Our “Summer Prep for Teachers” series continues with things you can do now to prepare for the upcoming school year. I’ve compiled a list of 5 things that you can DO now to make the start so school a little less stressful.
Experiment with Technology. Technology is not only highly engaging for students, but it can also save you time as the educator. However, all the technology options may just leave you feeling overwhelmed. Summer is a great time to experiment with different programs that you think may work for your classroom. I have included a list (not exhaustive) of some technology programs popular with educators today.
Begin by choosing one new technology program that you can experiment with now. Once you feel comfortable with it, create ways to incorporate it into this school year. What technology can you prep this summer for the upcoming school year?
Technology Programs to try out this Summer:
- Google Classroom
- Microsoft Teams
- Boom Cards
Choose a classroom theme. Although this is definitely not a classroom necessity, some teachers like to change/ update their classroom theme every year or every few years. I find that having a theme actually makes my life easier, which makes it a win for me. With a set theme, its easier to decorate, shop for, and make things for your classroom. For example, you don’t spend 30 minutes picking out just the right bulletin board set. You find one that matches your theme and purchase it. Don’t spend too much time deciding on a theme! Just choose one that speaks to you and is age-appropriate.
Classroom theme ideas:
Finally, once you have decided on your theme, start buying decor, preparing bulletin boards and classroom posters with your theme colors, and by searching TPT and Pinterest for theme-related resources for your classroom.
Prepare your classroom library. I use my classroom library often, so I like it to be organized and easy to use. Every teacher needs a large variety of books of various levels, genres, and length. Make sure your collection includes authors and characters of various races and ethnicities. I like to organize my library into book bins with labels on the bin and the book spine. This helps students (and myself) quickly know where that book belongs. In addition, I find it helpful to label books with the reading level. If your school uses the Accelerated Reader program, you can look up book levels this way.
Create a substitute binder/ sub tub. Sometimes you have a last minute need for a substitute. Hopefully you have a wonderful team that will jump in to help, but a substitute binder will give you peace of mind when you have to be absent from school. In my sub binder, I include our daily schedule, medical needs, classroom procedures (Get a template in my Free Resource Library.), and a general set of worksheets that students can complete with minimal help. My monthly-themed units are perfect to leave for sub plans!
Do classroom DIY projects. Now is the time to spray paint bins or bookshelves that need freshening up. Do you have posters in your room that need updating to match your classroom theme? Get busy updating any furniture, materials, and resources that need it.
If you are just now tuning in to this series, check out what you’ve missed for back to school prep!
What do you plan to do as part of your summer prep? I would love to hear about it!