10 Best Tools For A Successful Start To The School Year

Chelsea Penney
September 28, 2023

Published: September 2022 Updated: September 2023

Back to school is a difficult transition year over year as carefree summer rolls into fall routines. Schedules, structure, and overall busyness resumes in August and September, and the change can be challenging for families. Parents and teachers, check out these helpful interactive tools for online learning as the new school year begins.

Back To School Tips For Parents and Families

  1. TODAY Parenting Guides
    These guides provide developmental benchmarks and tips for your child's academic, physical and social-emotional growth. The articles cover common topics for preschool - 12th-grade students to give parents support and validation.
  2. Good Housekeeping: 40 Clever Back-to-School Activities to Get Kids Excited About the Year Ahead
    Do some fun activities at home to give your kids a positive association with the back-to-school season. Use the opportunity to spend quality time together and help children understand what to expect during this new school year. 
  3. PBS: How to Cope With Back-to-School Anxiety
    Social-emotional learning should be a top priority during transitional seasons. Students are starting new grade levels in new classrooms with new teachers and classmates. There are often higher expectations and more responsibilities. Anxiety easily follows. Learn the signs of stress to notice when it’s happening, then use the listed techniques to support them through the back-to-school transition.

Back To School Tips For Teachers

  1. Four Tools to Improve Communication Between Home and School
    When teachers and families are on the same page, everyone is in for a better year. Student success is the shared priority, and a clear connection makes the process efficient. Get ahead of communication issues by using these tools in your classroom. 
  1. 50 Beginning Of The School Year Procedures For A Stress-Free Classroom
    Start on the right foot by setting expectations. Include students in rule-building and boundary-setting activities. Students will buy in if their input is respected.
  1. 10 Team-Building Games For The First Day of Class
    Build camaraderie among students by challenging them to get to know each other and work together. Collaboration grows fondness and necessary social skills. 
  1. How To Help Students Ask Great Questions
    Great learners ask great questions. Student questions help educators  assess their teaching styles for effectiveness. When students know how to ask the right questions, teachers can target their reviews and spend more time on the concepts the class struggles with.
  1. 60 Things Students Can Create to Demonstrate What They Know
    Freshen up your lesson plans with new ideas to make teaching and learning exciting. With new project ideas, teachers can liven up their classes with real-world applications and new technology, preparing students for their futures. 
  1. 25 Of The Best Resources For Teaching Critical Thinking
    Along the same lines as asking the right questions, students can better explore when they learn to be critical thinkers. Critical thinking is an acquired skill that needs to be learned and practiced. Engaging in critical thinking helps students thrive in academic and work environments. 
  1. The First 6 Weeks: Strategies For Getting To Know Your Students
    Above all, students will learn the most when they feel respected and cared for by an authority who knows them. Building rapport with students is one of the ways to be the most influential educator you can be.

Bonus: More Interactive Tools for Online Learning

Leverage AI to plan lessons and activities

Teachers can use AI to create assignments such as asking it to generate a low- or mid-level thesis statement and have students improve it. Students won’t feel bad correcting a computer. Teachers can also instruct students to fact-check ChatGPT by finding primary sources to back up its statements.

 Choices Program from Brown University

The Choices Program, based at Brown University, creates engaging digital educational resources and makes innovative scholarship accessible to diverse classrooms. Choices curriculum empowers students to understand the relationship between history and current issues while developing the analytical skills to become thoughtful global citizens.

Fact Check with Rumor Guard

RumorGuard is the News Literacy Project’s new platform that teaches news literacy through fact-checking viral rumors. RumorGuard draws on both prebunking and debunking concepts. Each claim is evaluated based on five factors for credibility – source, evidence, context, reasoning and authenticity.

Start the new school year with relationship building, social-emotional support, and innovative new lessons to engage learners. Families and teachers can provide the stability students need to thrive in the new school year by including students in the process and empathizing with their challenges. When they feel safe in their learning environment, they can focus on challenging themselves, honing their skills, and performing at a high level.

Click here to learn about online teacher jobs from home.

about the author
Chelsea Penney

Chelsea Penney earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Writing from University of Colorado Denver and her Masters of Science in Marketing from Texas A&M University Commerce. She loves living in Austin, TX and working on the frontline as Content Marketing Manager for Proximity Learning.

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