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Keys to the Elementary Classroom

Keys to the Elementary Classroom
A New Teacher's Guide to the First Month of School

Third Edition

August 2008 | 224 pages | Corwin
Best practices to help you start the school year in a powerful way! This updated edition of the bestseller, Keys to the Classroom, provides new teachers with strategies for establishing clear classroom procedures and building a foundation for a successful first year. Readers will find a practical, easy-to-use guidebook that includes lesson plans, tips for organizing the first day, and sample parent letters in English and Spanish.

The third edition features:

- An added chapter on planning and creating the classroom environment

- Voices of novice and experienced teachers - Updated assessment materials

- Revised instructional materials for English as a second language

- New classroom activities

Preface to the Third Edition
About the Authors
Phases of Teaching: The Ups and Downs of a First-Year Teacher

1. A Guide to Planning and Creating the Environment
Annual Planning

Midrange Planning: Getting to Know Your Students and Community

Daily and Weekly Planning

Room Arrangement

Environment Checklist

Preparation Prior to the First Day

2. Assessments
Assessment Overview

Assessment Forms

3. Routines and Procedures
Cardinal Rules of Classroom Management

Freeze and Listen


Procedures for Lessons, Groups, and Rotations

Strategies Regarding Behavior

Daily Ongoing Activities

4. The First Two Weeks of School...A Detailed Account
Overview of the First Two Weeks of School for Kindergarten and First Grade

First Two Weeks of School—Kindergarten

First Two Weeks of School—First Grade

First Two Weeks of School—Second and Third Grades

First Two Weeks of School—Fourth to Sixth Grades

5. Activities for the First Month
Community Builder Activities

Language Arts Activities

Math Activities

Other Activities

6. Fingerplays and Songs for Oral Language in English and Spanish
Attention-Getting Fingerplays

Inclusion Songs

Songs That Are Adaptable to Thematic Units

7. Home and School Communication
First Day of Kindergarten / Primer Día del Kinder

Donation Requests / Donaciones, Por Favor

Daily Snack Program / Programa Diario Del Bocadillo

Classroom Volunteer Request / Voluntarios, Por Favor

Homework Schedule / Horario de la Tarea

The Writing Process / El Proceso De la Escritura

Resource A: Bibliography for Teachers
Resource B: Read-Alouds, K-6, in English and Spanish

"New teachers will love this step-by-step approach to setting up and managing a classroom while nurturing a community of eager and cooperative learners. The authors also provide a plethora of practical classroom activities for both new and seasoned teachers."

Catherine Hernandez, Second-Grade Teacher
Detroit Public Schools, MI

"Proficient teachers are key to the future of education. This book is a great resource to help new teachers make their first year a successful one!"

Janet Crews, Instructional Coach
Clayton School District, MO

"A great book to keep on your desk throughout the year."

Maureen Maloney, Second-Grade Teacher
Lusher Charter School, New Orleans, LA

“This book is loaded with ideas and strategies, as well as suggestions for implementing these ideas!”

Melanie Mares, Academic Coach
Lowndes Middle School, Valdosta, GA

Preview this book

Sample Materials & Chapters


Chapter 1

Carrol E. Moran

Carrol Moran has worked in education for over 30 years. For the past 12 years, she has served as executive director of the Monterey Bay Educational Consortium and the UC Santa Cruz Educational Partnership Center. Her teaching experience encompasses preschool to graduate school, focusing on low-income students of diverse language backgrounds. She was a writer for Macmillan McGraw Hill on materials for English Learners. She has published over 20 articles and books on education, including “Bilingual Education: Broadening Research Perspectives,” published in The Handbook of Research on Multicultural Education, and A Balanced Approach to... More About Author

Judith C. Stobbe

Judy Stobbe is currently a classroom teacher and staff development specialist in a two-way bilingual immersion program specializing in emergent literacy, effective math instruction, second-language acquisition, and effective bilingual education. She has initiated a staff development model based on ongoing teacher collaboration that links authentic assessment to innovative classroom practices across an entire school. As a staff development specialist, she has worked with a wide range of teachers, from preservice to those with the most experience. Outside the classroom, she has written curriculum and articles for a variety of publications,... More About Author

Wendy E. Baron

Wendy Baron has taught Grades K-6, served as a Title I reading specialist, supervised and instructed prospective teachers at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC), and for the past 20 years, she has worked directly with new teachers and principals in Grades K-12. As associate director with the New Teacher Center, Baron oversees the Santa Cruz/Silicon Valley New Teacher Project, which supports over a 1,000 new teachers annually. She also consults with school districts throughout California and nationally on mentoring, teacher induction, and designing professional development for beginning teachers. Baron has extensive experience... More About Author

Janette Miller

Janette Miller has taught grades K-6, served as a reading specialist, evaluated new employees in Santa Cruz City Schools District, and supported new teachers through the Santa Cruz New Teacher Project. She has extensive training in classroom management, peer coaching, and evaluation. She has particularly enjoyed training novice and veteran teachers in classroom management techniques, direct teaching model, the reading/writing connection, and conceptual math strategies. Currently she is a Cotsen Family Foundation mentor working with veteran teachers to improve their practices. More About Author

Ellen R. Moir

Ellen Moir is founder and executive director of the New Teacher Center, which is committed to the development of an inspired, dedicated, and highly quali¬fied teaching force by supporting new teachers as they enter the profession. For more than 20 years, she has pioneered innovative approaches to new teacher development, research on new teacher practice, and the design and administration of teacher induction programs. Moir continues to work with the Santa Cruz/Silicon Valley New Teacher Project and is an advocate for new teachers across the country. Moir has received national recognition for her work, including the Harold W. McGraw, Jr.... More About Author

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