How to Plan Ahead for Back to School
The first few weeks are always hectic! Help yourself out by taking care of a few of the things that you can plan for like lesson planning and making copies. Plan out your first few weeks of lessons for the next school year before this school year has ended. Now, obviously, those plans will be flexible and are definitely "subject to change" but they will give you a starting point - a road map when it seems like you're in the middle of a hurricane.
Most of us have a few favorite activities that we love doing at the beginning of the year because they help us get to know our students, build a sense of community, and ease everyone into the school year. Start with planning those. Check out TpT for more back to school lesson ideas and Pinterest for some amazing back to school read alouds!
Not only is it helpful to plan your first few weeks but it really helps to do those tasks now. So, make those copies and prep the lessons now! Trust us, you'll thank yourself that you did when it comes time to get ready to go back to school. Your teacher friends will be in their classrooms while you're catching a few more moments of freedom sitting poolside with a margarita ... eh hem, we mean seltzer water in hand!
One of the biggest questions with making all of your copies before you go is what do you do with them so that you don't lose them or forget where they are when you return to school in a few months. This is where having a well thought through organization system in place can save you so much time and prevent you from getting yet another headache. We love using a 30 mailbox organization system. Essentially what it is is a student mailbox organizer that we have converted to organize all of our paperwork - specifically all of those student copies. The mailbox has a dedicated space for each day of weeks 1 & 2 in the first column. The second column is the same thing for weeks 3 & 4. That leaves the third column for all those crazy extras like extra homework logs (because my kids are constantly losing them), extra copies of papers that have been passed out and a spot for copies that haven't been assigned to a day yet. Want to learn more about how it works?
Don't have a large mailbox in your classroom already? Check out these!
You can have all of your copies in the days in which you'll need them ready to go before you leave for summer break and all ready to welcome you back in the "fall". Just make sure to make a few extra copies on top of your class size estimate for next year just in case!