All in Beginning of the Year

Back to School STEM Challenges

STEM challenges are the best way to begin building classroom community and teamwork at the beginning of the year. They are also a great way to introduce problem solving skills and get students thinking creatively and outside the box. 

The best part is students LOVE them, and they don't even realize they are learning!

The following are our top 5 picks for back to school STEM activities.

Building Teamwork at the Beginning of the Year with STEM

Did you know that STEM activities are a great way to build classroom community and teamwork at the beginning of the year?

Unfortunately,  STEM challenges can tend to be used as a classroom competition where students and groups are competing against each other. While classroom competitions can be fun, the goal of STEM should be to encourage a growth mindset in students.

How do we accomplish this?

First Week of School Read Alouds

It's a fact..teachers love books! Discovering new read alouds is always an exciting adventure. The following are my favorite first week of school read alouds. Most of these titles have lesson ideas that go along with them. You can find the coordinating lesson plans and activities in our First Week of School Lesson Plans resource.  

For a break down of how these books can be used to jump start a successful first week of school be sure to download our FREE First Week of School Schedule!

Engage Students in the New Year with STEM

The new year is always a great time for teachers to reflect on the school year. What things are going well in your classroom? What aspects could use some improvement?

Are students engaged in learning? Are they collaborating with one another and using problem solving skills on a daily or weekly basis? 

Have you tried STEM in your classroom? If not the new year is the perfect time to get on board with STEM!

Getting Student Buy-In On the First Day of School

Student buy-in is one of the most important components of a successful school year. If there is no student-buy with regard to the class mission and values at the beginning of the year the result can be fatal. This is a sad reality considering that student buy-in can be achieved in just a few minutes of the day through purposeful planning and student interaction. This starts on the first day on school!

The following are just a few ways to ensure student buy in on the first day of school.

4 Things to Do For a Stress-Free Back to School

Summer has finally arrived, and unfortunately it will fly by before we know it. I have been spending some time this week getting organized for next year in order to avoid that back to school stress. Although it can seem like a chore to work on school over break, I actually feel less stressed. In turn, feeling less stressed is actually allowing me to enjoy my summer more since I am not constantly worried about my To-Do list piling up.

Here are just a few of the things (4 to be exact) that you can do in order to set yourself up for a less stressed back to school!