Checklists for Teacher and Student Materials (page 2)
If you have materials that your students will need on a routine basis ready and organized before the beginning of the school year, your job will be considerably easier. Be prepared with extra supplies. Once the school year begins, student monitors can be in charge of these classroom materials.
Name Tags and Name Plates
Name tags are a good idea for the first day of school, regardless of the grade level you teach. Lower grade students’ name tags can be worn around the neck while inside (but not while playing outside, because of safety hazards). Upper grade students can use adhesive or clip-on name tags. Name tags should be easy to read, especially for lower grade students.
Additionally, name plates can be attached to desks. Most schools have desk name plates that can be used, and teacher supply stores have name plates that can be purchased. For students in the lower grades, name plates not only give students a sense of place, but also provide a model for their name.
- Keep the name tags simple. If they are too decorative, they are hard to read.
- Consider folding the name plates so that the bottom section forms a base and they can stand on the desks. This makes them easier to read.
- Have older students write their own names on their name tags and/or name plates.
Writing and Coloring Utensils
Included here are pencils, crayons, and colored pencils. Consider the grade level of your students when selecting these materials: Larger pencils and crayons are used in the lower grades, because they are easier for the students to manipulate.
- Students in grades K–2 generally use large blue pencils.
- Students in grades K–1 generally use large crayons (8 to a box).
- Students in grades 2–5 generally use thin yellow No. 2 pencils.
- Students in grades 2–5 generally use smaller crayons (12–36 to a box).
- Students in grades 2–5 use colored pencils.
Like writing and coloring utensils, paper is sized with a purpose—the more widely spaced the lines, the younger the student. Widely spaced lines are easier for younger students to use when they are learning to print, as they are just beginning to develop their fine motor skills.
- Paper for kindergarten students has lines that are spaced 1⅛ apart.
- Paper for first grade students has lines that are spaced ⅝ apart.
- Paper for second and third grade students has lines that are spaced ½ apart.
- Paper for students in the fourth grade and up generally has lines that are spaced ¼ apart.
- Plain newsprint can be used for math.
A school district adopts textbooks in a specific series for each subject area taught. All students should receive a textbook for each subject area.
- Post a number on the spine of each textbook, using a small sticker and a permanent marker.
- Assign each student a specific textbook, and keep a record of the assigned textbook number.
- Review your expectations for textbook care with the whole class.
Writing journals, which can be used by students for projects in any curricular area, are generally available at your school site.
- Have students create journals for each subject area. These journals present a continuous record of what students are learning, and they are an excellent example of the students’ work to show to parents at conference time.
- Make a point to summarize lessons, and model writing with the whole class.
- Create simple journals from white paper stapled inside a designated color of construction paper, with the student’s name written at the top.
- Use journals in math for students to write up explanations of how particular problems were solved or to illustrate their understanding of math concepts.
It is important for students to have a designated folder where they keep their homework. Home communications can be kept there as well. Students in the lower grades should have folders with covers showing their name and the specific skills they are learning (for example, colors, alphabet, numbers, shapes). Homework folders for students in the upper grades can also have illustrated covers, or perhaps be identified with just the student’s name.
- Require each student to have a two-pocket folder. These come in a variety of colors.
- Label the pockets “Homework” for all homework to be returned and “Paperwork” for all school notifications that need to be signed and returned.
At the beginning of the school year, there are many forms that students must have filled out and returned. Check with your school office for such paperwork, which might include emergency information cards, release of liability forms, PTA membership forms, and school behavior contracts.
- Offer incentives to students for bringing necessary paperwork back.
- Keep track of what has been returned by checking off each returned sheet next to students’ names on a class roster.
- Record emergency contact information in your grade book before turning information in to the office.
- Note students’ allergies.
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