1. Clean your classroom. Make sure your classroom is clean, neat, and in order. Clutter distracts the students so all unnecessary items should be removed. Be sure to arrive early to your classroom each Sunday to clean up any mess that was left over from the previous users.
2. Display posters, pictures, etc. on the walls and/or bulletin board. Put up posters, pictures, etc. of things that can reinforce your lesson. If you share your classroom and cannot hang things up, use something portable that you can remove easily. Make sure that you do not put up too many colorful items. Classrooms that are over decorated can distract and stimulate students and it can sometimes lead to behavior problems.
3. Have name tags. Any blank sticky labels will suffice. Have a name tag for each student filled out to give to them when they walk into the classroom. Knowing each student’s name lets them know that you care and it will also cut down on disruptive behavior because you will be able to call them by their name.
4. Write on the chalk board vocabulary words for today’s lesson or any key words that you want your students to know before class starts.
5. Have all materials and equipment ready and in the classroom before class starts. The attendance list, worksheets, puzzles, coloring sheets, crafts, etc. should be within easy reach and organized on your desk or table. If crafts need to be pre-cut and/or patterns copied onto construction paper for younger students, be sure to have this done before class. Crayons, glue, pencils (sharpened), etc. should be organized in containers so you do not need to interrupt your lesson to go to search for them when they are needed. Keep these supplies nearby within easy reach. Only put supplies on the student’s desk/table when they are needed and not before. This will help keep distractions down to a minimum. All technical equipment (VCRs, computers, overhead projectors, CD/DVD players, etc.) should be ready to go and you know how to use them.
6. Clean up classroom before leaving. Have your students help with straightening up the classroom by putting things away and gathering up their work.
Do you have any tips to share?
About the Author
Laura Grace was a special education teacher years ago and has taught CCD for 16 years. She has been a contributor at catholicmom.com since 2006, is part of the Gospel Reflections Team, and creates lesson plans for religious education and homeschooling. In 2008 Laura started her own blog, The Catholic Toolbox where she posts activities, crafts, games, worksheets, puzzles, lesson plans, classroom tips, etc. for all ages.