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What grade do you teach?
I teach grades 6 through 8 for Language Arts and a 7/8 Social Studies class (world history, geography and current events)
- What is the greatest advice you received during your 1st year of teaching?
When I switched over to middle school from subbing I was really word. My principal, who is also one of my best friends, told me to just relax and take it one day at a time. At the end of each day, take a moment to reflect. What worked well? What didn't work? What can I do to fix it? Did my students learn something? If I can answer all of those questions honestly, then I am doing a good job. The rest will come, and it has!
- Do you have a checklist that you follow when preparing your classroom (include the checklist)?
I am moving into a brand new classroom in a brand new building. I have seen it partially finished. I have no idea about bulletin boards, furniture or anything. I won't get in to set it up until the weekend before school starts. Am I worried, YOU BET! So if and when I do get a thumbs up to set up, or if I get to see my room prior to that, I will make a list. So, I am setting up binders, they are a must!
- What are some must haves in your classroom that you cannot live without (ex. items, books, posters, management strategies)?
I will have a planning binder, a sub binder, attendance binder, and a binder for each subject/grade I teach. I will also be starting Interactive Student Notebooks this year. I will have a binder(s) for those. I used to use a file cabinet, but I would just throw stuff in the back of the drawer so it was a mess. My wonderful husband is also building me a binder shelf (they have similar ones at Really Good Stuff). I also had problems last year with keeping up with my materials. So I am going to use another divided box, kind of like 5 magazine boxes put together but in wood, and set up my Monday through Friday for the week. Since I will be using Interactive Notebooks, I want to have everything ready when my students walk in. I set up a great file bin for Literature circles last year. It worked well. I like that my students are responsible for getting the materials that they need. I will set these up for my notebooks once I model how to use each type of Foldable and graphic organizer that we will use. I can't wait! Oh wait, one other strategy, I am making a display board to go near my classroom door. It will tell my students what they need for class each day so I don't get 18 students asking, "Mrs. Morganelli, do I need my laptop? What are we doing in class today? Do I need my folder? Will I need colored pencils?" You get the point, lots of questions. I started writing it on the board last year. I still got the questions, but I could just say, "Check the board, please." It worked well. Often one or two students would wind up telling the other kids what they needed. I love it when simple things work. Since my room will be bigger and I don't want them coming and going 800 times, I am setting up a board on a small easel stand near my door. If you check out my post from yesterday I started making the labels for it. I will post the finished product, hopefully, tomorrow!
- What is something that all teachers should have in their classroom?