New Teacher - What Do I Absolutely Need

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by msrosie, Aug 8, 2015.

  1. msrosie

    msrosie Rookie

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    Aug 8, 2015

    I'm new to the classroom and while it's very exciting, I'm also terrified. School starts in a week and I definitely need to put my room together. But the previous teacher left the room completely empty.

    So what do I absolutely need in my classroom? Or what should I absolutely have? I'm teaching 4th grade in a tough school if that makes any difference.
     
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  3. Ms_C

    Ms_C Comrade

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    Aug 8, 2015

    You don't need a Pinterest classroom so don't stress about cutesy decorations, but you do need a great management plan. Think about the layout of your room and even sit down in the student desk and see the room on their level. This helps you make sure your board(or whatever your focal point is) can be seen by all students. You said your in a tough area so look into creating some sort of PBIS plan to keep students motivated to show positive behaviors.

    As for supplies I would just make sure you have things to write with, a good pair is scissors, some tape, and a stapler. Everything else will come together!
     
  4. msrosie

    msrosie Rookie

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    Aug 8, 2015

    Desk wise, I already arranged my room and sit at all the desks that I thought might be difficult to see from and adjusted accordingly.

    I have the broad strokes of a management plan. I'm using Class
    Dojo and the students will gain and lose points based on their behaviors. They'll use those points to purchase fun rewards at differing point values. The students who might be struggling and even sadly end days with negative points will be reset at the end of each day. And a certain value of negative points in a day will result in difference consequences.

    I have 4 overarching expectations - respect yourself, respect others, respect property, and make positive choices. I plan on coming up with rules and a class pledge with the class on Monday.

    My school also uses the 7 habits tree - though I know nothing about that at all.
     
  5. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Aug 8, 2015

    Then I would make reading about it one of your top priorities before school begins.

    Don't forget that classroom management is more than just behavior management. Think about what your morning and going home routines will look like. Think about where students will turn in papers and whether or not they will need mailboxes. Think about what they will use folders and notebooks for. Think about if you will do community supplies or individual supplies. Thinking through all of these things will help you to figure out if there is anything you need to buy to ensure that your routines and procedures go smoothly.
     
  6. applecore

    applecore Devotee

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    Aug 8, 2015

    You're very lucky! Really and truly.

    Definitely getting your class management and getting your routines, supplies, lesson plans, and procedures in order that work for you and your teaching style--even in your teacher prep. I'm sure you had a few things that you held on to.

    Instead of class dojo, I have the class earn a 100 marbles towards a reward of their choice---movie & popcorn, 35 minute extra recess, cookie/punch party, 40 minute game day. Movie, recess, and game days were a hit last year.

    If you have your classroom running full speed with procedures and management by October, it'll be AWESOME the rest of the school year!

    You've got this!
     
  7. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    Aug 8, 2015

    As much as I too like class dojo, I do not use it until I need a boost in classroom management which is usually Jan/Feb.

    For me, Daily 5 is a must. We begin school Sept 1 and I'm happy if my Daily 5 is functioning well by the end of October.

    Organizing the students by numbers is a organizational help.
     
  8. CatfaceMeowmers

    CatfaceMeowmers Companion

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    Aug 9, 2015

    When I student taught in a 6th grade classroom, I implemented Class Dojo. My cooperating teacher had no idea what it was and didn't really seem interested. But I pushed through with it and most of the kids really enjoyed it. They loved seeing their avatar and always asked about points. I had my store open every other Friday where they could purchase pencils, erasers, sitting in the teacher desk, homework passes, and more. Well, as a student teacher, I didn't have near the responsibilities as a full-time teacher. And I realized nearly half of my time and effort went towards class dojo. I was constantly having to update points, add and subtract points from the store and keeping it all up to date. It was honestly exhausting. I cannot imagine using it my first year. I've heard that the marble jar does work with elementary students. If you haven't, read Fred Jones, "Tools for Teaching." It has a lot of great stuff for new (and veteran) teachers, including desk arrangement, rules, and management.

    Overall, it is ultimately your classroom. I am moving into my first classroom this coming Wednesday and have no idea what's in it. I don't have very many decorations or items for the classroom myself, so I'm a bit nervous. But like everyone said, you don't have to have a pinterest classroom. I have to keep telling myself this as well.

    Honestly as far as materials, you never know what your school will provide. But I went ahead and bought my own stapler, hole punch, clipboard, pencils, pens, poster board, calendar, paper, paperclips, file holders, small drawers, and grade book. You should get into the office asap to see what they will provide you with, like a pencil sharpener or whiteboards.

    Good luck! :)
     
  9. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Aug 9, 2015

    You need kids, curriculum, and a management plan . . . and a place for them to sit. Then you need to start making a list of things that you need as you see that you need them.

    I just moved classrooms, and this is my 23rd year. I knew a lot of the things that I needed, but after three days with kids, I had a list of several things that I need to implement.

    My garage is full of stuff that people said I just HAD to have and found out they were useless for me.
     
  10. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Aug 9, 2015

    This is a blessing in disguise! Trust me!!!

    On another note, the members above have provided some wonderful tips. I really can't think of anything to add!
     
  11. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Aug 11, 2015

    YES what YTG said...be thankful you aren't moving into a room full of 20+ years of another teacher's "treasures"!
     
  12. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Aug 11, 2015

    To add to what everyone has said (procedures, management, curriculum are definitely the most important), get an EZ grader or the app for your device. Yes, you can do the math, but it's much easier to look at something that's already done.

    I taught fourth graders in a tough school. I had many children of gang members and every single child knew someone in prison. Often it was mom or dad in prison.

    My kids would work for smelly stickers and fancy pencils. Good notes home and if there was a working number, positive phone calls were very popular. These kids' lives are so different from middle class surburbia, but they are still kids. Work on creating a classroom of respect and safety. You have to be the alpha, but not so domineering that you lose their respect. They have to know you care. Explain why you have this rule or that procedure so they know there is a reason for them.
     
  13. Stlteach89

    Stlteach89 Rookie

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    Aug 11, 2015

    I just moved into a teacher's room who left over the summer. While I'm happy to have some of her posters and resources, I do admit I spent the whole first day in my room throwing old things away and reorganizing what was left.
     

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