If you're anything like me, it isn't long before the year closes that you start thinking about freshly waxed floors, unopened school supplies, and new beginnings. Don't get me wrong - I am loving summer time (especially this year with five month old twins). But let's be honest - August will be here before we know it!
I can't get into my classroom for a while because of summer school and cleaning classrooms. I've learned that there are a few things I can do now that help ease that dreaded Teacher Work Week stress - and keep me out of my classroom the weekend before school starts! Here's some ideas to help your transition!
One of the most important things I plan on doing this summer is rejuvenating! I've worked every summer since I could actually work - babysitting, waitressing, teaching summer school - so I'm really trying to enjoy my time at home with my three boys. We've been enjoying Splash Parks, spending time with friends, cooking out - anything to take time for myself and my family.
Update Back to School Files
I have folders on my H drive that are specifically for Open House and Back to School week. I plan on spending time updating those files now to have them ready to copy when we get back for Teacher Work week. For me, that's Parent information, new Gifted information for my cluster teachers, basically anything that doesn't require student names (like checklists, etc.). I've also been Pinning new ideas!
Work on Schedules
Check out my love for planbook.com here!
Our county puts out general pacing guides for Math and Language Arts to match our benchmark assessments. I revisit Math pacing using a good old-fashioned blank calendar, pencil, school calendar, and the curriculum framework from the VDOE. I plug in days for breaks, early release days, etc., and then outline broad topics by weeks (Fractions, Computation). Next, I break things down into subtopics, giving a little wiggle room for unplanned events like assemblies that will interrupt instruction. This does take a little bit of time, but is SO worth it in the end when planning out the day to day! Here's an example of our pacing from last year that I worked on with my collab partner, Kim!
Teambuilding/First Week Ideas
Teambuilding is SO important to me! I believe it sets the tone for cooperation and group work for the entire year. Now is the perfect time to start looking for new, fresh ideas for this upcoming school year on Pinterest and TPT. You can check out my Pinterest board here!
Search for New Ideas for Tough Concepts
Every year, we get to topics that are difficult for the "typical" student. One that I always struggle with is modeling multiplying and dividing fractions. By the time we get to that topic in math, I'm limited in the amount of time I have to search for new teaching resources. Now's the time! I've made a list of topics I know I want to research on TPT or Pinterest when I have a few minutes here or there.
I love a To-Do list - and sometimes I write things on them that I've already done, just so I can cross things off! Last year there were things I would write and re-write, because let's be honest, I was pregnant with twins and exhausted. Now's the time! For example, each time a class would walk into my STEM lab and we were assigning groups, students would get confused about which table to go to. I thought - I REALLY need table labels/signs! Sounds simple enough, but I never got it done. Cue... SUMMER! It's been a priority of mine to finally sit down and make them to match my room.
I'm not talking about the mandated, everybody has to do it kind! I mean something that you are curious about! Summer is the perfect time. For me, that's tackling Google Classroom, reading blog posts about implementing Math Workshop, and researching 3D printer lessons. If you're interested in Summer Reading Suggestions, check out some of the blog posts from Virginia Is for Teachers on this very topic!
Follow New Teachers/Bloggers
Click here to see our information page! A good place to look for new teachers to follow is to look on the "Following" section of other people's IG account! I've also been joining some new collaborative Facebook groups (from our very own Julie Goode Smith!) like this one for new, fresh ideas!
So, what do you do to get ready for the next school year? We'd love to hear from you!
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