Sunday, May 14, 2017

Create a Classroom Setup Kit

One of the best ideas I had a few years ago was to create a kit of all the necessary supplies I would need to get my classroom set up in August.  There is nothing worse than coming back ready to get your classroom organized and decorated and not being able to find the tape or stapler you need.

This is a list of what I have in my kit.  I have been doing this for a few years now so I just edit my list whenever I add something new to it.  Most items fit into a small storage box.  The paper cutter and cardstock/paper get stored in a separate container.

  • Create a Classroom Set Up Kit:
    • Scissors
    • Stapler
    • Staples
    • Staple Remover
    • Masking Tape
    • Painters Tape
    • Double Sided Tape
    • Glue Stick (keep in plastic bag)
    • Goo Gone
    • Cotton Balls
    • Ruler
    • Fishing Wire
    • Push Pins
    • String
    • Paper Punch
    • Paper Clips
    • Magnets
    • Magnetic Tape
    • Post-Its
    • Pencil
    • Black Marker
    • Quart Freezer Bags
    • Gallon Freezer Bags
    • Fiskars Cutter
    • Astrobrights Cardstock
    • Astrobrights Paper

Everything fits in this Sterlite container except the paper cutter, freezer bags, and paper/cardstock

Every adhesive you can think of 

Magnets for displaying items on my chalkboard

Stapler and push pins

Scissors, ruler, pencils, eraser, black markers, paper punch, mini flashlight, chalk, and paper clips

I make sure I put this kit into a safe place where I will be able to access it immediately.  I have a wall cabinet that I store everything I need for the beginning of the school year.  That way nothing important gets misplaced or goes missing.  When I come back in August all excited to get my classroom set up I don't have to hunt around for the supplies I need.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

End the School Year With the Beginning in Mind

A few years ago I started being very intentional about planning and getting organized for the following school year while finishing up the current year.  I've had this blog post in draft form for a couple years and decided to pull the trigger and finish it so I could finally post it.  I wanted to post this now because I only have six weeks of school left and I know many other teachers will be done weeks before me (lucky!).

It's that time of the year when we as teachers are all thinking about the huge list of things we need to accomplish between now and the end of the school year or frantically packing up our rooms for the summer break. When packing up your room make sure you know where you are packing things that you will need to start off the year.  Seems obvious, but I can't tell you how many times I have started the school year wondering where I packed something important that I need when arriving back to school in August.

I have a blue wall cabinet that I clear out at the end of the year and I make sure to pack everything I need to start school the following year in that cabinet so when I return in August I just open it up and everything I need it write there for me.

I pack up everything I need for my classroom setup and the first weeks of school in this cabinet.

Start by creating the following:
  • End of Year Packing List.  This list should be customized to your individual classroom.  I made a list a few years ago and look it over every year as things change in my classroom set up as rearrange/get rid of furniture.  I start by sitting at the back of my room and looking at the door.  I then take a 360ยบ counterclockwise look around my room and make my end of the year packing list.
  • End of the Year Calendar (last six weeks of school):  This is sort of my To Do list put on a calendar so I don't ed
  • Classroom Setup Kit: This is a kit I put together of all necessary supplies for when I return to my classroom in August to set it up.
  • Classroom Setup List:  This list is sort of the reverse of the End of the Year Packing List.
  • Back to School To Do List:  This is a comprehensive list of everything I need to have organized for the first few weeks of school.
  • Back to School Paperwork List:  This is a list of copies I need to make or printables I need to create for the beginning of the year.
  • Summer To Do List:  This is a very lofty/unrealistic list of all the school related things I may want to work on over summer break.

I will be doing a series of blog posts in the coming weeks to help you get organized so you don't feel overwhelmed by all the end of the year tasks to close up your classroom.  I will also share tips on how to spend time now getting yourself prepared for Back To School so you can come back in August feeling relaxed and ready to start the school year.