How To Get A New School Year Started Strong

Throughout the summer, I am flooded with emails from teachers wondering about where to begin to get started for the new school year, so I decided to put together a blog post full of my favorite tips, tricks, resources, and past blog posts! Here are my ideas for how to get a new school year started strong!

Image of backpack that says, "How to get a new school year started strong."


New Year, New Grade

If you're changing grades like me, you might be feeling especially overwhelmed as the new year approaches. Heading into a new grade can be a little like visiting another planet. These blog posts will help you wrap your head around this:

Image of crumpled papers with text, "How to take the headache out of changing grades."

School supplies with text, "What to do on the first day of school."

Classroom Management & Character Education

If there's one thing to get a handle on right away at the beginning of a new school year, it is behavior. Right away, you're going to want to:
  • establish expectations
  • determine consequences
  • create a classroom community that is built on a foundation of respect
  • practice, practice, practice

I've "grown a Heart Garden" in my primary classroom for the past several years and have absolutely LOVED what this has done for my classroom community. Read all about that here:

Hands cupping heart with plant sprouting and text, "The Heart Garden. Character Education With Heart."

There are also many things you can do to encourage kindness in your classroom every day. This blog post includes a freebie that can be used at the beginning of the school year or at any other time!

Girl holding heart balloon and text, "Encouraging Random Acts of Kindness in the Classroom"

Curriculum

Your curriculum will obviously be of top importance as the school year begins. Take some time to familiarize yourself with the expectations or standards for your grade. It is a good idea to:
  • look for the "Big Ideas"
  • compare the expectations or standards if you teach a multiple-grade class to look for commonalities
  • map out the main units or topics you will need to teach on a school year calendar
  • take a closer look at the resources you already have, and gaps where you might be lacking something new to accomplish your goals

I have some great ways to simplify your planning time workload in these posts:

School supplies with text, "4 ways you can simplify planning in your classroom."

School supplies with text, "How to get the most out of your planning time."

Literacy Resources

I try not to push resources in my blog posts as a rule, but the goal of this post is to answer some of the MANY questions I'm receiving by email about what resources I consider my must-haves. These are a few of my favorites. Click the images to learn more about each one and check out exactly how I use some of them in the blog posts below:

Image of personal student dictionary.

Collage of images of Differentiated Word Lists

Image of Word Work Centers

And free on my blog, you'll love these Class Journals to motivate your young writers! Click the image to read more!

Image of class journals

Don't miss these blog posts for more great tips and resources!

Word Work Centers with text, "How to differentiate word work and engage your students."

Word Wall photo with text, "The best word walls for every classroom."

iPad with Epic! App displayed and text, "My favorite features of the Epic! app."

Stack of books with text, "How to have an amazing classroom library without going broke."

Math Resources

I LOVE teaching math! I completed my 3-Part Mathematics Specialist qualifications several years ago, and math remains one of my favorite things to teach. These are some of my top go-to math resources for my classroom:

Guided Math Centers Bundle

Differentiated Guided Math Lessons

Hands-On Math Morning Work Task Cards

This Noggle freebie is a great way to get your students practicing with operations. They love this one!

Number Boggle Game

Be sure to take a peek at these blog posts as well! This first one is part of a series of helpful Guided Math posts.

School tools with text, "How to get organized for guided math."

Math activities with text, "The best reasons for using hands-on morning work."

Picture books with text, "My favorite picture books for teaching math."

Routines and Timetables

Next to managing behavior, having your timetable and routines set will be the best thing you can do to prepare for a successful school year. Some of the routines you'll want to plan for are:
  • restroom procedures
  • when and how to access a drink
  • movement around the classroom
  • how to get the teacher's attention
  • when is it appropriate to sharpen pencils
  • how are papers and assignments stored and turned in
  • how is home-school communication managed
  • what should students do when they enter the classroom
  • what signals will you use to get their attention

Having a consistent timetable posted in your classroom takes a tremendous amount of uncertainty away from the children in your class, and reduces their anxiety.

Photo of classroom schedule display

These blog posts will give you some ideas for how to get started with establishing your classroom routines:

Open pencil case with text, "Putting an end to pencil problems in the classroom."

Student working with text, "How to encourage independence in your classroom."

Math activities with text, "Fun ways to start the school day."

Teacher in front of class with text, "5 ways to get attention in the elementary classroom."

Student mailboxes with text, "How to easily manage home-school communication."


Get Yourself Organized!

Occasionally, we spend so much time getting our classrooms looking "just-so" that we neglect the importance of getting ourselves organized. Don't forget to consider how you'll keep your routines running smoothly and make sure that you're all set with a great teacher planner that you'll use effectively!

Alarm clock with text, "The best ways to get organized in the classroom."

I personally love my Erin Condren Teacher Planner! If you're a new customer, you can grab a $10 off link in this post:

Teacher planner photo with text, "Erin Condren Teacher Planner Walk-Through 2018."

If you're more of a digital planner, new users of Planbook will receive their first 6 months free with the promo code: free6Beattie

Planbook

Technology In The Classroom

In the 21st century, technology is now a significant part of classrooms everywhere. Teachers need to put a lot more consideration into when and how it will be used during any instructional and free time. A few of my favorite posts are right here:

Letters on wooden surface with text, "Keeping kids accountable during center work."

Ink splotches with text, "How to print in color on a budget."

iPad with text, "Using Trello to easily document reading conference data."

SMART Board tools with text, "Making the most of your SMART Board."

Don't Forget To Take Care Of Yourself!!

This is one of the most difficult and stressful times of the school year, so it is critical that you take care of yourself! I actually wrote the next blog post about self-care at the end of the school year, but all the content is entirely applicable to the beginning of the year as well. You'll love these suggestions!

Forks with text, "Stick a fork in me. I'm done."

And you can take meal preparation off of your list of worries with the many ideas I've collected on this Pinterest board:


I am always here for you, at any time during the school year! Don't hesitate to reach out if you're looking for any other resources or suggestions for your classroom. I have many other blog posts and hundreds of resources in my Teachers Pay Teachers store!

Have a tip or suggestion for starting the school year strong? Share it in the comments below!

If you have enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends and colleagues on Facebook or pin it on Pinterest:

Backpack with text, "How to get a new school year started strong."

2 comments

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