Back to School | Tips for Teachers

If you're an Australian teacher reading this - well then you would know the end of holidays is near... Some of us are relishing in our final days of summer holidays, and some of us are enthusiastically starting to work on our Term 1 Unit plans with bright, shiny new ideas. Either way, today I bring you a round up post of some useful back to school resources I've found, particularly for the early years. Teachers elsewhere in the world - I realise your school year works differently to us - so why not 'pin now and read later'?

Classroom Rules

Whether you prefer to have your classroom rules already done when your children arrive on the first day, or whether you like to come up with a list of rules together as a class - they are such an important part of getting your year off to a good start. I really like this set of rules which are worded as "we" statements. (Click here for this great set I found from

  • We keep our classroom clean
  • We are nice to others
  • We play safely
  • We listen to the teachers

It's important the the rules are kept simple and clearly displayed somewhere in your classroom.  This language can also be used in your day to day teaching - instead of saying "No running" or "Don't push" you can phrase your words in a more positive way - "We walk in the hallway" or "We use gentle hands". Tell the children what you want them to do - not what you don't want them to do. Be sure your child understand the rules and what is expected of them. It's also a great idea to get them to agree to the rules by writing their name or leaving a handprint.

Here's another great set of 'we statements' I found (for older children perhaps)

  • We celebrate each other's success
  • We create
  • We are a team
  • We learn from our mistakes
  • We respect each other
  • We try our best

In my classroom, one of the most successful set of rules/expectations I've used over the years has been the "5Ls". I can also give the children a nonverbal cue of my expectations by holding up my 5 fingers and then making a capital L shape with my hand.

  • Looking at the teacher
  • Listening to the teacher
  • Hands in Laps
  • Lips locks
  • Legs crossed

All About Me Activities

I love, love, love using bunting to decorate my classroom - last year I had gorgeous rainbow bunting on our windows ready for Day 1 (wish I had of taken a photo!). Anyway, this 'All About Me' bunting would be a perfect first day activity for older year levels. Display it on Day 1 and the kids already feel ownership of their new classrooms.

Click here to download for $1 from TpT

For younger ones (even my littlies would probably need assistance with this sheet) - I found this great 'All About Me' worksheet.

Click here to download the 'Back to School Memory Book' for $5

Learning Your Name

As you probably know, I teach Reception/Kindergarten/Prep whatever you call it in your state. Some children can write their name, and others can't yet. So looking at their names, the letters, counting the letters, and getting to know each other is a great place to start on Day 1. This little sheet will be perfect for my class!

Click here to download the 'Back to School Bundle' for $8 for TpT

I've also found some great Art and Craft ideas for displaying children's names around the classroom - again to help them feel comfortable and give them some ownership of the space. The following two ideas both follow the rainbow theme - Learn to Spell Your Name and Rainbow Name-bow.

Classroom Displays & Organisation

One of my favourite teaching blogs is Kindercraze. Maria certainly has a talent for creating the most stunning, beautiful and visually inviting classrooms. Please have a look at these links for some inspiration!

Classroom Reveal At Last

My Classroom Wasn't Ready and it was OK

It's so important that all of you materials are well organised and clearly labelled. This serves two purposes - firstly obviously so that the children know where to put things back and keep the room tidy, but it's also a great opportunity for them to read! Include picture clues to help younger ones learn where everything goes. These ones from sparkle box are brilliant!

Click here to download - they have many more too! Some are even editable.

Don't forget a visual/daily timetable, days of the week, date, month, season etc are really useful to have somewhere you can refer to them every morning.

Some final thoughts...

Teachers are organised human beings by nature - you could not survive in our job it you weren't! The start of a new year is definitely time to get yourself organised for a successful term. The more you do before the students come in, the smoother your first weeks will be. Whether you photocopy ahead of time, or carefully plan your lessons, be sure your classroom is ready to go with fresh sharp new pencils in pencil pots and everything in its place.

Best of luck teachers for a successful year! What year level are you teaching this year? I invite you to leave a comment below :)



  1. Ooo I love the bunting idea!! I'm def saving that as an idea to do with my year sevens when i go back.. will obviously redesign what goes on the bunting, but what a great idea!!! :)

    1. I'm sure you could come up with something clever for the older ones Benita.

  2. Love these "all about me" pages. I'm and Occupational Therapist and they are perfect for the kids I see!

    1. There are so many more like this on 'teachers pay teachers' Cindy - for all different age groups :)

  3. Being able to decorate and have ownership of a classroom is something I am envious of Primary School teachers!

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