Prepare the Classroom for Going Back to School
Summer is coming to an end, so teachers need some great back to school ideas and activities. The students will be full of energy, and teachers need to change their focus from a pool on a beautiful summer day to a classroom full of students. That means that teachers need to get organized to have a successful first week of school.
Classroom Bulletin Board Tips
Organizing the classroom takes time and planning, especially the bulletin boards. After making 18 years worth of bulletin boards, I have some time-saving tips. Fun themes can include student favorite cartoon characters. Middle school and high school students like cartoons just as much as elementary students. The cartoon characters can be made rather large so that they take up a great deal of space. The cartoon characters can be cut out from big coloring books. That means that there are fewer items that need to be planned, cut, colored, laminated and stapled.
In addition, it is helpful to laminate die-cut letters so that they can be used every year. The letters can be arranged in alphabetical order in a recipe box or note card organizer.
Classroom Desk Arrangement Suggestions
As for seating arrangements, teachers need to decide if they want a traditional room with rows or a more progressive room with pods for group lessons. One of the most important decisions is to decide where the teachers desk is going to be placed. After trying a variety of desk arrangements in the classroom, I found that the placement of the teachers desk can make a great deal of difference in the way that I take on the task of classroom management.
I like to have my teacher desk connected to the student computers. In addition, my teacher desk is in the back of the room facing the students. I make an L-shape with tables and my desk. On the tables, I place the student computers and tuck all of the wires behind the table that are against the wall. The student supplies are placed by the teacher desk and students turn in their work to baskets on the table beside the teacher desk. My favorite desk arrangement is included in this lesson.
As for the student desks, I like to have a U-shaped configuration. It can be used effectively for direct instruction and cooperative group lessons. And, I can see what all of the students are doing from my desk. My orneriest students are placed in the back of the room. They think it is a great thing until they realize they are very close to my desk.