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How to Start?
Old 07-07-2009, 07:18 PM
 
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I feel so lucky to have gotten a job right out of college teaching 5th grade! I am really excited to get started...but I feel so overwhellemed that I don't know what to do first! Does anyone have any suggestions/advice? Any would be appreciated!


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Old 07-07-2009, 07:22 PM
 
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Buy Harry Wong's First Days of School. It's $32, but worth every penny. I am in my eighth year of teaching, and just bought the new edition - I am switching from 5th to 2nd, and needed a refresher! You can find the old edition at a used bookstore (Half Price) if money is a problem.
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new edition
Old 07-07-2009, 07:28 PM
 
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I have loved the older edition of Harry Wong's The First Days of School. Now that I'm switching grade levels, I'm just wondering if it would be worth checking out the newer edition. Does anyone have information on what additional content was added?

To answer the original question, definitely see if you'll have a mentor or partner teacher to help you transition into the new school. They'll be invaluable when it comes to answering the millions of school specific questions (what discipline plan do they use? homework expectations? etc).

Good luck and congrats on the job!

L
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Old 07-08-2009, 09:16 AM
 
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I'm also starting my first year of teaching and my mom (who is a teacher) gave me the book a previous poster recommended. It has so much wonderful information.
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Starting the Year
Old 07-08-2009, 12:19 PM
 
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Hi polkadot! Congratulations on becoming a 5th grade teacher. I know how overwhelmed you must be. I will try to help you the best I can.

I too recommend Harry Wong's book The First Days of School. I was fortunate to receive a copy from my university upon my graduation. You can also visit his website at Teachers.net (http://teachers.net/gazette/wong.html) to get free resources and ideas on how to start the year.

I suggest starting to work and brainstorm on your classroom management. You can make a folder or a binder with your classroom management information. In that resource you will place the following information about your classroom:
  • Rules
  • Procedures (SUPER important)
  • Behavior Policy
  • Homework Policy
  • Welcome Letter for Parents
  • Parent Communication Log
  • Etc...
Check out this link by Harry Wong on the First Ten Days of School: http://teachers.net/wong/JAN05/

I can honestly tell you to spend time on creating different procedures to use in your classroom. Write them down and teach them as you need them throughout the year. Procedures are different from rules. Procedures are how you expect things to be done in the classroom. You will need procedures for:
  • Morning Arrival
  • Pencil Sharpening
  • Bathroom Use
  • Water Fountain Use
  • Turning in Homework
  • Collecting Papers
  • Passing out Papers
  • Taking Attendance
  • Lining Up
  • Getting Students' Attention
  • Computer Use
  • Conferences
  • Etc...
Other suggestions I would give is to think about whether you will do a theme or not in your class. This theme can be used as your classroom decoration theme and/or a theme you will study in the year. This will help you think about how you might want to decorate your classroom.

You also need to think about the types of bulletin boards you might want to have up. If you are teaching Reading, a word wall might be useful. You might need a word wall for Math as well or just a general Math Bulletin Board. You are also going to need a space in your classroom to display your behavior system. Other bulletin boards depend on the subjects you are teaching.

I went ahead and created a New Teacher Survival Guide a couple of years ago. You might find it handy. Here's a direct link to that guide: http://www.sanchezclass.com/docs/newteachers.pdf (it takes a while to load so be patient )

You may find this guide in my website www.sanchezclass.com in the Teacher's Corner.

Let me know if I can help you in any other way. Best of luck and I wish you the best.

Mariely


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thank you!!
Old 07-08-2009, 12:38 PM
 
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WOW! Thank you so much for all of the great information!! I bought a copy of The First Days of School and..the new teacher survival guide is absolutely WONDERFUL! I already feel better! Thank you for the help and support!!
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Your are most welcome!
Old 07-08-2009, 12:47 PM
 
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We are glad to have helped you out. I'm happy to see that you are feeling better. Remember that we are here to help. Have a wonderful day!

Mariely
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I know how you feel
Old 07-09-2009, 07:27 PM
 
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I too just graduated and accepted a position teaching 3rd grade. When people ask me if I am excited, I say yes. I am very excited, but also overwhelmed. There is so much to do that I do not even know where to begin. I am hoping this feeling will go away a little bit after I get to work in the classroom and start checking things off my list. Feel free to PM me if you want to vent or share other anxieties. Good luck and congrats.
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It is good to know
Old 07-10-2009, 06:58 AM
 
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that there are other new teachers out there feeling the same way. Mariely - I had discovered your website and it is WONDERFUL!!! I have shared it with many of my friends and will be using many of your ideas.

I think once I start getting my room in some kind of order I will feel a little better. My TA has been in second grade for several years and I intend to gleen a lot from her - at the same time retaining my own personality and ideas.
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Most Welcome :)
Old 07-10-2009, 08:02 AM
 
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I'm glad to know that my website has been a great resource for you and others. It's always a great feeling to be able to help each other out. I wish you the best in the coming year.


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your survival guide...
Old 07-10-2009, 02:00 PM
 
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Ok so now that I downloaded and printed it... you should totally charge for this type of thing!!! I am so glad that you have developed this because it is going to be so helpful!!! You are one of those rare gems in the teaching world who is nice enough to share what you know because you remember what it was like being there for the first time. I have come across so many "seasoned" teachers who are so secretive about their success and don't want to share their wealth of knowledge. Thank God for people like you!!!!
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Survival Guide
Old 07-10-2009, 02:39 PM
 
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Hi tlhuds1! Thank you so much for your wonderful comments! I'm truly humbled by them. I'm glad that you have found the survival guide useful. You are not the first person to tell me that I should charge for it. I just don't really feel I should. You are right, I remember what it was like to be a first year teacher looking for help, resources, and ideas. I'm happy to be able to share all I can with everyone who is interested. Have a wonderful day!
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another book to try
Old 07-14-2009, 01:30 PM
 
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PolkaDot, you might also try reading the First Six Weeks of School. I was given a copy by my district during my new teacher training last year and I found it very helpful. Good Luck!
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Classroom Handbook
Old 07-15-2009, 05:30 AM
 
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This year will mark my 4th year teaching and 3rd grade level change. One piece of advice to all you new and maybe veteran teachers is to create a classroom handbook. I did it last lear and loved it! I've included all the information I want parents to have at the beginning of the year, plus they can refer back to it during the year should they have any questions. Another added bonus is everything is in one place (I don't have to search for a lot of papers) and they can't claim they never got the information. It takes a little bit of work to put it together but after it's done all you have to do each year is make minor adjustments! In mine I've included:
1. Cover sheet
2, Welcome letter
3. Schedule
4. Supply List
5. Curriculum Expectations (everything I take grades for with short yearly overview)
6. B.E.E Folder information (organized take-home folder) & Contract
7. Classroom Procedures (mornings, breakfast, personal items, classroom jobs, behavior, homework, make-up work & test corrections, library books, birthdays, celebrations, volunteers, absences/illnesses, late/Leaving early, visits, websites)
8. Help wanted (parent volunteer jobs)
9. Phonetic writing letter
10. Homework helpers
11. District Calendar
12. Routines
13. ABC's for Parents
14. Why can't I skip my 20 minutes of reading?
15. Classroom Handbook Acknowledgment form
16. Student Contact Information
17. Tell me about your child

I did not come up with the format myself and some of the contents I've found various places online but you get the idea. Good luck!
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First Year
Old 07-16-2009, 04:25 PM
 
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Congratulations!!!!

I agree with everyone on here about Harry Wong's "First Days of School." I still read that book to brush up on some things!

My suggestion to you is to reach out to the colleagues around you and to your mentor (if you have one). I could not have gotten through anything without them, their guidance, and their support!
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New teacher here
Old 07-22-2009, 09:10 AM
 
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Thank you for all of the information posted here. I'm sure it's going to be very helpful to me in the weeks to come!
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2nd year
Old 07-22-2009, 08:48 PM
 
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It will get easier. After finishing my first year in first grade (and surviving ), I am now excited to prepare for my 2nd. I know what worked for me, what I want to change, and what I want to learn more about. Just remember don't forget to ask for help and search proteacher and other sites for ideas. You don't have to do it all by yourself! Good luck!
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Be sure to check out this site
Old 07-29-2009, 05:53 AM
 
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http://honolulu.hawaii.edu/intranet/...htm#techniques
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1st Year Too!
Old 07-31-2009, 06:17 PM
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Thank you
Old 08-19-2009, 04:48 PM
 
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Thank you so much for posting all your wisdom.. I will be starting my first day of teaching in 5 days now and reading through your guide helped me with a few things I hadn't thought about. I appreciate you taking the time for sharing.
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