Thinking Ahead to Back to School

Welcome back to school!

Every summer as a teacher, I think about the upcoming year and what I can do to help the kids and me have a great school year. The beginning of a school year is the time of new: new students, new classes, new materials . . . and maybe new rules as well.

Back to school - setting the right tone for your classroomEvery teacher has his or her own set of rules, but no matter what list the teacher creates, the kids come up with something that isn’t covered! There’s no way to plan for every eventuality, but I have found that the best set of rules for my class can be found in the 3 Rs: not reading, ’riting and ’rithmatic, but the 3 Rs that create engaged learners:

These rules help kids focus on what they need to do (instead of what they need not to do) to be active participants in their own learning. I always start the year by posting my rules poster and handing out three pages on which kids write or draw what they think it means to be respectful, responsible, and resourceful. I take the activity pages and posters the kids create and hang them around my classroom. It sets a great tone and gets the class off to the right start! (Want to try this activity yourself? You can get the sample pages by clicking here.)

Good luck to all of you as you prepare for the next school year. I hope you have a great one!

Your Turn!

What do you do at the beginning of the year to set the right tone for the kids and the class? Share your thoughts in the reply section here!