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5 Things To Do Before Summer Break

Now that we’re nearing the end of the school year, are visions of beach chairs and margaritas dancing in your head?

Summer is just around the corner and I know we're all thinking about days at the pool. Even so, it’s never too early to start thinking about next school year.

I know, I know... who wants to think about next year when this one isn’t even over?

Teachers love to enjoy their summer break, right? Come August, however, stress and panic set in. How will I get my classroom ready in time? Where are those posters I put away? Why am I not better organized? Help!

Wouldn’t it be nice to put some of those worries to rest even before your summer starts? Well, you can. I have created a list of things you can do NOW to make the start of the next school year stress-free. Even better, your students can help with some of these!

Think about all of the supplies you’ve used this year. Are you running short on any items? Do you wish you had more of something? Have your students create an inventory of items in your classroom, such as: markers, crayons, construction paper, glue, scissors, etc. Go ahead and order your supplies ahead of time so you’re not waiting for them in August or September. You can even get them organized into basket or bins. (Students LOVE to help with that!)

There is nothing, absolutely nothing, that sets me back at school more than not having the copies I need. If I had the space and any sort of organizational system that worked, I'd make the entire year's worth of copies ahead of time. But alas, the best I can do is get the first few weeks ready ahead of time. This can be done at school (if you’re lucky) and it will save you a ton of time in the fall.

Think about the handouts and worksheets you need for at least the first month of school. What papers get sent home during the first few days? What will you use for morning work and homework? What about things like reading logs or behavior notes that you need all the time? Beat the lines at the copier in the fall and get it done now! With all your copies ready to go, just file them neatly in a “beginning of the year” drawer and they’ll be right at your fingertips when needed. {If you're super crazy organized, unlike me, you could even have labeled files for each stack of papers!}

How many times did an illness pop up and you were left unprepared this year? Save yourself a lot of stress and create next year’s sub folder now. While you can’t make your class list or seating chart just yet, you can add things like updated class rules, emergency procedures, and so forth. Put in extra worksheets and time fillers that can be used anytime of year.

Don't have a sub folder? Want something already put together? Here's one you might like...

Speaking of folders. here's one that should be at the top of your to-do list... student folders. You know, the ones they take home every day. Buy your folders and binders now. Get them all ready to go, so all you have to do in August is write your students' names on them. Don't forget to make a few extras for those late enrollments. While you're at it, make extra sets of the papers you put inside for new kids that arrive later in the year.

What goes in my folders? A zipper pouch (pencil case) to hold money and notes, the student agenda, important papers (like their math facts to study) and a plastic pocket page for homework like this...

You can have this year's students help assemble the folders for next year's group. By now they know what goes inside and in what order.

Last but not least... During the last few weeks of school, as you take down your classroom, why not just put up your Back to School board and new decorations? This task is a huge time-taker during pre-planning when you have so many other things to think about. Wouldn't it be nice to walk into an already decorated room when you return?

Not all schools will allow you to leave things on the walls over summer, but if yours does, take advantage! Get your students in on the fun too. They can help decorate, hang posters, and think of cool new ideas.

It is always best to be prepared for anything in life. As teachers, anything we can do to get ahead is so important. Rather than spend the last month of our summer vacations stressing, prepare NOW and enjoy that last month of freedom!

Visit the Free Resource Library to get these summer reading bookmarks! They're a great way to encourage students to keep reading over the summer.



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