Back to School Tips for Teachers – A Smooth Start to the School Year

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It’s time to go back to school, and, of course, kindergarten is such an important part of starting your students’ academic careers off right! Whether it’s steps to get organized or setting the tone for strong academics, here are some back to school tips for a smooth start to the school year. 

Back to School Tips for Teachers

Back to School Tips for Teachers – A Smooth Start to the School Year

The start of a new school year holds tremendous significance for kindergarten teachers, as it sets the tone for the entire academic journey ahead. A smooth back-to-school transition is not only essential for the teachers themselves but also for the young minds that will step foot into their classrooms. It lays the foundation for a positive and nurturing learning environment where students can thrive and grow.

back to school tips for teachers

As kindergarteners take their first steps into formal education, the role of their teachers becomes even more vital, shaping their attitudes towards learning and school. This blog post will delve into a collection of invaluable tips and strategies designed to equip kindergarten teachers with the tools they need to ensure a successful and enriching school year for both themselves and their students.

Establishing a positive and engaging atmosphere right from the beginning is key to unlocking the potential of each student and fostering a love for learning. By setting the tone for an exciting and welcoming school year, teachers can create a sense of anticipation and curiosity among their young pupils. Creating an environment that exudes warmth and inclusivity will ease any anxieties students may have about entering a new space filled with unfamiliar faces.

This blog post will explore practical ways to organize the classroom layout, incorporate age-appropriate decorations, and set up designated reading corners that invite exploration and imagination. By doing so, kindergarten teachers can foster a sense of comfort and belonging, helping students feel confident and eager to embrace their educational journey.

Organizational Back to School Tips

Whether it’s organizing the kids or your classroom itself, these organizational back to school tips will help start the school year off right!

Kindergarten Checklist

First, create a kindergarten checklist for parents. To begin, include school supplies such as crayons, markers, safety scissors, and glue sticks. In addition, you may want to include items like Kleenex or dry erase markers for the classroom. Next, instruct families to label personal belongings, including backpacks and lunchboxes. Finally, have students bring a change of clothes to keep at school in case of accidents or spills. Also, keep in mind that some schools provide supplies for all students. Of course, check with your team, grade level partners, or administration before sending out supply lists. 

back to school ready for parents
Photo Credit: Freepik

Organize the Classroom

Next, get your classroom organized with these back to school tips. Creating a welcoming classroom environment is a cornerstone of successful kindergarten teaching. A thoughtfully organized classroom layout ensures easy navigation and safety for young learners. Furniture should be arranged in a way that allows for smooth movement, and potentially hazardous items should be stored out of reach.

I prefer to have a station where students can gather supplies. I like to use tubs and bins to keep community supplies readily accessible. Labeling storage spaces and using color-coded bins can aid students in finding and returning supplies, promoting independence and responsibility.

Classroom Supplies Organization

Additionally, creating designated areas for different activities, such as a reading nook, art corner, and play area, helps establish a sense of structure and purpose within the classroom.

Age-appropriate decorations and visual aids play a pivotal role in engaging young minds and igniting their imagination. Decorations should reflect the interests and developmental needs of kindergarten students, using bright colors and relatable themes. Educational posters, alphabet charts, and number displays not only add vibrancy to the classroom but also serve as valuable learning tools. Teachers can involve students in the process of creating some decorations, fostering a sense of ownership and pride in their learning space.

Image Credit: Freepik

A cozy reading corner is a magical spot where the joy of storytelling and relaxation come together. Equipped with soft cushions, plush rugs, and shelves filled with captivating books, this area beckons children to immerse themselves in the enchanting world of literature. Storytime in the reading corner not only fosters a love for reading but also provides an opportunity for teachers to cultivate listening skills and spark discussions about characters, morals, and emotions.

reading corner kindergarten

Overall, keeping your classroom organized not only helps students but keeps you feeling great and ready to teach!

Learning Centers – Back to School Tips for Teachers

Speaking of learning centers, having math and literacy centers in the classroom not only helps organize the room, it also sets up your year for strong academics! Use these back to school tips to plan your math and literacy centers for the school year. 

If you’d like to read more about all the 28 Hands-on Back to School Activities for Kindergarten check out this blog post over here! There’s a freebie included in the blog post just for you!

back to school activities for kindergarten

Back to School Math Centers

These math centers are a great way to get your learners learning and practicing their math facts in a fun and hands-on manner.

Boost Number Sense

First, one of the most important concepts in kindergarten math is number sense. Start the year by introducing counting and number recognition. To begin, use a number sense craft activity to help your kindergartners recognize numbers 1-20, count, and represent numbers in a creative way.

back to school morning bins number sense activity

With these back to school tips on number sense, kindergartners represent numbers in the following ways:

  • Number and Word
  • Ten Frame
  • Tally Marks
  • Dice
  • Fingers
  • Counting Paint Splats (1-10)
  • Base 10 Blocks (11-20)
kindergarten back to school morning bins number sense

Overall, having hands-on lessons for number sense really helps students start the school year off right for math!

Recognizing Shapes and Pattern 

Next, more back to school tips for math include learning about shape and patterns. First, explore shapes through crafts, puzzles, and building blocks. Also, encourage pattern recognition with 2D shape sorting mats!

back to school 2d shapes math center

Finally, share mats to help your kindergarten students recognize and sort the following shapes:

  • Circle
  • Triangle
  • Star
  • Square
  • Semicircle
  • Rectangle
  • Pentagon
  • Oval
  • Octagon
  • Hexagon
  • Heart
  • Diamond/Rhombus
  • Trapezium/Trapezoid
back to school morning bins shape sorting

Of course, the sorting mats even have real-life examples of the shapes for this perfect back to school activity! 

If you’re looking for a fun way to introduce patterns then these hands-on Paint Splat Pattern Strips are perfect for your students!

hands-on kindergarten patterns centers

All the activities in this resource cover 4 pattern sequences; AB, ABC, AAB and ABB. This allows for differentiation depending on the learner.

The pattern activities included in this are:

  • Build the Pattern (color)
  • Extend the Pattern (color)
  • What is Missing? (color)
  • Worksheet Option (black and white)
kindergarten back to school patterns

Back to School Literacy Centers

Next, don’t forget about back to school literacy centers. These back to school tips help get your students ready to recognize letters and start beginning reading and writing. 

Promote Letter Recognition and Phonics

First, introduce the alphabet through songs, chants, and letter-based activities. Next, teach phonetic sounds and practice letter-sound associations. I love these alphabet clip cards for students to begin to recognize different letter sounds.

back to school literacy center

Each wheel has a specific letter (upper and lowercase) and sound. To begin, kindergartners clip words that begin with the corresponding sound around the circle with a clothespin. 

Each wheel requires the clipping of only four options to make it easy for your students to understand. For example, for the letter Aa wheel, learners will clip words like astronaut, ant, alligator, and apple, while leaving out words like bat, mixer, police officer, and zebra that start with different letters. 

alphabet beginning sounds clip cards

Practice spelling and building CVC words with this school bus CVC word mat. This activity is sure to be a hit among your learners! Learners will love picking out the CVC cards, placing it on the mat and building the CVC word using magnetic letters. The printable includes 72 CVC picture cards!

kindergarten back to school cvc word building activity

And these pencil rhyming puzzles are a great way to get learners practicing their knowledge of rhyming. Just take a look at how cute these are!

All they have to do, is match the pieces of the pencils with words that rhyme together. It’s a super simple, low-prep activity perfect for your morning bins or small groups.

cvc words rhyming puzzles morning bins

Cultivate a Love for Reading

To get your young students ready for reading, start by establishing a reading culture in the classroom. First, create a cozy reading nook with age-appropriate books. Next, engage children in read-aloud sessions and encourage story discussions. Of course, kindergartners love to tell stories and give feedback on books. Feel free to also let them share their own stories!

read aloud kindergarten

Encourage Emergent Writing Skills

Finally, writing is such an important skill to start practicing in kindergarten. First, provide opportunities for drawing, tracing, and forming letters. For back to school, start your students off right by having them trace letters and numbers with these alphabet and number tracing cards.

back to school alphabet tracing center

Overall, this resource helps with fine motor skills and letter and number recognition and formation. It includes the following:

  • Uppercase letter tracing cards
  • Lowercase letter tracing cards
  • 1-20 Number tracing cards
  • Recording sheets (several versions are included)
  • Color and black and white copies
number tracing activity back to school

With this resource, getting started on beginning writing skills has never been easier!

Trust me! I know the start of the school year can be chaotic. By using these back to school tips to get organized and also help with academics, your kindergarten students will be ready to learn and feel welcomed in the new school year!

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