A Back to School Toolkit

Everything You Need for the Great Start to a New Year

The success of your school year will depend less on the beauty of your bulletin boards than on the structure you put in place to support successful academic performance and positive, age appropriate behavior.

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A picture of simplified classroom rules. Websterlearning

In this article you will find recommendations for preparing your classroom management system to welcome your class.  The best way to guarantee a successful school year is to be sure you have enough enough strategies in place to provide guidance, support for the behavior you want and consequences for the behavior you do not want. 

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Ready for the first year. Getty/Fancy/Veer/Corbis

 Here I've pulled the resources together that I would recommend for teachers starting out in their first classroom.  These are tried and true strategies and resources that I have borrowed from friends and often used myself. 

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Back to School!.

When you plan your classroom seating arrangement, you make important decisions about your instructional priorities, the way you anticipate students will interact, and the kinds of instructional strategies you will use.  Find plans for large group instruction, large group discussion, collaboration and a plan for a self contained special education room.

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Each color on the color wheel represents a different level of classroom rules an procedures. Jerry Webster

Putting a Positive Behavior Support Plan in place can help you have a really successful year, especially if you are teaching in a self contained classroom with special eduation students.  Many chidlren with disabilities also have problems with behavior, everything from not understanding expectations to outright oppositional behavior.  Postive Behavior Support Plans help these children succeed in school, as they will work for reinforcers that are meaningful for them. 

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Teacher pointing to students in class
Hero Images/Getty Images

Based on Harry's Wong's book, the First Days of School, routines are the backbone of a well run classroom.  Teaching routines in the first days is a good investment of time, for it helps organize a class around acceptable behaviors, and routines become unspoken rules that help students work productively.

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A picture of simplified classroom rules. Websterlearning

Best practices dictate that rules are simple and number from 3 to 6 and no more.  There needs to be at least one general compliance rule, such as "Treat yourself and others with respect."  Rules should be broad enough that there may be several procedures that go with the rule. 

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A backpack is a great tool for carrying necessary books and materials. scol22

You'll find lots of tips for getting your students and your classroom organized.  These tips are good for parents and good for teachers, as they help support students with disabilities make the most of their new year.

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Getty Images
Getty Images. Sean Gallop

Consequences are the outcomes of the choices we make.  In order to avoid natural consequences, which can be very undesirabled, teachers need to establish consequences for problem behaviors and infractions of school and classroom rules.  Effective consequences support learning positive alternative behaviors.

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Here are worksheets, icebreakers and other activities to use as you start back to school.  Hopefully you will find some activities you can print to get your year started.

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Bulletin Boards Put Your Walls to Work

A Back to School get acquainted board that helps students learn each others' names. Websterlearning

Put your walls to work:  bulletin boards should be designed to support classroom management, student achievement and provide some fun!  Planning your walls will also make maintaining a lively learning environment easy.

Starting the Year Right By Being Prepared

These resources can help you start the year out well and build a learning environment and classroom structure that will help you be successful.