September 4, 2019 | Kristina Riggin
Back to school season is here, and preparing for the school year can be a daunting task. The top things that teachers look forward to when going back to school are meeting their new students and implementing new classroom teaching strategies. In this blog, we’ll provide five tips to help you prepare for a successful school year.
1) Use Colors to Get Students Excited About Joining Your Class
Color is inherently in everything we see and do and incorporating colors in a classroom can greatly stimulate a student’s mood and participation. One way to prepare for back to school is by adding colors into your classroom through vibrant posters, creative bulletin boards, fun learning materials, and colorful furniture. Returning to a classroom with bare walls and neutral colors can be discouraging and unappealing for students, so providing students with a vibrant classroom will make them feel welcomed and excited about their new learning environment.
2) Create Signage That Will Praise and Celebrate Student Achievements
Teachers recognize that young students are most motivated through social recognition. Having signage in the classroom that clearly states a student's job well done will allow students to feel recognized for their efforts while also providing a public form of recognition that today’s students crave. Creating a space where your classroom can be a place of celebration helps cultivate a positive and engaging learning environment. Celebrating students for their achievements is an important piece in fostering a positive community within the classroom, while also giving students the confidence they need to achieve their goals.
3) Designate an Area Where Students Can See/Reference Classroom Rules
Communicating your classroom expectations in a clear and concise manner will help your students adopt their new classroom rules, resulting in a higher achievement rate. With the beginning of a new school year comes a plethora of new classroom do’s and don'ts. Creating a space that clearly identifies your classroom culture will help motivate your students to follow protocol and keep them accountable. Rather than listing classroom rules on a whiteboard or a standard sheet of paper, having classroom rules listed out on a colorful poster can lead to a better retention rate for students.
4) Use Messaging that Fuels Creativity
Words like “create,” “design,” and “imagine,” are insightful words to keep students' minds sparked throughout the day. One way teachers can fuel the minds of their students is by adding a creative design approach to lesson plans and the overall classroom environment. Whether using pre-designed cut-outs to showcase encouraging words on the wall or by adding an extra touch of design to classroom assignments, students who walk into a vibrant classroom environment are likely to feel less anxious and more excited about the start of a new school year.
5) Display Behavior Reports
Displaying students’ behavior reports in the classroom is a good way to hold students accountable for their actions while setting proper boundaries for the new school year. Seeing how their peers hold up next to them encourages students to possess similar behaviors when resulting in positive reinforcement such as happy face stickers, take-home toys, and public recognition. Creating boards that are custom to your classroom will allow students to recognize what’s expected of them while helping them to better understand classroom culture. Through displaying behavior reports in the classroom, teachers are able to capitalize on instructional time and decrease disruptions, which is crucial during the back to school season.