Back to School Resources for Elementary School Teachers: Winter/Spring Edition
School is back in session! Students are winding down from weeks of wintery wonder as they return to the classroom, eager to learn. Prepare a fresh start to your new year with these back to school resources for elementary school teachers!
Back to School Resource List
Classroom Organization and Management Resources
Looking for new ways to keep your students on task and on point? Tired of reviewing behavioral expectations every day with the same students or printing copies of last week’s homework every week? A new year gives you a fresh start for trying out new systems of classroom management. These back to school resources are sure to give you the edge you need to keep control of your classroom!
ClassDojo – This popular classroom management resource is kid- and user-friendly, scoring big points in classrooms across the country! Teachers are able to upload their student rosters into the ClassDojo system and identify specific behaviors they would like to reward and punish. Each time a student is seen exhibiting a previously-identified behavior, they can be given (or have taken from them) a “dojo” point in acknowledgment. These points can be used for individual or whole-class incentives, giving teachers flexibility in how they implement this system in the classroom! Furthermore, ClassDojo gives teachers a quick and easy way of collecting classroom behavior data, giving them the ability to analyze behavioral trends and anomalies. More importantly, student behavior can be shared directly with parents or guardians in a live feed, giving them the ability to see the frequency of positive and negative behaviors in the classroom. This makes ClassDojo one of the best back to school resources for elementary school teachers.
Bouncy Balls – Have a chatty group? Welcome them back to school with this fun web-based app that makes monitoring classroom noise a breeze! Open a new tab and let Bouncy Balls run in the background (but be sure to authorize microphone access!) to monitor voice level during class work time. Most settings are customizable, allowing teachers to adjust microphone sensitivity and other settings to fit their needs; there are even tones programmed in to alert the class that they are being too loud! By using Bouncy Balls, you can save time quieting the class and gain more time working with the students who need you!
Google Classroom – Classroom management has never been easier! Google Classroom allows teachers to create and share content, links, assignments, and calendars with students and their families to help them keep track of their work. This one-stop-shop creates copies of assignments for students and allows teachers to watch their progress in real-time and provide live feedback as they work. Students will receive reminders of upcoming assignments, and past due work will be indicated as “Missing” in bold red letters. Parents can even receive student work summaries to stay up-to-date on their students’ latest work! This back to school resource is a must try for elementary school teachers trying to streamline their work and assist students with staying organized in an increasingly digital world!
Go Noodle – If your class is feeling stuck in a rut, try noodling around! Go Noodle provides short brain breaks for students to dance, move, and otherwise get active throughout the school day, making them more productive in the long run! Students will love the variety Go Noodle provides, and you’ll love the positive impact this will have on their attention in class! Stop stressing and start noodling around!
Class Work and Engagement
Looking for a way to excite your students with the new year? Engage them with these unique and fun classroom tools!
Plickers – If you’re tired of cycling between Quizizz and Kahoot for your formative assessments, add Plickers into the mix and watch your classroom engagement soar! Plickers is a type of multiple choice assessment where students rotate and hold up unique shapes to indicate their answer to a provided question. These shapes are then scanned with a phone camera to analyze results and provide immediate feedback to the class on their content mastery. Students will love the physical interaction with materials so much, they may just forget that they are learning!
SeeSaw – Kiss worksheets goodbye with this digital, interactive student work portfolio. Using SeeSaw, students can record themselves working through or explaining problems/concepts introduced in class and upload their work to a class account. Students in the class are able to comment and collaborate on others’ work, making meaningful connections and giving the students an authentic audience. SeeSaw also allows parents to stay up-to-date on classroom content, hooking them into their child’s learning process by allowing them to review the videos their child creates. Collected over time, these videos become a portfolio of work that students can revisit to assess their own growth or refresh their memories on former topics. This back to school resource has limitless potential in the classroom, so give it a try today!
Voki – An online video creation application, Voki allows students to create talking avatars of people and animals. Voki has endless uses in the classroom and can be used as a part of almost any lesson to add a high-interest, digital component. Students can create historical or fictional characters to explain a concept, recording either their own voice or using one of the hundreds of pre-programmed voices to speak a text that they write. This free resource will delight students and teachers alike with its humorous combinations and user-friendly navigation.
FreeRice – Fill your students’ free time with an enriching learning experience that expands their vocabulary and global awareness. Any time a student has finished their work, direct them to the computer to play a few rounds of FreeRice, a game that quizzes students on grade level vocabulary. For each correct answer, the game will donate 10 grains of rice to a family without food, helping reduce global hunger. This experience will help students actually want to study for their vocabulary test. Sign us up!
BoomWriter – Have students read, write, and assess their work with this collaborative website! This tool gives students the opportunity to read a chapter of a book and expand on it to create their own story. Students can change scenarios, add new characters, or otherwise write what they believe should happen in the next chapter. Once approved by the teacher, the class can then vote on what the best chapter is and continue the story from there. This engaging website will trick students into learning without them ever suspecting a thing. BoomWriter may be one of the best back to school resources for elementary school teachers available – sign up now and get your class started ASAP!
Have you tried any of these resources, or do you have any back to school resources to add to this list? Comment below; we’d love to know your thoughts! You might also like this article: Nine Best Websites for Teachers.