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NewFirstie 08-10-2017 12:14 PM

Hired two days before school starts
I just got hired for a first grade room two days before school starts. I have one day (tomorrow) to set up my classroom, and I know a lot of tomorrow will be spent in meetings/orientation. I have extremely limited time. I'd love suggestions for what to put my time/energy in and what to skip until a little later.

I'm already planning for:
-name plates for desks (probably made over the weekend and taped down monday morning)
-basic supplies pencils/crayons/etc
-some books (already have them)
-a plan for basic procedures
-I'm obviously not going to go super hard on the decorations with such limited time, but I also don't want them to walk into a plain white room on Monday.

Munchkins 08-10-2017 12:58 PM

Plain white is fine!
The perfect way to start is to get them to help you decorated the room with meaningful work. Have them make "All About Me" pictures. They can draw themselves with things they want to share with the class- pets, hobbies, etc. Have them include their families and homes.

For a writing activity they can write, "This year I want to learn...." And illustrate it.

As long as they have a place to sit and put their belongings, you're good. There may be plenty of writing supplies already, so I wouldn't spend too much.

Think about your opening routines and how you want your days to go. Borrow lots of read alouds from the library- 1st graders love to be read to!

Allow time to take them for a couple of tours of the building. They will need to learn how to get to the office if you have to send them for anything (we have to send a lunch envelope.)

Congratulations, and good luck! You don't need to label everything right away, just where they put their belongings. I might not label desks for the first day or two- I want to see their personalities a bit first. One day at a time! We're here for you!

reenie201 08-12-2017 08:27 PM

Play lots of get to know you games. Sing! Check out the book The First Six Weeks of School from Responsive Classroom for great ideas and structure.

The past two years I've started two different classroom teaching positions at the end of September. I felt rushed and wish I had taken more time to build community feelings with students. I wish I had had more fun with them, laughed more, and not let the stress of the schedule take away from the great part of school. It is a long school year and all of the positives you do the first 6 weeks will carry you through to the end. Build those personal relationships with students and you'll be able to teach them anything!

Good luck! Don't be afraid to ask questions either. Find a teacher who is friendly and helpful.

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