Beginning of the year classroom setup

I often think back to my first year teaching. Walking into the classroom feeling very overwhelmed and having no clue where to begin. I wasted so much time creating resources that no child has ever seen. I still have them in a box sitting in the garage somewhere. I wonder how much of my own money I spent and I wish I kept track year to year. I laminated a lot of things and when I left to go on maternity leave, I gave a lot of resources to beginning teachers starting out.

In the past I have created bright and colourful resources such as these, but I late found them distracting and difficult to read for students with dyslexic like challenges. This is why my resources are clean, fresh and simplistic. I have used Te Reo where possible.

This year I have created new resources to use in the classroom and this time I am going to see how I go printing onto thicker paper instead of laminating. I think if something gets a little ratty after a while, it would be best if I print another copy in thick paper, rather than using more plastic.

  1. Timetable I am unsure how this is going to work as I grow and develop into giving students agency on what to complete and when, but that is something I can reflect on later. Although it is important for students to see the plan of the day, such as when we will go to the library, pool and assembly. I like to have the labels written in Te Reo and English and to include images that relate to the subject. The timetable cards have magnetic tape and are used on the whiteboard so I can write any notes alongside them if necessary. The whiteboard leader (Class Responsibility) liaises with me at the end of the day and adjusts the timetable in preparation for the following day. Get your free copy here!

  2. Classroom Labels I like to have book baskets that keep students work books in. This means I can take the whole basket to a work space and mark them without having to sift through students desks. It helps ensure that I see every students work, in those times when pupils may forget to hand in their book. Students can also have room in their tote trays or desks for their personal everyday items and work that is yet to be finished. Other classroom labels help students learn where things belong to help keep an organised classroom. The labels are attached to baskets, cupboard doors and bookshelves by velcro strips and can be removed easily. Get your free copy here!

  3. Calendar Labels The class whiteboard has the date in Te Reo and English with these cards. The whiteboard leader changes the date at the end of the day in preparation for the next. The calendar labels have magnetic tape and are placed above the timetable on the whiteboard. Get your free copy here!

  4. Class Responsibilities The name of this has evolved from 'Class Jobs' to 'Class Leaders' and now I call it 'Class Responsibilities' with the slogan, 'We're all in this together." I always start singing the tune from Ben Lee. I play this at the end of the day when we are packing up. Each classroom responsibility has a brief description. I change this up on a weekly basis. I spend time with everyone and show them how complete their responsibility to a high standard. Then it is up to them to remember for the rest of the week. On Monday's when the responsibilities change, students can see the person who had that particular job from the week before and may ask for help. For the rest of the week, they are responsible. Get yours here!

These have been created to support beginning teachers in setting up their classroom or for those who want to refresh.

In my first year teaching I changed my classroom around every few weeks (as well as my display walls) and it wasn't until the fourth term that I was finally happy with how it worked in supporting students.

Enjoy setting up!

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