Back to school: Preparing your classroom
As they walk into their new classroom for the first time, be sure to make your students say ‘wow!’ Let them immediately see the sparkle and precise organisation that tells them, ‘This is a well-run machine, ready for a new journey’ and that they have tickets for the ride!
First impressions are everything. How are you going to draw their eyes to the different areas of the room?
- Choose a popular icon to highlight different areas; e.g. Dr Seuss, Minions theme, Harry Potter or characters from another popular novel, equipment from different sports.
- Prepare the walls with display paper and borders, ready to receive student work.
- Display posters of topics to be covered this term in all learning areas, giving students a taste of treats in store.
- Draw and display weekly timetables so students know what to expect and can be prepared.
- Create and display any groups already planned for different learning areas.
If anyone or anything has a special home in the classroom, label that home clearly.
- Display a plan of student desks and label each desk.
- Label student trays whether under desks or in a separate cupboard.
- Make signs for discrete areas, including shelves, then draw and display a plan for equipment.
All equipment must be organised and easily accessible by the students.
- Create a class job list to maintain organisation of all equipment.
Students arrive at school loaded down with stationery supplies. Where does it all go?
- Whatever space you have for storage, ensure it is clear and ready for the new cohort’s supplies. Each student needs to know exactly where to find his or her supplies without disturbing anyone else.
The first few days are important for finding out about each other.
- Even the biggest kids love to have their birthdays acknowledged, so display a birthday chart.
- Prepare a number of large coloured circles to create a Venn diagram for displaying the students’ preferred extra-curricular and after-school activities.
Many students feel nervous about their first day in a new class. Help dispel their fears by welcoming them into a place that shouts, ‘This is your place!’ By morning recess, they will feel truly at home and ready for action!
This is just the tip of a small iceberg of ideas for preparing a classroom environment to encourage and enthuse students after their long summer break. If you have any other great ideas, let us know by leaving a comment below!
R.I.C. Publications has a range of visually-appealing posters that add an element of fun to learning. These bright, bold posters cover a range of topics and are designed to appeal to the eye while relaying necessary information to students through text, images and diagrams. Find out more here.