Overwhelmed and confused where to start...1st year

Discussion in 'First Grade' started by TeacherJ4life, Jul 24, 2008.

  1. TeacherJ4life

    TeacherJ4life Companion

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    Jul 24, 2008

    I've taught preschool for a few years but it was in a private school. Now, I've graduated with my masters and will be teaching 1st grade in a public school. Literally, it's so different and I feel like this is my first year. I need help... what should I do first? What needs to be done before the kids get there? Also, I need a creative way to manage my children's behavior (both positive/negative behavior). I was thinking of something like Stay on the Green since I am doing a frog theme. Any help or pictures of classroom management ideas would be SO APPRECIATED!
    THANKS!!

    PS Is it normal to be so SCARED and afraid that you will fail as a teacher?
     
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  3. JBteach

    JBteach Companion

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    Well first you will want to try to figure out what is in your new classroom. So maybe a visit to your classroom if it is ready. This way you can get a vision of what you will be working with. Maybe you can also touch base with the teachers you will be working with. They can fill you in on maybe what you may already have and what you will need.
     
  4. JBteach

    JBteach Companion

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    Afterwards you can start writing a checklist for yourself. I always do this in the beginning of the year because with all you need to do this is the only way to help you to remember everything that needs to get done.
     
  5. TeacherJ4life

    TeacherJ4life Companion

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    Yeah, I've tried that but it seems like I have so much to do and such little time- LOL:D!
     
  6. JBteach

    JBteach Companion

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    Just remember everything always seems to get done. Just take it in strides.
     
  7. JBteach

    JBteach Companion

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    As far as behavior you could use the traffic light colors red, yellow and green and have each student have their clothespin starting off on green.

    Green-great day
    Yellow-warning
    Red-note home to parent or call home

    Maybe having 2 more colors. Just a suggestion and perhaps they could do a think about it activity. Think about the choice they made and a better choice they can make for next time.

    Have students chart their behavior in their own book so they gain a sense of ownership. This could be done on a daily basis and parents could respond to you if needed. Parents love quick updates and responses.
     
  8. brandi0718

    brandi0718 Comrade

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    Jul 24, 2008

    Have you seen your room yet? You can be thinking of how you want to run your room.......like pencil sharpening, restroom, etc......For my behavior I just drew big circles on poster board and cut them out...then i colored one green, one purple, red, yellow I will write the kids names on clothespins and clip to the green circle...If they act up they will move to yellow which is warning then if it continues they will move to orange which is a second warning and loss of something....then if it continues they will move to red which is a call to parent.......If I notice a student/students with excellent behavior all day they will move to purple and if they move to purple 3 times a week they will get an extra special treat on friday

    My circles will be placed in the following order on my door--

    Puple
    Green
    Yellow
    Orange
    Red


    Hope this helps!
     
  9. JBteach

    JBteach Companion

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    Also, I do whole group incentives with filling up a pocket chart with some type of cutouts. You could use frogs. This will help with great behavior. This will also reinforce all students working together. Once students fill up the pocket chart, they students can think of a way for the class to celebrate. My students have loved this!! Some celebrations included, sundae party with movie, popcorn and movie, stuffed animal and a movie.
     
  10. TeacherJ4life

    TeacherJ4life Companion

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    Jul 24, 2008

    Chart their own behavior? I like that idea! Maybe, I could get a behavior management pocket chart and each kid starts with a green clothespin. Then, I will have yellow and red clothespins avail if needed? I am such a visual person lol
    THANKS SO MUCH!
    :thanks:
     
  11. missk83

    missk83 Companion

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    Jul 24, 2008

    If you are doing a frof theme you could do different color lily-pads.
     
  12. missk83

    missk83 Companion

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    Jul 24, 2008

    *woops: frog
     
  13. JBteach

    JBteach Companion

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    I actually found a really cool idea for behavior management on here. It had to do with using rainbows, raindrops and clouds.

    I am going to just add a few more visuals.Mine will have a picture of:

    Rainbow with sun-Stellar day!
    Rainbow-good day
    Raindrops-Warning
    Black cloud-Think about it activity
    Lightning-Note home to parent or phone call

    I will have student charting their own behavior each day for parent communication. I am still working on how often students will be rewarded. Perhaps once a week the 1-2 months of school. Then each month afterwards.
     
  14. Ilovefirst

    Ilovefirst Comrade

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    Jul 24, 2008

    Go see your classroom. Find out what other teachers around you do for behavior management. Also, find out if they get together to do things like name tags and such. (sometimes it's just easier to do what everyone else is doing when they are doing it - our 2nd grade teachers do that and it seems like they get way more done in the same amount of time I spend at school!) One of the first things I did was figured out my procedures, bathroom, finished work, what to do when done, etc. That way I knew what I needed to introduce to my students. Once that was done, I worked on setting the room up. (my principal actually volunteered to help me, there was a lot of junk left in the room that I had to go through) I didn't worry too much about the behavior management system until after I got to know my students and figured out what I thought would work for them. (and I have changed it some with each class since)

    Good luck! Just remember it all seems to get done before the first day! We all make insanely long check lists!!! :eek:)
     
  15. Randi_01

    Randi_01 New Member

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    Jul 24, 2008

    I am just starting too....1st grade and very nervous. I will share what I have done so far. Maybe it will help.

    First, organize your classroom. Think about placement of desks centers etc....

    Next, my focus has been my discipline plan. I do not have a theme so mine is color based. Basically I have 4 LONG strips of colored paper on a section of wall. Maybe 12 inches tall and 3 feet or so wide. On each line I have 2 stips of velcro.

    ____________(Blue) = Having a Great Day! :2up:

    ____________(Green) = Having a Good Day! :)

    ____________(Yellow) = Having an O.K. day! :mellow:

    ____________(Red) = Having a Bad Day! :(


    Children can move up or down all day. Everyone starts on GREEN.

    I will have cutouts (stars, hearts, Candy Canes based on seasons) with velcro on the back of each. Students name is written on front. The students will go up and change their ZONE as they behave. At the end of the day they have a "Busy Binder" that has a calendar glued to it. They will get a colored stamp that represents how their day was. I will keep a duplicate calendar on their individaul folders that I keep. This way at a glance I can see trends etc...and so can parents.

    To track good and bad behavior I will have scrap pieces of paper strategically placed for me to make notes on as the day goes. I will drop these in a box on my desk and sort them to the students files at the end of each day (hopefullly)----this is for accountability...I don't want a parent to ask why their child has been on yellow or red all week and me not to know.

    The Consequences & Rewards
    If a student is on blue then the next morning they will find a sticker (with back still on it) on their desk.

    Green (not sure yet if there will be a reward)

    Yellow (lose 5 minutes of _______activity) not sure what yet

    Red (Note and/or phone call home)

    Also if a student maintains blue for X amount of days I was thinking a lunch with me would be the reward.

    I have been reading that transitions are important because during this time you lose momentum and time....my plan is to have musical transitions that I work into one by one. This way they know where to be when certain music comes on and when to clean up etc...and I won't be repeating myself over and over.

    One other thing I have tried and has been effective when I was a substitute was clapping. I clap 3 times....the class hears me, it gets their attention, they clap back 3 times.....Whatever pattern I clap in they clap it back to me. I like this becuase you don't have to keep a bell or whistle with you, it works wherever you are at.

    Hope this helps some. I feel that the discipline and the procedures and routines are the main focus the first few weeks with this age in order to move forward.....

    This is all new to me too so any comments or feedback on any of the above is welcome....
     
  16. jennyd

    jennyd Companion

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    Jul 24, 2008

    I use a system that's a lot like some of the ones mentioned here. I've got a strip of poster with the following colors (I don't remember the exact wording though):

    pink - excellent job - reward (usually privileges like sitting with a friend, 10 minutes on the computer, etc.)
    blue - great job
    green - go! :)
    yellow - 1st warning
    orange - 2nd warning
    red - lose a privilege

    Everybody has a clothespin with their name on it and starts each day on green. Depending how your day goes, you may be asked to move your clothespin up or down (it's important to me that they move their clothespins because it's their behavior).

    I've reported the behavior home to parents 2 ways. Usually I'd just send a note when the student gets to red or pink (the highest and lowest), and everyone colored a little calendar each day so their parents knew. Last year's class "lost" their calendars a lot (sneaky bunch - they threw a lot of stuff away) so I had to staple notes into homework books for any clothespin movement. That was a pain. I hope this coming class isn't so sneaky.

    Another thing I do with this is the kids can always recover from a bad day (or fall from a great one). So, say you have a crummy morning and have to move your clothespin down. If you see the error of your ways and turn your behavior around, you can move your clothespin back up. I think it helps them realize that one bad choice isn't the end of the world. And, conversely, just because you did a great job in the morning doesn't mean your exempt from getting in trouble in the afternoon.

    I know this is long, but one more thing I use for the whole class is a class compliment puzzle. I got the idea from someone on here and I really like it. I have each kid decorate a piece of a puzzle i cut out of posterboard. Each time another teacher gives the class a compliment (like how well they're walking in line or something) we put a piece of the puzzle up. When the puzzle is done, the class gets a reward (usually extra recess) and then we start the puzzle all over again.

    Of course, there is no perfect system that will work for all students. I had to tweak this a lot for my class last year. But I hope this helps!
     
  17. TeacherJ4life

    TeacherJ4life Companion

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    Jul 24, 2008

    I love the calendar idea! Calendar practice and giving them ownership all rolled into one:up:
     
  18. JenL

    JenL Comrade

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    Jul 29, 2008

    i do a good choices chart kind of like something that someone already said...
    but i have gold, blue, green, yellow, red circles. everyone starts on green and they move up with good choices or move down with bad choices throughout the day. when they end on gold they get a merit(sticker) for their personal chart and if they get 10 merits they get a prize. i will let parents know if they are on red at the end of the day. i think it is important to follow up with parents at home.
     
  19. TeachMe3

    TeachMe3 Rookie

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    Jul 29, 2008

    JenL,
    I like that idea. I am going to give my students chances to move up and down throughout the day. Last year they moved down for not making good choices, but I did not let the kids move up for positive choices. I think that this will motivate the majority of my students.
     

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