We’ve talked about management already but when you are about to have your own class for the first time I think it is really important that you take some time and think about what type of classroom community you would like to have. All of my research has talked about how important community building is at the beginning of the year so that your students feel safe, at ease, and ready to share their thinking with their peers. 8 STRATEGIES FOR BUILDING CLASSROOM COMMUNITY is a blog post (click on it!) from thinkgrowgiggle.com and is a great starting place to get some ideas of ways you can build community with your students without spending a lot of money on resources. These are things you will want to fit into your routines such as class theme songs, relationship builders, goal setting and communication entered activities.
A Classroom Diva has a youTube video discussing her top strategies for building a community in the class which she says is important for good classroom management. Other things discussed are class jobs, collaboration and more relationship building.
The previous video mentioned a strategy that I have seen in other places called the Morning Meeting. This is a time in the day where the teacher and students can do a check in, shake hands and greet each other and a chance for the teacher to set the tone of the day. Many models include a team building activity (and a chance for the students to move around) and also time to share with each other things that are happening in their lives. Here is a video from Edutopia discussing this technique.