Teacher Tips for Back to School with Social Distancing

Are you ready to get back to school with your students? Returning to school safely is going to make teachers think creatively when designing their classrooms! There are so many unknowns but I know for sure that being organized and clean are going to be play a big role in our Back to School routine this school year due to the pandemic.  Look at some teacher tips for back to school with social distancing in mind.

Here are some classroom decor designs and teacher tips for you to ponder!

Returning Back to School Safely

1. This is a kindergarten teacher’s classroom by Lacy Jenkins. She decided to make the protectors in a fun way to be less intimidating! Lacy used PVC piping and clear shower curtains to make her dividers. Learning will be like a beach in this classroom!

Beach Themed Social Distancing Classroom

2. How creative is this Teacher’s Brain? Jennifer Pierson transformed her desks into jeeps using cardboard boxes and clear shower curtains! The front of each jeep has a removable white plate for students to write their names on each morning for daily practice and check in. Learning will be a smooth ride in this classroom!

Jeep Themed Social Distancing Classroom

3. Kaycie Huffman uses yoga mats, plastic serving trays and individual bins for supplies to keep her students learning safely in the classroom.

Classroom Design ideas with Yoga Mats for Social Distancing

4. Let’s talk about how obsessed I am with this amazing make over by Schoolgirl Style! The colors scream happiness. There is social distancing happening, and it is tells students some fun is going to happen in this space. (PHOTO: @eccampbellphotography )

Happy Kindergarten Classroom Decor

5. Having a sub material is going to be very important this year if you are in the classroom! Hrs. Henry in First ( @mrshenryinfirst ) has a great way to prepare for those unexpected absences!

sub folder ideas

6. Look at this Teacher HACK! Masks and shields muffle your voice, so @mshannahengelke found a wireless mic headset so kids can hear her from across the room. She also said she, “feels like a pop star from the 90s” wearing it. #micMASK

microphone masks for teachers

7. Use a Back to School Checklist to help you remember all the things you need to do before your year begins. Grab this FREE one with FLOOR MARKERS HERE.

                  Back to School Social Distance Checklist                                 6 feet apart floor markers

Thank you to Rena Wooters for sharing this adorable DOOR  and Bulletin Board DECOR for the classroom! It’s Going To Be a BRIGHT Year! I love this door and board! It is such a happy visual for students.

Classroom Door Decor

Bright Bulletin Board First Grade



Also read these for some more Teacher Tips for Back to School with Social Distancing:


Back To School Classroom Decor Tips

One of the best parts of getting ready for a brand new school year is choosing your classroom decor! It is so fun to plan out how things will be laid out, what colors you will use, and  what you want your students to feel when they come into your room. 

Using your classroom decor to make your classroom a warm and welcome environment is especially important if you have younger students. Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade kiddos are likely to be feeling extra nervous because school is so new. Many kindergarten students are experiencing school and being away from their parents for the first time. We want to make them feel welcome, excited, and comfortable with our classroom. 

Here are some tips for decorating your classroom

  1. Plan it out early. Start thinking about what you want to do with your classroom in the summer. This gives you time to lay it out and find the supplies you need and have them ready when it is time to decorate. 
  2. Pick a fun theme. Themed classroom decor is a fun way to make your class memorable and stand out to your students! You can do themes that are more specific like Under The Sea, Zoo Animals, and Rainbows. Or you can do a more simple theme like bright colors!
  3. Make it welcoming. A warm and inviting classroom can help ease those first day jitters. Your students will love coming to a room where they feel happy and comfortable all year long.
  4. Add to it as you go. It is great to use your wall space for fun decorations, but keep some spots bare. You can add to your classroom decor as the year goes on. 
  5. Let your students help! This is a fun way to make the students feel more relaxed and like they had a part in their classroom decorations. Come up with some fun crafts that they can do that go along with the theme. When they are done, display it on your walls! 

I created this fun Hawaiian Beach Themed  Classroom Decor Bundle to help make your decor planning easier!

This editable decor bundle will bring a relaxing and calm feel to your class.  This includes 6 resources using Hawaiian pictures and watercolors. 

classroom decor

classroom decor

classroom decor

Included you’ll get: 

  • Welcome banners
  • Tropical word wall
  • Growth mindset posters
  • Labels
  • Table numbers
  • Center posters
  • Hawaiian photo alphabet lines (in cursive and print)
  • Name tags
  • Editable classroom jobs
  • Number posters
  • Where Are We signs
  • How I Get Home sign
  • Calendar set with watercolors
  • Editable Power Points

Get your Hawaiin Classroom Bundle here! 

classroom decor

Do you have any tips for decorating your classroom? Share them in the comments below!

For other back to school tips, check out my post here. 


Engaging Students In The Five Senses

Teaching your kindergarten or first grade students about the five senses and how they use them to understand the world around them can be such a fun unit! There are so many ways you can get creative and hands-on in the classroom on this one. The best way to really engage your students in learning about the five senses is- you guessed it, letting them use them! Really let them smell, taste, feel, see, and hear during the activities.  

There are an enormous amount of activities out there that you could use to teach this. It can be overwhelming to decide what lesson plans to go with. You want something fun, age appropriate, and engaging, but that is also based on standards. 

With that in mind, I created an awesome, extensive five week long 5 senses activities unit! 

This resource includes 5 full weeks of lessons, a journal (a great way to integrate literacy and writing in your lessons), 5 mini books, posters, inquiry lessons, detailed plans and more! 

  • Week one, your students will explore and learn all about the sense of touch. 
  • Week two explore the sense of sight
  • Week three learn all about smell
  • Week four explore hearing
  • Week five explore taste

Additional Tips For Teaching The Five Senses

  1. Read books about the five senses. This helps give visuals and incorporate vocabulary into your science lessons.
  2. Get hands-on! Students love when they can get their hands dirty and really dive into an activity. Don’t shy away from it. There are so many cool ways to teach the senses. 
  3. Use the scientific method in your lessons. Check out my post on teaching the scientific method here! 

five senses


five senses


What is your favorite way to teach the five senses? Let me know in the comments.


Back to School Checklist and Tools for Teachers with Social Distancing in Mind

Back to School Checklist

This year is going to be different than any year we have ever taught before thanks to Covid-19.  The best thing you can do now is get a jump start on classroom organization.  I like to have checklists and a lot of teaching tools at my fingertips before I begin the school year in order for my days to go as smooth as possible.  The best advice someone gave me once was to always plan and if the plan doesn’t work in teaching, change the plan.

Checklists for Teachers

Here is a list of things you can add to your own checklist for this school year.  I have a free social distancing checklist download on TpT you can use if you don’t want to make your own.

  • Gather and organize classroom materials and supplies. (Include safety supplies, masks and hand sanitizer)
  • Distance seats from each student.
  • Make it a rule that kids need their own water bottle to keep kids out of the water fountain.
  • Create individualized bins for each student for supplies.
  • Prepare student name tags and/or student desk labels.
  • Organize your files.
  • Label all furniture in the classroom.
  • Create an emergency substitute folder.
  • Label textbooks, workbooks, and supplies.
  • Set up your grade book.
  • Make the first day of lesson plans very detailed.
  • Have rules for the NEW social distancing guidelines if you are in person.
  • If you are doing virtual or a blended version of both, create those rules.
  • Decorate your room to help students remember new safety guidelines.
  • Plan icebreakers for each day the first week of school.
  • Have a classroom calendar and schedule in the classroom.

Teacher Toolkit

In order to help you with all the new social distance guidelines and distance learning, I got together with some of my favorite teacher authors to bring you some teaching tools you can use in this Back to School Tools for Teachers! This is exciting because some of these are resources are way too time consuming for teachers to create.  There are a few freebies in the mix too.

Here are the resources for your Distance Learning Teaching Toolkit:

All About Me Google Slides | Star Student     Virtual Meet the Teacher | OPEN HOUSE | Google Slides

Social Distancing Greetings | Posters | Craft | Mini Books   Social Distancing Posters | Mini Book

Back to School Getting to Know You Project for Distance Learning   Social Distancing Coloring Book EDITABLE | Classroom Rules Coloring Book

Math and ELA Toolbox Distance Learning   Pen Pal Packet for Distance Learning

Back to School Distance Learning Activity - Reading Interest Inventory Survey   1/2 PRICE! Covid 19 Safety Posters and EDITABLE Desk Name Plates

Distance Learning Coronavirus | How to Talk to Young Children About the Virus  Teacher Planning Tool for Digital Organization

Distance Learning Animal Adaptations for Google Classroom  Emergent Readers | Back to School Staying Safe School Rules Booklet

Virtual Learning Behavior Expectations Posters| Distance Learning| Google Slides  Home School Calendar Toolkit

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