4 Back-to-School Tips to Set Your Classroom Up for Success
by Brianna Richard, on Aug 11, 2021 7:38:52 PM
The beginning of the school year is an exciting time for both students and teachers. It is also a time for preparation and planning! Students across America have been out of the classroom for varying amounts of time. The start of the year is an ideal opportunity to hone in on classroom procedures, rules, and routines so your classroom is set up for success. Here are a few tips to get you started.
Write every procedure down and practice practice practice!
Write everything down- all of it! Plan how students will sharpen pencils, ask to use the restroom, line up, and how they will turn in papers. The more specific the better! When students have a routine and clear directions for how things are done it minimizes classroom disruptions because students know how things work. So write everything now and map it out before students arrive! The first weeks of school practice together as a class. Practice until students know the routines like the back of their hands. Your classroom will function smoothly and more effectively for the remainder of the year and you will thank yourself come June.
Let students make the rules
Kids love to feel included in the setup of the classroom rules. On the first day of school, I always let my students come up with rules and the entire class agrees upon them. Giving them the opportunity to create rules gives them ownership over their learning and a sense of responsibility in the classroom. I like to let my students work together in groups to come up with hand motions for the rules as well. In the first weeks of school, we share our hand motions with the class. Letting students take part in the creation of the rules leads to a sense of responsibility to upkeep order and will make for a smoother year.
The social-emotional learning of students is just as important as the academic. Setting up a routine of having a quick morning meeting is a great way to start the day off on a positive note. Letting students do a quick check-in on how they are feeling or spending some time meditating are some great morning meeting activities to get the day rolling. Older students can easily fill out surveys stating how they feel that teachers can upload and check instantly on Bloomz. Knowing where students are at emotionally gives great insight into behavior and academic issues that might arise in class. Students can take turns bringing in inspirational quotes or funny jokes to share with the class. Getting into the routine of consistent morning meetings throughout the school year creates a positive and creative framework for students and teachers.
Attendance is my favorite time of the day! At the beginning of the year, we set up an attendance routine that lets us get to know one another and have a little fun. Each morning I ask an attendance question. Some of them are silly like, “What is your favorite cereal flavor?” Some ask about the kids’ dreams and aspirations such as, “If you could change the world for the better, what would you do?” We spend about five minutes each morning focusing on the attendance question. It allows students to get to know one another in a deep and meaningful way. This activity can be done with all ages and is a simple and effective way to build your classroom community and make everyone feel included.
Let’s make this school year one for the books! What are you focusing on at the beginning of the year? Share with us below!