Teacher Resources for the New School Year

Fall marks the start of a new school year in schools across the country. For returning teachers it is often a time to start with a clean slate and a new outlook on the year ahead.  For those who are new to the profession or new to their school or classroom assignment, it is a time to make some decisions about how they will organize their instruction and structure their classroom environment for the upcoming year. For all, it is a time to try something new, whether it is a teaching strategy or an educational tool, with the goal of increased student learning.

Each year, Edutopia updates its Resources Toolkit for New Teachers. The kit is a compilation of blogs, videos, and other resources that provide tips and advice on classroom management, working with parents, lesson planning, and learning environments developed not just for teachers starting out but also for those who are looking to try something new. Some of the highlights of the toolkit that I found to be useful are as follows:

Preparing, Planning, and Support: Rebecca Alber offers tips for teachers new and old on how to make their first day of school successful in her blog article Back to School: Preparing for Day One. Teaching veteran Tom Whitby gives advice to teachers on how they can make use of Professional Learning Networks (PLN’s) in his blog How Do I Get a PLN?. Finally, blogger Terry Heick talks about teacher collaboration and the power of PLN’s in his article Starting a New School Year: Nine Tips for Collaboration.

Designing the Learning Environment: In his article A Place for Learning: The Physical Environment of Classrooms, blogger Mark Phillips gives tips to teachers on how they can build appropriate student-centered classroom environments.  Todd Finley addresses this topic in his article Tips for Creating Wow-Worthy Learning Spaces. In an effort to promote creativity, blogger Rafranz Davis talks about the power of providing students with supplies to and a makerspace in the article Embracing Student Creativity With a Wonder Shelf.

Classroom-Management Fundamentals: Edutopia has compiled a master set of The Dos and Don'ts of Classroom Management, a guide that is sure to help teachers new and old manage student behavior in the classroom. Blogger Nicholas Provenzano's article Creating Classroom Rules With a Bill of Student Rights gives teachers tips on how to develop classroom rules with their students.

Lesson and Curriculum Planning: Blogger Todd Finley gives advice to teachers on how they can meet the expectations of the Common Core without giving up their opportunity to develop creative lessons in his article Common Core and Planning: Organizing a Unit of Instruction. Andrew Marcinek shares his advice for the best digital curriculum content available to teachers today in his article Open Educational Resources Meet Instructional Design.

A Primer on Assessment: Blogger Rebecca Alber offers tips on using assessment data in her article New Teachers: How to Use Classroom Data to Inform Instruction. Marianne Stenger gives 5 Research-Based Tips for Providing Students with Meaningful Feedback. Finally, Andrew Miller challenges teachers to foster more higher order thinking with their students in his article Beyond the Standardized Test: Aim Higher.

Technology-Integration Basics: In her article 5 Fantastic, Fast, Formative Assessment Tools, blogger Vicki Davis highlights tools like Socrative, Kahoot, Zaption, Chatzy, and Plickers that can give teachers instant feedback on student learning. In another one of her articles entitled A Guidebook for Social Media in the Classroom, Davis gives twelve examples of how social media can enhance the classroom and teacher instruction.

Working With Parents: Blogger Samer Rabadi discusses 19 Proven Tips for Getting Parents Involved at School, strategies for increasing family engagement and strengthening the home-to-school connection. Elena Aguilar offers 7 Questions to Ask Parents at the Beginning of the Year. Her questions were designed to help teachers build positive working relationships with parents from the first day of school.

The start of a new school year is a great time to introduce a new strategy or tool into your classroom. Teachers, what will be your focus for the upcoming year? 

This article was written originally for MultiBriefs Education.


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