Great tips for happy school days

Teachers offer tips to prepare for a positive school start and successful year. More than ever, success in school depends on a partnership between home and school. For more see “”> and pod casts “Learning Through the Seasons.”

Helpful family checklist

Check out the school supply list and bus schedules.

Have a backup plan for sick days and vacations. Plan to attend Back to School nights to learn schedules, teacher expectations, and how to volunteer. Include grandparents, too.

Check that registration information and vaccinations are current.

Arrange for a quiet spot to do homework and projects. Set up a time for a snack and schoolwork before TV and play. Be ready to help with assignments, if necessary.

Check backpacks each afternoon for notes and updates from school. Look over school papers.

Take time at dinner or a quiet moment to talk with your children about two good things that happened, something new they learned, and something that maybe was not good or worrisome.

Read to relax before sleeping.

Tips for pleasant classrooms

Families can help with these useful discussions:

– When your children hear or see a teacher’s or other school person’s signal, stop, look, and listen with respect. There is important information coming.

– Listen carefully to directions and follow them.

– In class if teachers ask a question try hard to think of an answer, and then raise your hand. Be a volunteer. Participate. Focus.

– At group time, listen to others and wait your turn.

– Participate, encourage, and help in a group. Help others if ok. Do not interrupt or talk over others. Practice having conversations at home.

– Use words like “good idea.” “You can be in our group.” Practice other helpful phrases.

– Compliment others. Practice words to use.

– If you don’t understand something, raise your hand, wait to be recognized, and ask the teacher for help.

– Put your name on your paper as soon as you get it. If you finish early, check over your paper.

– If appropriate, keep a book in your desk to read. Leave toys at home.

– It is ok to let someone else go first in line or the drinking fountain if you are there at the same time.

– If you make a mess, clean it up. If someone else makes a mess, help them clean it up.

– If someone drops something, help pick it up.

– Place trash in the trashcan in and out of school.

– Welcome others to join your group at recess or any other time. Welcome someone who is new to the school.

– Talk to another child who looks sad and ask, “Are you ok?” Tell the teacher.

– Use the words “please,” “thank you,” and “excuse me.”

– Close the bathroom door, flush the toilet, wash hands, dry, and place the towel in the trash. If you feel sick to your stomach, tell the teacher.

– If there is something dangerous or hurtful (bullying, etc), tell an adult in charge.

At the end of the school day place all notes and papers in your backpack and share them with your family.

Editor’s note: This column is penned by retired Marquette Area Public Schools teachers Iris Katers, Jean Hetrick, and Cheryl Anderegg. Esther Macalady is from Golden, Colorado. Tim Fox currently teaches at Superior Hills Elementary. It’s supported by Northern Michigan University Center for Economic Education and Entrepreneurship, the School of Education, U.P. Children’s Museum, U.P. Association for the Education of Young Children, and U.P. Parent Awareness of Michigan. Their book “Learning Through the Seasons” is available at area stores and Their mission is to provide fun standards based activities that adults can do in the home to prepare children for school and a lifetime of learning and reduce the stress of child care.