Are You Ready For September…

At TeachWell we cannot wait to get back to normality, whilst we know things will look a little different we hope all of our teachers and support staff are feeling the same!

We have put together some resources below to try and help everyone settle back in, as always we are here to support you every step of the way.

8 Teacher Tips for Decorating Your Classroom

1. Use color. Bring on the bright and get rid of the institutional off-white! —Tina Queen
2. Make your walls count. The walls are a living part of the learning experience. Each part of the space should be instructional in nature. —Keith Pruitt

3. Offer a warm welcome. I always try to have my classroom decorated cheerfully with welcoming items for our orientation night. This way parents and students feel relaxed and welcome—middle school is challenging enough without coming into rooms that are blah looking. —Lilly Jenkins

4. Post only the necessities to start. I post lab-safety rules and other necessities, but I like to put up things the students do, so my walls are pretty bare at the beginning of the year. —Regina Hitchcock

5. Plan early. I come up with a theme during the summer and start gathering materials. This year I ordered sari material from India for the bulletin boards and purchased books with a more ​Eastern perspective. —Melissa Ritchey

6. Enlist helpers. I have my husband and kids help with decorating so I am ready for touch-ups and last-minute additions when we have our teacher in-service. —Robin Renfroe

7. Keep some things hidden. I have an awesome British lit timeline of postcards that stays up year-round. It helps students anchor their learning and put it in perspective. I cover parts of it at the beginning of the year and take the coverings down as we go. —Lynn Sebrell

8. Do the groundwork. During pre-planning, I use color for my area labels (superstars, Wall of Fame, etc.), put out my fake plants, and set up my reading area and classroom library. Then I add to the walls all year long. —Stephanie O’Rourke

The Ultimate Lesson Planning Checklist for Primary School Teachers

1 – Be passionate about the subject you are teaching
If you aren’t engaged and interested in the subject you are teaching, how can you expect your pupils to be? Of course, not every single topic in the national curriculum is going to fill you with delight, but taking the time to find a hook that will engage your class – will make all the difference. You don’t have to find this hook on your own, ask your colleagues, or look for inspiration on social media, someone is bound to give you an idea that will help you and your class feel passionate about the topic you are teaching.

2 – Take into account the different needs and requirements of your pupils
Differentiating lessons is something us teachers think a lot about. We know that in a class of primary children everyone won’t learn at the same pace, or have the same interests or needs. Think carefully about how you are going to make the lesson challenging but achievable for everyone. Consider differentiated activity ideas and who will get adult support during the lesson.

3 – Make sure the lesson is relevant and give it context
It is no secret that everyone learns better when they are given a context for the skills they are developing. Lessons should have progression and context to ensure pupils understand how their learning forms part of a bigger picture. If you can effectively convey the value of the learning, your children are more likely to be motivated and engaged. This approach stops children from assigning a skill to a domain, for example we have all seen children with a domain knowledge of spelling, that is where they get their spellings right in a spelling test, or maybe an English lesson, but not in another area of the curriculum.

4 – Set out clear, simple objectives
First and foremost you need to be clear on what the objective of the lesson is. This might sound obvious but it can be easy for a lesson to change course as it takes shape in the planning process so always go back and double check your objectives.

5 – Have a backup plan

Supporting pupils to return to school
Things to keep in mind…
One size will not fit all

You are part of a team
Your team is wider than just your school community
Different emotional responses
Don’t dismiss concerning behaviour
Learning might have to wait
Attachments have been disrupted

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