I hope you are all enjoying the beautiful summer weather and appreciating your well-deserved time off! So, isn’t now the perfect time to begin planning for September?! Well, if you’re anything like me, after a few lazy days in the sun, my mind begins to wander back to my classroom and I begin to plan out the upcoming school year. As much as I enjoy the freedom of summer vacation, I love returning to a sparkling clean classroom, neatly arranged desks, and freshly sharpened pencils. One of the best things about a new school year is the ability to begin with a fresh start and now is the perfect time to explore some green initiatives for your classroom and school.
If you haven’t already, check out this week’s installment of The Tuesday 12: 12 Green Initiatives for Your Classroom and School. The 12 green initiatives are subdivided into three groups: simple steps, ones that require a bit more time, and finally a few that are much larger projects. It’s up to you to decide how many and what type of green initiatives you would like to try out, but just remember that every step counts, so even simple steps towards being more eco-friendly make a big impact!
Here’s a teacher planner to help you organize your green initiatives for the school year!
In a previous post, I wrote about and prepared reference sheets on how and in which order we as teachers should teach basic addition facts. I have extended this to now include basic subtraction facts.
Helping students acquire these skills will map out success for them in future years. Print these out and keep them in your teacher binder for your reference. We are always faced with students that have different learning experiences and even though you teach middle to higher grades you never know when you need to start right from the beginning!
One strategy in aiding classroom management and reducing transition times is to have a day plan posted detailing the upcoming events. This visual display aids students in knowing what is expected and at what times. Helping students organize their time is an essential skill. Through demonstrating that plans are in place, students know that you are organized and they will strive to be as well. We have prepared a Customizable Day Schedule for you to display for your class. There are 4 themes available (stars, stripes, polka dots & swirls), but should you need any other theme please communicate with us (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we will definitely help you out! Click on the links below to find our products
What is “Your Essential Teacher Binder”? We’ve all heard of the famous “teacher binder” that contains everything that you need to run your class and lessons successfully! It is essential to your teaching, but not everything fits into the three rings of a binder, so we added in a few resources for your classroom too! We like to think of “Your Essential Teacher Binder” as a collection of teacher resources to help you organize both your teaching and your classroom.
All teachers have various ways of organizing their lessons, plans, and classrooms; however, we have grouped together a great set of resources to assist you in this endeavor!
So what’s included in this classroom kit? There are more than 70 pages featuring:
- Desk nameplates (2/sheet) for both upper and lower grades
- Student hook/cubby nameplates (6/sheet) that can also be used to label bins etc
- Hall pass, office pass, and washroom pass
- Bookmarks (4/sheet) with “During Reading” suggestions
- Monthly student behavior log (2/sheet)
- “While You Were Absent” sheet for students
- Classroom job labels (30 different jobs to choose from!)
- Student of the Month an d Week (upper and lower grades)
- Student Birthday Postcards (2/sheet)
- Lesson plan monthly cover pages
- Classroom calendar monthly labels for both upper and lower grades
- Subject area cover pages for lesson and unit plans
- Substitute teacher feedback form
- Professional development log and Staff meeting record sheet
- Parent contact log (individual student)
- Month at a glance, Monthly plan at a glance, Week at a glance
- Individual student and whole class information sheet (5 students/sheet)
- End of the year classroom inventory
- Lesson plan and mark book cover page
We have tried to include as many printables that we could think of, but if you have any suggestions, please let us know and we’ll add them in!
These kits come in a variety of themes, including outer space, aliens, polka dots, swirls, monsters, apples, and now…oceans!
One of the best things about a new school year is the ability to begin with a fresh start and now is the perfect time to explore some green initiatives for your classroom and school.
1. Take your class outside! My kids love to have Phys Ed outside, but how about taking them outside for other subjects? Oil pastel drawings of the fall foliage, reading in the warm September breeze, or nature-based science activities are all great options! Here are some great websites that have outdoor activities for students of all grade levels:
2. Make an Eco Pledge! On the first day of school, my students and I come up with our code of conduct for the year, so why not add in a promise about respecting the environment and becoming green? If students see this commitment as part of their pledge for the year, then they may begin to make more environmentally conscious choices.
3. Lights off! Appoint a different student each week to turn off all lights and computer screens before recess, after lunch and at the end of the day.
4. Recycle! Make sure that your classroom has an appropriate recycling bin and that students actively use it. Have a discussion with your students regarding the types of materials that are recyclable in your area.
5. Waste-Free Wednesdays! Students are to bring their lunch and snacks to school in a reusable container. Any organic waste can be composted at school (if a program is available) or brought back home for composting or green bin.
Got a bit more time?
6. Start an Environmental Club! Students love to be part of clubs and many kids already have tons of eco-friendly ideas for their class and school.
8. Celebrate Earth Day every day! Although Earth Day festivities usually take place during the week of April 22, why not incorporate small activities on a daily or weekly basis? Assemblies with an environmental focus, eco-conscious tips on the morning announcements, and picking up litter in the school yard are some possible suggestions.
9. Calculate (and then reduce) your EcoFootprint! There are many websites available that guide you through a series of questions to calculate your ecological footprint, while also providing suggestions to reduce your impact on the environment. It is best to visit these sites to ensure choosing a quiz that is appropriate to the grade level you teach.
10. Waste-Free Wednesdays school challenge! We created a month long challenge among our grade 1-8 classes. Each Wednesday after lunch, members of the EcoClub went around weighing the amount of waste produced by each class. The results were recorded and tallied over the course of a month. The class with the lowest total amount of post-lunch waste won a prize!
11. Green schools are Healthy schools! Join up with your school’s health action team to take on greater initiatives to promote diet, exercise, recreation, and green choices related to healthy living. Check into resources in your city/town/province/state to see what programs are available. For example, the Toronto and Region Conservation Schools Programs has a variety of programs, including Sustainable Schools, Watershed on Wheels, field centres, the 20/20 Clean Air partnership, and stewardship programs available. Research programs that are available in your area and sign up early as some programs may have limited spacing!
12. Green your school yard! Some students are lucky to attend schools set on beautifully green landscapes and surrounded by towering trees, but not all students are so lucky! Although school yard greening may seem like an expensive task, there are many organizations that provide grants for school yard greening projects once an application has been submitted. Over the last few years, we have planted several trees and shrubs around our school yard. We received six trees to plant from Environmental Earth Angels (www.earthangels.ca) after we submitted an online application, while a local nursery provided some more trees and shrubs at a discounted price. Our students had a great time digging, planting, and caring for the trees!