length of time to get classroom ready

Discussion in 'Elementary Education Archives' started by RLBteacher, Jul 13, 2005.

  1. RLBteacher

    RLBteacher Rookie

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    Jul 13, 2005

    Yesterday I walked into my 2nd grade classroom to get my furniture all set up. After all the desks were in, I must have had a small panic attack! Since it's my own first classroom, I'm starting from scratch. Does your school district provide a decent amount of books for your classroom library? Or are all the books in your library from your own personal collection? I have to ask the secretary once I go back tomorrow. I made a list of everything I have to get done, and it makes me want to throw up-- so much to do and even though I have until September, it doesn't feel like enough time. How long does it usually take to set up your classroom? How much of your own money do you end up spending for supplies? I have a feeling I'll be spending a good amount since it's my first year.

    Also, how many centers do you guys usually have? I will def. need to set some up because I spend an hour doing guided reading each day. So far I'm thinking listening center, math/science center, library center, games/puzzles, and writing. Any other good suggestions?
    Thanks!
     
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  3. Andrea L

    Andrea L Habitué

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    My first year of teaching, I was hired seven days before school started. You will be fine. Just relax. Remember you don't want to worry about covering all of the walls because you can put up your students work to show it off and they LOVE it! I did end up buying ALL of my books for my classroom library and it has taken me three years to build up what I have. I order from scholastic. Remember that when your students order, you get points that will help contribute to free books. This year I had a student spend $200 on a book order and I was given 4000 free bonus points which equalled alot of books. I'm not going to lie about how much money I spent the first year and continue to spend each year. It is a lot. I'd guess around $500-$1000 over the course of a year. I could of lived without things, but I knew that I would need things. Start off small and only buy a couple of things you might need each month. Also check out your school and see if they have a book closet where you could borrow books for your students to read. At the beginning of the school year when teachers are cleaning out their rooms, they often put things that they don't want in the staff lounge or another collecting place. See what's there. You may find things that you could use. Also look for garage sales. Many times teachers sell things when they are retiring.

    You could also have an art center occasionally to mix things up. What about having a center where they can work on their spelling? They could use whiteboards (if you don't have any, go to Lowe's or Home Depot and buy a board of the stuff that goes in the shower. They will cut it for you. I think I only paid $13 for mine) and quiz eachother. I've also created a bunch of spelling games to use during this time that matches my curriculum.

    I hope this helps. Don't stress about it. I love decorating my classroom and look forward to it every year. Oh, and if it helps, I had to move classrooms this summer, they are painting my new classroom, and I won't be able to go into my room until the first or second week of August. You have plenty of time ;).
     
  4. ABall

    ABall Fanatic

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    There has been a lot of threads here on centers, with some good ideas, also on money saving tips, like going to the dollar stores, getting discount cards for places like Office Depo and Staples, using garage sales and places like Good Will to get books for your class library. Use E-bay for some deals or hard to find items. I like looking at Oriental trading.com for cheap prizes, stickers and rewards. You will get every thing done and ready for first day of class, don't panic. Maybe you could tour other classes in your building to get some ideas on set up.
     
  5. Andrea L

    Andrea L Habitué

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    I have more...

    Quick and easy spelling games could be concentration where they match words that are written on note cards. Spelling battleship which I found off the internet. Here are some links to help you with that. Then laminate the boards for reuse. I have my students write on them using the wet erase markers (vis-a-vis).

    http://coreacademy.usu.edu/04_Materials/04_Downloads/2004/2ndGrade/Spellingbattleship.doc

    http://www.lessonplanspage.com/LASpellBattleship3JH.htm

    tons of spelling ideas:

    http://www.teach-nology.com/teachers/lesson_plans/language_arts/spell/
     
  6. AMK

    AMK Aficionado

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    RLBteacher, Don't worry you will get everything finished by September. I am starting in a new school in September and I can't get into my classroom till August. I am asking friends to come in and help me set up maybe you can do the same too. I am planner and I have all these ideas in my head and it is driving me crazy that I can't get into my classroom and move all my things in.
    I spent a ton of money my 1st year because there was nothing for me. This summer I bought somethings from Ebay which are used but great to have. I bought book bigs, books on tape, flannel board sets and other things. I try and add to my collection of stuff every year!
    Most of the books are my own but there are some already there from their reading series that we use. I allow the students to only look/read the books I put out for them to use in the display case. I change them every 1-2 weeks. Check out yard sales, and usually the library will have sales in the summer too. I checked out books from the school library to read to the class and leave in the classroom library for a few days. I also borrowed books from the other teachers.
    I teach kindergarten so my centers may be different. I do 5 centers usually with 3 students in each group. I will have a larger class in September so I will put 4-5 students in each group. Each week I change my centers and I chose from the following: listening, math, reading, phonics, writing, free choice(house, blocks), science, art, games/puzzles and sensory. I usually run one center such as math, writing or reading.

    I hope this helps.
     
  7. Dee452

    Dee452 Comrade

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    My first year teaching I also spent $1000 dollars because I didn't have anything. Check with your team and if they have books that you like copy theirs and save money.(Three ring binders and page protectorswork great for this.) That is how I have gotten some of my best journal tips and math for the overhead.

    Scholastic book clubs are a great source of classroom books. Get your students involved and the points rack up.

    Don' worry if your classroom isn't 100% ready. Get the basics and the rest will fall into place. Second graders love to help.
     
  8. Andrea L

    Andrea L Habitué

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    I have to be honest...It's been a while since I've worked with second graders, but what about having computers as one of the centers where they could play a math game, or type ???
     
  9. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    We usually get 2-3 days to set up our rooms. The rumor is that the new building for this fall hasn't even been started yet!! (We're adding a building)I'm going to school tomorrow to check it out. It always comes together. You have plenty of time. Relax!!
     
  10. AMK

    AMK Aficionado

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    Oh yeah I forgot about computers for a center. I use it as a center every week with the kids!
     
  11. hescollin

    hescollin Fanatic

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    Estimating clear plastic container is fun.. Each week something different is in it. After a few weeks, students take turns taking the container home and filling it. Whatever is in the jar, the student taking it home gets to keep and replaces items with something different and writes on the inside of the lid how many is in the jar. Students put their name and estimate how many items are in the container and put their guess in a box with a slot in the lid. Marshmellows, wrapped candy, cookies, cereal, nails, peanuts, rocks, seashells, popped popcorn, buttons, marbles, pennies, lollipops, and etc. Student nearest the correct number takes the jar home over the week-end to fill. If they have been the winner before they pick someone to take the guessing jar home. *****read with a buddy and take turns....******listen to a book on tape
     
  12. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    I started a thread called using the overhead as a center. It is under the kindergarten forum.
     
  13. FLteacher22

    FLteacher22 Rookie

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    I'm just so jealous that you are able to get into your classroom. At my school they are completely redoing the 4th grade wing and it looked horrible when I went there on Thursday. All my principal could tell me was that it is supposed to be done by August 10, which happens to be the first day of pre-planning. Registration is that Friday, the 12th, so I am sure I am gonna be at the school like all day trying to get it to look decent. I'm really stressing out about getting it to look nice for the parents and students. Its also really hard for me to determine what I need to get for my classroom because I don't know what's going to be in there when I get it, how large it is going to be, how many boards I am going to have, etc. Hopefully, though you will have plenty of time to get your classroom set up the way you feel comfortable with since you have until September :) !
     
  14. RLBteacher

    RLBteacher Rookie

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    Thanks for all the great suggestions. I will def use art as another center. Making a computer center is kinda iffy right now because our school does not have a lot of money for computer stuff. I have two computers in my room but who knows if they will even work (i have to wait for the tech person to come in to hook them up). Last year in Kindergarten (i was in the same school) the kids were only really able to use the computer a few months out of the year, because the computer was on the fritz the rest of the time. I just went to the teacher store and bought some supplies, but I want to find out what I will be getting from the school-- if i get anything! I'm dragging one of my friends in to help me and luckily she's very artistic. She's going to help draw stuff for my boards.

    I'll def be looking in the papers for yard sales. They usually have books that I can buy cheap. I know I'll feel a lot better once I get the ball rolling, but I guess this feeling is normal for a newbie. :rolleyes:
     
  15. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I got a couple of good (new) things from ebay this week. Advanced word wall words, presidents frieze. Thrift stores often have great books but you have to look frequently. Both of our buildings have most of the rooms emptied out into the hallways. The flooring is being replaced. I barely found a place to tutor this week. They tried to get me to go into my room and help move more stuff around but I declined.
     
  16. TeachGrd1

    TeachGrd1 Rookie

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    You have plenty of time, you will get everything done and be just fine! I thought I would be able to get in this week, but my room ended up being used for summer school, so now I don't get in until the 4th of August. My full time teacher meetings start the 8th and then school. So I only have a couple full days to work at it. Even if you only had a day or two, you would be fine. I plan on recruiting friends to help carry stuff and move around the room. As far as how much money i've spent, I have spent $500 of my own money (not including the books I have been buying for years, 600 total) and $150 of school money from a catalog. It depends on what you want and how you see your class set up. I have bought alot from garage sales and thrift stores and found great deas! Good Luck with everything, i'm so envious that you can be in there setting up.
     
  17. love2teach

    love2teach Enthusiast

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    Im starting a new school/district this year so will probably take longer to hset up than I have in the past....3 weeks or so...but its not always a full day and not every day either. As long as you have your basics in place and your plans for the first week done, you will be fine...the rest will all fall into place!
     
  18. Sarah Leigh Ann

    Sarah Leigh Ann Companion

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    I completely cleaned out my room this summer- it took a week and then set up my room completely- about three full days. It takes a little longer when you don't know where you want to put things. I would check out what other teachers are doing in your grade level. My mentor is very similar to me and we have our classrooms set up about the same.
     
  19. Jen

    Jen Rookie

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    saving money on books

    Since it's my own first classroom, I'm starting from scratch. Does your school district provide a decent amount of books for your classroom library? Or are all the books in your library from your own personal collection? How much of your own money do you end up spending for supplies? I have a feeling I'll be spending a good amount since it's my first year.

    You might want to check with your local main library to see if they sell childrens books cheap. My library has something called "the book cellar" located in the basement. Right now they are selling childrens books for $.25-.50, I kid you not. I was told by veteran teachers this is a great way to get your library started. I will be a new teacher this year too (hopefully) and I will be going to the book cellar just as soon as I get my next paycheck!! Let me know if you need any other help. :love:Jen
     
  20. Steph-ernie

    Steph-ernie Groupie

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    RLBteacher,
    You are lucky to have an artistic friend who is willing to come in an help you draw things for your boards, but this is a neat trick I learned for those of us who are art challenged:
    Find the character or item you want (clip art is great for this) and print it out. Trace it onto an overhead projector sheet, and then project it onto the wall. Make it the size you want, and you can trace the projection onto the wall or a large sheet of paper, whatever the case may be. It will look great!
     
  21. j9saylor

    j9saylor Rookie

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    In keeping with Steph-ernie, I make alot of things that way using the overhead. Make sure you laminate so you can re-use every year. My first year, I also spent close to $1000. My district did not provide me with anything. I had a neighbor donate 2 book cases for me. We have a used book store by my house that sells kids books 3/$1.00 and our library has a Book Cellar also. Be on the lookout for yard sales and church sales. Teachers are also wonderful sharers. If this is your first job, you should get a mentor that will share things with you. Good luck!

    I am also moving this year to a new building that is still not done being build. School starts the last week in August and I was told that my room will not be ready til the end of September. So, I will be temporarily placed in a very small room for a month and will have a weekend to go in and move my classroom. I've already enlisted all of my friends to help. The one thing to remember is do all the important things first and the kids will not care if it's not perfect.
     
  22. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    When you buy something for your classroom, remember to ask if they give a teacher discount. Places that don't, on occasion, given me then employee discount. It never hurts to ask!
     
  23. bsking32

    bsking32 New Member

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    Teachersparadise.com

    This website is great! Everything you could ever need for teaching and your classroom! Check it out! www.teachersparadise.com
     
  24. luvmykids

    luvmykids Companion

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    I am also starting my first year in my own room (I did a year long, long term sub last year) and am nervous about setting up my room. I found this great website that has really helped me organize my thoughts about what I want my room to look like and things I want to do with my students. You might want to check it out. www.mspowell.com
     
  25. divey

    divey Companion

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    Trust me! EVERY new teacher feels overwhelmed when it comes to getting their first room ready, but, rest assured, it gets easier (and quicker!) every year :D

    At an inservice that I attended several years ago, one of the main suggestions was to NOT have ANYTHING on the walls when school starts (I mean like lots of decorations), but to leave lots of room for the kids to help you decorate the room with their work throughout the year. That suggestions made me feel better about "toning down" what I did to my classroom, and gave my children a lot more ownership in their surroundings.

    Usually I put up a welcome bulletin board, a place to display my student's published writing papers, a bulletin board with housekeeping stuff (homework chart, behavior calendars, etc...) behind my desk, and then an area for my calendar and daily housekeeping activities. A couple of years ago, I hot-glued clothespins to my white board (placed where I needed them) and so all I have to do to get my calendar area ready is get my stuff out of my closet, and hang it from the clothespins! GREAT time saver!

    I LOVE children's books, so building my library was a major priority for me too. I robbed the bookshelves at my parent's house (of my books from when growing up), bought books a few at a time, and used book order points (and bought extra's when I could.....I mean, at those prices? you can't beat that!). We have a couple of really good public libraries with GREAT children's sections, and one thing I used to do to add to my library stash was check out as many as I could and use them in my classroom for the 2 weeks that I had them. Added a nice variety to my bookshelves every couple of weeks!

    Good luck, take a deep breath, and ENJOY this fun, fun time of putting your FIRST classroom together!!!!!!!
     
  26. Mary-IL

    Mary-IL Rookie

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    I had a classroom that needed tons of work. I asked some kids (12-14 year olds) from my neighborhood if they wanted to help. It was the best move I made! They loved helping and did a ton of work. I brought snacks and a small cooler with pop and water. Then I took them to McDonald's and Wendy's for lunch. Kids love to help in classrooms! Good luck!
     
  27. TeacherC

    TeacherC Connoisseur

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    Cheap Children's Books

    A lot of people have mentioned using Scholastic points, which is a great idea. Where I live in CT, there is a scholastic warehouse about 40 minutes away. They have huge sales 2 times a year when all books are 50% off if not more, and they are having what they call a "tent sale" next week, everything there will be $5 or less. I bought software for 50 cents last time! It would be worth while to see if you have any warehouses in your area... :)
     
  28. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    I have a Scholastic warehouse near me. It is a dangerous place to go to, but a whole lot of fun!! :eek: I spent close to $200.00 at the 50% off sale!
     
  29. love2teach

    love2teach Enthusiast

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    where in CT do you live.....Im in NY not far from CT and would love to check it out!
     
  30. Margo

    Margo Devotee

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    I love going to Scholastic Warehouse. I go a couple of times a year. But, already stated, it is dangerous. I spend way too much money there.
     
  31. Andrea L

    Andrea L Habitué

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    I just posted on another thread about the sales that the stores are having on back to school items. I know that Walmart has great prices on crayons, markers, paper, glue, colored pencils, and folders. I spent twenty dollars and my trunk is full. I just need to be able to drop it off at school. :)
     
  32. love2teach

    love2teach Enthusiast

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    staples just e mailed me with thier dates for teacher appreciation days....be sure to check it out! They post dates for each city/store on thier website!
     
  33. TeacherC

    TeacherC Connoisseur

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    The Scholastic Warehouse is in Danbury CT, really close to Brewster. I know that there is also a warehouse in NY, I can't think of where right now though...the website, www.scholastic.com, should tell you! Hope this helps
     
  34. MelissainGA

    MelissainGA Groupie

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    Well I think I might actually be ready for students when they are set to arrive the 29th. I have spent the mornings (before it was nice enough to go to the pool @ my apartment) working on my room. I now have my centers established (almost except for a few I still need to cut out after laminating), my desks are arranged, my word wall letters are up, my bulletin boards are done except for the math one where things haven't arrived yet. I still have to do 2 tables of things (finding a place to put them in my mobile, this hasn't been an easy thing). Everything else I can't do until I have class lists. Hopefully next week. Since our first official workday is next Friday and Kids come the next week (all sorts of meetings scheduled in between). ****Taking deep breath*** Remind me that I WILL get it all done (always panick about this time of the year even though I know it will get finished). I was talking to a friend earlier and she said her principal just sent them a letter saying they could get back into their building Tuesday (She has been really panicked because she doesn't have anything done yet). Hope everyone has a good school year :)

    Melissa
     
  35. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    They're redoing the EC classrooms, expanding and such... the summer program I observed isn't where the program will be in the fall... the room is in boxes and stuff... and I don't even know when I'll be able to get in and start working... but it'll all come together. ;)
     
  36. Teri104

    Teri104 Rookie

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    Here are a couple of center ideas - cheap- (1) cut up pipe cleaners about 2 inches long and ask local Waffle House type resturants to donate coffee stirers. The kids love making 3-D shapes or just making "stuff". Stick the pipe cleaners in one end of two straws and keep building. (2) Use magnetic ABC's on the side of a file cabinet to "build" words or sentences. Also, you can use letters from old scrabble games in shoe boxes. (3) Partners can work together with a die and they can practice math facts. I also use dots to cover the sides to write in larger numbers.
    Start slow and add centers as the year progresses. That way, you are in control of the kids and the noise.
     
  37. deedee

    deedee Connoisseur

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    ***TIP for books---

    Around here they have book sales at the libraries in the districs. They will sell books for .25-.50 a piece!And most were in good condition!
    Couldn't hurt to ask if they do this by you!!!
     
  38. Jen

    Jen Rookie

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    Great Idea for Cheap Books!!!

    :D
    I went today to our main library, they have a special section called "the book cellar", Oh my gosh!!!!! I went crazy and bought 20 books there for $4.25!!!!
    Can you believe it? I know at a regular book store it would have cost well over $100. I can't wait to go back, the only reason I left was that they were closing and my basket was full. They had to give me a box to carry all my loot home. :D ;) :love: Jen
     
  39. pamms

    pamms Comrade

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    I love setting up my room...and as far as how long it takes...well all year! lol I am always changing things, adding things, etc. Don't feel like you have to have it just right on the 1st day. I've never seen a school provide books (other than texts) for a classroom. Garage sales can be a great source, so can ebay...just watch the shipping fees there, but often people will sell large lots of books. I love scholastic. I know a couple people have mentioned it already, but I wanted to add...in the 1st book order of the year (I think it's the Sept. order form...we start in August) anyway...in the 1st order form of the year and usually again in January they have a great special where if you get over $200.00 in orders you get 20x the normal bonus points...that can get you LOTS of books..for free! I usually really push those 2 book orders ;-). Then...even if the class doesn't reach the 200 minimum, I just order some myself to get to the amt. I still come out way ahead. I'd call scholastic and/or visit their website and get on their mailing list now for order forms for your grade and ask them about the warehouse sales in your area! Remember you WILL be spending money on other things, so try not to go TOO crazy! ;-)
    Oh, and....I often get books from my school's library too.

    Pam
     
  40. pamms

    pamms Comrade

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    Jul 17, 2005

    Oh and...

    Scholastic also usually has a special in each order form either for 50 books for $50. or 100 books for $100. They choose the books, but that are all for your specific grade level. You can use money or the bonus points you've earned for these. I've done this a couple times and I've been pleased with the selection of books i've recieved. Alot of them have been reading counts books.
    Pam
     
  41. Mrs. Johnson

    Mrs. Johnson New Member

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    getting the room ready

    I had been subbing for two years before I got my first classroom. ( grade five) I was pretty overwhelmed at the task of decorating. Pay most attention to classroom management when you are prepARING it is the most important tool you have. Be sure to post the rules BIG! Also things like lunch tickets, homework board, JOB chart and birthdays are important too. Spend time on having tests and studyguides at your fingertips. Figure out a file system and a way students will hand in papers , seatwork and homework.
    My first year I decorated with inspiratioanl posters and I had a Olympics theme as it was an Olympic year. This year my school is doing a schoolwide baseball unit that correlates with a religion program so I think I will use a baseball-sports theme. Then I can still use my posters.
    Anyway, I could spend weeks and months on my classroom. I think it is like Christmas shopping for me.... I don't stop until I run out of time and money. I would use as much or as little time as it available to me. My advise is to concentrate on the classroom management things. The first year you have to concentrate on basic curriculm. You can always add more later. Also, if there is a school library your own class libray can start out small.
    GOOD LUCK!
     

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