Talk Me Down

Discussion in 'Third Grade' started by Ad Astra, Jul 17, 2013.

  1. Ad Astra

    Ad Astra Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2013
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 17, 2013

    Hi teachers! I'm hoping some of you can help. This will be my first year in a regular ed elementary classroom (without a directing teacher, outside of practica, etc.). My previous experience was itinerant with a caseload of students.

    My P is out of town until closer to the end of the month. Not only am I an over-achiever (like almost every other teacher I know), but my motto is: Fail to plan, plan to fail. I plan for everything! I have backup plans for my plans. :D

    I have a few questions that I haven't had a response on because my P is not around. But some of the most important questions involve scheduling and my classroom (which I have not seen).

    I have been a busy woman! I've been making things for classroom management, organizing filing systems, etc. But I've been chomping at the bit to start planning at least the first week of school.

    I know:

    1. Classroom rules, procedures, and routines will be explicitly taught and practiced ad nauseum (most likely) :thumb:. I plan to do some of this outside instruction, but for 3rd grade, I'd love to address my rules, procedures, etc. during the course of the regular day and instruction (with extra time to practice until things become habit).

    2. I need to get a writing sample, do a fluency probe, and assess for reading level as well. I'd like to do this all within the first 4 days, if possible.

    But how do I know what the specials schedule will be? How do I know how much time should be allotted for each subject area? How much time to spend on things? How long the morning announcements last (and how long my kiddos will have for morning journaling or work, etc.).

    I know I'll probably get this when I report for my first day of pre-planning, but I'm having a hard time planning for the first week (or 2) without having some rough schedule structure. :dizzy:

    I've been reading The Daily Five and The Cafe Book (and I'm blown away already) so I'd love to incorporate these approaches into my classroom instruction. I'm just at a loss as to how to plan! And I know that my pre-planning will be spent in meetings and I'll be lucky if I even see my classroom that week. (I've been told)

    What should I do? I hate putting things off. I know I'm going to be so nervous the first day the kids arrive, but I want to be nervous but very well-prepared, even if things need to change a bit (which I know they will).

    Thoughts? I'm a Type A planner/overachiever/don't stop 'til I drop sort of personality and I want to be outstanding (or reaching toward it!) that first week. I want to start strong.

    Thanks for your advice and for letting me get some of the nerves off my chest! You all have been lifesaving so far!
     
  2.  
  3. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    Messages:
    6,873
    Likes Received:
    229

    Jul 17, 2013

    Until you get your schedule, you simply won´t be able to plan everything to a T. Do you have a grade-level leader, or another teach on your team with whom you can speak to? There migh be specific guidelines about how long each subject (or at least math and literacy) needs to be taught. I think until you know the actualy details, I can only make your plans but not fit them into actual time slots. Once you have your schedule, though, then you can start putting these activities into time slots.
     
  4. Ad Astra

    Ad Astra Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2013
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 17, 2013

    This is my first year at this school, so I don't know any other teachers yet. But I do know that I'll have a mentor and another support person - I just don't know who these people are yet! :)

    I do like your idea of planning, and then fitting things into time-slots/days later when I get a schedule structure. I don't know why I didn't think of that. :)
     
  5. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    Messages:
    6,873
    Likes Received:
    229

    Jul 17, 2013

    Does your school have a website? If so, maybe you can go on there and see if you can find other teachers from your grade and email them.
     
  6. Ad Astra

    Ad Astra Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2013
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 17, 2013

    That's a great idea! Thank you!
     
  7. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    Messages:
    6,873
    Likes Received:
    229

    Jul 17, 2013

    You´re welcome. I hope you will be able to reach someone and get your questions answered.
     
  8. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2006
    Messages:
    7,075
    Likes Received:
    15

    Jul 17, 2013

    Unfortunately, most of your questions will have to be answered by your P. Some schools have strict guidelines to follow, some do not.

    As for how you are feeling- I understand completely. I'm the same type of person and I am in full on panic (crying non-stop) mode today about my new job. :hugs: It stinks, but you are not alone :hugs:
     
  9. Ad Astra

    Ad Astra Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2013
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 17, 2013

    I like to think of Dr. Seuss in times like this:

    "And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed) Kid, you'll move mountains.”
    ― Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You'll Go!

    :hugs:
     
  10. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    Messages:
    3,061
    Likes Received:
    538

    Jul 17, 2013

    Okay! Deep breath! :thumb: When does school start?

    Typically for the first week of school I don't have specific, minute by minute plans. If you are required to write them and hand them in, then you'll need to. Otherwise, I make a list of everything I could accomplish. I have lots of activities, read alouds, procedures to practice, etc. These stay neatly stored in the back of my mind, as well as on paper, and I just work through the list. You'll be amazed at how loooong everything takes the first week. And you may meet your group and realize you need to take a different approach. READ THE CROWD!

    Secondly, the assessments could take weeks. Finding everyone's reading level in addition to everything else you want to assess will take a long time. It's important, and do start picking away at it as soon as your kiddos seem comfortable enough to 'perform their best' - but be prepared that it could (and most likely will!) take longer than 4 days.

    My goal the first few days of school is simply for my students to enjoy themselves so that they want to come back the next day. Absolutely teach procedures, start assessing, but above all, take time to build that classroom community. It will set the course for the rest of your year.

    Third grade is a fantastic grade! They have spent the first 3 years of school acquiring and honing some pretty important skills and now they are ready to use them. Enjoy! :hugs:
     
  11. Ad Astra

    Ad Astra Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2013
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 17, 2013

    THANK YOU! Pre-planning starts 8/5 and the kids are back the following Monday.

    Thank you for all of your advice! This makes me breathe easier!!
     
  12. GAteacher

    GAteacher Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 17, 2013

    For the first day of school, my principal says we have 3 goals: check their heads, feed them lunch, and get them home safely! In second grade, much of the first week is about setting procedures and routines. If your school has a webpage, maybe you could look at the schedules that teachers posted last year to get an idea about schedules, but you probably won't know for sure until pre-planning. Do you have a mentor, or know who the grade level 'leader'? They could probably answer these questions for you.
     
  13. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2007
    Messages:
    5,276
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jul 17, 2013

    I will spend much of the first week working on rules & procedures. I don't have to do much "getting to know you" stuff, because mine is a very small school (less than 300 students from ECSE through 5th), and 90% of our kids attend our school from age 4 (PreK). I will probably do some 2nd grade reviewing as well, because I already know that literally 1/2 of the incoming 3rd graders are exceedingly low (long story).
     
  14. Sm2teach

    Sm2teach Companion

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2012
    Messages:
    119
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 18, 2013

    Yes, rules, procedures, paperwork, checking in supplies all take up most of the first days of school. We do start about day 2 on our curriculum. The beginning of school is usually for review so we start on something they are familiar with. This is a way of working on procedures with material they are comfortable with. As far as assessments go we usually wait until the next week. Many of the students have gone all summer without doing any school work and so you will get a much more accurate assessment after they have had a chance to dust off the cobwebs.
     
  15. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    Messages:
    3,061
    Likes Received:
    538

    Jul 19, 2013

    :thumb: Great advice!
     
  16. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2007
    Messages:
    1,904
    Likes Received:
    113

    Jul 21, 2013

    It's too stressful for me to plan the first days/weeks because I panic when it's not complete. Instead, I make a very small list of the things I need to get done the first day. Before I leave Day 1, make a small list for Day 2. etc.

    I jump into Daily 5 Day 1.

    I have them copy the date and a simple sentence from the board. I learn so much from this...how long it took each, neatness, following lines, spacing, etc.

    We open all school supplies and determine where it belongs. We even take it all out again and put it back where it belongs.

    Every rule I go over, all year, I have them show me the right way and the wrong way.

    Math is a simple game. It's something so easy and I pretend to be shocked on what I will teach them all year in math since they already know so much.

    My full planning does not begin until week 2 or even 3.
     
  17. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2007
    Messages:
    5,276
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jul 21, 2013

    Our admin requires written (actually emailed + physical copies in the classroom) plans from Day 1. Mine aren't nearly as detailed as they are once we are in full swing, but we still have to have them.
     
  18. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    Messages:
    3,061
    Likes Received:
    538

    Jul 21, 2013

    I also do this - I constantly act shocked at what they can do and I always say, "Are you sure you're from kindergarten because you act like you came from grade 4!"

    One year I had a student stand up and say (in a very exasperated voice) "We are ALL from kindergarten!!" Then he proceeded to tell me which class each individual student was in the previous year. It was super cute!
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. Caesar753,
  2. TeacherNY
Total: 237 (members: 2, guests: 211, robots: 24)
test