Naif Bennabi November 23, 2020 Math Worksheets
Every teacher worth their degree knows that finding the right primary teacher resources will make or break an early learning environment. And that fact is never clearer than in junior and infants classrooms, where student engagement and classroom organization is paramount to the success of your lessons.
But how do you find those truly gold resources short of rifling through your colleagues drawers, making your own with scissors and glue for days on end, or spending big bucks on a range of different charts and kits you're not even sure you'll use?
Your local primary school is an obvious choice, where you can expect dusty storerooms to be full of forgotten resources and brightly colored games that you can easily put to good use... but this requires access to a school, and a fair whack of time to find what you're looking for, which are two commodities many primary teachers just don't have - especially if they are just starting out in a new teaching career.
In my experience as a primary classroom teacher, teachers need their own collection of resources that can be quickly integrated into a classroom environment and adapted for a range of subject areas.
And without access to those dusty storerooms or the time to search through piles of textbooks, cards, posters and charts, I've always found that some of the best teacher resources can be found online.
For new primary teachers, I would recommend getting together the absolute basics in classroom organization resources that can be adapted to any new classroom situation or casual round, featuring the following must-have items:
- A series of laminated labels for various concrete materials around the classroom;
- A laminated calendar series that shows days of the week, common weather icons, as well as days and months;
- A birthday board;
- Interchangeable timetables to show student news, sport days, chapel and other recurring events;
- Charts for math and reading groups;
- Rule reminder posters covering basic classroom etiquette like interrupting and other behavioral reminders;
- A stack of black-line master observational records and progress charts to keep details of students' work and behaviour in class time;
- Newsletter, parent reading or canteen rosters for classroom parents;
- A box of basic literacy resources and reading recovery worksheets/texts, early reader texts, picture books, phonics, and literacy games like find-a-words or hangman;
- Basic laminated number cards from 1-100 (or even just 1-20);
- Laminated letter and sound blend cards, as well as basic sight words for a range of reading levels;
- A series of plastic folders of ring binders to keep everything in;
- A soft toy, doll, or other toy that can be used as a reward or behaviour management tool; and
- Lots of paper, crayons, pencils, ribbon, glue and other materials in case the school's supplies are not reliable.
If that list seems lengthy, don't stress! When it all boils down, it's really just a box or basket full of stuff that you can keep in your car boot until it's time to set up your new classroom.
On top of that, you will start to build a bigger collection of picture books, early reader texts, math programs, literacy or reading programs, online games, kin-esthetic resources like balls, blocks or felt boards, and art supplies that will truly transform your classroom into a rich, learning paradise.
So get cracking! Whether you make your basic resources yourself with a home printer, online icons, lamina-tor and stack of colored paper, OR you're lucky enough to adapt existing templates to your needs, you'll soon be well on your way to having a wealth of quality primary teacher resources to get your classroom started.
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