BEFORE THE SCHOOL YEAR STARTS - SETTING UP YOUR CLASSROOM
The composition of your classroom can set the tone immediately. Here some essential points for putting it all together and for keeping in mind safety concerns.
Before the school year starts - setting up your classroom
Dos and Don’ts of Classroom Decorations
By Youki Terada - Edutopia
Heavily decorated classrooms can bombard students with too much visual information, interfering with their memory and ability to focus, a new study finds. This is just the latest study to examine the relationship between classroom environment and students’ executive functions, which include skills like memory, attention, and self-regulation. While teachers have good intentions when decorating, many classrooms end up being “sensory-rich” in a way that “could hamper children’s learning gains rather than help,” according to psychologists Pedro Rodrigues and Josefa Pandeirada, who coauthored the study.
Decluttering Your Classroom
By Heather Wolpert-Gawron - Edutopia
Thoughtful reflection will help you make decisions about what to keep and what to discard in your classroom. Research tells us that the classroom environment is vital, and recent reports show that our rooms can have too much of a good thing. Posters, for example, might make a room feel inviting or engaging, but having too many can distract students. Flexible seating honors student choice and voice, but those pillows can also take up tons of room.
Building Strong Child-Adult Relationships
Every year teachers need to create new relationships with the students in their class. With some students, this is easy to do. With others it can be more challenging. Here are some suggestions:
Before the school year starts phone call
BEFORE THE SCHOOL YEAR STARTS - PHONE CALL
This phone call is meant to be done before school starts and is an interaction with the PARENTS. Yes, the parents! Because, as we all know, if the parents like us, it is more likely that the child will like us. In the document provided, all the details of how to conduct a SHORT phone interview are provided. It is scripted so that if something “unusual” happens you can go on to the next point and end the call before it goes on for too long!
It may be time consuming to call every student’s family in your class, so you can also call a select few whose families may need extra reassurance about who you are. The information you will collect will be very helpful in planning your first days.
BEFORE THE SCHOOL YEAR STARTS: BUILDING A RELATIONSHIP WITH A CHALLENGING STUDENT
This suggestion is for those students who are of the most concern to all those in a school, especially the teacher, because of their behavioural challenges. Although we all hope that a child will “improve” over the summer, we know, realistically that this is not usually the case. And so, despite our best intentions, we worry about how things will go.
Inviting the child and parent to school BEFORE the school year starts will allow for the time to create the all-important child-teacher-parent relationship. Taking the time to connect with the child and parent before a behaviour problem occurs and before the hecticness of the first day of school, can go a long way to creating strong relationships. The parent will have an opportunity to let the school know about any “new developments” and may help allay their fears about how things will go for their child. The teacher and child have a chance to “connect” in a more informal way, allowing both to get to know the other in calmer circumstances.
Building a relationship with a challenging student
ENHANCING TEACHER, PARENT AND CHILD ATTACHMENT IN K-4 and K-5
This practice is a bit more complex and so schools may not be able to implement it this fall, however, there may be parts of it that could be used. The primary purpose is to enhance the relationship between the teacher and the parents of these young children and to create bonds with the children as well.