I recently received a job offer as a 6th grade math teacher. I haven't been able to see my classroom yet, so I don't have any specifics of what I need. BUT, the local teacher store is have a big sale tomorrow and I wouldn't mind picking up a few knickknacks that I know I will need. Any suggestions? I pretty much have nothing.

Look over your standards tonight so you know what concepts you are teaching. That will help you select resources. As far as decorations, that's up to you. You might select posters that correlate to your standards.

Manipulatives: dice, cuisinaire rods, fraction circles, linking cubes, tangrams, protractors, pattern blocks Picture Books: Math Curse, the Sir Cumference series Integer number line

Rulers and dice. Fraction rods, perhaps. Look for a few reproducible books for review, extra practice, sub days, etc... Coordinate graphing was my favorite to leave for practice with a sub- it took them longer, but was easy and independent. If they finished early, they could color it. Paper, pencils, and colored pencils are what I never had enough of.

To the OP- look at the standards. I know Texas isn't a CCSS state. If anyone else is looking at this list and is in a CCSS state, you can scratch the protractors and Sir Cumference. And the tangrams. I did use pattern blocks as an easy way to visualize ratios. But the geometry section is pretty much coordinate graphing. Measurement includes area, surface area, and volume of polyhedrons/polygons. (To MrsC- not trying to stomp on your advice- you [luckily] haven't ever had to deal with the CCSS!!)

No worries, giraffe. I was just trying to picture what I pulled off of my shelf most frequently. I used tangrams a lot as a warm-up or as an activity for the kids to grab when work was finished--problem-solving, spatial reasoning--most kids loved them, some hated them!

I did use tangrams when planning something fun to do, like the last day before a long break or something. But if they are on a budget, shapes are nowhere to be found in the CCSS 6th grade. Or angles. In a perfect world, all of these would already be in the classroom for free. But, as teachers, we rarely fall into that 'perfect world' scenario. :|

Colored pencils (for the kids) and colored Expo markers (for the teacher)! I am teaching math this year and planning on doing a lot of color-coding.

I suppose I'm just lucky, but most of these things would be supplied by my district. I'd wait until you get settled into your classroom and buy just what's needed.

I'm in Texas and taught sixth grade last year. Definitely pick up a number line with negative numbers. That was one of the first things we covered. If your school doesn't supply mini white boards those are really useful. We would practice on them and didn't waste paper. A good pencil sharpener will also be a good investment.