Good for you! I too am a teacher...I'm going into my 5th year. I teach in a special education school for children with moderate/severe/profound disabilities...my group this year will be 2nd and 3rd grade severely autistic children. I'm used to teaching 10-15 year-olds, so this will be a change for me!
I think 3rd graders will be a blast, don't you?
I remember the excitement I felt when I landed my first teaching position...it's the best feeling! Here's some advice to help you start your first year:
1. Make some folders/files/binders of organizational stuff NOW...this will help keep you from getting too behind (being partially behind is a fact of life for a teacher):
*A file of spelling lists and units; make multiple copies...3rd graders lose their lists constantly!
*A file of daily brain-teasers or problem-solving activities to do each day.
*A file of cursive activities and lessons...kids LOVE learning cursive writing.
*A file of multiplication games and activities...these are great for small group activities. I love "Times Tables -The Fun Way"...it's a cheap program, and each multiplication fact is presented as a story, or a rap...great strategies!
*Geography/social studies games..."Who Wants to Be A Millionaire" or "Jeopardy" are fun to create and develop.
*Make a substitute folder...include schedules (for recess, gym, art, music, library, lunch times, speech schedules [if you have children who receive such services], a packet of "down-time activities" [in case of indoor recess, or some down-time occurs], your behavior management plan, paper for the sub to jot down notes, a list of where things are located, etc.
*Think about how you're going to manage and handle inappropriate behavior now! Create a list of expectations, consequences, and a set of classroom rules for your children. It's never too early to begin planning hallway expectations, opening procedures, etc.
*Ask your administrator if you're required to have a mentor...if it's not required, befriend a teacher that will be open to sharing and helping you along the first few months.
*Read Harry Wong's "The First Day of School." It's a wonderful book for teachers, and discusses specific classroom procedures, and ways to organize and deal with the first few months. PM me if you're interested...I have a copy, and I also have the Times Tables the Fun Way materials (which I'm not using...my students now are too low-functioning)...I'd be happy to send them to you!
Good luck, and congrats. Let me know if I can help in any way!