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    First Grade
    By Jen

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    Hi, I teach first grade in Altoona, Pennsylvania. Here are some inexpensive ideas that you could use.

    1. I could not live without fabric for my bulletin boards. We also occassionally use one of the fabric pieces to cover a table in our library for a special unit or theme. Fabric is key!
    2. I had my kids collect Saltine cracker boxes. I cut the top and bottom off and slice it down one of the creases. I cut and paste a list of the first 100 dolche sight words on to the box. The cardboard piece stands nicely with each section bent in a different way. My kids used these all year to help them when they were writing in their journals. I then used them as dividers during test taking.
    3. I also saved the fronts of cereal boxes, crackers, spaghetti, rice...etc. I hole punched the corner of each box and put them on a "ring". This was their enviornmental print book that they could read from day one. They loved reading "Fruit Loops", "Ritz Crackers", "PopSecret"etc. I am sending home a note early this summer and requesting that my new class begin collecting fronts of boxes. :0)
    Other recommended items for a first grade class;
    4. flash lights- (for reading in "Camp Read-a-lot". Camp-Read-A-Lot is a small children's tent or a blanket over a table. I bought my tent at Target on clearance. It was $10.00)
    5. Children's tent-
    6. pointers/ word framers- ( can be home-made) for example, fly swatters make good word framers, magic wands (The Dollar Store) wooden spoons...etc.
    7. chart holder- (purchased at Walmart. It was a clothing rack. I took shower curtain hooks and hung laminated chart paper from the hooks for a poetry center).
    8. Department store displays for things you can use for centers, bulletin boards, etc. I snagged an awesome cardboard coconut tree from KMart a few years ago for a Chicka Chicka Boom Boom tree.
    9. Popcicle sticks-Put each child's name on a stick for picking partners, assigning jobs, etc.
    10. Throw pillows or carpet squares- for the reading center, or reading around the room.
    11. clothes pins- I hang string from my ceiling. At the end of the string I attach clothes pins. We use the pins to hang class work.
    12. Clothes Line- I hang a clothes line from one end of my room to the other.
    We hang our class work from this too. It gives us more working space.
    13. four Seasonal Storage boxes-
    14. Date Stamper- I stamp notes, excuses, assignments, etc. with the date stamper. This helps me to stay organized when a parent has a question about something.
    15. Sad Pad- A colorful notebook that I keep track of discipline problems , late homework, etc. It comes in handy at conference time. I also have the student sign next to the explaination that I write in the notebook.

    I did a lot of shopping at yard sales. It helped cut down on expenses. Good luck!


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