Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Are You a Planner? Tips and Tricks for Prepping for the Upcoming School Year

Are you a planner?  I am!  With that said, I have already started prepping for next year.  Please don't think I'm too wacky, I just really like to be ready.  If you're interested in planning ahead, read on!


Prepping now saves me time and hassle when we report back to work in August.  Our photo copiers are limited in number, but high in demand.  Not to mention, they always seem to malfunction or give us problems when we return and all need to make a million copies.  By preparing most of my materials ahead of time, I don't have to fight the long lines or deal with the temperamental machines. Ain't nobody got time for that!

What exactly do I prep?  I prep the materials that I know I will use during the first week back.  This does require some commitment on my part, but it sure is nice returning in the fall knowing that half of my work is already done! 

How do I go about doing this?  First, I always make a list of what I need to copy and then I get to work!

  
As I copy these materials, I "x" them off my list (one of my favorite hobbies) and place the materials on the designated "Next Year" shelf in my closet.  It isn't labeled as such, but it is designated as such.




Currently sitting on that shelf are these copied and bound All About Me books.



And, the student copies for these first week activities (plus others that aren't pictured, because I think you get the point by now).



Basically, the shelf is full of copies that are sorted into piles and ready for use that first week of school.  :)


I also prepare the back to school forms and handouts that I share with my students' families.  These handouts include my classroom handbook, my welcome letter, my meet the teacher letter, and other various forms.


If you're looking to get a head start on your prep for next year, try the following:

1. Make a list of the materials you plan to use (copy only what you know you will use).

2. Start copying (I typically do this whenever I have time to spare. Sometimes, I get to work 15-20 minutes early to make some of these copies.  Copying a few items each day really adds up, believe me!).

3. Designate a space in your classroom and store the prepped materials in that location.

4. Take a deep breath and relax because you just saved yourself about 12 hours of grief when returning to school in the fall!

Toodles!

DON'T FORGET IT, PIN IT!



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13 comments:

  1. This is very good advice. I will try to heed it. I am terrible, terrible, terrible at planning ahead though.
    ~Heather
    The Meek Moose

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    1. Thanks, Heather! Hopefully the post inspired you to plan a teensy little bit. ;) Thanks for stopping by!

      Aimee

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  2. What a wonderful and inspiring post! I also teach second grade, and though this school year doesn't end til June 27, I am thinking about September readiness! I like your organization and am going to check out some of your faves! Thanks!

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    1. Thanks, Kathy! Wow, your school year goes so late! I feel for you. We are done on June 4, so the days are quickly passing. Have fun checking out my first week faves!

      Aimee

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  3. Replies
    1. I would give you some if I could, Courtney! Sometimes I have too much energy and other times, none at all. Where is the balance? Ha! Thanks for stopping by!

      Aimee

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  4. I'm totally a planner too and can completely relate to this post! I love your idea of a list that you check off from, usually I just around in circles to get stuff ready.

    Alexis ♥ Laugh. Eat. Learn.

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    1. I'm so glad I'm not alone in the planning department! I am a big time list maker. I seriously enjoy crossing things off my list. And, when a list gets too messy, I've been known to rewrite it. I may need help! Happy planning!!

      Aimee

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  5. Planner to planner...I think you are a bit ahead of me in the photocopying department. I need to get on that! I have already labeled and laminated several student items for next year. AND all the students supply boxes are made and in my closet. I completely agree that prepping now makes returning to work in August SO much easier! Hugs!
    -Jaime
    Bright Concepts 4 Teachers

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  6. I completely live my life by a checklist! My husband jokes about it, but I have to write it down and then my head isn't full of all the stuff I have to do! This is a wonderful idea, and I am totally going to do this! The anxiety I would save myself walking into my classroom before the beginning of next year will definitely be worth it!!! :)

    Ashley
    Tacky the Teacher

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  7. I do even better than this...I enlist my parent volunteers to prep things for next year, like our take home folders and poetry notebooks. I just tell them that last year's parents got this year's ready, so now it is their turn. :-)

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  8. I love the idea of this! BUT how do you know how many kids to make for? Boys/Girls? We aren't even completely sure what grade we are teaching! I'm jealous! ;) We are down to 14 school days! Have a great last few weeks!

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    1. There is a method to my madness, I promise! In early April we are always told what grade we will be teaching the following year. This is a district policy, and one that we are all grateful for! I never know how many boys/girls I will specifically have, but our class sizes are capped at 20. Typically, we have anywhere between 18 and 20 students. I always make 25 copies of my materials and it is always enough (there has only been one year where I had over 20 students...and, at that it was only 21 students). And, if I do make any "gender specific" copies, I just make 13 of each for a grand total of 26 copies of that particular item. I hope that makes sense!

      14 days sounds wonderful!!!! We are right behind you, I think we have about 17 days or so. Let the countdown begin!

      Aimee

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