Preaparing for first classroom: Checklist

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by Annabelle, Jul 6, 2011.

  1. Annabelle

    Annabelle Rookie

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    Jul 6, 2011

    I graduated in May with an Elementary Education degree. I found out last week that I got a position teaching 5th grade. I am so excited, but also a little anxious about all that awaits me in my first classroom.

    I am a LIST person. I make lists for everything, and I love marking things off my list after I have done them. So what I am looking for is input on what things need to be done as far as preparing for my classroom goes....i.e. procedures/routines in place, bulletin boards, communication, etc. There is just SO much to think about and I want to make sure that I cover all of the bases. Any input would be great!
     
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  3. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Jul 6, 2011

    First, congratulations!

    Second, go to your school and ask for a copy of all your teacher editions. Start with the curriculum. Everything else will build from there. Parents will care more about the fact that you know fractions and American history up down and sideways, rather than having cute bulletin boards.
     
  4. missjessica

    missjessica Rookie

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    Jul 7, 2011

    Make sure you get cleaning supplies and stuff to keep kids clean!
    Tissues, wipes, hand sanitizer, plastic tablecloths to keep tables clean for art activities, etc. I am amazed at how dirty classrooms can get in such a short amount of time!
     
  5. ancientcivteach

    ancientcivteach Habitué

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    Jul 8, 2011

    :yeahthat:

    I would focus on creating a basic outline of your entire year, then try to get at least a months worth of more detailed planning done.

    Design your routines - and figure out how you will keep up with the paper river that will start flowing your way.

    Then, if you have time, decorating is a lot of fun :)
     
  6. Math

    Math Cohort

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    Jul 8, 2011


    When creating a basic outline for the entire year... do you get a teacher that has been teaching the content already to help you? Or do you just do it yourself?
     
  7. geek412

    geek412 Rookie

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    Jul 9, 2011

    For science departments, usually we plan together due to use of lab equipment/materials, and for those students who cross over into the AP program. I wouldn't be surprised if this was the same case for math as well.
     
  8. ancientcivteach

    ancientcivteach Habitué

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    Jul 9, 2011

    Math, I think a combination approach would be the most valuable. You really need to work through the standards/curriculum yourself to see how it all fits together and think through it - no one can do that for you. That being said, I feel that input from co-teachers is also important to help with pacing.

    So, I would do it by myself, then have someone go over it with me to offer advice.
     
  9. Math

    Math Cohort

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    Jul 9, 2011

    Oh okay. :)
     
  10. rockangel312

    rockangel312 Companion

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    Jul 12, 2011

    I am working on a list for my first year too! Overwhelming! :)
     
  11. soleil00

    soleil00 Comrade

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    Jul 12, 2011

    I'm usually a list person as well but this is just so overwhelming that I'm completely failing at making a list past basic stuff like decorations and supplies. I'm drawing a blank on everything else!
     
  12. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Most districts around here gave a required pacing chart that you must follow in order to get gets ready for the district-wide common assessments.
     
  13. Math

    Math Cohort

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    Jul 12, 2011

    oh okay
     
  14. rockangel312

    rockangel312 Companion

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    Jul 14, 2011

    Small portion of my list. The more I look into this, the more I realize I need! • Go over the day’s schedule
    • Review middle school procedures
    • Show lockers
    Orientation Info
    Checklist form for students( important papers returned)
    Welcome sign
    Name tags(for desks)
    Name tags for homeroom (foldable)
    Name tags for lockers
    Welcome activities
    Bulletin Boards (Character ed, informational, math(First two units), etc.)
    Posters
    Expo Makers
    Rules/Expectations
    Positive Reinforcement/discipline poster or chart
    Magnets
    Subject Magnets
    5th Grade Orientation Info
    White Boards
    Pencils
    Glue Sticks
    Scissors


    A lot of this I can probably get from the school, but I am not sure as to when. Once I have everything ordered I will feel better about getting everything planned more.
     
  15. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Jul 14, 2011

    Parent letter
    Procedures/expectations for homework, supplies, parent contacts, pencil sharpening, passing in papers, passing back papers, accepting late work, corrected work, grading policy, how you are going to file student work/document for RtI or other process, and more.
     
  16. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Jul 14, 2011

    Parent letter
    Procedures/expectations for homework, supplies, parent contacts, pencil sharpening, passing in papers, passing back papers, accepting late work, corrected work, grading policy, how you are going to file student work/document for RtI or other process, and more.
     
  17. juliechsa

    juliechsa Rookie

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    Jul 18, 2011

    -go over curriculum manuals and refresh yourself on any topics that you aren't too sure about
    -talk to other colleagues in your school both at your grade level and others
    -get to know the school secretary and the janitor
    -find out what the expectations are for your day: do you have lunch duty? bus duty? recess duty? teach only your homeroom or another group of 5th graders too? what specials do you have and is that your planning time?
    -find out where the faculty bathrooms are
    -find out what furniture your classroom will have and if you can bring in any from outside of school
    -look at your classroom library (if you have one from the previous teacher) and start going to garage sales and used books stores to fill those shelves
    -work on a classroom layout that works for you
    -make a seating chart
    -figure out your procedures for handing in papers, going to the bathroom, lining up, lunch choices, attendance, end of day
    -think about your classroom rules and expectations
    -write a letter of introduction to the parents
    -write a letter asking parents for info about their child
    -write an intro postcard to each of your students
    -pick a read aloud book to start the year
    -choose some fun get to know you activities for the first few days of school

    Good luck and enjoy!
     
  18. Olive.Owl

    Olive.Owl Rookie

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    Jul 27, 2011

    May I suggest The First Year Teacher's Survival Guide?

    I graduated in December 2010 and have been teaching fifth grade ever since! I really liked this book and jotted down love notes and highlighted parts I want to revisit. Details will just pop into your head as you read, and this will eventually become your checklist. I still consider myself a "fresh" teacher, seeing I only have six months under my belt, so I am going back through this book right now.

    If you enjoy reading, I suggest reading other professional development books. I also like Tools for Teaching, 180 Tips and Tricks for New Teachers, and of course, The First Days of School by Harry Wong.

    I agree with what kcjo said --- definitely know your curriculum. I live in Florida, so I have accustomed myself with the fifth grade standards in our state. I recommend doing the same for Kansas' standards and keeping them organized in a binder so you can reference them for your learning objectives and goals.

    On the other hand, enjoy decorating! There is something about the sight of school supplies and border accents that gets me excited. I think it's important to create an inviting atmosphere for your kiddos, so why not get creative? Check out Spaces and Places to help you with your classroom arrangement. It's a fabulous book.

    Good luck!!!
    :]
     
  19. Olive.Owl

    Olive.Owl Rookie

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    Jul 27, 2011

  20. HOPE-fulTeacher

    HOPE-fulTeacher Comrade

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    Aug 13, 2011

    Hi!

    I just found this part of the forum after being on the Job Seeker's forum for way too long! Haha! I am also in the process of trying to set up my classroom, and I just looked on amazon & found what appears to be a great book- the pages I could preview looked to be really helpful, complete with lists! :)
     
  21. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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  22. HOPE-fulTeacher

    HOPE-fulTeacher Comrade

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    Aug 17, 2011

    OOPS! I was reading through the thread again and realized I forgot to attach the link to that book. It's called "The Organized Teacher" and it's by Steve Springer and Brandy Alexander. The Amazon preview looked like it had some good stuff in it, so I went ahead and ordered it. I'll let you all know if it's really a keeper when it arrives. :)
     
  23. Danielle721

    Danielle721 Rookie

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    Aug 30, 2011

    I am in the same boat! Scary thinking about all the stuff we need! Ty everyone for the advice. I am going to the teacher store tomorrow. Cant wait to get everything!
     

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