I have three days left with students and then three teacher days before summer break. I am exhausted! I fall asleep as soon as I get home from school and I honestly don’t have the energy to to be nice to most people. (Just ask my husband.) I wake up in the middle of the night after having nightmares about end of year videos, classroom checkout lists and data spreadsheets. The struggle is real.
And even though I can barely remember the last time I washed my hair, I am super proud to say that I will be leaving for summer break knowing that I am prepped for back to school. Dang, that feels GOOD! If I could do it, in my current state of exhaustion, you can do it too!
I started by making a list of tasks and things that needed to be prepped for August. Then I spent about 20 minutes per day tackling the list. Since I am prepping before summer break, I was able to use parent volunteers for cutting and putting papers in page protectors! I have saved my own kids hours of time this summer! That is time that I can fill with household chores! I am kidding. Kinda.
Here are five simple things that you can prep NOW that will make back to school easier and free up more time during the summer to sleep.
1. Meet the Teacher Materials
Most schools have some kind of open house where students and parents can meet the teacher and bring in classroom supplies. My meet the teacher day is always right after several days of professional development. I never have much time in the classroom to prep and therefore end up doing it during my last couple of days of summer break. But not this year!
I organized my meet the teacher day into stations. At each station, students and parents have a different task. I planned out each station, made posters and a check off sheet. I had the check off sheet photocopied and it is sitting in my filing cabinet ready for July! (Yes, I get to start in mid July. Lucky me!)
You can also make copies of any paperwork you will need parents and/or students to fill out at meet the teacher.
2. Name Tags and Binder Materials
Before you leave for summer break, print all of your desk name tags, binder, folder, and notebook labels and tags. After printing and laminating my desk name tags, I sent them home and a parent cut them out for me! I also printed a class set of binder covers and folder labels. (You can grab my sports printables HERE.)
I give my students a multiplication chart and a few other resources to keep in their binders. I got all of these things copied and asked if a parent would be willing to put them in page protectors. It was an at-home job that was super simple, but saved me from having to do it over the summer. Now I have more time to sit by the pool! (You can grab my binder resources HERE.)
3. First Week of School Activities
Copy simple activities for the first week of school NOW! You will kiss yourself for doing it now when you see the long line at the copier at back to school time!
I actually sent out an email and asked if there was a parent who would be willing to make these copies! Volunteers also cut the task cards for various activities. So simple!
I am ready for the Third Day of Third Grade!
I kept a list of the back to school activities that I prepped. I will use this list when I write my first week or two of lesson plans at the end of my summer break. It will also help to keep me from prepping the same type of activity twice. I am the type of person who would do that!
4. Brag Tags, Coupons or Class Money
Now is the perfect time to get your classroom management materials ready to go- especially since many of these items involve cutting!
I use brag tags to reward students for positive character, classroom behavior and academic growth. You can read more about how I use brag tags by clicking HERE. I love them and so do my students. I printed out several tags that I want to have available for next year. I laminated them and sent them home for a parent to cut and hole punch.
You can see all of the brag tags that I have available by clicking HERE.
5. Daily Activities
In every classroom there are activities that get completed every day. Why not prep them now?! Consider preparing your:
- Spelling Word Lists
- Math Facts
- Vocabulary Lists
- Writing Printables
- Bell Work
- Reading Menus
- Math Centers
- Interactive Notebook Activities
I admit that this will be the toughest stuff to motivate yourself to prepare. But I also think this will be the stuff that makes me giddy with excitement when I pull it out when I get back to school. Just be sure to put them in file folders in your filing cabinet so that you don’t lose or forget about them!