Thursday, August 2, 2012

Preparing For School Linky Party

I am linking up with Mrs. Crouse at 6th Grade All Stars to tell how I prepare for school.  Sorry, I know I'm a little late, but I just found it.
First of all, I teach 4th grade.  I have taught 6th, 5th, and 4th grades, but I love 4th.
The greatest advice I received when I first began teaching was from a sweet friend who had only been teaching a couple of years herself.  I still remember it today.  I was very concerned about trying the "new" trend (at that time) for teaching language.  When I expressed my concern to her, she told me to teach the way that I felt was right and comfortable for me.  As long as I was teaching, the students would be learning.  I have often thought of that through the years as many changes have come and gone.

No, I don't have a physical checklist, but as I get older, I probably need one.  I usually first try to get my room ready.  Then when we get students' names, I begin listing and labeling everything:  grade book, weekly folders, journals, nameplates, etc.  Once that is done, then I begin the most important procedure, preparing lessons. 

My must have items include: 
   1.  Picture books-  I love using mentor text when teaching reading and writing.
   2.  Some type of behavior system-  Have in place rules, consequences, and procedures from day one.  A teacher can always lighten up, but once you have begun, you can't go back and get stricter.  Be firm and consistent, but let students know you love and care about them.
  I am using my new behavior chart and cards.  (See my last post for freebies!)
   3.  My coworkers-  I have the best group of ladies that I teach with.  Our secret to our success in the classroom, with behavior problems, and test scores is that we share everything!  We work together so closely, there is nothing that we don't share:  ideas, lessons, activities, disciplining students, everything!  I am so blessed!

Something that all teachers should have in their classroom is a Smart board.  I know not everyone can afford one, but my Smart board has been an excellent teaching and motivational tool in my room.  The students love it.

I am also linking up with Teaching in Room 6 for advice for incoming class of teachers linky.   I think that much of what I listed above would be advice that I would give to new teachers.  I would also say that as a writing teacher, you don't have to grade every piece of writing.  Remember, the more students write, the better writers they become.  It is not necessary to "grade" every piece of writing for every grammatical, capitalization, punctuation errors, etc.  Instead, use rubrics to train students to improve their own writing., education, upper grade, 5th grade, 4th grade



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