Get Off to a Smart Start
Teachers share the best tips, strategies, and shortcuts for starting the new school year.
- Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8
Use the resources below to set up your classroom and build a strong community. Plus, check out the best tips, strategies, and shortcuts from real teachers to help you get off to a great school year.
Resources to Get Organized
Be ready for anything! This comprehensive list covers everything you need to do before classes begin and in those first few days.
10 Ways to Decorate Your Classroom
Inspire a love for learning by involving your students in this year's classroom makeover.
So Much to Do, So Little Time
With only three days to set up your classroom, you can't stop the clock. So how can you make every minute count?
Get organized for the first day of school with this list of prep ideas and opening day suggestions.
Letters to Welcome Students & Parents (PDF)
Build good relationships from the start with these tips and sample send-home letters for students and parents.
Building Bridges of Friendship
With this cross-curricular unit, children learn skills as they connect with a class of new friends.
Proven Strategies from Real Teachers
Top 5 Classroom Management Ideas
Creative, yet practical advice from teachers in the trenches will help you set up good classroom management techniques right from the start!
Top 5 Ways to Welcome Students Back to School
Start the school year with energy and enthusiasm that lasts all year long!
5 Five Simple Solutions for Classroom Organization
Teacher Elizabeth Ramos shares the techniques that have proven to work for her through the years.
5 Steps to Setting Up Your Classroom
Teacher Jacquylynn Brickman offers advice on creating the ideal learning environment.
Establishing a Community with a Wall of Fame
Genia Connell explains how she combines classroom set up with community-building in her 3rd-grade classroom.
11 Fabulous First-Day Ideas
Primary- and Intermediate-level teachers offer suggestions for first-day-of-school lesson planning.
6 Community-Building Activities
Read about one teacher's methods of creating a caring community in the critical first days of school.
Tools & Reproducibles
Class Set-Up Tool
Arrange the perfect classroom environment — from student seats to your class library — without moving a desk.
School Supply List Maker
Use our template to ensure you have everything you need.
Save time with ready-to-print classroom management reproducibles wand student worksheets for those first weeks back in the classroom.