Tips and Tricks for Your Best Year Ever!

The first few weeks of school are like watching the first 5 minutes of a movie or reading the first chapter in a book! If the first few days go smoothly, the rest of the year will follow. Although you can’t control all the variables in your classroom, you can certainly be ahead of the game with some sound management strategies, organization, and planning.

This month you will find classroom management tips and ideas for organizing your classroom. You’ll also find some songs and chants for building a community of learners and for starting each day in a positive way.

If you’ve ever been to my workshops, you know how much I believe in the power of sign language. It’s a wonderful tool for teaching letters, sounds, high frequency words, etc. Sign language can also add a quiet touch to your classroom. I’ve put directions for a few signs that will focus children’s attention as you guide them through the school year. (Thanks to Shon Wilson for being my model!)

Over the next four months you will find activity cards for transitions that you can download. I have put 2 ideas per page so you can cut out the ones you like and glue them on index cards. You could also run them off on cardstock. Store these in a file box or punch a hole in the corner and attach to a large book ring. You can also tape them around your classroom in convenient places. For example, put a line up chant by the door, or put a hand washing song by your classroom sink.

Great teachers are not born – they are made by the teacher next door! I certainly didn’t think of all of these incredible ideas you’ll discover over the next few months. They are like a patchwork quilt that has been added to through the years. I say THANK YOU to those of you who have shared your ideas with me. There are so many that you will need to pick and choose what will work best for you and the age of your students. I would suggest choosing one or two ideas and using them consistently. Then they will become “indicator activities” that signal to children what is expected of them or what is coming next.

This is what you have to look forward to:

  • August – Circle Time Ideas and Name Games

  • September – Handshakes, Attention Grabbers

  • October - Line up, Clean Up, Rest, Recall, and Good-bye

  • November – Five Minute Games and Ideas