It is officially summer! And every teacher screams for joy! Now I know the last thing you want to think about is your classroom, but here is a short list of things you can prep for your classroom during some of your summer down time.  I'm designating Mondays and Wednesdays to knock out some of my work for the upcoming year. Most of my friend aren't teachers so I have my week days to myself. Here is my short list of things to get done. Most of these things won't take much of your time.

1. Make a list of successes and areas needing improvement. This can help you plan for the next school year. Evaluate you management plan, centers, and paperwork system. Reflecting is such an important part of our profession. There is always something good you did that you take along with and something you can make better. I keep a notebook and write down things that worked and things that didn't so I can come back to it in the summer.

2. Sketch out the layout of your room. This will save a ton of time when you able to get back in your classroom. Don't draw? Click the link to Classroom Architect. Just put in the dimension to your room and design away!

3. Plan bulletin boards. I am extremely OCD about my boards (I blame it on my mentor teacher! She had some of the best boards and never let me slap any old thing up during my internship). I like them to be witty and match my classroom theme. If you are pretty elaborate with your board take the time to plan it now. That will be one less thing to stress about.

4. Write you welcome letter and prepare open-house materials. I mail open-house invitations a week out from the event. I put together a packet with all the important information parents need to know and pass it out there. I also make a small happy for the students. I'm using a booklet form Chalk and Apples this year. The link to purchase this booklet is below,

 Back to school booklet

5. Write your first 3-5 weeks of lesson plans. Then make the copies for it, if you have access to your school copier. This will be so helpful when your body is trying to adjust to being on your feet all day and you can no longer take mid day naps. I wouldn't plan for more than five weeks, because you don't yet know the needs of your students. However, having a few weeks completely planned for will allow you to go home at a decent hour each afternoon and enjoy your first few weekends. Nothing feels better than walking out that first Friday with nothing in your hand but your purse!

Note: If you start lesson planning a head around the second week during you planning periods, you can stay a week or two head in plans for the rest of the semester. This is my biggest goal for the upcoming year. I will post more about planning ahead closer to the beginning for the school year.

6. Look at your Pinterest teaching board. See if anything you pinned this year can be incorporated into your plans for the upcoming year. Try not add to your board! If you are like me you have tons of ideas pinned. You can use them all, so don't add to the madness.

7. Organize your basal reader resources. During the year I just throw stuff I've  used back in the container with no rhyme or reason. There are also a lot of resources I haven't used because I haven't had the time to look over them. Summer as great time to decide what to use and organize it so that it is ready to use.

8. Purge! Let go of stuff you don't use or need! If you haven't used in two years toss it. If you are a new teacher and you have been gifted a bunch of stuff, decided what you can use now. If you can't use it now let it go! We teachers are hoarders by nature. Break the cycle now!

I just love the summer, because I get a much needed break and fresh start! I hope everyone has a great, safe summer! Look out for more back to school post over the summer! :-)


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