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Classroom Management 


Senior Member
I just got hired to teach third grade in a public school. (I was private for 15ish years, then virtual charter for the past two.) Due to cleaning schedules, I will not gain access to my room or curriculum until two weeks prior to school beginning.
Can you help me make a To Do list so I don’t get overwhelmed or forget something important?


Senior Member
Good morning! I actually do not have one to post here but TPT has several for free-- I downloaded a couple and just used the parts that applied to me.

My confession- I like to add the things I've done prior to getting 'the list' out and then immediately crossing them out. It makes me feel less overwhelmed to see that there has been some progress.

As to curriculum, I would just familiarize myself with State standards for 3rd and go from there. Your school or team may already have pacing guides and curriculum maps planned out. Can you email a future team mate? That teacher may be able to answer some of your questions.


Senior Member
I taught 3rd grade for 13 years. These are the things I did:

*Check with team on pacing guide and make sure all resources/curriculum are available.
*Plan 1st 2 weeks of lessons/procedure practice - and make any copies for them
*Decide on furniture placement (your desk, their desks/tables, small group area, library,....)
*Decide on bulletin boards in classroom (#1 with information: "what to do when you arrive", "what to do when you pack-up", "weekly skills"), (#2 for A.R. progress)
*Hallway bulletin board - put laminated cardstock then glue clothespins for each student (to show their work).
*Create first week newsletter
*Create letter to parents introducing yourself.
*Sharpen pencils
*Make word search with kids' names (when you know them) to have on desk for 1st day.
*Create "me bag" as model, then have theirs ready for 1st day.
*3m clip on front door and hang something with your name (going along with a theme if you have it)
*Create "Information sheet" to give procedures/rules for each child.
*Place for birthdays
*Transportation list ready for the first day.
*Camera or iPad out to take 1st day pictures
*File for each student to add papers as you get them
*Sharpies out to label personal items for their desks/cubbies
*Tubs labeled to put any community supplies
*Plan for 1st read aloud (I like The World According to Humphrey to start, with a stuffed Humphrey sitting by me :))
*Clipboard with bus numbers/car riders so you can add their names to it as you know. Then you take the clipboard with you in the afternoon (depending on how your school does it).
*Buy colored paper for any newsletter, introduction letter, etc... so it's ready when you can make copies.

Some of those things you can do from home ahead of time (introduction letter, etc...), so I would advise that. Then you can make the copies when the copier is free once you get there. That was always hard to squeeze in, so do that as soon as the copier doesn't have someone! Have your stack of papers that need to be copied ready.


Senior Member
No checklist, but

I would focus first on things I know are specific to my classroom and students. Room decor and layout, how centers or materials will be organized, and things for keeping myself organized like filing systems.

I would also reach out to my future team mates for maybe meeting informally and asking lots of questions. In my previous schools some teams were doing exactly the same thing the same day in lockstep, with very little room for individualism. Even things like procedure lessons were team based. So, you may not have a lot of choice or freedom in curriculum, schedule, or lesson planning. On the other hand, you may be lucky enough to be at a school that allows individual teachers to plan their days and lessons with much more freedom--maybe more work, but more satisfying in this old teacher's opinion. You won't know until you talk with your team.

Best of luck! It's a great age group!


Senior Member
Congratulations! How exciting. It sounds like you have lots of teaching experience. You've been given great ideas so far.

Additionally I might add to find out if there's a whole school or even grade level behavior system in place. I know we had to use PBIS the last few years I taught.
If not decide on your own.
Good luck!


Senior Member
Congratulations! On my list were also:

*desk name tags
*Will the students have lockers in the hallway or hooks, cubbies that will need labels?
*I also used craft sticks with their names on them for random calling on students.
*line order was always created because I figured they might as well learn day 1 where they'll stand in line order. I've never done a line up as you want option. School expectation was line order everywhere they went.
*Will supplies be given to you by the school? I read so much on here, that many teachers have to buy their own student supplies <!--yuck-->
*Definitely try to meet with grade mates or even a building colleague who will let you know the general run down of how things work.
*You probably have some kind of filing/record keeping system already so go with that if it worked for you.
*I also had a chart I used the first day to record who were the students who walked to school, took the bus or were parent pick ups. I used to say, the most important part of the first day of school was getting home correctly.
*An intro letter to families that includes your classroom expectations, supplies needed, routines such as birthday celebrations, your contact info.
*We always had kids registering all summer long and plenty the first day and even classroom switches so I never created anything with names except desk tags to have out when they walked in.
*recess materials? Not a first day biggie but you never know

Remember, your room doesn't have to be picture perfect day 1 or even 7 :) It's a new room to the students with their new teacher so as long as it's not junked up you're good.