3 End Of Year Tips to make your next Back to School season EASIER!

Over the years, one of the biggest things that I have learned as a teacher is that preparation for next year starts even as the current year ends. Yep, I know, we're all tired. We're counting down days, looking forward to the time off and more than ready to relax and recharge. The end of the year brings a TON of extra work - report cards, permanent records, end of year testing etc. To add to this just seems crazy, but trust me, when you're setting up your classroom next year, you're going to kick yourself if you don't do these simple steps now:

1. Label Your Boxes:
There's nothing worse than not being able to find something when you're setting up - or finding out that you put something breakable under a huge box of books. At my school, we have to take EVERYTHING down and pack it all up - everything has to be off the floor, in the cupboards or boxed up. Since we're a Summer Food Site and have different groups using our classrooms over the summer, any of our personal property that we don't want to walk off, has to go home with us. My garage is crammed full from the end of May until the beginning of August! If you're dealing with a lot of boxes, do a rough sketch of which boxes are where - you don't want to have to dig through the whole pile if you want to find something over the summer!

2. Figure Out Your Storage:

Where is your pile in your classroom? You know - the pile of paperwork that hasn't found a home yet - either student work, stuff that needs to be filed or the tons of stuff you get from administration. Look at your piles this year and make a plan to deal with them from the start next year. Over the summer you can shop for a storage system that will work so just jot down a note of what you want to look for.

3. Decide Your Decor:
Now is the time to figure out what your theme for next year will be. I'll never forget the year I chose a theme in July when at my local Teacher Store sale. Then I went to our Back To School meetings to find out that our principal had decided on a school-wide theme that totally did not go with what I had already purchased! There was also the time I fell in love with a decor set at a teacher store and bought it, only to find out that there were very few accessories that went with it! Before school ends, ask if there's going to be a school-wide theme next year, ask what your teacher neighbors are doing, and figure out what direction you want to go in. You don't have to be matchy-matchy with everyone, but if you're the only odd-man out , people will wonder why you didn't get the memo.

Woodland Friends Classroom Theme

My school is going with the very general theme of "Animals" next year. I love it, because we'll all be able to put our own spin on it! I'm going with Creative Teaching Press' Woodland Friends theme:

My over-arching theme will be "A Forest Of Knowledge" and all of the Woodland Friend characters and pieces will go with that! The Woodland Friends Welcome Bulletin Board set has so many fun pieces!
 These 9"x12" library pockets are going to be great for organization!
 How sweet will these Woodland Friends Reward Badges be for the first day of school or as an award for good behavior during the first week?

If you're like me, you're going to need plenty of coordinating borders to define your areas - I absolutely love the Patterned Pine Trees Border, and the colorful Toadstools Border will be great for around my Writing Center blackboard.

 Who doesn't like stickers?! Use these Woodland Whimsy Hot Spot Stickers on student papers, to reward good behavior or to add a positive touch to a note home - there's 880 to a pack!
Need an individualized behavior plan? These Woodland Friends Student Incentive Charts can be used in so many ways!
 These 6" Toadstool Cut Outs are great for adding students' names throughout the room, labeling shelves or drawers or even better - use them to create fun Math games!


Mrs. Brown said...

I still love Kissing Hand. We make raccoon hats and the kids love wearing them on their first day of school!

Mrs. Brown said...

I am loving those Woodland Friends large pockets!

Diane O said...

I love the Fox!

Diane O said...

We read Pete the Cat Rocking in My School Shoes and take a tour of the school.

Unknown said...

I like the raccoon the best and my favorite read aloud is First Day Jitters.

Anonymous said...

I love the fox! Thanks for the chance to win! Margie

m smith said...

this would be a great theme!!!!

Anonymous said...

I love the hedgehog!

Anonymous said...

My favorite read alouds are Pete the Cat Rockin' in His School Shoes and Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten!

Unknown said...

I like the toadstool cutouts.

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