Let’s Get Ready to Rumble! (Back to School Linky Party)

I’m jumping in feet first (as I usually do) with the idea of being a part of a linky party.  Ms. Crouse at Sixth Grade All Stars, is hosting a linky party discussing ideas for back to school.  She is a first year teacher and is super excited about the unbelievable journey she is embarking upon.  I had the best support system as a first year teacher and feel it is my responsibility to return the favor as many times as possible.

Guide to participating in the linky party:

1. Post about this linky party on your blog

2. Follow her blog ({6th Grade} All-Stars) (and mine as well 🙂 )

3. Answer the following 5 questions (include documents if you have them):

– What grade do you teach?
6th Grade English Language Arts
– What is the greatest advice you received during your 1st year of teaching? 
I think the greatest advice I’ve ever received wasn’t actually in words – but in actions.  So many of the teachers I have worked with (and continue to work with) always did what was in the best interest of children – even if it meant more work for themselves.
– Do you have a checklist that you follow when preparing your classroom (include the checklist)?
I make a checklist – but I can never find it when I need it (kinda like my grocery list)! And even though I’ve been teaching for 15 years, I change it up every year.  One staple the I open up and read every year is Harry K. Wong’s First Days of School.  The information in that book continues to be relevant and reliable.
I also found a couple of sites that have checklists that I think would be helpful to teachers.  I’m listing a few of them below:
– What are some must haves in your classroom that you cannot live without (ex. items, books, posters, management strategies)?
In the past, I would put up posters all over the classroom before the students walked into the room.  I will still put a few posters up (mostly inspiring quotes), but I plan to leave a lot more space to the anchor charts we will create together.  I cannot live without my iPad (I have so many apps that I use to make the classroom run easier), Class Dojo (an online management system), a robust classroom library and the following picture books:
Oh, The Places You Can Go!
First Day Jitters
The Teacher From the Black Lagoon (which also has a video that you can find on youtube or schooltube)
Big Plans
The Recess Queen
Amazing Grace
I use many of those books during the first week of school to introduce various themes that help us discuss community, relationships, and goals.
– What is something that all teachers should have in their classroom?
A positive attitude, consistency, and a plan for early finishers! 🙂