Teachers are loading up their cars and stampeding through the school doors with bags and boxes in tow. The laminators are warming up, coffee is in hand and we are counting down the days until students return. Teachers, get your glue guns ready because back to school season is finally here! However, before you begin moving classroom furniture and frantically hanging bulletin boards between professional developments, it is helpful to have a plan. Here are some items to think about as you begin to prepare your classroom for the new school year!
Before I could get into my classroom during the summer, it would help to brainstorm. Start that Pinterest board, hop on TPT, get inspiration from other teachers. Do whatever you need to do in order to get an idea of the overall “vibe” you’d like to have in your classroom for the year. After-all, we do spend 95% of our time in our classroom – why not make it a space that you LOVE? Here are some items I would think about before I ever stepped foot into the classroom
- What theme would you like to have in your classroom for the year?
- What are some aspects you would like to incorporate in your classroom?
- How will your stations be set up?
- Will you be using a lot of partner activities or will your students be socially distanced?
Need some inspiration? Check out this blog post from Tickled Pink In Primary!
Once you are able to get into your classroom it is time to start setting up! How exciting! If you are a new teacher, you may be cleaning out old items from the teacher before you. If you are coming back into the same classroom you had the previous year, you may have items you left that you would like to clean out. I always find it is easier to prepare my classroom with a blank slate! Try to clear out as many unwanted items as possible to really get a fresh start!
ITEMS TO THINK ABOUT
Here are some essential items to think about as you begin setting up your classroom!
How will students be positioned in the classroom? Will they be sitting at individual desks? Tables? How will these be positioned?
How will you store your supplies for the class? How will your students store their supplies to use each day?
Where will your Literacy, Math, and Writing stations be located? Will students stay at these stations around the room or will they bring the station items back to their seat? How will they easily know which station they are in for the day?
PRO TIP: When setting up your stations, don’t forget to add Fluency and Fitness to your technology devices for an easy station activity!
Where is the best place for your teacher desk? Ideally, you want to be in a spot where you can see the board, but also see around the entire room while sitting at your seat. However, you also have to think about the challenge of where your tech cords are placed in the room.
Morning Meeting/Carpet Time
Will students come to meet with you in an area on the floor? Will you have a classroom rug? How will they sit in this area? What do you need in this area so that you have access
Daily Schedule/Birthdays/Bulletin Boards
How will you display your daily schedule? Student birthdays? How can you use your bulletin boards so that each space has a purpose that helps with the flow of your classroom?
Quiet Time Spot
In my classroom it always helped to have a spot designated for quiet time. This was called our “Calm Down Corner” where a student could go if they were feeling upset or needed a moment to calm down. Will you have a quiet time area in your classroom? If so, where will this be?
Where will students be turning in completed work? How will you easily organize their work so that you can grade and send home?
Small Group Area
Will you be pulling small groups for more focused learning time with you? How will your students be grouped in these small groups? Where will you meet with these students during a small group? What items do you need within arm’s reach during small groups to make the most of this time?
Wishing you happy planning, decorating, and a wonderful start to the new school year!