Believe me, I get it there's so much happening at the end of the year between report cards, filing cumulative, cleaning, needing to do tons organization and much more. I'm a firm believer that you shouldn't have to pack up and organize your classroom alone. You can utilize your students' help and put them to work in a way that will really help you start next school year off organized and prepared. I promise you that starting off your school year prepared will make for a better year. Here are my top seven organization tips that you can start following NOW!
1. Make Copies for the First Week
Take out your Back to School file and take out all getting to know you activities, crafts, Back to School paperwork, and beginning of the year stuff, and make your copies now. It will save you time during August so you can focus on planning and all of that other beginning of the year stuff. Put all of your finished copies in a crate or bin and store them for the summer. I don't know about you, but I couldn't leave anything out so I would place them in a cabinet.
2. Sharpen all of your Pencils
If you have any pencils leftover, sharpen them! No, not you, have students or parents help you out with this one. Believe it or not, I used to have 3 sharpened boxes from the previous school year that we wouldn't even touch. It makes it so easy to grab a new box when you start running low.
3. Organize and Clean your Class Library
Enlist a few helpers to go through all of your bins of books and clean them out. Dump out those little itty-bitty pieces of paper and other random goodness that were left behind. I used to get a little crazy and wipe down all of the shelves with cleaning wipes as well. I would also have students help with book organization. You'll want to make sure they're in the correct Lexile bin and all of the spines are facing out. In the past, we had to move out anything extra so the custodians could clean. I would have students fold up the rugs. At the end of the day do what works best for you!
4. Prepare your Name Tags
I used to hate nothing more than cutting out laminate from anything but my personal laminating machine. So…I would use the school laminator and laminate next year's name tags to get ahead. But what about their names you ask? I would add them in sharpie after I got my class list and after all of the revisions from the said first-class list. They would last all year. You can even have someone cut them out for you so they're ready to go!
5. Put up Bulletin Boards
Enlist students and parents to help you take down any student work, take those pesky staples out of the walls, and put anything up for next year. I always loved my memory book bulletin board the best and loved to get it prepared ahead of time. You can see the tutorial here.
6. Organize Student Supplies
Get your supply caddies cleaned and organized. I would have students clean them out really well with a wipe. They would take all old crayons and markers and toss them in a clear bin for the following school year. That way, when students would need a pink crayon, they could grab one from the bin. I also took the cups that would hold writing utensils and the crayon containers and tossed them in the dishwasher. Once I brought them back to school, kiddos would help refill them with brand new supplies. I kept the caddies and supplies in our grade level pod so they were out of the way. But trust me, it makes it so much easier to set up your room when they're already done.
I hope these tips help you with getting ready for next school year. My hope is that these organization tips will help make the transition into next school year much smoother and stress free. So tell me, what are some things you do right now to prepare for next year?
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