Back to School
Start the new year with back-to-school lesson plans, book lists, printables, and learning activities for all grades.
- Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8, 9–12
Meet Students and Parents
A collection of effective resources, ideas, and practices for keeping parents informed and involved all year long
Use these icebreakers as community-building activities, assessment opportunities, and skill-building lessons for your new students!
Sixth-grade teacher Kechia Williams explains how she has her students introduce themselves and the methods she uses to assess their learning style.
Boost social and academic skills by setting up these back-to-school centers.
First Days of School
Make your incoming students feel at home through icebreakers and get-to-know-you activities.
Primary- and intermediate-level teachers offer exciting suggestions for first-day-of-school lesson planning.
These teacher-recommended routines signal what's coming next to students, making them feel secure in knowing what to do -- and giving you more time to teach.
Read a September-themed "Top 10" list, with timely lesson ideas, instructional videos, technology tips, management tools, links to cool Web sites, and, of course, a window into my own classroom so that you can see what I am doing with my students each month.
Five veteran teachers share their secrets to a smooth start to the year with tips for setting up your classroom, getting students acquainted, and motivating learners for the year ahead.
High school teacher Nicole Sledge shares her strategies for building rapport with students and breaking the ice.
Veteran teacher offers tips for new teachers preparing for the first day of school. This checklist will help first year teachers set up the classroom and have activities ready for opening day.
Tips for creating a sense of classroom community on the first day of school. Covers both how to establish authority and what to do to make the children feel at ease.
Give students a warm welcome with these fun getting-to-know-you activities and ideas.
Classroom Setup and Organization
These helpful checklists and suggestions from real teachers will spark ideas for starting the year right.
Real teachers share inspiration and creative tips that will help turn your classroom into a unique learning space.
Learn how to create and maintain an inviting classroom library that encourages each student to read.
Use these teacher tips for adding a theme to your classroom, a fun way to start a new school year.
The year is in full swing. You’ve established basic routines, learned your students’ names, and started putting some of your best new ideas into action.
While everything is still fresh, it’s important to step back for a moment and tweak what needs tweaking before you get too far into the year. Are your routines working? What about your system for handling paperwork and projects? Your mode of communicating with parents? Refining patterns and systems now will mean less stress and fewer headaches later.
Get tips for creating a classroom theme that makes learning fun for students and helps unify lessons.
There is so much to do for that first week back -- where do you start? Here are a few suggestions from 1st-grade teacher Jill White.
Effective time management is essential to all aspects of teaching from organizing the day to organizing the classroom, from deciding how long and how often to teach various subjects to recording student progress.
New teacher tips for classroom management that keeps students engaged but under control. First year teachers will note that it emphasizes the importance of consistency.
Welcome kindergarten students to school by establishing clear and consistent classroom rules and routines.
Teachers share their techniques for maintaining control and order in the classroom that you can implement from day one and keep up with throughout the year
A successful classroom community promotes positive social skills. Foster a sense of belonging in your classroom with these tips.
Master teachers share their methods for managing productive and engaged classes.
Creative solutions for test review, classroom management through reading workshop, a classroom economy unit plan, and more from one of the star teachers of Top Teaching
Lesson and Unit Plans
A unit on friendship that involves music, crafts, teamwork activities, and identifying shared values and interests
Classmates get to know each other by creating autobiographical brochures containing narrative writing and photos. This lesson is especially useful to the first year teacher and new teacher, because it also covers classroom rules.
Use literature circles to get your reluctant readers excited about literature.
Use this exciting writing prompt to get kids to voice their opinion, and to provide a means of reading and writing assessment. Students write brochures about themselves and brainstorm about class improvements.
With this detailed guide, show your students how to take their writing to a new level, and help them enrich their stories with multimedia using free publishing software and photography Web sites.
Tips for incorporating Literature Circles into reading instruction
A few years ago, my good friend and fellow teacher, Bill O'Brien, called in sick to school on a Monday morning. When I talked to him later that day, he told me that he had been up all night reading a book called All Souls: A Family Story from Southie. The book had so profoundly affected Bill that he actually needed a day to process what he had read. Later in the year, Bill fought to have the book added to the senior summer reading list as the social studies requirement.
Calm you child's fears about starting a new school with these 5 stories about first-day jitters and making new friends. Titles for kids of all ages.