New & Overwhelmed... please help me!

Discussion in 'First Grade' started by MMRbella, Aug 23, 2007.

  1. MMRbella

    MMRbella Companion

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    Aug 23, 2007

    I accepted a 1st Grade position yesterday morning. Today I handed in my paperwork, and went to school to check out my classroom. The previous teacher left behind almost everything-- so there is stuff everywhere!

    School starts in 13 days. 4 of those days are weekends, so they don't count. 2 of those days are New Teacher Orientation days, so they don't count. 1 day is a town wide staff meeting, and another day is a workshop day. SO, that leaves me with a grand total of 5 days to get my room ready. Needless to say, I am freaking out. :eek:

    My question...
    Where do I start? What should I do first? What kinds of things should be up on the walls of a first grade classroom? (I student taught 2nd grade, so I'm not really sure about 1st). I need to maximize my time in preparing.

    Please help me!!!

    :thanks:
     
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  3. autumnpumpkin

    autumnpumpkin Rookie

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    Aug 23, 2007

    Yay, congratulations on your first teaching job!!! You are going to love teaching first grade. The kids are so loving and excited about learning.

    First thing I would do would be to draw up a layout of how I want my room structured. Where would I put my desk, students desks (in rows, groups of 2 or 4, horseshoe shape? Then once you have those figured out you can decide where you want your morning corner. Put a carpet there for all your students to sit on while you do morning corner. Low down on the morning corner wall you want to have a blank calender so you can have a student put up a new date each day. You also want up charts of the days of the week, days of the month, numbers to 100, colors, shapes, lost tooth chart, birthday chart, yesterday was____, today is______, tomorrow will be _____, the weather is ________. That should be about it for that wall. Next decide where you want your classroom library (I have mine near the morning wall carpet so that students can sit there to read). Once you have all of this planned, then I would go ahead and move the room into this layout. For now just move the other teachers old stuff out of the way (maybe take her resource books home so you can go through those at night when you have no access to the school).
    Okay your layout is done, now figure out your classroom day schedule. This is totally up to you. I'll just give you mine as an example. I do Morning wall, Phonics, Sight Reading, Recess, Math, Printing, Lunch, Recess, Social/Science/Health, Gym/Music, Art/Centers.
    Then you can plan out what you want to use for a behavior plan, classroom rules, line up rule, bathroom rule, etc.

    I really hope this helps you and then I haven't overwhelmed you more. Trust me all teachers (even veteran teachers) feel overwhelmed right now. I am on my third year of teaching and I've been busy trying to figure out how can adjust some of my teaching styles to fit the split grade 1 and 2's I have. It is overwhelming but it is also exhilarating, isn't it :). You'll do great! If you need more help just let me know.
     
  4. hescollin

    hescollin Fanatic

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    Aug 23, 2007

    Do as much at home as possible?

    Arrange your room and desk.

    Plan your first day and week.

    Will you have open house? (that you need to plan for)
     
  5. kabd54

    kabd54 Cohort

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    Aug 23, 2007

    Congratulations on the new job. Don't stress - everything will be just fine. Now, take a deep breath, and...

    Keep it simple - posters or charts that go on the wall or bulletin board such as: alphabet, numbers, names of colours, days of the week, the calendar. You might want to check out the thread on First Grade Classroom photos to see what they have up on the walls, or what kind of centres they have.

    Keep out any math manipulatives, art supplies, books for your reading centre, some puzzles and/or games (for rainy day indoor recess or free time). You will probably also have your teacher manuals in that pile and various resource materials.

    If she has left you with a lot of photocopied materials and stuff you're not quite sure what it is, my advice is to box it all up, mark on the outside what's on the inside, and put it away somewhere. That will leave you with two choices - if you haven't wondered where something is, or you haven't missed the stuff that MAY be in the box, recycle the whole lot by the end of the year. OR, you could take a box home on a weekend and sort through it at your leisure and decide what to keep and what to throw away.

    I inherited the same sort of classroom and it's finally been sorted out to my satisfaction. It only took 4 years!! :lol:
     
  6. MMRbella

    MMRbella Companion

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    Aug 23, 2007

    Autumnpumpkin, thank you SO much! Your response is exactly what I needed! :) I was wondering though, what kind of reading program does your district use? Mine uses OpenCourt, and I have not been trained in it yet... and was also wondering if I need to put up anything specific for it.
     
  7. MMRbella

    MMRbella Companion

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    Aug 23, 2007

    THANK YOU everybody! All your advice is def helping to calm me down! :)
     
  8. autumnpumpkin

    autumnpumpkin Rookie

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    Aug 23, 2007

    You're sure welcome! :) My school lets us use any reading program we choose as long as it follows the curriculum. So I use a program called Primary Success. I use it for my Language Arts Subjects as well as my Social, Art and Science units. I don't know anything about OpenCourt but I'm sure if you post a new thread with that title you will get lots of responses. Feel free to ask us all as many questions as you'd like. :)
     
  9. MMRbella

    MMRbella Companion

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    Aug 23, 2007

    Thanks! You've been very helpful! :)
     
  10. Olivesmom

    Olivesmom Rookie

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    Aug 23, 2007

    That is really funny because the exact same thing happened to me this year. The previous teacher left EVERYTHING, which is a blessing and a curse, as you know. I have so many resources but I am also on my third day of trying to go through everything and feel like I am making little progress. I have my desks set up but I have nothing on the walls, my reading area is not arrainged. The other teachers said that my room is making them feel better about the progress of their rooms. I really need to kick it into high gear because I only have about a day and a half left of time before schools starts due to trainings and what not. It is definately overwhelming. Good luck!
     
  11. MMRbella

    MMRbella Companion

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    Aug 24, 2007

    Olivesmom, we are so in the same boat! I spent that day in the classroom with my boyfriend and brother... and my walls are still completely empty and my shelves disorganized. The one great thing is that the furniture is finally set up the way I want it! Lol. It took me two hours just to organize the supply closet.

    I have 3 days next week to finish (2 days are training days), and one full day the week after. I'm hoping and PRAYING that I get everything done by the end of next week so I can just organize little things the next week!
     

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