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Smooth Sailing Back to School Tips

July 27, 2014 No Comments

Smooth Sailing Back to School Tips

July 27, 2014 No Comments

Hey everyone! I hope you’ve had a chance to sail over to my friends’ blogs and read their advice for smooth sailing into a new year. We want to share our tips and tricks to get you on your way to a new (and smooth) year!



For my school year to get off to a smooth start, I always need to have everything ready to go and at my fingertips, so I don’t have to lose a moment searching for anything. Here are some of the best ways I have been able to have everything ready and instantly accessible for those beginning weeks:

1. Make Student Supplies Easily Accessible
I
like to have all the supplies my students will need during the day
right at their fingertips (no roaming around the classroom!!). So last year I tried
Student Toolboxes:

These
toolboxes hold everything we normally use in a school day and worked
like an absolute dream! No supplies were lost, no supplies were put in the
wrong places…everything was right where we needed it:
With all student supplies are easily accessible in one places, activities and transitions run more smoothly, leading to increased instructional time. 

2. Number Student Storage Areas
Those of you who have read my blog over the years know I like to use a numbering system. This is an organizational technique that has helped me in so many ways–especially on the first day of school.
My class list tends to be in flux during the first couple of weeks. Students move away over the summer, newcomer EL students arrive in those first weeks (and not necessarily the first day).

With numbers, I am able to set up the whole classroom in advance, without any names, until my students arrive:


This allows me to have all my students’ materials right at my fingertips…actually, at their fingertips!
If you are a fan of the numbering system, pre-numbering student areas will allow you to have all student materials and paperwork ready to go for those first days, before your students even arrive.
3. Label EVERYTHING!!!
This probably sounds like an obvious statement, but I have learned over the years that the more I label every single thing in my room, the less I misplace.
This is the case with my teacher toolbox:
Subject area baskets:
and so many other parts of our classroom.

If something is labeled, you will always put it back where it belongs and be able to find it at a moment’s notice.

4. Get Ahead on Copying
This is something I have started getting better about more recently, thanks to the incredible units out there on Teachers Pay Teachers. With so many in-depth and long-term resources, it is possible to prepare units well in advance.
I will be copying numerous resources to get my students and I set up for the month of September, allowing me to have all the papers we need at our fingertips.

Here are just a few of my favorites I’m already prepping for September:

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Interactive-Math-Journal-315177
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Calendar-Math-for-the-Upper-Grades-5th-Grade-Starter-Kit-776253
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Spelling-with-Morphology-An-Entire-Year-of-Differentiated-Spelling-Lists-1233025

The more you have copied and right at your fingertips, the more time you will have to focus on building those crucial classroom routines in the beginning weeks.
5. First Day Organization
And then there’s the first day itself.

No matter how long I’ve taught I still get those jitters…and that leads to a scattered “Um, where were we? What are we doing next?” feeling that I just cannot have on that first day.

So I made a first day of school sheet to keep track all of the important things I would like to remember for the day.

There are places to record the activities and routines I’ll cover for each subject, any important notes from parents I meet that morning, dismissal notes for the first day, things to prep for the next day, and more. I’ll be keeping this sheet on a clipboard with me throughout the first day.

Please click on the image below if you’d like to download a copy for your big day:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2ARzMSbNzXNWDFjSjlnRmJpMEU/edit?usp=sharing

Keeping all important information for the first day of school at your fingertips will keep you on track, allowing you to focus on the most important thing–welcoming your students to a new year!

To help you sail smoothly into a new school year, please visit my friends’ blogs to read their tips and tricks…

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About Me

Welcome to Ladybug's Teacher Files! I started this blog in 2010 as a way to share resources and collaborate with teachers. I hope you will find something that can be of help in your classroom! -Kristen

Instagram

  • Anyone else using iReady this year?
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I’m looking to add a little more accountability/motivation for my students, so this week we are going to start tracking our usage. My fourth graders will store their sheets in their binders so their data is kept private, then I’ll send it home in our weekly folders so parents can see progress as well.
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What do you do for iReady accountability? I would love to hear more ideas!
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Please click the link in my profile if you’d like a copy of this sheet for your class (http://bit.ly/ireadysheet).
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#classroommanagement #iteachfourth #iteach4th #iteach456 #teachersfollowteachers #teachersofinstagram
  • This closet!!! It has NEVER been organized in all my years in this classroom!
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Honestly, I would pile things in there and slam the door fast, in hopes the pile wouldn’t collapse 😂
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So I FINALLY got some shelving and sorted everything into bins...and I am in heaven.
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Now if only all bins were the same color blue...
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#imjoking #actuallyimnot #typeateacher #kindoforganized #kindofnot #iteachfourth #iteach4th #iteach456
  • Need a last-minute valentines gift for your class?
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Or is it just me who is frantically doing this now? 😂
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These are some editable coupons I shared years ago on my blog that are perfect for those no-cost presents. I’ve been saving our scholastic points, so everyone is getting a coupon to choose a book for our classroom library tomorrow. 📖❤️
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Please click the link in my profile if you would like a copy! I hope some of you can use them!! (http://bit.ly/EditableValentinesCoupons)
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#lastminute #howisitmidfebruary #iteachfourth #iteach4th #iteach456 #teachersfollowteachers #teachersofinstagram
  • Binders, folders, or notebooks?
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Over the years I’ve become a binders kind of girl...I tried to go with notebooks again this fall and it wasn’t the same. There’s just something about having everything all in one place.
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So in January, I switched back to binders and I’m so glad I did. I use prenumbered tabs which saves A TON of time in setting them up (see the last pic). I try to number the handouts in the bottom corner to match the tab number it belongs in (when I remember to 😉) but really it’s a great exercise in following directions as papers are handed out if I don’t remember to number them.
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My fourth graders LOVE their binders...my students from last year mention them when they come back to visit (it was actually thanks to them I got binders again, since they enjoyed them so much). Next fall, it’ll be binders from the start for us!
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Do you like binders, folders, or notebooks? Or a combination?
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#classroommanagement #classroomorganization #iteachfourth #iteach4th #iteach456 #teachersfollowteachers #teachersofinstagram
  • I received a few questions on how to get the day count on @planbookcom, so I wanted to share it here (it’s super quick!).
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If you go into the Display settings, you will find a drop down menu under “Date Styling”.
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Click the check box next to “show school day counter” and you should be all set!
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I have a couple of blog posts about planbook and I’m working in some updated ones to share soon...anything in particular you’d like to see more about?
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#teacherplanner #classroomorganization #classroommanagement #iteachfourth #iteach4th #iteach456 #teachersfollowteachers #teachersofinstagram
  • Did you know you can add little check boxes to Google Sheets? ✅
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I’m REALLY trying to get more ahead in my lesson planning so I can have my weekends free...and this little check box tool is helping with just that!
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I set up a Sheets doc with each subject area I need to plan for. In the second column, I added the check boxes (you can find them under Insert).
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It’s a really nice feature for those little checklists you want to reuse each week! Now back to lesson planning 😬
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#classroommanagement #classroomorganization #lessonplanning #iteachfourth #iteach4th #iteach456 #teachersfollowteachers #teachersofinstagram

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