The first days of school are full of hope, excitement, a few back to school jitters, and a great opportunity to set the tone for the rest of the year! I love the energy a new school year can bring, but it can also feel OVERWHELMING.
I know that feeling all too well, but I have some great resources that will help.
It all starts with creating connections and setting expectations in those early days. Here’s a little Back to School roadmap to help guide you to success:
Start with a plan of action
Great teaching is all about great planning. Our students get tons of benefits from predictable routines, brain breaks, and a chance to get those bodies moving. Once you develop a daily plan and put it in place, you can revisit and practice the routines throughout the year to keep the energy going.
Here are some tried and true practices that are sure to get you off to a great start!
Start your day off right with a routine morning meeting. This isn’t just an important routine, it’s a special way to connect with your students, get them ready for learning, and set the tone for a great day ahead. Check out this digital morning meeting resource that you can use in your classroom or adapt for virtual learning.
You can read all about morning meetings here —> MORNING MEETINGS
Little ones love a fun call-and-response attention grabber to help them refocus on the teacher. I have a fun freebie for you with a set of posters you can display around your room to help support your classroom management. Leave your info below and get them in your inbox!
In my 5 Simple Classroom Management Hacks blog post I share great classroom management resources.
Take a peek at more blog posts that cover tips and tricks to help your day run smoothly by clicking on this link.
Smooth transitions are vital to help busy bodies funnel their energy in appropriate ways. We all need to fill our toolkit with ways to redirect their energy so kids are ready for learning.
Good Transitions Can:
- Keep kids engaged and well behaved even when we have just a couple of “waiting” minutes.
- Impress other teachers/staff with how behaved your class is during those transition times—perfect for those pop-in admin visits!
- Reduce anxiety for kids who struggle with waiting in line, waiting for the next teacher, etc. when expectations aren’t clear.
- Clear minds and build focus with ideas and concepts that require a little practice.
- Build in more kinesthetic, visual, oral learning activities into your day so everybody has access to their best learning styles throughout the day.
- Get controlled movement and talking time for little bodies full of energy.
Here’s a link for some great digital transition resources I’ve created. Get ready to set your students up for success!
We know little ones that love to chat. I have a resource that gives them time to talk, but structures it so they can learn skills too.
Classroom Chit Chat is a fun digital resource that you can use during morning meetings or classroom transitions. It’s all about building relationships and fostering a love of learning! Activate critical thinking skills and start some engaging classroom convos that will have your kids connecting with each other and extending their daily learning.
Try it for free by downloading the preview.
Get your kids up and moving to give their bodies an outlet for the wiggles and give their minds a chance to reset. Quick brain breaks throughout the day also help increase the time on task when they get back to work. Here are some of my favorites:
- I have a great freebie called Back to School Four Corners that I sent out to my subscribers last year. If you aren’t already, make sure you join my subscriber list so I can share more great resources.
- GoNoodle is a great program that offers a Whole Child Approach to quick brain breaks. They include engaging academic kinesthetic, social emotional activities in each of their short videos.
- Want to go screen free? Here is a resource from a past blog post with 48 brain breaks you can use in your classroom. Check out the complete post here and find more activities for traditional, online, and socially distanced classrooms.
Are you ready for an Awesome Year?
Every class is different, and some routines and resources work better for different students and different teachers. There are no hard and fast rules about how and when to plan these activities throughout your day, but here are some things I like to keep in mind to start every school year on the right foot:
- The goal is about focusing on building relationships and creating a positive environment for learning.
- Make your classroom rules simple and easy to follow.
- Give plenty of movement breaks and time for kids to share/chat/wiggle.
- Smooth transitions set the tone for the next block of learning.
- Revisit the routines and processes in your room to strengthen their efficacy throughout the year.
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