Starting the School Year Off on the Right Foot

By: Michael Pierce

It’s the first day of school—a time that’s both exciting and stressful. You may know some of your students, but others are probably new—and a little nervous. The beginning of the school year can be a stressful experience. From day one, it’s important to make your students feel comfortable. It’s up to you to foster a positive learning environment, but also to make sure that each and every one of your students is comfortable and happy. Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do and a variety of useful tools you can use to make these things happen.

Make Sure to Decorate

Classroom aesthetics are important for several reasons. Making your classroom look sharp will help your students stay both relaxed and focused. This is the reason why often times you’ll see cool and mellow greens and blues used as wall colors. Loud colors can be distracting, as they tend to cause excitement – whereas more soothing shades tend to inspire a calm atmosphere.

But wall colors alone won’t make your room very interesting. Adding various borders and cut-outs to your walls, bulletin boards, and desks can really make things pop. Decorative cut-outs from Carson-Dellosa come in various shapes and styles. You can use any of these classroom decoratives for various purposes – like creating learning games, giving recognition to high achieving students, and keeping track of important information that you want to display in a colorful and creative way.

Sharing Information

It’s not only important for you to learn about who your students are; it’s also important for them to learn about each other. And promoting this kind of interactivity doesn’t have to be difficult. It’s a good idea, on day one, to have each student introduce himself to the class and say something about himself. It doesn’t have to be anything formal. Perhaps students can talk about their favorite hobbies, or tell about a time that something funny happened to them.

Engaging in these conversations is a great way to break the ice and help your students relate to one another. When this happens, they’ll be more likely to help each other out, as they won’t see their classmates as strangers. And this can actually help to inspire long-term friendships among students who otherwise may have never spoken to each other.

Notebooks That Engage

Speaking of interactivity, Carson-Dellosa provides a way for you to give your students a chance to do more with their notes. Many times, when a student writes on a blank sheet of notebook paper, it’s really easy to lose track of information that’s going to be on the test. But with the help of Interactive Notebooks, your students can create visually appealing notes. Students can easily earmark pages so that they can use them and refer back to different points all year long.

Not only do these notebooks help to keep things in order, they make life easier for both you and your students by keeping track of their progress in a fun and creative way that each student can personalize to his own liking. Start with these materials on day one, and you’ll save a lot of time and many headaches all year long.

Track Your Data

On its own, data tracking sounds so sterile. But in reality, maintaining a well-organized set of data on each student is an excellent way to be aware of your students’ needs. And Carson-Dellosa has the tools for you to do just that. The Instant Assessments for Data Tracking Resource Books help you keep track of what your students are absorbing and what they need to work on. They also help you gain feedback from your students after you’ve tested them. And they even help you communicate more effectively between your students and their parents, which in turn will really help you to create the best and most informed learning environment possible.

With these tips in mind, you can really take the stress out of the first day of school. Not only that, but you’ll be setting a solid precedent for the entire school year.