‘I never teach pupils, I only provide the conditions in which they can learn’
Being organised and setting up your classroom routines and expectations at the beginning of a school year is just one thing you can do to create the best learning environment for your students.
For those of you in the Northern Hemisphere busily getting your classroom ready, we have saved you hours of time creating fantastic resources to begin your school year.
To start, you can’t go past our back to school essentials pack – lower grades. This pack has 80+ pages of back to school essentials, including alphabet charts, vocabulary posters and classroom organisation labels. A huge selection of our best resources – all ready for you to download in one simple file!
While that pack is a great way to kick-start your classroom, this blog post will highlight some other great ideas and resources to help create your ideal classroom set up, and make the beginning of the school year a smooth start.
Organise your Classroom
Having your routines and classroom organised at the beginning of the school year is important. Here are some fantastic Teach Starter resources that can help.
- A vast range of bright tray labels that you can use to ensure all materials and resources are easy to find for you and the students.
- These equipment cards are a great visual aid for younger students. Have these resource cards cut and laminated ready to put on the board as required. This takes away students anxiety if they have missed an instruction and also stops a handful of students having to ask you again and again what they need.
- Having a classroom job system helps students learn responsibility. Students take ownership of classroom routine jobs allowing the classroom to run smoothly and resulting in uninterrupted instruction.
- Use this resources to remind your students about their daily schedule at the beginning of each morning. Laminate each card to ensure they last longer.
- A fantastic PowerPoint containing slides for classroom routine including; attendance, calendar, weather and daily routine.
- We have a huge range of name tags that you can print and laminate for the first week of school as you learn the names of your students. Why not keep them for days when you are absent for relief teachers to use.
Create a Welcoming Classroom Environment
The first impression of a classroom really sets the tone for the rest of the year. It can affect student behaviour and open parent communication. Make sure your classroom is ready to start off the year on a good note!
Here are some Teach Starter resources that have already been handpicked for you to use.
- This is a cute and bright welcome sign and fish with students’ names that you can download and customise on our website.
- Why not use a space themed welcome sign with name tags?
- Never miss one of your students’ birthdays. Use this bright birthday chart to display all the students birthdays.
- Here are some great positivity posters to put up in your classroom to help create that positive environment.
Encourage Good Behaviour and Acceptance
The creation of an effective and workable classroom behaviour management plan is essential to provide a quality learning environment that provides opportunities for students to feel valued. Having a set of classroom rules helps maintain a positive philosophy in the classroom and ensures the teaching and learning sequence runs smoothly. Here are some resources to help get you started.
Positive reinforcement helps to intrinsically motivate your students to do the right thing. Here are some resources to help you reinforce good behaviour from your students.
- Here are some useful parent notes that are handy to have a bundle printed ready to go when you catch one of your students doing the right thing.
- Some great classroom reward cards that you could hand out when students are doing the right thing or trying hard to complete work.
- When you see students displaying positive behaviour, encourage them by putting a stamp or sticker on their chart. When they have filled 20 spaces, brainstorm a special reward with them.
Create a Learning Rich Environment
Using desk plates, especially in the early years, provides students with easy access to letter formations, number lines and different shapes.
Using word walls are a great way to create a print rich environment for your students. Students being exposed to words around the classroom is critical to emerging literacy. We have over 250 current word wall templates with words on our website. These are all customisable. Why not start basic with our spelling words word wall. Print and laminate so that they can be re used each week for the spelling words.
This is a great teaching resource to help students read the time on an analogue clock. Print out the petals and bees to create a colourful display around your classroom clock.
First week activity ideas
This is a great teaching resource pack all about what makes a good friend. The pack includes; posters, worksheets and activities to display and complete on the first week of school.
Great simple worksheet to do daily to assess your students’ understanding of number.
Creating a Maths resource box and English resource box full of laminated games / sorting cards and activities is a great idea to spend time on at the beginning of a school year. These can then be used for fast finishes, utilised during English and Maths rotations, used to extend or to reinforce topics to your students. We have pages full of resources that are perfect for this. Here are some examples:
Other resources you may like include our classroom theme packs. Here are some popular examples: