SCARED to DEATH!!!

Discussion in 'New Teachers Archives' started by FINALLYaTeacher, Jul 14, 2006.

  1. FINALLYaTeacher

    FINALLYaTeacher New Member

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    Jul 14, 2006

    I found out a couple of days ago that I will be teaching 2nd grade this fall. I graduated in May. The school that I will be at is a low income school. Also, I know that there will be nothing in the room. I have started to buy things on Ebay. I have some questions that I am hoping to have answered:

    What supplies do I need to start out with?

    School, is beginning on a Thursday. Do I go over the classroom rules the first 2 days and then dive into the curriculum on the following Monday?

    Do I have to have a "theme?"

    Out new teacher training is 3 days long. What can be expected?

    I student taught in fifth grade last spring. I know that 2nd grade is going to be totally different. I am a very outgoing person and I am not worried about being in front of the students. I am just not sure how to start out, etc.

    Any help would be most appreciated. :eek:
     
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  3. wdwteach

    wdwteach Cohort

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    Jul 14, 2006

    Honesty time. The first year is hard. And teacher prep programs do not prepare you for it. But you WILL survive and learn as you go. Start simple. Rules will not last you for two days. It is best to get started right away with interesting and short activities. Use team builders and activities that give you an idea where they are (academically) generally.
    Get folders, name tags for desks, organizational items like paper trays and storage crates, and lots of cheap school supplies at the back to school sales. I find that lots of my kids run out of supplies quickly or do not bring any. Buy supplies while they are on sale.
    Our teacher training days are NOT in the classroom which is where you are going to want to be. Just plan to get your room ready outside of this time.
    I hope I did not scare you! I am really trying to pass on things I wish I had known. Find a positive mentor in your school that can answer questions also. Borrow good ideas whenever you can.
    Oh yeah. You do not have to have a theme. It just helps give teachers a direction to go with decorating.
    Hope this helps.
     
  4. falcons88

    falcons88 Rookie

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    Jul 14, 2006

    I would also think that your district might have a curriculum guide. This would by no means be a step by step bible, but a guide for your planning.

    I am in the same boat as you. I am a first year teacher in 8th grade. School starts on a Monday for us, so I am juimping right in. I might do minimal Math on that first day. It would be a getting to learn about one another and set up the ground rules. I agree that should not take very long. But with young kids you might take 2 days, especially if they have to practice procedures a few times, like lining up single file. etc.

    I have heard the same thing from many people, including principals and administators alike. It takes almost 3 years to get yourself to a comfort level. Not to say you won't have an awesome first year, but don't fret if you don't. It will only get better.
     
  5. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jul 14, 2006

    Hi. Welcome and congratulations!!!

    I have no idea of the answers, but wanted to congratulate you!!
     
  6. MissB

    MissB Companion

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    Jul 14, 2006

    I would recommend reading The First Six Weeks of School by Paula Denton and Roxann Kriete. This will help you to think about planning the early weeks.

    Start right off by going over all procedures through the day. These student need everything modeled for them, but they will learn fast in second grade. Keep a regular routine. I don't think you need to make rules the first two days-BUT they need to know what they should and shouldn't do. Teach procedures- then make up the rules with them the first full week- have them sign the rules and refer to them through the year.

    You don't need a theme- personally I like to start off with a somewhat empty room and let the kids fill the walls with their work- after all, it is their classroom.

    Supplies:
    Books books books(goodwill, ebay, yard sales...)
    pencils, erasers, crayons, colored pencils, markers, chalk or dry erase markers
    paper clips, staples, stapler, two pocket folders, notepad, stickers
    Bins for books and filing rubbermaids to organize
    find out your school's curriculum and start planning...
    Probably an easel and chart paper.
    Calendar, place value pocket chart/tallies or straws, coin pocket chart, 100's chart (or blank chart) to count the days in school at morning meeting.

    ummm, I'm sure there is more- I just can't think. I hope you have some sort of budget to purchase some stuff?
    Use the other teachers as resources- get to know some this summer if you can and see what they say. :) Good luck, you will be great. Take some time this summer to relax.

    Like wdwteach said above- do lots of short team building and getting to know you activities. Move those kids around- they wont be able to sit for too long at the beginning! Search this site- there are so many helpful ideas.
     
  7. hescollin

    hescollin Fanatic

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    Jul 14, 2006

    Buy lots of supplies now while they are on sale, like at Staples, Wal Mart. Buy extra because it is lots cheaper now than later. You will run out of glue and pencils before you get turned around.

    List of things to have in your room have you thought of: yard stick, ruler, lots of extra pencils, lots of stickers, whistle so you don’t have to yell at recess, a must --bar stool to rest your feet, great to even lean up against or captain’s chair it has a back, but cost more, rubber bands, safety pins, sewing kit –needle and variety of color spools of thread –a dollar at dollar store in a small plastic box, 3 hole punch, single hole punch, stapler, a couple big boxes of Kleenex, paper towels, battery operated fan-style air fresheners, sticky notes, a bunch of extra pencils, (short pencils with no erasers work great (students don’t want to borrow them and for some reason don’t break their lead and remember to sharpen their pencils before class), magic markers with grey included several boxes, good gel pen for grading papers and writing notes, I like my pink, zip lock bags –large and small, masking tape, scotch tape and heavy dispenser, deodorant, brush or comb for yourself, clear finger nail polish for quick fix hose runs, nail file for broken nails, large paper clip for your use so much better than the small ones, disinfectant (clean desk tops, pencils and door knobs –keep your room as germ free as possible, rubber gloves, Bloodborne pathogens are very real!! big scissors to fit your hand, erasers for top of pencils boom box, tape recorder, CD something to play music and etc on. digital timer, Glue: buy one small glue bottle for each student, than when bottle gets used, refill from your big bottle, which is cheaper, buy during beginning of school sales. Little bottles work better with little hands. Glue sticks are best. But cost more. Mavalus tape . Calendar, camera, dictionary – thesaurus, extension cord and adapter. Slide-grader. Umbrella. A couple fresh green plants. Go to garage sales, flea markets, Good Will, Salvation Army and thrift shops and buy books for in your room. If there is a box ask how much for the whole box usually cheaper. Tell them it is for a classroom, usually give you a discount. Buy a stamp pad and stamp “Property of your name” stamp on first page and along the edge if possible and several other places. Need book shelves. Buy used book shelf size of your file cabinet, butt it up against one side of the cabinet and use other side for a magnet board center.
    File folders –one for each student, keep all notes to and from home, note late papers, lose of recess one minute or two because of behavior problems and etc. Information Sheet. Student’s full name. What student will be called in the classroom, address, phone number, father’s name, address, phone number, mother’s name, address, phone number, emergency phone number, allergies, food and etc. And any other information that I might like to know about your child. A can of play dough for each student for the first day. Students go to their desk and start working with the play dough, while you are greeting more students, makes your room busy and under control from the first moment of arrival, no running around. Stamp pad and stamp with your name on it. Mark everything that you buy. Mark books back and along the edge. Library books for your room --get at garage sales, thrift shops, Goodwill and ask parents at parent night when they clean out their children’s rooms you’d love to have their extra books. You will mark donated by: Your room will look more educational with books on the shelves

    I like a theme. Your first year make it simple. Apples or something you really like.

    Christmas tree decorations. A couple boxes of candy canes are cheap and cute and make a treat for the students to take home the last day.

    A book to read that first day ---First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg

    My favorite chapter book read aloud to start reading is Charlotte's Web. All elementary teachers at our school read aloud everyday for fifteen to twenty minutes.

    Put tri pod name tags on the desk. When you rearrange your room you move the desk, you don't have to move all the students things. Leave the name tags all year. Great place to keep pencils. If they start tearing and messing with the tags quickly give everybody but that student a couple M&Ms two is all it takes to get their attention. "I want a treat" "Sorry but you were messing with the name tag and not following directions"

    Whisper to get attention.
     
  8. teach123

    teach123 Cohort

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    Jul 14, 2006

    Congratulations!! Second grade has always been my favorite. I would LOVE to have a job in second grade. Everyone has given great advice. A book I would recommend is The First Days of School by Harry Wong. It will help you know what to do those first few days.
     
  9. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Jul 14, 2006

    Welcome to AtoZ, FINALLY, and congratulations on your job! You have come to the right place for real-life advice. The information given above is excellent. Don't feel as though you must have a picture perfect room. You can teach well with the basics.

    Find out how soon you can see your teacher's guides for the curriculum. Read through the first several chapters of each. If you have no other guidelines, this is where you'll start. The teacher's guides will give you ideas to help the low learners and activities that complement the units. Make sure to check out the pages at the back for more resources.

    Plan at least several games for the first two days. Games can give you an idea of your students' levels. You won't need much of anything in the way of supplies to play these:

    I went to the moon and I brought - first child says something starting with A, second repeats and adds something with B ....

    Put 10 spelling words or words from their reading on the board. On plain paper, have them make 3x3 bingo boards, putting 9 of the words wherever they'd like. When they get 3 in a row, they must read the words correctly in order to win.

    Play addition or subtraction with dice.

    Make up a short form for them to fill out with questions about themselves and their likes and dislikes, etc. When they are done, ask them to share with a partner, then switch roles. You can listen in as you go around the room. Finally, have them each write a paragraph about him/herself. Remind them to use their best handwriting and to capitalize first letters and use punctuation at the end.

    I buy lots of my resources at thrift stores. I hate to pay more than 59 cents for a book.


    Great advice from wdwteach regarding teacher work days. You will hear about school procedures, etc., but not about teaching. See when you can get into your room to set it up. Dollar Tree has classroom supplies like handwriting friezes and posters, sentence strips, decorate die-cuts. Old calendars with nice pictures are handy - laminate the picture and use as decoration or as a writing prompt. I use magazine pictures and have the kids find all the nouns in the scene or use descriptive language appropriate for their scenes.

    Make sure you know what techniques you will use to get their attention. Practice in advance.

    There are lots of printables and lesson plans right here at AtoZ. Click on the tabs at the top of the page. Check in here daily and let us know how it is going. Be firm, yet kind. These first days can be lots of fun!
     
  10. Cyndi23

    Cyndi23 Companion

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    Jul 14, 2006

    I have 2 things for the supplies issue

    1. Go to office depot and staples on their "teacher appreciation days". (You can sign up for emails on their websites that will tell you when they are in your area) They give out bags of supplies and a lot will be beneficial to you starting out! It's totally worth waking up early on a Saturday for (plus they usually have breakfast at these events!)

    2. I know you said you are at a low income school, but most parents want to help out if they can! At open house, one thing that I do is have a "giving tree" on the board. On my whiteboard I draw a big tree and then I tape on cardboard apples w/ supplies that I would like in my classroom. I have all types of supplies from a box of crayons up to board games. This way, parents can take an apple, buy what they'd like to donate and return the item w/ the apple on it (be sure to send home thank you cards for ANY donations). An apple might say

    ______________ has donated a box of crayons to Ms. X's class.

    This has worked VERY well for me. It also takes the pressure off of you at open house when a parent walks up and says "DO YOU NEED ANYTHING"? While I was always grateful, this felt very uncomfortable for me. This system has worked very well.
     
  11. paperheart

    paperheart Groupie

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    Jul 14, 2006

    I wanted to say congrats!!

    The first Days of School by Wong is an excellent resource as well as the other suggestions here.

    I highly recommened you take it slow regarding the curriculum at first. When students do somethign you feel uncomfortable with correct them by stopping them and showing hte whole class what you expect. For example, if two students rush to line up first for lunch. Stop the class. Have everyone sit down again and show them what you expect then have them do it again until they do it correctly. That is just an example but I suggest you be willing to stop and correct contstantly throughout the day. Get a list of all the procedures you need to think about and have a really clear cut plan for each one. With that as the stopping and correcting as the focuss you can't really get into teaching new material.

    That does not mean the students shouldn't experience hard work the first week, day or days. IMO not giving students hard work is a huge mistake. It is simply an expectation we need to set for them like all the procedures we also teach them. They are going to be wondering what "kind of teacher" you are--tough or not--don't leave them guessing. Make it very obvious that you expect hard work and nothing less.

    One way to teach the rules is to discuss what the rules look and sound like.
     
  12. ABall

    ABall Fanatic

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    Jul 14, 2006

    I'm not sure if you have been told this yet, but places like staples and office depot offer teacher cards, the savings is only 5-10% but you rack up " bucks" or other discounts, also borders book stores, and some art stores and Jo-Ann Fabrics (apply online) offer teacher discount cards, now you won't be spending tons of money at these places to start but do remember to ask for a teacher discount every where you go!! Also if you catch one of the really nice people at Home depot and get shower backing to use as white boards they may cut it for free (usually a small fee for cutting) if you say your a teacher.---TEACHER POWER--use it when you can!!!

    Good luck! Welcome!
     
  13. valentinemom

    valentinemom Rookie

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    Jul 24, 2006

    I want to congratulate you and also let you know I am in the same boat. Some of the repspones were helpful but, my question is how do you enforce the classroom rules/procedures/expectations. Does this go on for a day or so and if that's the case what kind of activities could you do that would last the entire day, not to mention two days?
     
  14. wdwteach

    wdwteach Cohort

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    You will do this everyday, all year long. Introduce rules and procedures the first day and then, as you go, model your expectations over and over. Be consistent and enforce your consequences. You will be so much better off if you are consistent. Kids will not listen to a long speech about rules and so forth so keep it short.
     
  15. etcetera83

    etcetera83 Cohort

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    Jul 24, 2006

    Everyone else has given you so many great ideas. I just wanted to say congrats and welcome to the forum. First year is hard, but rewarding doing what you love to do. Yea, you!
     
  16. jbryant

    jbryant New Member

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    Jul 25, 2006

    Hello and congratulations! The first year can be overwhelming, but it can also be a great experience as long as you are prepared. Definitely, stick to the rules the first few days (heck the whole school year), learn to have a sense of humor, realize that everyone is not going to be your friend, however, still smile!

    On another note, I thought I needed everything, I would suggest getting what you truly NEED first because everthing goes on sale for dirt cheap like the first week in September (even at Wal-Mart). Make the parents chip in for supplies and constantly include what you need weekly in a parent letter. All may not be able to help, but you typically have one parent that will do it all. Good Luck and remember, to teach is to touch a life forever.
     
  17. FINALLYaTeacher

    FINALLYaTeacher New Member

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    Aug 9, 2006

    Thank you

    Thank you s0o0o0o much everyone for your help. I am sure that I am going to have a great first day/year.
     
  18. ilove2nd

    ilove2nd Rookie

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    Aug 10, 2006

    You have so many excellent ideas from others here. The one thing that I can add is get organized and stay organized. Make folders on your computer for each subject that you teach. Then make folders within those folders of the various units that you will teach. So make a "Math" folder, then a "Place Value" folder within it. Then save files in the relevant subjects and unit topics. Anytime you come across a great idea that you want to use for an upcoming unit, save it in that unit folder. I do the exact same thing with paper copies. Each chapter or unit has its own manila file folder. When making copies, I always make 1-2 extra and toss them into the appropriate unit folder. The following year, it is super easy to see what I used when teaching that unit.

    I also find it helpful to use 5 two-pocket folders, labeled with each day of the week. All worksheets, homework pages, or handouts go into the folder for the day of the week it will be used. If you keep ahead of the folder system, by Monday you are set for the whole week.

    Good luck!
     
  19. lupin43

    lupin43 Companion

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    Aug 10, 2006

    Along with the previous poster, set up a schedule for your day. Think like middle school (but no bells.) Try your best to always start with spelling and move to math then reading or whatever order you want. Post your schedule in the room to remind you and help you students learn time. Include your specials. This will help you start and remember to gauge your time to get to each subject each day. (Or every other day...) :) Good Luck!
     
  20. mcronan

    mcronan Rookie

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    Aug 11, 2006

    Procedures!

    You wouldn't think that you could fill the first couple of days with procedures.. but believe you can and you must! Everything from what they do when they come in in the morning to how you want them to get a tissue or sharpen those pencils.
    My 3rd graders started Monday... and we spent a good part of this week reviewing procedures, expectations and rules. It took me 40 mins yesterday to walk them though how to copy simple notes (we're talking the date, subject and one vocab word from the board) from the board at the beginning of math class. I have high expectations for my kids... but you have to model EVERYTHING first.
    Last year I wasn't prepared to give them procedures... I just figured they were old enough and they knew how to line up.BIG mistake. Fights insued over who was in front of who and cutting issues. This year I assigned everyone a number and that's how they line up every day. It's so nice to be able to go down the line and see everyone in their correct place.:D
    Remember to come up with a strong set of rewards and consequences to go along with your rules that you can live by. There is no one right way and you can always change it but it's good to go in with one to try out and present the kids.
    For supplies go by the posts above, they've basically covered it all. Just remember not to worry too much about a theme, get what you like. Also, remember your needs. The amount of paperwork you're going to have is staggering. Get plenty of paper stackers, bins, file folders and clips( an extra shelf or small folding table is also great to have beside or behind your desk to hold the overflow of TEs and daily papers, because your desk alone won't be enough to hold it all):p . It will save you a whole lot of headaches in the future.
    Good luck and let us know how it goes!
    Meg
     
  21. NYSTeacher

    NYSTeacher Companion

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    Aug 11, 2006

    mcronan,

    I just read your post and didn't really think so much time went into teaching procedures, routines, ect. I'm a frist year teafher, 5th grade, and I had the notion that they are old enough and don't need all that. But I'm thinking they just might. Thanks for the advise.
     
  22. falcons88

    falcons88 Rookie

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    Aug 11, 2006

    I am teaching 8th grade and they need it. You will pay for it later if you don't.
     
  23. greeneyes

    greeneyes New Member

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    Aug 12, 2006

    thank you so much for all the wonderful advice - I am also a first year teacher - kindergarten - and a career changer. I'm told it takes about a month for the kids to learn and follow the procedures. My problem this first week has been that I expected them to know them instantly in the first day. Not. Consequently, it has been frustrating, but these posts have been so heartening. I have gleaned from the posts that I have to continue to practice, practice, practice, and not give up. I really appreciate all that you have said to FINALLY a teacher - it has helped so much!!
     

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