Summer is a great time to make things to prep your classroom for back to school. If you can’t tell, I am a planner. I like to get as many things done ahead of time as possible. Those first weeks of school are super hectic. If I can get things made ahead of time or at least partially made, it takes some of the stress off when the school year begins!
I have compiled a list below of things that you can make now to save yourself some stress when the back-to-school rush begins.
Templates. I love using templates for my classroom to keep me organized and to cut down on work time. I have templates for everything…lesson plans, my weekly newsletter, weekly learning center rotations, folder labels, Meet the Teacher night, and so on. What needs do you have in your classroom? Can you make tasks easier by creating (or buying) a template that you simply plug information in to? Use time this summer to create a few templates for your classroom. Trust me when I say it will save you time later! I have created a “Meet your teacher/ Open House” template that works for sharing information with parents and students during those first weeks back to school. Simply type in your information and change what’s needed year after year. Click the picture below to check it out!
Bulletin boards. Bulletin boards and door decorations are one of my least favorite teacher tasks. So in order to minimize this dreaded task, I like to come up with spaces that can be used year round with a few simple tweaks. Brainstorm generic bulletin boards or search Pinterest. Go ahead and make the board headings so they are ready to go when you get back in the classroom.
Student birthday gifts. Birthdays are BIG for most kiddos, so I like to do something in the classroom to acknowledge it! Over the years, I have given cute little goodie bags, 2 mechanical pencils with a cute note, a classroom gift certificate for a special privilege, and other similar things. Nothing big, but enough to make that kiddo feel special on their day. Summer is the perfect time to find goodies on clearance or to make cute classroom gift certificates. Once made, just store in a tub or bucket in your classroom!
Learning centers. Summer is my favorite time to prep learning centers for the year. I have used learning centers daily during reading and math small group time. I also have used science and social studies centers throughout the year with specific units. There are so many ideas/ products out there for learning centers. I love using games, technology, and other engaging activities to keep kids on task during this time. Find some learning center ideas/ products that you want to use this school year. Go ahead and print, laminate, and prepare so that it is ready to pull out and use when needed!
Anchor Charts. I love to use anchor charts when teaching and then as reference in the classroom. If you are like me, your anchor charts are not Pinterest-worthy (Not that they have to be by any means!). If I want pretty anchor charts to serve as reference posters around my classroom, then I need to spend a little extra time making them beforehand. I like to make anchor charts during the summer and laminate. Then, when I am ready to teach that particular skill or ready for a reference poster on the wall, I can just pull out something that is ready to go!
I hope I have given you some ideas of things you can make now for your classroom. You don’t have to do it all! Every little thing you do over the summer is going to make your school year smoother, so pick a few things to work on over the next few weeks. You will be glad you did!
If you are just now tuning in to this series, check out what you’ve missed for back to school prep!