Today we are starting off July with 5 Tips for School Year Prep That You Can Do at Home.
Hello friends and welcome to my new series…31 Days of Kindergarten. I am hoping to have ideas, pictures, and links on a variety of topics (over the next 31 days) that pertain to the kindergarten classroom. I am sure many of these ideas can apply to early childhood/preschool, as well as first and second grade, so if you don’t teach kindergarten, don’t feel left out!
Since today is the first day of our series and the majority of us are on summer break, I decided to write about 5 things to do BEFORE getting back in your classroom. If you follow teacher friends on any social media, then I am sure that you have seen tons of fun ideas for decorating your classroom or even ideas for classroom games and activities. But is there more to decorating and making an inviting environment? Yes!! Read on to find out!
- Long Range Plans –
Do you currently use long range plans or have you in the past? This last year was the first year that my grade level used a long range template and I seriously can not imagine another school year without them! My friend and former teaching colleague Ms.Murray, created the original template, after our grade level sat down and mapped out our standards and themes for the year. We also included for-sure activities, such as our pumpkin discovery day, gingerbread houses, Mother’s Day Tea Party, etc. This year, I was able to move around a few standards, change our weekly themes, and plug in assessment dates to help guide us through our year. Note: This does not replace our lesson plans, which my school/principal still requires us to input into Curriculum Engine. But having long range plans BEFORE school starts, takes away a lot of the weekly lesson planning stress. We get our weekly themes from the Let’s Find Out/Scholastic Weekly Readers, that we purchase for our grade level. Here is a little glimpse of what our plans look like:
2. Inventory Your Supplies –
Doesn’t it frustrate you when you find a great idea on Pinterest or from another teacher on Instagram, and you look in your cabinet and you are out of Popsicle sticks or googly eyes? Solution: Make an inventory of your supplies…both consumables, non-consumables, and miscellaneous. My school buys almost all of our consumables, but there are still things I keep stored in my classroom for a variety of activities that needs replenishing and I like to have enough available for when I need it.
Here is a sample of my inventory list:
I can promise that staying organized BEFORE heading into your classroom will make your year so much smoother! Here is a link to download your own supply inventory list!
3. Inventory and Order Books for your classroom library –
What teacher doesn’t like books?! And I’m sure that throughout every school year you find books that you want to use in your classroom or you find out about an amazing book to use for a lesson…but it’s too late. 🙁
Tip: Create a Custom List on Amazon to ‘store’ all of these book treasures you find and want to purchase later. I use Amazon Prime on a VERY regular basis and find the custom lists a huge bonus…plus you can make your lists public and send the link to parents, for them to purchase things you want for your classroom. I also have an inventory of all of my books in my classroom library and replace any books that are beyond repair or if I need a duplicate. Again, this is something that you can do without being in your classroom.
4. Update/Create or purchase any ‘big’ projects that you plan on using in your classroom –
This probably seems like common sense, but it seems like as soon as school ends, creating and or laminating/cutting is the last thing on our minds!! But again, spending a little time printing, laminating, cutting and/or creating will make it easier when the rush of back to school begins. We have enough to do!! I purchased this huge guided reading unit and it is something that really takes time to put it together…time I don’t have during the school year.
5. Personal Professional Development –
Summer is about the only time I have to read ‘extra professional development’ books or to attend my personal preference of workshops or conventions. Check your favorite education gurus or bloggers to find out what conferences or books they are attending or reading. As for me…I have been co-hosting a summer book study with Greg from The Kindergarten Smorgasboard on Growth Mindset. I am also attending the I Teach K conference in 17 days!!
I hope these 5 Tips for School Prep That You Can Do at Home is helpful, But above all else….don’t forget to pamper yourself and take time to be with your family!