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Showing posts with label back to school activities. Show all posts
Showing posts with label back to school activities. Show all posts

Back to School Success Strategies Part 1: Establish Routines!

It's getting closer to that time again. 

No matter where you are in your summer vacation, getting back is in your future. This series of posts is designed to make that return a bit smoother for you.

This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you establish routines.


Today is Part 1 in a five part series about returning to school successfully.

Establish Routines!

Establishing routines make children feel safe. It takes the "guesswork" out of each day when students know what to expect and what is expected from them. It makes children (and adults) feel secure when they know what is going to happen.

 

This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you establish routines.

I like to start each day with a morning meeting. I typically have a question for discussion that's based on that day. These Morning Meeting Greeting Activities and Calendar Writing Prompts are perfect for displaying whether you're having a morning meeting in the classroom or virtually.


This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you establish routines.


Each month comes with daily pictures/ prompts for display, plus matching text for writing answers.This is a great routine that could be started every morning in the classroom. They could also be discussed, then given as a written assignment as well.

 

This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you establish routines.


Math facts are an important part of the math routine, as research tells us these should be practiced a little bit each day. I swear by this system, which gives the students a small amount of fact families at a time to master. It's very easy to differentiate, as they can move to the next level as soon as they show mastery. Plus, there's a digital component for practice and/ or assessment! Math Fact Fluency Systems for Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, and Division Fact Fluency.

 

This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you establish routines.

For years, I have started the beginning of the school year by teaching these Six Strategies for Success. We recited them (along with gestures) every morning during Morning Meeting. Six Strategies for Success in School: Activities, Booklets, and Posters
This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you establish routines.

Another routine to start is regular communication with parents. Here's something that will make your life easier! (The Back to School edition is free, if you want to check that one out!) Parent Communication Monthly Brochures
 
  
https://www.elementarymatters.com/2012/01/writers-workshop.html


I If you have some time in the classroom at the beginning of the school year with yoru students, starting Writer's Workshop would be a top priority! This resource will help you get going. Writer's Workshop Starter Kit. Once the students learn the routine, they can practice at home. For more about Writer's workshop, see this blog post: Writer's Workshop.

Here are a couple more resources to help you get started on some important beginning-of-the-year routines:

These are perfect for learning and spelling sight words: Research Based Sight Word and Spelling Activity Cards.

Research tells us that sight words are best practiced in phrases. I've used these Warm-up Phrases as a warm up to my reading groups for years! It's great for building fluency! The first in the series is free: Dolch Warm-up Phrases: Pre-primer Level.

Be sure to read the other four parts of these Back to School Success Strategies!

This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you establish routines.
 
This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you review known skills.
  
This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you watch out for their health.
 
 
This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help watch out for their emotional health.
 

I imagine you're thinking of more routines that will be important. 

I hope you'll share some of these in the comments below.

 
 
 
This is a series of 5 posts designed to make the return smooth and successful. This post has some ideas that will help you establish routines.

My "Not So Cute" Classroom


They're all over the internet this time of year: Those sweet, adorable classrooms with perfectly matched accessories and delightfully painted shelves, and cleverly decorated bulletin boards.  I admit, I love looking at the pictures of the "Pinterest worthy" classrooms, and imagine what it might be like with one of those classrooms. Seriously, if I win the lottery, I'll use some of the money to hire a decorator for my classroom.
 
My "Not so Cute" Classroom: I don't have the talent, eye for design, or money for materials that we see in Pinterest worthy classrooms, but my classroom has just what it takes!
 

My classroom doesn't look like these. First of all, I don't have the "decorator's eye" that these teachers have. Second of all, I don't have time to sand, paint, and decorate all the furniture in matching colors. Nor do I have the money. (Did I mention I was a single parent, still recovering from sending my daughter to college?) Third of all, I just don't have the time, since I'm busy teaching!


My classroom is real. 

It has furniture I have inherited over 40 years of teaching. 
My "Not so Cute" Classroom: I don't have the talent, eye for design, or money for materials that we see in Pinterest worthy classrooms, but my classroom has just what it takes!

Here are a couple of my chairs, both held together with duct tape. The top one is usually hidden by my desk, where I rarely sit, but couldn't live without, since it's where I pile everything! The bottom chair is a classic. It's one of the few adult chairs where my feet actually reach the floor. It looked great a couple of years ago when I covered it with duct tape. And over the years, it has earned the nickname, "The Drop Chair!" Seriously, anyone who sits in it eventually drops stuff!
My "Not so Cute" Classroom: I don't have the talent, eye for design, or money for materials that we see in Pinterest worthy classrooms, but my classroom has just what it takes!

You can see a corner of my desk here, nothing fancy. I went out and bought these cheap, plastic, white shelves, and have several throughout the classroom. They're not very sturdy, but I need the space. (I'm not completely unpacked yet, these are usually much more crowded with "overflow" from my desk!) Thankfully, these white shelves lighten up the classroom, and offer plenty of space!
My "Not so Cute" Classroom: I don't have the talent, eye for design, or money for materials that we see in Pinterest worthy classrooms, but my classroom has just what it takes!

Speaking of shelves, most of mine don't match. At the top, are some second hand metal shelves. Yes, they make noise when the kids bump into them. No, they're not all the same color. But if you look closely, you'll see all my kids' book boxes match, and I've got tons of great books!
 
My "Not so Cute" Classroom: I don't have the talent, eye for design, or money for materials that we see in Pinterest worthy classrooms, but my classroom has just what it takes!

 
My file cabinets. 
No, the green one doesn't lock. 
Neither do the others.
But they hold my stuff!

My "Not so Cute" Classroom: I don't have the talent, eye for design, or money for materials that we see in Pinterest worthy classrooms, but my classroom has just what it takes!

 
 The door doesn't work on my closet. 
When you turn the knob, two metal pieces just clang together. When I shut it, I have to tuck it in.
But it still holds my "job chart" just fine! 

My "Not so Cute" Classroom: I don't have the talent, eye for design, or money for materials that we see in Pinterest worthy classrooms, but my classroom has just what it takes!

 
 My rug was in another classroom before I got it. 
It has holes from pencils, and "permadirt". 
But it's still a comfortable place to sit and listen to stories and lessons.
My easel is new to me this year, but not new to the school. I have yet to get the 3 legs even. It's probably the only whiteboard easel in the school that is NOT magnetic. But it holds chart paper!
 
My "Not so Cute" Classroom: I don't have the talent, eye for design, or money for materials that we see in Pinterest worthy classrooms, but my classroom has just what it takes!

 
My desks don't match. They are covered in "permadirt" and scratches. The chairs don't match and aren't all good sizes for the kids I have. The legs aren't adjustable, so some kids will have legs swinging and others will barely fit their legs under their desks.
But I have enough desks for them all!

My "Not so Cute" Classroom: I don't have the talent, eye for design, or money for materials that we see in Pinterest worthy classrooms, but my classroom has just what it takes!

I have a number of shelves and tables throughout the classroom. None of them match, they could use a good sanding and painting or staining. But luckily I have plenty of places to put games, books, supplies, and, of course, children.

I'm still working on my classroom, and it's going to look a whole lot better than it does now. But I've learned not to compare my "hand me down" classroom with those "Pinterest worthy" classrooms. 

Why?

Because that's not what it's all about! Teaching is about the kids. We make the best of all we have, and my focus is always on the kids. I plan to keep them so busy learning and having fun that they won't even notice that our furniture isn't the best!

My "Not so Cute" Classroom: I don't have the talent, eye for design, or money for materials that we see in Pinterest worthy classrooms, but my classroom has just what it takes!
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