Hello all. This is my very first post on this forum. I am so glad to have found this place. I have spent the last week as a lurker here--looking at various threads for ideas and suggestions. I am a first year teacher in Texas. I will be teaching 5th grade self-contained in a very low SES school. The school however is BRAND new. Two older schools closed and combined into the new school. So all of the materials/books/etc. from the old schools were moved to the new school. I am an alternative certification candidate and never did any student teaching (this first year is my internship). I did sub for 6 months though. I'm very worried about things. I'm not sure what materials to keep. I'm not sure how to do my lesson plans, because I'm not sure what books to use (not sure what books the other 5th grade teachers use). And I know I have to teach the TEKS (for our state standardized tests)--but I have no idea what TAKS materials the other teachers use. There is so much "crap" in my room, that I can't tell what's what! My main concern is that I have so many boxes in my room. I have unpacked most of them and trashed the boxes, but I still have about 20 more boxes to unpack (not too bad I guess). However, in each of those boxes were SOOOO many books from the 2 older schools. I probably have at least 200 or more books for EACH SUBJECT (English, Science, Social Studies, and History). The other teachers in my grade don't seem to have the same number of books/boxes in their rooms. Also, it seems as if the boxes accumulated day after day (meaning--that boxes began appearing in my room that weren't there the first day). My mentor and other veteran teacher are awesome!! However, I haven't had the chance to sit down and talk with them. They have offered to go through the books with me to determine which books to keep and which ones not to keep, but I'm afraid that they might get too busy and not have time to help me out. Meet the teacher night is THIS THURSDAY--and I still have so much to do. I even have to set up the Science Lab which I am very nervous about, because there is WAY TOO much stuff to sort though, and I really don't know HOW to set up a lab. It's been over 2 years since I've been in a lab! Does anyone have any suggestions as to what I can keep or what I should throw away!?? I don't want to get into trouble for throwing away stuff. However, there is no way I can store all of these books in my room. I just thought I would see what everyone here would do if they were in my position. Thanks for reading!