First Day Organizational Checklist

Sample Checklist:

  1. Plan your bulletin boards.
  2. Decide where you want to post announcements, menu, and calendar.
  3. checklist.pngPrepare a welcome back display.
  4. Designate boards for subject area work, and boards for students to design.
  5. Decide where you want to display your students’ original work.
  6. Set up two or three learning centers to get started.
  7. Create signs for your room to help your students learn classroom rules and routines.
  8. Prepare your class rolls and permanent records.
  9. Post a cheery sign with your name outside the door along with a class list. Students and parents will appreciate it when they go looking for the right room.
  10. Make student name tags for desks (unless you are planning to have the students make their own).
  11. Find out your students’ schedules for lunch, gym, art, music, and library.
  12. Gather and organize all your supplies:
    • textbooks and supplemental materials
    • plan books
    • classroom reading books and read-alouds
    • attendance materials
    • paper clips
    • various types of paper (e.g., writing, construction, math)
    • folders
    • different kinds of tape
    • grade book
    • rubber bands
    • stapler and staples
    • pencils/pens
    • tissues
  13. Prepare take-home packets for your students.  Some of the items you’ll want to include are:
    • emergency forms
    • school rules
    • supply list
    • bus or transportation rule
    • welcome message to parents/request from room parents
  14. Find out which students may be going to special classes.
  15. Check out library books for students and books for read-alouds.
  16. Set up a folder for a substitute to use in case of emergency, containing the following:
    • daily schedule
    • seating chart
    • reproducible activities
  17. Prepare a file for correspondence from parents.
  18. Prepare a file for faculty bulletins.
  19. Obtain a copy of state and district curriculum standards.
  20. Write tentative lesson plans for the coming week.
  21. Make copies of materials you’ll be handing out during the first few days.
  22. Write your name and other important class information on the board.
  23. Make a checklist for returned forms (can be used later for report cards and other items).

There is a lot that needs to be done leading up to the first day of school. The best thing that teachers can do to prepare is plan ahead and stay organized. By completing and checking off each of these items in the checklist, teachers can start the first day with a plan! This checklist covers most of the basics a teacher will need to get ready, such as: organizing the classroom, gathering materials, filing papers, creating first day packets, and setting up student supplies. As an educator, it is critical to plan ahead to ensure student success.



Shalaway, L. (2005). Learning to Teach…Not Just for Beginners: The Essential Guide for All Teachers. Scholastic, Inc.