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While there are plenty of students who love school, some are not as thrilled that the school year is starting once again. It’s important to find ways to get all students excited for the beginning of the school year if you want to keep them engaged throughout the academic year. Students who check out of your class just a few weeks into the year will not learn as much and can lead to issues in the classroom; it’s vital you make the most of keeping students engaged. There are plenty of possibilities you can utilize over the summer or in the first week of class; here are just a few of them.

Contact them over the summer

For most schools, you’ll have access to your students’ school email addresses. You can send them an informative email introducing yourself or just hyping up the upcoming school year. There is a chance students won’t be looking at their school email, so sending them a letter in the mail is also a great option. You can include your information in there, or simply ask them to check their school emails. Making a positive connection with your students as soon as possible is a great idea for keeping them engaged once the year starts.

Create a class website

A class website is a wonderful resource. There are lots of platforms that allow you to create a website with a discussion board that students can use to talk about lessons from class and help each other with questions. You can also use the website to connect with students over the summer before the school year actually starts. You can put class materials on there or an outline of what they’ll be learning.

Plan fun activities

The first week of school, try to plan some fun activities throughout the day in addition to class work. Find games that can help you get to know students and connect them with one another. Even if it’s just for a few minutes each day, students appreciate the chance to have fun and interact instead of immediately getting down to serious classwork.

Get parents on board

Your biggest ally for getting students excited about school is often parents. Consider making personal calls to each parent at the beginning of the year so they have a chance to get to know you and you can talk about how they can help their kids stay excited for school. You can also send parents a letter giving your contact information and highlighting some of the fun activities you’ll do this year. You can even provide parents with a list of opportunities to volunteer at the school and get involved with your class.

Make your classroom welcoming

In order to set the tone from the second your students walk into your classroom, make sure it’s a welcoming atmosphere. Take the time to decorate it in a fun, interesting manner. Even if you have it decorated, consider changing some details and making it fresh. Look up ideas online and keep everything organized and exciting for your students.