Starting an IntegratED Year
It is hard to believe but July 4th has already passed! As an educator that means we are starting to think and plan for the upcoming school year. In this article we have included our favorite teacher must have, classroom setup ideas, and planning favorites. No matter if you are moving grade levels/schools or if you are a veteran teacher, there is something here for you!
Our Favorite Teacher Must Haves
As much as I am opposed to Target starting their school supply section in June, I LOVE walking down the school supply isles. There is something about buying new markers, pens, and notepads that brings me joy. We have listed a few of our favorites throughout the years.
Classroom Set-up Ideas
When it comes to setting up your classroom the most important thing to remember is to make it your own! You do not have to spend a lot of money or have everything matching to have a fantastic classroom that feels welcoming and safe. Here are some things that might help give you some ideas as you start to think about your home away from home.
Art Supplies: It’s time to stock up on some art supplies. Yes, even intermediate teachers! We always have paint brushes, tempera paint, and watercolors paint on hand. We have found so many ways to integrate that into our classroom learning experiences and each time the kids LOVE IT!
Flexible Seating: When flexible seating was hip and new I tried to go all out and make my classroom filled with seating options except the traditional desks and chairs. I found in my primary classroom that it was a mistake. Flexible seating can look many different ways but we have found some students would still like the option of a traditional desk and chair. Now, our classrooms have options like pillows to use around the room, wobble stools, rocking chairs, standing desks, and bouncing balls and a table with regular chairs. Just remember you do not have to break the bank to have a flexible seating classroom.
Pro Tip: Buy outdoor pillows for your classroom for easier washing. They even might be on clearance at the end of summer right before school starts!
All Our Favorite Planning Things
There are so many resources for us to use. That can be very overwhelming for us as educators to find and use the ones we think will work best. We have compiled a list of our favorite planning things that might help you get started. Remember when you plan an integrated unit you are taking away the challenge of fitting it all in. We bring the joy back into our teaching and students' learning!
IntegratED Unit Planner: We use our planner when we sit down and plan a unit together. This helps us think about what standards to put together, classroom experiences to incorporate, timeline, and materials. To learn more about how to plan a unit join our IntegratED cohort where we walk you through how to plan an IntegratED Unit.
We hope this article provided you with some ideas and excitement to start the new year. As ALWAYS we are here for our educators. Please reach out to us firstname.lastname@example.org or on any social media.
Megan and Kara are educational leaders, professional development experts, and current classroom teachers who are improving the way instruction is being delivered in the standard classroom.