We’ve been anticipating the end of the school year for a while now. It’s exciting. A couple months break to spend time in the sun, reading books for pleasure, going on vacation or sitting on the couch watching mindless TV. Whatever you choose to do on your summer break, you want to get to it quickly. I think we often forget all of the tasks that have to be done before we can close down our classrooms for the summer. I want to get through these tasks so quickly that I often underestimate my time or how much I need to get done. It’s almost agonizing. Like dangling a carrot in front of a horse.. JUST GIVE ME SUMMER BREAK! Here are some amazing tips to help us all wrap up the end of the school year and get through our classroom clean up quickly.
Take a picture of your current classroom state, as advised by Mashup Math. This will help you see and remember what worked and what didn’t when it came to your classroom. This will be mostly beneficial when you are setting up your classroom next year.
Give yourself time to go through your classroom library and inventory your books. Do you have duplicates? Do you need to discard badly damaged books or can you repair them? If they are damaged, create a list of books you want to replace.
Keep materials and teaching tools organized by theme or skill. I don’t have to pack up my classroom in boxes, but I do have to put everything away in my closet. Yes, I know I am so blessed to have an actual classroom storage closet! 😉 I used post-its to label all of the different skills and created a special spot on the shelf for each one. Later on I created simple labels to affix to each storage container. This makes finding what you need during the school year, so much easier!
If you are packing up your classroom to move or because you are required to, pack similar items together. Keep one box aside for essential items. Krazy Town Blog suggests labeling this box ‘Open Me First’. She includes such things as “stapler & staples, scissors, tape dispenser, blank labels for labeling student materials, file folder of back to school ideas, bulletin board decor, etc”. These are all things that you will need to even start setting up your classroom.
This is also a great time to purge! Throw away anything that is trash or that you are saving just to save. If it is worth it, donate or sell it, but if you haven’t used it in a while – get rid of it!
Use painters tape to keep your items on your shelves from moving, when the custodians move your furniture to clean.
Label shelves or bins, so items are easy to find when you return for the new school year. I have a large cubby holder that usually holds the students bins. Well since they are empty for the summer, I use the bins to hold items I need to access when I get back from summer. Most of these items are normally on top of my teacher table, or on my book shelf, so they don’t get put in a box or go in my closet. I then use painters tape to label what is in each bin or in each shelf.
Take home anything that can be washed in the dishwasher. This includes scissors, supply bins, etc. I started doing this years ago and I love knowing that my dishwasher sanitizes all of the items. You can also put play dough tools in the dishwasher too.
Bring home any (small) rugs, pillows, or washables that can be washed in the washer. I usually bring home the dolls from my house station, as well as any doll clothes and wash them as well.
Bring home any professional development books, long range plans, or pacing guides, that will aid you in planning for the next year. If you are looking for some additional professional development, check out our Summer Book Study on Making the Most of Small Groups.
Get a new planner for the new school year. I happen to love my Create 365 Happy Teacher Planner!
Make lists of everything!! I keep a list of things I need to buy, things I want to buy, items I want to make, and things that I can prep before school starts. Keeping a notebook of to-do lists helps to make my summer and beginning of the school year go so much more smoothly!
One of my biggest tips of all, especially if you teach an older grade, is involve your students. They have been in this classroom the whole year and know where things go. Get them to help you put things away or even move things around. They will most likely love to help!
Be productive but ENJOY your summer break. It’s the only one we get. Go out in the sun, watch some TV even if there is nothing good on, go on vacation, or heck SLEEP IN!
I hope these tips help you this and future summer breaks! Do you have a favorite tip for summer break? Share with us on Facebook Page!