5 Simple Ways to Prepare for Back to School

 In some ways I feel like teachers are always preparing for a new school year.  We're a profession of planners.  Daily, we write intricate instructional plans.  While teaching a unit, we're thinking of ways to improve the instruction during the next school year.  During our well deserved summer break, we're seeking new ways to teach.  We care about our work.  That's why it's no surprise that I have back to school on my mind already.  Today, I thought I'd share some of the easy ways I prepare for the beginning of a new school year.

A few weeks before school starts I love to send a letter to my students.  I keep it fairly simple.  However, I believe that a note about the upcoming school year not only shows my students that I'm excited about teaching them, but that I take learning seriously.  In my letter I like to give students an insight into what they'll be learning and how I like to structure my classroom.  I also mention the critical role of parents in their success.  Finally, I try to infuse a little excitement.  Year after year I've found that my students and parents appreciate the back to school letter.   It's a powerful first-impression-maker!

Find a sample Back to School Letter HERE.


What's back to school without a little instructional planning?  I carve out some time each summer to put together some long-range plans.  When completing long-range plans sometimes I list out the critical skills I want students to master during the school  year.  Then, I build the units of study around those skills.  Other times, I list out the major units of study for a year and consider the critical skills for each unit.  After I make a huge list of learning, I number the units and put them in the order I plan to teach them during the school year.  Next, I take a look at the units I want to teach in the first quarter and begin to map out a 10-week plan.  I've found that long-range planning is a great way to start any school year.

Find these planning guides for FREE HERE.


Another simple way to prepare for back to school is to plan a fun and engaging get-to-know-you activity for students.  I like to plan something that students can complete all by themselves when they enter the classroom.  That's why I'm nuts about these back to school name tags.  Each year I place the directions and crayons or colored pencils at students' tables.  Then, they get to work coloring in their name tag based on their answers to the "about you" questions.  In just a few minutes they have a completed name tag and I have a way to learn each of their names!  Love it!

Click HERE for a free copy of the back to school name tags.


Just like everything else, I like to make decorating the classroom for back to school super simple.  So, I've created some classroom decor posters that I can string along a classroom clothesline or staple to a bulletin board.  I especially love these posters because I've created a writing prompt that coordinates with the decor.  You can read all about these posters and find a link to them for FREE here.
Summer is a great time to come up with ways to solve common classroom problems.  I've used my summer days to figure out ways to set up seating charts, find a solution for kids without pens or pencils, make durable bathroom passes, design classroom displays, and manage handing back papers.  You can read all about the ways I like to solve classroom problems HERE


Well, that's it for now.  I hope you've found some simple ways to make your back to school preparations easier.  Don't forget, you can find the back to school resources mentioned in this post for FREE HERE!

Thanks for stopping by!



3 comments:

  1. Love it!! Thanks for sharing. Pinning this!! :)
    -Brigid

    ReplyDelete
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