No one ever said that you have to keep your classroom exactly the same way all year and mid-year is a great time of year to implement some of those changes that could really impact the climate and culture of your class! It’s a new year so be a new you with your teaching! Teaching: New Year, New You!
So here’s a list of things you could consider changing. Hope it helps!
- Classroom Setup – Move your library or try a new desk arrangement. Sometimes things just don’t flow or work for a group of students and changing them can really give you some peace of mind.
- Take Your Behavior Chart Off The Wall – That’s right. Take it down if you dare! Hold students individually accountable instead of hanging it on the wall for everyone to see. Students who need a behavior plan that badly will benefit much more from having something individualized for their needs. Read why I took mine off the wall here.
- New Journals – Start over with new journals! Giving the students a fresh new book will reset the pride they take in caring for it and the effort they put in! You can either use spiral notebooks with This or That Writing Prompts or do some monthly writing journals with vocabulary prompts.
- Reorganize your centers or make new ones. If you don’t have a writing center this is a super easy and always engaging center you can pull together quickly and most likely using resources you already have.
- Plan out the rest of the school year. Here’s a free pacing guide to get you organized. Or create yourself a new lesson plan template so you can plan out your weeks with more ease.
- Start a new morning routine. Maybe some new morning work or plan out some more interactive snap cube centers to get your kids building and constructing until you are ready to start the day.
- Seating Chart – Moving students around gives the students a chance to start over fresh with new friends.
- Reorganize your stuff. This always feels good to do. Clean out that back cabinet or get new bins for your small group books. So many things in our classroom that constantly need to be reorganized – it’s like a never-ending job in my classroom.
- Create a What Stuck With You Today Chart. This is a great way to start teaching your students how to reflect on their learning each day. It makes a great closing activity for the day and helps students to be better able to explain to their families what they learned during the day.
- Start planning a summer professional development trip! I highly recommend going to Frog Street Splash! I have been to several summer professional development classes and Splash was seriously the most fun and the best content. Highly recommend! You can also see my tips for attending teacher conferences here. Now is the time to start planning if you want your school to somehow fund it.
- Spend a little time cleaning up your Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. These are all great social media platforms that allow you to follow teachers all over the world but sometimes we may have followed people we don’t necessarily get the pins we really need to transform our classrooms. (Click the hyperlinks above to see who I follow for great content.)
It is our jobs as teachers to monitor and adjust to our classes each year and because of that I feel like as professionals we should be making these changes to our routines in order to adapt to the group of students we have. Don’t wait until next year to fix things that you want to fix or try things you want to try. After all, students will (hopefully) only have one shot at this grade level with you!