08 August 2014

Back to School Tips - The Readers Edition

I know at the beginning of the year I need all the help I can get.  I don't have all the answers.  I don't have the best ideas.  I never have and I never will.  I absolutely LOVE brainstorming and getting help from other teachers!  I mean, I'll take any help I can get to make my year start off smoothly!!!  Especially when SO many of you have such AMAZING ideas!!

About a month ago, I asked my Facebook readers to give me a few back to school tips and I got some great ideas!  These are the kind of ideas that made me go, "DUH!!!!  SO simple!!  Why didn't I think of that?!?!?"  Hopefully these will help you, too!

Love this idea for recess!   Involve your team and take pictures of each other doing the right thing and the wrong thing on the recess equipment and playing different recess games, etc.  Create a little power point/slideshow with your pictures and show it to your class after reading the book, "The Recess Queen".  Of course, if this book isn't available you can always talk about appropriate playground behavior, show them the slideshow, and then take them outside and review the rules!  Thank you, Erin!!!

Here's another excellent slideshow idea from Suzann!  Before the school year begins, take pictures of the "VIPs" in your school...principal, nurse, counselor, custodians, specials teachers, etc.  Have your kids brainstorm what their jobs are by giving them clues and then take them on a tour of the school for a little "meet & greet".  Love it!!!

School tours are always a must during that first week back, so why not do it with a little scavenger hunt.  Karyn suggested using your class theme/mascot as part of the hunt.  Print off symbols/pictures that represent your theme/mascot and place them around the places you want to visit on your scavenger hunt.  When you take your kids on the tour, have them hunt for those pictures and then introduce the important areas/people!  Love this one, too!!!

Lastly, and I seriously don't know why I didn't think of this the last 13 years, but split the bathroom procedures with a teammate!  Buddy up with a teacher on your team.  One of you take the girls and one of you take the boys.  Then take your group into the bathroom and discuss appropriate/inappropriate bathroom behavior.  SO smart!!!  Thank you, Phebe!!!

Have any tips you'd like to add?!?!?  I'll be back next week with another round of  "Teacher Tips---The Readers Edition"!  Can't wait to hear your great ideas!!!!


  1. Those are great ideas! I especially like the one where you take pictures of the VIP's in your school. For ELL students in your class, you can print the pictures of people/places (bathroom, cafe, office)/things (lunch choices etc) and put them on a little binder ring to keep in their desk. My students used their ring of cards for the entire first two months of school!


  2. Great tips! It is amazing what you can get from Facebook fans!

    The Math Maniac

  3. Ahhhhh so excited that you used my idea :) I'm so glad I could add something since I've used so many of your great ideas in the past :)
    -Erin Warren

  4. I take a picture of a clean are (art center, rainy day games, computer center) and label it "clean up tool " the kids are very clear on the expectations! :)

  5. Some great ideas. Thanks for sharing them. And thanks for sharing them in such an interesting manner.
    Sandra's Savvy Teaching Tips

  6. What you don't poop in the urinals? Jackson told me a few years back. "I was not sure which sink to use in the big boy bathroom. There were 5 on one wall and they looked kind of like the ones at home and then there were 10 on the other wall. They were kind of low and looked like you could sit in them. So, sorry mommy. I did not wash my hands until I could ask you which one to use. So which kind of sink do I use?" IS MY KID A GENIUS OR WHAT? He was smart enough not to wash his hands in the urinal! (PTL)
    Teacher to the Core

  7. I love the playground rules involving teachers. So cute! We do take restroom breaks with another teacher since our girls restroom is upstairs and the boys is downstairs. (our building used to be high school years ago). It's hard to keep an eye on both by yourself.

  8. Love the idea of taking pictures of correct playground behavior! We're walking the playground to make sure WE are all on the same page about appropriate behavior. I'm going to suggest the slideshow idea!
    Lunch, Snacks, and Recess

  9. This is AWESOME!! What a great idea to gather such great tips and share them!! I've already pinned them all...can't wait to see what else you share with us!! Thanks so much!!

    Warmest Wishes, Erin from Kindergarten Dragons