Three Ways to Set the Tone in Kindergarten for an Amazing Year
We have so many goals and achievements we want our students to accomplish each school year! Sometimes we can get so caught up in the content that we forget about one of the most important focuses at the beginning of each school year: setting the tone. The tone of your classroom is the way your students will feel, the space you create for them, the attitudes you have about them, and so much more. For many kindergarten students, this is their first time in a school setting, so it’s important to set the tone for them so they feel comfortable, welcomed, and understood.
What is the right tone for your classroom?
Take some time to think and write about what a positive school year and classroom environment looks like. If you could click your heels together, what would you want your classroom to feel like, look like? What would your students be doing? How would they be interacting with each other, supporting each other, handling conflict/challenges?
Your energy and connection
Your students will want to match the energy you bring to the classroom every day. It sets the tone for how learning and school should be. Greet your students with a smile – it will go a long way. Also, allow time to make personalized connections with your students, outside of their academics. You will see your student’s face light up when you ask him about his dog and remember her name is Molly.
Just like we talked about in our expectations blog post, your students will need to learn what behaviors will lead to a positive classroom environment. Let your students know what you expect from them in terms of effort and behavior. I like to focus on the positive behaviors in our classroom and love using positive reinforcement.
Teaching students positive ways for behaving inside of a school is one of the most important things you can do to help with that kindergarten transition. I created these Positive Behavior Displays to support you in teaching students positive behavior expectations. Through the use of characters, visuals and specific examples, students will learn the positive behaviors they are expected to use and how to use them in a variety of environments throughout the school.
Having a core community in your classroom will help your classroom really come together. Students crave a sense of belonging. Include your students in laying the foundation for your classroom. Your students will be more likely to buy into your classroom rules and expectations when they feel like they have the chance to have a say in it. It also will foster a sense of belonging and bond your students together.
We want our students to have a positive outlook about their school year and teacher. When you take the time to set the tone for our classroom at the beginning of each year, you will have students who are excited to learn and will thrive because of that. If you start the first day/week/month on a positive note, you will watch as that positivity and tone carries out throughout your entire year!
If you want more support with setting a positive tone for your classroom, make sure you check my FREE classroom community guide! You can grab it here!