Hey everyone, I'm a first year science teacher... it won't be my first foray into teaching... I've taught college students, 12th graders and middle schoolers but never in such a formal classroom setting. My situation is this. My school is a private school and they've basically told me this 'Well... here's an idea of what we tend to cover in 6th grade-- earth science and archeology in the fall, maybe some environmental stuff and biomes and a basic understanding of physics in the spring... so use that as a guide and come up with something that suits you'. It's almost like TOO much freedom, if that's even possible. I have a co-teacher who takes care of the social studies and humanities side of things but we teach in units and themes so I need to coordinate with her a bit. She's just e-mailed me and asked me what big ticket items I'd like. First of all... I have no idea where to look for good middle school texts. Any suggestions or recommendations? Any other suggestions on what 'big ticket items' are good to keep around for sixth grade science kids? Second of all she said cheaper supplies too. Beyond the basics is there anything you can think of that would be helpful? I'd appreciate any help you can offer me. I am extremely excited but I also know that school will hit my like a wall when I get there and I am trying to prevent myself from feeling completely helpless and overwhelmed. Thanks!