Last week, I graduated with an Elementary Education degree here in Missouri. I will be teaching 5th grade in August. I am so excited! However, I am a little nervous about all that awaits me in my first classroom.
I would like to make a list of things that I need to do. So far, I have visited the school and got acquainted, took pictures of my soon-to-be classroom, and brought teacher's manuals home. I am in contact with the teacher that I am replacing (she's moving in 1st) and the other 5th grade teacher. I am looking for a list of things that need to be done, supplies I will be needing, etc. There is just so much to think about and I want to make sure that I cover all of the bases!
and welcome to PT! You will love it here, and there are so many great ideas by so many wonderfully talented people.
I guess I would start by asking the other teacher some basic stuff like what kind of discipline program she uses or if there is a school wide one. I would read Henry Wong's First Day of School, as he has some wonderful advice about setting expectations. I would get basic supplies for yourself and find out what kind of supplies the kids are expected to bring with them. Decide what theme (if you're a theme person) you'd like to use in your room and how you will set up your room. Definitely look over your curriculum, decide if you need to purchase anything to supplement it with, and ask the other teacher how she goes about pacing. If there are novels for your reading groups, I would read those and figure out pacing. I would look up science experiments you could do that go along with your units. I would definitely practice how to teach the math - math isn't one of the subjects I would want to just go in and wing
Keep exploring the boards here on PT for things like first day of school ideas, classroom decor/organization, and fifth grade specific ideas.
You will need an introduction letter for parents--which you will give out either by mail or on the first day.
The letter should contain :
An introduction that gives the parents a feel for what you are all about. Keep it short.
Your behavior, homework and grading policy-----if everything is online you'll need to know if parents have access
a supply list--even if one went out by mail
A daily schedule
Volunteer request-you'll want want to check the district and school policy on volunteers.
For those parents that can't volunteer give them options of way they can be helpful--like extra class supplies or being involved in a parent phone tree for party snacks etc. They may have a special skill they can share with the class. Some of my best class presetners have been parents.
Include an little survey about them to give information about there student they think you should know like nicknames or allergies. Ask them what makes their child special---its always nice to see what traits value in thier child.
District holiday and testing calendar
heads up on any big field trips--just incase parents would like to get the day off.
Check with your partner teacher to see what they send out at the beginning of school.
They've given you some good ideas. I think for me, I'd want to map out a schedule first. Go in and ask the other 5th grade teacher what a typical day looks like, that will make it easier to do some planning over the summer. What about Specials, PE and such? Then think of what will you need to make it through the first week, the welcome letter, supply list for students, ice breaker activities and such. Then get familiar with the curriculum. I'd make lesson plans for at least the first two weeks, more if you're able. Also, for the first week, over plan, that is plan more than you'll think you need, better to be overprepared, than underprepared.
In Harry's book, he has you think of the procedures for things, such as what is the procedure for sharpening a pencil, or getting a drink of water, you may want to type these up to go over with the class.
Do you have a Smartboard or document projector in your room? White boards or chalkboards?
I just found out that I will be teaching 4th instead of 5th. I am glad they made the switch since my new classroom is a lot nicer and bigger than the other one. Also, there are plenty of resources I can use. I don't think I will be buying anything, although I was preparing for it and already made a long list of supplies for the 5th grade class!!!
I'm a first year teacher, too. Thanks for posting that link for the checklist. It will be very helpful to me in preparing for the first day of school. I'm so nervous that I will not be prepared... I'm teaching 4th - 6th literacy and social studies. I don't have a schedule yet, and that keeps me from being able to plan like I want to....