Even as an educator with 20 years of experience, I still need this Beginning of the Year tip because there are things I forget. There are a lot of things that are important- relationships, routines, classroom management, etc. Practicing routines and procedures is a vital part of the first 6 weeks or so of school. However…. after about a week, I tend to get bored with it. I just want to get done with practice and settle into the year.
Beginning of the Year Tip
The #1 thing I have to remember is that practice doesn’t make perfect- practice makes permanent! Perfect practice makes perfect! I KNOW practice is important… but I have to really focus on making sure that when we practice, we practice it correctly.
Here are some things we practice several times a day…
- Taking out and putting up supplies- notebooks, pencils, crayons, books, etc
- Moving from tables/seats/desks to other parts in the room such as on the carpet/rug
- Moving from the carpet to the tables/seats/desks
- Lining up
- Getting unpacked in the morning
- Packing up at the end of the day
- Going through the lunch line
- Sitting at the lunch table
- Leaving the lunchroom
- Gathering and putting away class materials
- Walking in the hallway
When I taught Kindergarten, one of my favorite ways to practice walking in the hallway is a school tour. I read Pete the Cat Rocking in my School Shoes. As I finish, I let a note from Pete fall out that says he is walking around the school and we should go find him. At several important places- lunchroom, music room, office, nurses station, gym, library, etc he leaves us a note for a new location. When we get back to the room, Pete has left everyone a coloring page and a small treat. The kids love it and it makes practicing walking the hallway fun and meaningful.
Perfect Practice in the School Library
As a librarian, I also have to remember that practice=permanent. And it sometimes takes us longer than 6 weeks to make it permanent since students are only in the library once a week. Sometimes, it takes all year to master something, like self-checkout. I’m always extremely grateful I put in the practice in Kindergarten and First Grade when self-checkout is running smoothly for Second and Third Grade students while I’m on the other side of the library.
Here are some task to practice in the library:
- Checking in books
- Self-check out station
- Using a shelf marker
- Looking for a book
- Choosing a book
Other Back to School Tips
- Top 10 Helpful Back to School Tips from Teachers for Teachers
- Welcome Back to School FREE Sign
- 5 Self-Care Tips for Teachers: Taking Care of Your Feet
- 5 Fantastic Ways to Say Good-bye to Summer
- Three Fantastic Classroom Routines to Bring Serenity to Your Year
Do you have a #1 Beginning of the Year tip you have to remember? I would love to read it! Make sure you drop it in the comments below.