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The First Days
Getting Your Room Ready

The First Days is a collection of tips and ideas. These pages are not geared for any specific grade level. Please pick and choose what works for you. Feel free to copy and use the sample activities, and to copy these pages to share with others.

Prepping the Classroom

  • Decorate walls with motivational posters and posters that connect to units of study. A few plants are nice, but do not over decorate.
  • Have hall passes and a sign out sheet ready for students to use when they have to leave the classroom.
  • Carefully consider the way you set up the room. Consider different ways to make it the most comfortable and workable. Remember, it can always be rearranged!
  • Arrange desks, assign seats and have a name tag on the desk with each student's name. * See "The First Days" page for suggestions for having student make their own name tags for the desk. These can replace the temporary ones you have made.
  • Be sure you have extra text books and other materials for each student.
  • Designate a place for posting homework and long term assignments.
  • Post a class list outside the classroom door.
  • Post the exit route for a fire drill. Review procedures for the fire drill and for other natural disasters.
  • Create a file folder with each student's name on it to be used for work portfolios.
  • Check all computers to be sure they are in fine working order. Load any programs that you know you will be using in your classroom. Have discs on hand.
  • Provision yourself well with plenty of the supplies that you will need for yourself and for your students.
  • Sketch out bulletin board designs on paper in advance of setting up.
  • Set up an area for a class library that is inviting. The library should include a variety of reading levels and genres. Consult your reading teacher for book suggestions and input.
  • Primary teachers should consider setting up mailboxes for each student for notes home, newsletters, and completed work. Some cardboard shoe storage units with divided sections work well.
  • Assign each student a class number and use this number to identify books, calculators, and other materials that they borrow. In the primary classes, be sure the number is also on each student's nametag, desk, cubby, and mailbox.
  • A primary classroom should include helper charts, a calendar, weather charts, and a number line that begins on the first day of school. Adding machine tape can work well for this.


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