Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Refreshing Your Classroom

There are times during the school year I glance up from my table and realize, we need some reminders on rituals and routines in our classroom. We need organizing. We need some extra love in our classroom. The center bins are disorganized and Im pretty sure half my class forgot how to transition from word work to their seats. During the holiday season I use this time to refresh my classroom. So while I am working on crafts and gifts for our parents, I review these important things in my classroom. We come back from New Years fresh and ready to go. Here are 3 items that are on my refresh list this year:

1 - Routines and Transitions -  The phrase...“I’m Done!” It has started making its way back into my student’s vocabulary. We need a new lesson on things we can do when we think we are done. I use seat sack books and word work centers to help my students stay on task when they complete their work. These routines were started from the first day of school. My students use a rotating chart to determine what they can do when finishing their work. This gives me time to finish the small group I am with and check in on the students while they are working. Just one quick refresher lesson will do the trick with getting us back on track!                                                                                                     

2 - Behavior Expectations - This is a refresher really for me. I am going to spend the week giving more praise for positive behaviors. “Wow, look how Christopher is working so hard in his center. Great job!” “I love how Lucas is walking in line” It won’t take long for the others to catch on how much I am loving those positive behaviors. Their busy bodies are excited... and mine too... for our break from school. During these exciting and busy times of the year I use our class goal jar a lot more than normal. Every time I notice most of the class on task or making good choices I will add a star to the jar. Once we earn all the stars we celebrate. The best celebrations are no shoes for the day and bring a stuffed animal to school - because they are fun and FREE! If I do a better job praising them for the positive behaviors then all the focus is off all the other stuff. Stars in the jar this week! 

3 - Book Baskets - Oh boy. This is a job for the kids! My book baskets are all kinds of crazy right now. We even had a week of lessons on how to use our classroom library and taking care of our things. Time to take those lessons back out and refresh the classroom library. Students also love to help get everything back in its place and they feel a sense of ownership when they are apart of the cleaning up process.

We work so hard to teach all these rituals and routines with our students at the start of the year. Use the seasonal breaks as a time to restart those important routines. What things do you refresh in your classroom around this time of year? Would love to hear your ideas and suggestions. 


  1. I love using the Mystery Walker reward to get us lined up, out the door and down the hallway. They do not know wno - but I grab a name stick from a bag. I watch them all the way to and from wherever we are going. If they do a fan-doubly-tastitic job, they are rewarded with a table top reward! It sits on their desk until the next time a mystery walker is rewarded! Works like magic!

  2. Mystery Walker is a great one!!! I also keep track of our class complements when our class is out and about or at their specials. When our class gets a "Cool Complement" from another teacher we earn a popsicle point. After we collect 10 popsicle points we earn extra recess, more GoNoodle time or a popsicle party!!