* Obtain a starting supply of the paper to use. You will need enough paper for 6 or 7 sheets per child of: plain paper, primary grade handwriting paper, colored construction paper, graph paper.
* Cut an initial supply of paper into the sizes frequently referred to in the Lesson Guide: full sheets, half sheets, and quarter sheets.
* If you have them, put up number cards that also include number words.
* Display the number line provided.
* Prepare a box where students can deposit completed Math Messages and other mathematics papers.
* Decide on a calendar format.
* Prepare charts for recording weather observations and the materials to be used for recording temperature.
(I used half sheets of oak tag for my weather center. On a bulletin board in our meeting area I hung these. They had a title, i.e., SUNNY and a picture at the top. Then they had a line down the middle and were partitioned off into the 10 months of the school year. For example, row one had a box for September and a box for October; row two had a box for November and a box for December. Each day when we decided what type of weather we had, I put a tally mark in the appropriate box on the appropriate chart. Then at the end of each month we added up all tally marks for each type of weather and made a Types of Days In Month graph. I collected these in a book at the end of the year. If you have questions about this email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
* Put together a collection of pennies (10 per student).
* Start a list of supplies for students to bring from home - sock, coins, etc.
* Read through the teaching sections "Classroom Management" and "Curriculum Management" in the Grades K-3 Teachers' Reference Manual and decide how you want to set up the routines that are to be introduced the first weeks of class.
* Decide on an arrangement for your classroom - spacing between desks, easy access to manipulatives, etc.
* Be sure to read over the first unit, including the Unit Organizer, for your grade level.
In addition to this great list, I also recommend that you go through each unit and copy all math messages onto chart paper, one for each day, so they are ready to go.
Also, there are card games that are played daily. To make cleanup easier, I recommend that you purchase a hole punch that makes different cutouts. Take each pack of cards and punch a different shape hole in the upper right hand corner. Then when you pair your students and the cards mix, it will be easy to separate them according to shape.
It is recommended that you set up a chart and give each student a number and then label the manipulatives to correspond to that number. Each student will have a tool bag containing manipulatives. I use gallon size ziplock bags. Be sure to get the ones that have the slide closure for ease in closing.
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