Back to School

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It is time to start thinking about going back to school. Many teachers have been preparing to go back to school since school let out for the summer. New teachers have been preparing for the first day of school for the past several years as they completed their teacher training programs.

Proper Organization of the Classroom

The more organized the classroom, the more smoothly the school year will go. Classroom organization is more than simply knowing where the books and pencils go, however. Classroom organization needs to optimize student movement such that every area and every minute can be a teachable moment for students and teacher.

Some ideas for great classroom organization include:

  1. Educational posters with review information where the students will stand to line up
  2. Classroom library with space for students to both come for a book and settle in to read
  3. Place the teachers desk such that students are able to come and ask the teacher questions without disturbing other students

When teaching in an inclusion classroom, the organization needs to be specific to the needs of the students. Providing bins and files for student work to minimize clutter in the classroom and keeping other visual distraction to a minimum will be helpful for those students who are easily distracted.

Here is a quick and easy check list for teachers to ensure that they are ready to handle any behavior problem that might walk through the classroom door.

Class Rules:

  1. Are the class rules posted at the student’s eye level?
  2. Are there only 3-5 class rules posted?
  3. Are the class rules stated in the positive instead of negative?
  4. Is time set aside each day for the first week to review the class rules with the students?

Student Movement Around the Classroom:

  1. Do you have a plan for allowing students to use the bathroom?
  2. Do you have a plan for allowing students to sharpen their pencil?
  3. Is the trash can located in a place that will not interrupt a line at the door or disturb students working?
  4. Are student work bins located in a place that will not interrupt a line at the door or disturb students working?
  5. Do you have a plan for allowing students to get a drink of water?

Handling Behavior Problems in the Classroom

  1. Do you have a place to utilize for time-outs?
  2. Do you have a place to speak to an individual student privately without disturbing other students?
  3. Do you have a class telephone that you can use to call a student’s parent while keeping an eye on the rest of the class?
  4. Do you have a hedgehog desk for students to go to and work when they feel annoyed/upset?
  5. Do you have a reward/consequence plan in place?

Classroom Management

  1. How will you get student’s attention?
  2. How will you ensure students know what homework they have?
  3. How will you arrange the student desks to optimize learning and minimize distractions?
  4. How will the students be motivated to follow the rules? (rewards)
  5. How will the students learn from their mistakes? (consequences)
  6. Do you have administrative support for your classroom management plan?

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