Creating a classroom that students look forward to entering requires fun, interactivity and organisation! We’ve put together 15 ideas to help you incorporate these into your classroom including everything from organisation tips, classroom management tools and fun teaching resources.
1) Visual Schedules
Demonstrate time management with a visual class schedule that lays out the day’s activities. This will help your class feel at ease as they can clearly see what to expect from the day ahead.
Organisation Stations provide a visual resource to keep track of every child’s work. With blank wipe-clean name-tags the chart can be used year after year.
“It makes my life a hundred times easier and the kids help keep it up. A great tool!” – Mrs White
3) Class Calendar
A visual calendar helps children to understand months, seasons and weather while practising numbers. It provides stimulus for discussion and can become a fun part of the class routine!
Answer Buzzers encourage interactivity in the classroom and can help to give a voice to children who are reluctant to put their hand up. They also work well for ‘game-show’ style activities and help to make participation fair and even.
Hand Pointers are a fun way to encourage participation and keep focus during teaching time. The bright colours and pointing hands have instant child appeal and help to create excitement around writing and reading tasks!
Time can run away with you in a busy classroom setting but a visual reminder of the time remaining for tasks will keep you and your class on track! Perfect for whole class or group activities, time trackers work in a traffic light system to warn when the time is nearly over and then provide a visual and audio cue when it has run out.
Classrooms can easily become cluttered with mountains of printed worksheets! Use wipe-clean pockets to minimise printing and provide an interactive way to complete activities for all subjects.
“I like the amount of time that it saves me. We use ours a lot and there are no significant signs of wear and tear yet.” – Shelly, O Family Learning Together Blog
8) Sensory Areas
Sensory areas are a great way to boost concentration and create a calm atmostphere. Each child will have a different sensory preference so it is good to have a mixture of activities available such as a quiet area with bean bags or soft music to sooth children that are restless.
9) Reading Buddies
(Photo Credit: http://www.teacherbythebeach.com)
A ‘reading buddies’ box is a good way to allow structured time with cuddly toys and provides an incentive to spend time in the reading corner.
10) Reward Jar
(Photo credit: missteachwise.blogspot.com)
Children respond well to class incentives so a reward jar that is on show throughout the day will help children to stay focused on behaving well! Add labels to the jar to show what rewards the class is working to. Each time the class has worked well together or an individual has behaved very well a marble can be added the jar. This approach encourages the class to work together towards the end goal.
11) “I’m done!” Jar
(Photo credit: alove4teaching.blogspot.co.uk)
Children complete activities at different speeds so it’s handy to have a pre-made “I’m Done!” jar to keep early finishers occupied. Tasks could include silent reading, making lists, practising their spelling words, drawing a picture or writing a story. Try to also include an image beside the text so that non-readers can understand what is required.
12) Homework Pegs
(Picture credit: www.weareteachers.com)
Pegs work wonders to keep track of homework and activity sheets. Label a peg for each child in your class so that they can clip it to their work when they hand it in. Any remaining pegs will quickly show whose is missing!
13) Teacher Post Box
(Photo credit: shelleytpins)
Create a teacher post-box to open the lines of communication between you and your class. This means that things they don’t feel comfortable talking about face to face or notes from parents can go into the box for you to respond to privately.
14) “I’m Lost” Bucket
(Photo credit: missgiraffesclass.blogspot.co.uk)
Create a box for children to return lost items! It can be frustrating when one piece is missing from a game or puzzle but this simple method provides a chance for them to make their way back home!
15) Tidy Up Tunes
It’s inevitable that a classroom will get messy! Make clean-up time fun with your very own ‘tidy up tune’. Primary Teacher, Miss Moore, uses ‘Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’ and said: “After a few times of playing it I don’t need to explain what the music is for. The whole class puts everything in the right place and are in their seats by the time the song is finished!”