares that connect together. They come in a pack of four they are red yellow blue and green. I have bought one for each student that way they each have to make sure they are sitting on their own square not touching anyone. Its an easy way to get them to and from their seats too. You can tell group one to go find a red square, group two to find a blue square that way theres no fighting about what color square they sit on. They are reasonably priced i think a pack of four was 14$ at walmart. They sure brighten up the classroom!
    I am extremely nervous about guided reading. I think I am working myself up for nothing but I dont have much experience with it so its stressing me out right now.
    I wish the school would give us a huge budget to use to decorate my classroom with though...man im stressed about the funds to make it welcoming!!

    I sound like Im whining here, and I guess I sorta am....Im just scared to stumble I guess....I am so happy to have this job I just want to be so good at it ya know?
     
  7. MelissainGA

    MelissainGA Groupie

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    Jun 23, 2006

    ladies, congrats and don't panic. 2nd grade is the dream grade. It's the time when they are independent enough to do some things on their own after being shown "how it works" as my kids last year used to call it, yet they are still young enough that they love their teacher. I have taught K, 1, 2, 3, and 4 in my career and I absolutely love 2nd. First off familiarize yourselves with your curriculums. Also if you do a websearch for back to school organizational ideas they are very helpful (there are some terrific ideas on this particular sight). If any of you are using Houghton Mifflin Reading then if you go to http://www.smbsd.org/page.cfm?p=35 there is a wealth of information no matter what your grade level already available all you have to do is click print.

    If you need other ideas just let me know and congrats again.

    Melissa
     
  8. Susie Q

    Susie Q New Member

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    Jun 25, 2006

    New to second grade too.

    I also feel lost about teaching second grade. I interned for kindergarten for a year and I feel all of my ideas for my classroom are too cutesy. I'm so excited about my first year teaching, but also very nervous. I would greatly appreciate any ideas for second grade.
     
  9. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    I am hoping for a second grade position. I would love to teach that grade.:angel: Literacy and writing are so important at this age. You can do so much with a good book!!!!!! If I get the position I would love to share ideas. Try thinking of themes that interest you, jot down some ideas for activiites and see where it leads you.
     
  10. hescollin

    hescollin Fanatic

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    Jun 25, 2006

    Stop at every garage sale and buy books. You will need every level. Very low basic books to 3 and a few 4. Level all your books as you buy them.

    Beyond the Ridge is a great book to have in the closet for when a student, teacher, parent or etc dies. It will happen at some time. It is a simple picture book and is awesome. At our school teachers read fifteen to twenty minutes from a chapter book everyday. Charlotte's Web is my favorite, The Trumpet of the Swan, Charlies Chocolate Factory oh there are so many good ones. First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg. You will want to read this the first day of school. Petunia
     
  11. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Jun 25, 2006

    We need to write a new book called First Day Jitters for Teachers! Of course you have the jitters. This is all so exciting, you want to do your best, little kids will depend on you, there are soooooo many options, it will all rest on you. Wow. Admit them and then get on with it. The truth is that there isn't just one right way to do these things. And, you will also find what works for you only by getting in there and applying what you know. That experience and feedback will be a better education than any at a university. Everyone makes mistakes - that's why we change things up all the time. What works with one group doesn't always go over big with another group. That's what makes it so interesting.

    Buy what you want for your room that you can afford. Simple as that. Yes, find out what is in there first. I wanted my own desk chair and my own reading chair so I went out and bought them. I had to buy all my own books. Now I have so many that I gave away more than 100 to a new teacher. I love searching for books at thrift stores.

    Keep reading all the threads about room and curriculum necessities. They will give you great ideas. Enjoy the process, though. There is a place for you all your own in teaching!
     
  12. keeley73

    keeley73 Rookie

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    Jun 25, 2006

    first day tips

    You will find that in those teacher workdays right before school starts you can see what your team is doing and buy things similar to what they have. This will be my fourth year teaching. These are things I wouldn't do without:
    1. an EZ grader - the straight one, not the circular one
    2. a rocking chair - friend of my husband found it at a yard sale
    3. an overhead timer - great for transition
    4. classical music CD - students will enter room quietly
    5. raffle tickets - $4 for 500 at WalMart - students brains suddenly retain and recall info when tickets for treasure box are awarded
    6. oriental trading magazine - for holiday crafts and treasure box
    7. brainquest cards or flashcards to fill in that five minutes before lunch when you can't start an activity, but you can't let them get away from you
    8. a cute stamp and stamper pad - we have agendas and I stamp them in the morning if they wrote homework, got agenda signed, and turned in homework - they will work for that stamp!
    9. notes home with carbon copy - great documentation

    First day of school is always nervewracking - definitely read First Day Jitters as it has a surprising ending. Have an activity ready on their desk with the appropriate supplies. This will be the only time your children will be so quiet all year - enjoy it. The day will pass by so fast - everything you have planned will not fit into that day.

    Already know ahead of time where bookbags and lunches will go.

    Play lots of name games - I play Friendo - pass out a blank bingo card. On the overhead write all the students' names and some teachers' names so that each square is full, then just play like Bingo.

    I always ask supplies to be kept at the desk until I call for them. One year I called each student individually but it just took too long. Last year I just called for each item and whoever had it brought it to me. That way all paper towels were put away instantly rather than sitting on my counter until I got to them.

    I did a tour of the school which incorporates walking in line appropriately. We went through the cafeteria so I was able to show how to walk, where to walk, pick up food, and where to sit.

    Discuss how people are getting home that day.

    Do an all about me activity for the teacher that way students feel that they are getting to know you and they understand that you are a real person who has family and a life outside of school.

    I teach third grade so it should be pretty similar to what you have. Ask if the discipline plan is school wide. We do cards and it works great. I also hand out the student agenda and go over the info. in the front - uniforms, tardy, school rules, etc.

    I am going to do some berenstein bear books the first couple of weeks - tell the truth, bully, etc.

    Hope this helps!
     
  13. keeley73

    keeley73 Rookie

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    Jun 25, 2006

    Also give each child a student number based on last name. This helps when sorting papers out and when children want to help sort papers. My students are required to write their first and last name and their student number. Makes life so much easier.
    Also get a filing system to send papers home. I bought a plastic crate with hanging file folders. Just have one of the students file the papers for you or a volunteer.
     
  14. bam451

    bam451 Rookie

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    Jun 26, 2006

    Congrats Ladies!

    I just finished my 4th full year of teaching 2nd grade. I love this age group! Here are a few things I can suggest.

    1. The rocking chair is a must! I too got mine at a garage sale. I also purchased a directors chair from Pier 1. I use mine ever day.
    2. If you are looking to purchase books for your classroom library, look on ebay under scholastic book lots. I found some really great deals!
    3. For guided reading, try and get either the 4 Blocks book or a book on GR by Pat Pavelka. She really helped me figure out what I wanted to do and how to go about doing it.
    4. My students have always really loved poems. I bought a poem of the week book, and thought it really helped my students oral fluency.
    5. The mats that you bought at Walmart are a great idea. I am actually replacing my carpet this year with the same thing. They are not only good for grouping students, but they are easier to sanatize.
    6. I would also suggest getting mailboxes for the students. I found my first ones at Sam's Club. THis last year I replaced them with ones I found at Hobo's.

    I hope this helps! Please don't hesitate to email me. I know what it feels like to be in your shoes. I got hired in March of 2002, just 3 months after I graduated. The school was over crowded and they were opening up another section of 2nd grade. I was hired on Sunday evening, and I had three days to decorate and get familiar with the curriculum before the kids entered my room. When I walked in to my room (the building was brand new, nobody had ever taught in my room before) all I had was a desk, filing cabinet, students desks and a globe. Boy was I freaked! But everything turned out great, and I LOVE teaching 2nd grade.
     
  15. cb4pebbles

    cb4pebbles Companion

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    Jun 26, 2006

    The best piece of advice that I can give you is:

    1. Familiarize yourself with the school. Make sure you know where all the specialist are located. Find out if art/music come to you or if you go to them. Find out your duties. Make sure you know cafeteria and bus routines. Know how you exit during a fire drill and where to go during a tornado drill.

    2. Find out about supply money or see if there is a supply closet where you can get paper, markers, a stapler, etc.

    3. Familiarize yourself with the curriculum. Go ahead and begin planning the first few weeks. Create a curriculum guide for the year to ensure that all concepts are taught.

    4. Spend as much time as you can talking to staff. Make the secretary, janitors and cafeteria staff your friends. These are the people that will make your life easier.

    5. Spend as much time as you can in your classroom fixing things the way you want and getting rid of anything that is taking up space.

    6. Make your classroom homey. Students spend most of the day in school rather than at home.
     
  16. hescollin

    hescollin Fanatic

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    Jun 26, 2006

    List of things to have in your room have you thought of: yard stick, ruler, lots of extra pencils, lots of stickers, whistle so you don’t have to yell at recess, a must --bar stool to rest your feet, great to even lean up against or captain’s chair it has a back, but cost more, rubber bands, safety pins, sewing kit –needle and variety of color spools of thread –a dollar at dollar store in a small plastic box, 3 hole punch, single hole punch, stapler, a couple big boxes of Kleenex, paper towels, battery operated fan-style air fresheners, sticky notes, a bunch of extra pencils, (short pencils with no erasers work great (students don’t want to borrow them and for some reason don’t break their lead and remember to sharpen their pencils before class), magic markers with grey included several boxes, good gel pen for grading papers and writing notes, I like my pink, zip lock bags –large and small, masking tape, scotch tape and heavy dispenser, deodorant, brush or comb for yourself, clear finger nail polish for quick fix hose runs, nail file for broken nails, large paper clip for your use so much better than the small ones, disinfectant (clean desk tops, pencils and door knobs –keep your room as germ free as possible, big scissors to fit your hand, erasers for top of pencils boom box, tape recorder, CD something to play music and etc on. digital timer, Glue: buy one small glue bottle for each student, than when bottle gets used, refill from your big bottle, which is cheaper, buy during beginning of school sales. Little bottles work better with little hands. Glue sticks are best. But cost more. Calendar, camera, dictionary – thesaurus, extension cord and adapter. Slide-grader. A couple fresh green plants. Go to garage sales, flea markets, Good Will, Salvation Army and thrift shops and buy books for in your room. If there is a box ask how much for the whole box usually cheaper. Tell them it is for a classroom, usually give you a discount. Buy a stamp pad and stamp “Property of your name” stamp on first page and along the edge if possible and several other places. Need book shelves. Buy used book shelf size of your file cabinet, butt it up against one side of the cabinet and use other side for a magnet board center.
    File folders –one for each student, keep all notes to and from home, note late papers, lose of recess one minute or two because of behavior problems and etc. Information Sheet. Student’s full name. What student will be called in the classroom, address, phone number, father’s name, address, phone number, mother’s name, address, phone number, emergency phone number, allergies, food and etc. And any other information that I might like to know about your child. A can of play dough for each student for the first day. Students go to their desk and start working with the play dough, while you are greeting more students, makes your room busy and under control from the first moment of arrival, no running around. Stamp pad and stamp with your name on it. Mark everything that you buy. Mark books back and along the edge. Library books for your room --get at garage sales, thrift shops, Goodwill and ask parents at parent night when they clean out their children’s rooms you’d love to have their extra books. You will mark donated by: Your room will look more educational with books on the shelves
    Petunia
     
  17. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Jun 26, 2006

    what mats did you buy at Wal Mart? I am overwhelmed right now.... yikes!!!
     
  18. cb4pebbles

    cb4pebbles Companion

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    I bought cheap carpet mats (sold to go inside cars, but are just carpet squares) 2 for $1 at the Family Dollar Store for my students to use in 3rd grade so they wouldn't have to sit on the cold tile when they did individual or group work on the floor.
     
  19. MissSherry

    MissSherry Rookie

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    Jun 26, 2006

    Hi MissFrizzle,

    I just bought foam mats at Wal-Mart. They are just squares, they look like they belong in a playroom They come in packs of four red yellow blue and green. They link together to make a big square. They were kind of pricey...about 14$ for 4 but they are nice and bright and as mentioned earlier easy to sanitize. At the Wal-Mart store here, they are usually just in bins by the houseware dept. or the toy dept. I am sure if you were to go to Wal-Mart you and asked about them they would know what you are talking about.
     
  20. Mable

    Mable Enthusiast

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    Jun 27, 2006


    Is an overhead timer an actual timer that fits onto the overhead? If so, how much does it cost?

    I like the agenda idea..what do you put on it?
     
  21. Texas Gal

    Texas Gal Companion

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    I have an overhead timer. It is transparent so the children can see the time projected on the screen/wall. Mine was about 45 dollars, but it is great with timed tests! I didn't buy mine - I used money given to me for attending a workshop. I wouldn't buy it if it were my own money - I didin't use it enough!
     
  22. linderdm

    linderdm Rookie

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    Jun 27, 2006

    I appreciate everyone taking time to share their getting ready for school ideas. I am returning to teaching after 4 years with my children, so it reminds me of all I have to do. There are so many things I want for my classroom. I decided on an easel rather than a rocking chair. I may have to go with a director chair this year, and hopefully find a rocking chair by scouring garage sales. I definitely suggest the overhead timer and the numbering of students for organization.

    Good luck everyone!
     
  23. keeley73

    keeley73 Rookie

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    Jun 27, 2006

  24. bam451

    bam451 Rookie

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    Jun 28, 2006

    I found the same foam mats ( they are different color; red, yellow, blue and green, and they connect together like a puzzle) at Sam's Club for a much better price. I think someone said they found them at WalMart, 4 for $14. I found them at Sam's Club 8 for $18. THey are 33.5 sq each in size. I think they are much better then rugs because you can wipe them down with a sanatizer!
     
  25. lcluigs03

    lcluigs03 Cohort

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    Jun 28, 2006

    what section in walmart did you find the interlocking mats? i looked in toys, in sports and in carpet. couldn't find 'em.

    thanks
    LC
     
  26. teach12

    teach12 Companion

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    Jun 28, 2006

    Congrats to you! Second grade is AWESOME! Unfortunetly I am leaving second grade and going to fifth grade. :-( Anyway....I taught in a very inner city school, so my biggest obstacle was finding a discipline plan that worked! Here is what I did and the students LOVED it! I had a system that worked for individual, whole class, and team working behavior.

    I am sure you have seem the card system....I had a pocket chart with each students name on it. They each had colored cards: green, yellow, red, blue, black. Each color represented their behavior that day and the consequence if necessary. But this is the part that got the students REALLY excited....each student had a index card with their name on it. Each day that they stayed on green (excellent behavior) they got a happy face stamp from me. Once they received 5 stamps (which equals one whole week of great behavior, even though it may take some longer than a week) After their card was filled with 5 stamps they received a prize from the prize box and their card was hung on the door. They then received a new card to start over. This was great for individual behavior.

    For group behavior, the class was trying to accumulate so many stamps on the door. I chose 1000. They had to individually do the right thing in order for the class to get all the happy faces they needed. Once we hit our goal we had a party..pizza/ice-cream/etc. It was a great way for them to see their progress as individuals and together. Since each card has students names on them, you can even say a student has to contribute "so many" cards to the door in order to participate in the party.

    I have worked with very tough students, and this is the thing that just worked for me. I used in third and second grade!

    Good luck...you will LOVE 2nd grade!!
     

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