And so it begins — a New School Year

  • Published on January 15, 2021

and so it begins- a new school year

Teachers around Australia are already thinking about how they will organise their classrooms to maximise learning when the new school year begins at the end of January. They are as excited as the children with hopes and expectations of a successful and enjoyable school year.

To ensure a rewarding year, it is important to begin with a clear idea of what you want to achieve and the steps that will contribute to success. It is useful to keep in mind that one of the most significant contributors to children’s learning is the classroom environment, especially the relationship with the teacher. A supportive classroom environment that welcomes students and their families is essential so that children have a sense both of belonging and ownership.

Rita Pierson makes this quite clear in her TED Talk Every kid needs a champion.

 

Here at readilearn, our focus is on supporting teachers with lessons that are ready for them to teach rather than on worksheets for children to complete. We recognise the beneficial role of discussions that involve both teachers and students sharing ideas. We also assist teachers to establish a welcoming and supportive classroom environment.

Establish a welcoming environment

getting ready for the first day - free teaching ideas

The free resource Getting ready for the first day with Busy Bee resources lists some of the available resources and suggestions for using them; including (note that not all of these resources are free  unless you have a subscription):

resources, lessons and activities to welcome children to school on the first day

These resources are available to download individually, or as a collection in the zip folder Busy Bee – Welcome resources for Day one.

Sunflower desk name template

We also have a welcome letter, desk names and name badges with sunflower designs.

Start counting the first 100 days of school

Many teachers of young children like to count the first 100 days of school. It’s an easy and fun way to incorporate meaningful number work into your daily program.

developing understanding of number with an interactive 100 board

The interactive digital Busy Bees 100 chart provides an easy way to keep track of the days while you engage the children in other number work.

lessons and activities for celebrating 100 days of school

Other ideas for counting and celebrating are available in the printable resources Busy Bees celebrate 100 days of school.

Attendance

an interactive who is here chart for the interactive whiteboard using children's names

Personalise the Who is here today? Interactive chart with the names of children in your class and use it on the interactive whiteboard as an unofficial record of attendance and to help children learn to recognise their own and others’ names.

Birthdays

It is always a good idea to organise a way of celebrating birthdays.

birthday chart for printing and recording children's birthdays

Use the Busy Bees Birthday chart to record children’s birthdays.

personalise this interactive birthday resource for children celebrating birthdays in your class

Prepare a personalised birthday card for them on their special day using Happy Birthday — an interactive resource to personalise 

A birthday card to personalise

or give them a printable card for them to personalise.

Check out the other birthday-themed resources here.

Getting to know the children

Getting to know the children and encouraging them to get to know each other is an important part of establishing a supportive classroom and setting the children up for a successful year.

me and my friends getting to know each other

In Me and My friends children interview each other to find out ways in which they are similar to and different from each other.

Getting to know you surveysyes or no class surveys

Getting to know you surveys and  Yes or No class surveys  are also great ways for teachers and children to get to know each other. Suitable topics occur across the curriculum and are limited only by your imagination. With the incidental development of literacy and mathematical skills, they make an all-round great introduction to school.

Family traditions and celebrations

The unit Learning about family traditions and celebrations is another means of gathering information about the families of children in the class and aligns with the HASS curriculum.

Blog posts

Check out these blog posts that also suggest ideas for establishing a supportive classroom environment.

Getting to know you

Developing an “I can do it!” attitude

Early Childhood resources for celebrating friendship

Establishing a supportive classroom environment from day one

Preparing the classroom for a successful school year

Starting out right — classroom organisation

Special Days and Events for Classroom Celebrations

Teaching resources for celebrating birthdays in the early childhood classroom

Offer for beginning teachers

If you are a pre-service or first-year teacher, I am happy to offer you a free subscription to support you as you embark on what is one of the most important and rewarding careers, after all, teaching is the profession that creates all other professions.

 

To receive your free subscription, simply email me (hello@readilearn.com.au) and let me know you’d like it.

readilearn teaching resources for the first three years of school

While you’re here, remember to check out the complete readilearn collection of

over 450 teaching resources for the first three years of school
Resources beyond worksheets – lessons for teachers made by teachers.
Let readilearn lighten your workload.

 

Browse resources now

If you haven’t already, follow @readilearn on Twitter and readilearnteachingresources on Instagram and like the readilearnteachingresources Facebook page.

I appreciate your feedback and comments. Please share your thoughts below.

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Comments

    Great, Norah! You have the solutions, Bavarian teachers are waiting for. But our officials are (actually) not willing approving external (not from themselves created) material. Will give them again a tip. Michael

    Thanks so much, Michael. I don’t think Bavarian officials are the only ones to limit teachers (and therefore students) in that way.

    For sure, Norah. Thats a big issue of most officials trying to keep their own will be politically present. 😉 Therefore as example the European Union is only a theoretic construction.

    Happy new year indeed. I’ll be paying more attention to these resources and alerting my new lead teacher to them as I begin my new job in a new school in my new winter digs working with an old friend in her preschool class. (Ok, the school is old, but new to me, and my digs are old, but my first time living here in my old stomping grounds year-round) The age group will be a change from my sixth and fourth graders. The program has always aimed to be outside as much as feasible, even in winter so I need to bring my boots and snow pants every day. I am back to working at play! Thinking of you, Buddy.

    Thank you, D. How exciting to be working with a preschool group and spending as much time outside as possible. I look forward to hearing all about it. Sounds like you’ll be wearing your big kid pants. Enjoy!

    Such a GREAT amount of ideas and resources here, Norah. You are amazing – and teachers are lucky to have you here. Happy new school year to you all. Seems strange, compared to here in the US where the 2nd half of the school year has started. In our state, it’s hybrid. My grandkids go to school on Mondays and Tuesdays in person, then at home on Zoom the rest of the week. Such a challenging school year.

    Thank you, Pam. We have been lucky here to have not suffered badly from covid. Our schools did close early on as a precaution, but most will be returning to the classroom for our new school year – for now anyway. I hope it stays that way. Challenging times, indeed.

    Some great ideas here, Norah. It looks like the start of our school year will be delayed and on-line.

    I’ve heard covid is not treating you well over there. At the moment, we’re still quite safe here and most students and teachers will be returning to the classroom. For now anyway. I hope it stays that way.

    Thank you, Bette. I wish I was still in the classroom to enjoy it too. 🙂

Please share your thoughts. I love it when you do.

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