So the countdown to the first day of school has begun for many teachers.
As more and more things are added to our long list of things to do, it is important to prioritize all the tasks at hand and go down the list one by one.
I am guilty of having a million imperative things to do and then finding myself in the corner of my classroom rearranging the pillows at the Library Center. Yup, that’s me! Guilty as charged. 🙂
So to keep me focused, I have come up with 5 Things to Do Before the First Day of School. The ideas are from my current classroom and former classrooms.
1. Have Your Daily Schedule Posted
Yes, it sounds counter-intuitive, but after spending hours getting your classroom ready and meeting your students at Meet-the-Teacher Night, you need to have your class schedule set.
Display the classroom schedule on the board or somewhere students can easily find and follow along.
This is especially important toward the end of the day when it is dismissal. Going over and practicing how students will be dismissed will definitely make your first day much smoother and less stressful.
Being organized and prepared will help set the stage for the rest of the year. Below are two examples of Daily Schedules that I have posted in my classroom.
2. Designate Different Learning Areas in Your Classroom
Part of setting up your classroom is having different learning areas for yourself and your students.
Do you have an area for reading, Word Work, writing, computer, math, STEM, etc.?
Are you doing Flexible Seating?
What are the expectations for those areas?
The more defined the areas are, the more helpful it is for the flow of the classroom and for students to learn the expectations of how to work and learn in your classroom.
3. Establish a System to Organize Your Classroom Supplies and Teach It to Your Students
Having a place where supplies are stored or a designated area for students to get and replenish their supplies later on will help with classroom management.
During the first week of school, I always go over where our classroom supplies are and the process of getting them.
For instance, teach your students how they should line up to get their whiteboards and supplies when needed or who at their table will get STEM supplies and pass them out. Don’t overlook the small procedures. Those procedures will all add up to help the day go smoothly.
4. Have a Behavior Plan Ready for Your Class
How will you teach classroom expectations and how will your students have opportunities to practice? This year, I will try to be more deliberate in implementing Social Emotional Learning in classroom to help them better regulate their feelings. We will use the carpeted area by the Library Center as our Mindfulness Corner, and I can’t wait!
5. Create a Plan for Student Storage
Do your students have a place for their own personal belongings or does each table have a place to keep their things together? Will they have their own cubby or hook to hang their jacket and backpack or assigned desk?
Young students really like having their own personal spaces in the classroom.
It helps them keep track of their own belongings and feel belonged in the classroom.
It’s hard to believe that with a blink of an eye, summer will be over soon.
But your new students have been waiting all summer to meet and get to know you!
They are so excited and know that it’s going to be their BEST year with you as their teacher! 🙂
Below are some more resources that are great for Back-to-School!
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