For many of you, back to school thoughts begin the first week you are out on summer holidays. It’s such a big deal! There is a lot of work that goes into setting up your classroom and then there’s the nerves – yours and your students.
I try to make sure that my back to school routine involves helping everyone to feel comfortable, happy and safe. The way I look at it is that we will all be together for a full year and as Maslow said many years ago in his heirarchy of needs: people need to feel like they belong to be happy and to learn. So, with that being said, I always try to integrate the “getting to know you” activities with the “classroom learning environment” activities.
2. Use children’s literature to help students understand that everyone can get nervous sometimes. Kevin Henkes is one of my favorite authors for back to school. Here, students are using concepts from Wemberly Worried to help them understand the different things that Wemberly worried about and that one thought can lead to another. You can find this activity here in my TPT shop. This is a great platform to discuss how to deal with worries and feelings. I also have students think about their brain smarts so that they can feel confident that they have something to offer the class. You can find out more here or grab the brain lift-the-flap for FREE, here.
5. I try to get busy right away with Art activities that will form a part of our classroom decor so that students get to feel that the classroom is made up of things they have made. Here, we did tissue paper apples for our Art Center bulletin board.
I’d love to hear your back to school tips. What makes your life easier and a student’s life happier during those first few important weeks back to school?
I have compiled many of these ideas and tips that I have talked about into a new set called: Second Grade Success. Many of these activities can be used in grades 1-3. Check it out by clicking here.