The purpose of this article is to share with you this helpful collection of back-to-school resources to use with your students in the classroom. I’ve tried to cover as much ground as possible and bring you the best educational technology tools to help you optimize your teaching and improve student learning throughout the new school year.
I’ve organized these tools into different categories, including tools to create a classroom website, tools to manage student noise, teacher-parent communication tools, formative assessment tools, books for the first school day, back-to-school activities and worksheets, etc.
1. Tools to create a classroom website
Creating a virtual space for your classroom is one of the best educational investments you can make for your students. While you can create a class website/blog at any time of the year, the ideal time to do so, in my opinion, is during the first few weeks of the school year. This way, you can simultaneously document your students’ learning as well as your teaching.
There are different ways to use a class website with your students: It can serve as a portfolio platform where students share their learning artifacts and upload their work projects. An online classroom can also provide students with a friendly discussion center and collaborative space where they can share ideas, exchange resources, and engage in meaningful conversations.
2. Tools to manage noise in the classroom
Transitioning from holiday mode with all its loud and exuberant character to the more focused and absorbed mode required for classroom learning usually takes time and effort. The first weeks of the new school year are usually difficult for teachers on many levels, especially at the level of classroom management, where sound level meters come in handy.
3. Parent-teacher communication tools
4. Formative Assessment Tools
Formative assessment is a teacher’s friend. This is an assessment of learning and it is one of the activities you will do repeatedly throughout the school year. Formative assessment helps you identify learning gaps, discover what worked and what didn’t work with your teaching, and assess student understanding.
Information gathered through formative assessment can be used operationally to inform your teaching methodology and to design remedial and differentiated instructional strategies in the future. There are a wide variety of tools you can use to conduct rapid formative assessments in your classroom, including: