Back to School

Who is it that decided that the second official week of summer would be the perfect time for Back to School sales to begin? I'm going to go out on a limb and say that it probably wasn't a teacher. I know that it seems like every school district is on a completely different schedule from everyone else, but it seems like the magic (a.k.a. dreaded) start date of the Back to School Sales keeps creeping up on the calendar. So, in another ten years, will we be doing our Back to School shopping in February? I don't know about you, but I am definitely not ready to go back to school yet. As of today, I have been out for only a little over 3 weeks. I haven't even reached the halfway point yet. Phew! With my Summer To Do list still bursting at the seams and only one swipe on my shiny, new 2014 pool pass, that is a huge relief. I'm still at that point where my summer feels long and luxurious. Like I have all of the time in the world and will get to do so much! Ask me again in a few weeks and I'm sure my attitude will have changed but for right now I'm loving it! With all of that in mind, this week's post topic is the beginning of the year and everything that goes into it. Here are a few ideas to pin for later.

Parent Surveys:

Parent surveys are a great way to get more info on your new students. I recently found questions, new to me, that I plan to include this year. Questions to consider: How does your child prefer to work - in groups or individually? When getting new information, does your child do best getting all the information at once, or step by step, as the concept or project unfolds?

No more "What I did this summer" essays:

Stand this periennial back to school assignment on its head by asking kids to tell their best summer stories using the iMovie or Friend Strip Pro app or Comic Life software. Each option lends its own spark to students' writing. iMovie is super user friendly, lets students take charge of their project by storyboarding the plot, shooting the video segments, writing minimal copy and, in return, getting very dynamic results! Friend Strip Pro includes some picture elements that enhance the story, often in funny ways. Comic Life software lets kids drag and drop pictures they choose as well as Pow! star bursts, creating their own comic strip.

Classroom drab? Flip it to fab!

* Take advantage of end of summer sales to pick up fun kid-sized furniture for an inviting reading area. Chevron print pillows accent bright teal or orange patio benches. And Marshalls and Homegoods stores carry pint-sized overstuffed chairs that invite readers to enjoy a good book.

* Want a colorful new look quick? Just like recipes that promise dinner in minutes, our TPT store offers classroom decor packs you can download, print, laminate and hang just like that! Packs are packed with printables including welcome banners, different versions of student name plates for desks, schedule cards, group work cards, birthday posters.... lots more. Please check them out!

Time for New Year's resolutions? Maybe. It's always fun to try something new and a bright, new beginning always offers new possibilities. What are you hoping to do differently this school year? In the meantime, here's to summer!!!