So, here is a list of things I make sure to have ready before I turn in my keys on the last day of school. I do start doing these things really early, so that I have plenty of time to do a few things here and a few things there. (and if you make it all the way to the end, I may have a special reward for you!)
Each year, I like to send home letters to the parents to introduce myself, as well as set out the expectations I have as far as Behavior and Homework goes. This packet goes home on the first day of school, and all the little pieces are signed so that I know the parents read over the information. I love to copy it on colored paper, for ease of filing later! Here are the letters that I use from my TpT store. They have served me well. (they are also fully customizable for you...a Word Doc....so that you can make them personal to yourself without having to think of all the main wording for yourself...easy peezy!)
Elmer's No-Wrinkle Rubber Cement, 8 Ounces, Clear (231) ...my FAVORITE!!) and then laminated. I like to laminate them because they are used all year. I want them to last!
|The nametags are on top, but you can still see the contact paper.|
I am by nature, NOT a planner. However one thing I do way ahead of time is buy school supplies. I tend to buy them for the following year when they go on sale in the summer. That way, I can create my supply bags for the year before I leave for the summer and not worry about it on my vacation. In my classroom, I assign each child a number. This just helps me to keep everything organized. Since all students have a number, I am able to write that number on everything the student will be using (ie: pencils, books, scissors, glue sticks, etc...) and if, say, their pencil ends up on the floor, I know exactly which student to return it to. So on the first day of school, I have a baggie with all the school supplies I personally am going to supply them with on the tables. Each of the supplies is labeled with their number. Easy peezy...and it gets them used to their number! But getting these ready before school is out is a huge weight off my shoulders.
Student Questionnaire and Other Day One Activities
There are some activities that I like to do each year on the first day of school. One is the Student Questionnaire. I put this on students' desks, and they have an activity to do the very first second they walk into my classroom. I also have this Teacher "Comprehension" that I give them. It is just a passage about me, with questions to answer. Both of these activities allow my students to enter the room with a purpose, as well as give me an idea about them. The Comprehension then has the added bonus of me getting some test prep strategies started on the first day of school! I also have the first week of Morning Message copied off. (read about it here, get your copies of the first week in both 4 and 5 here...I use the same ones, as they are super basic)
Reading Logs, Comprehension Homework, and Math Homework for the first few weeks of school. This stuff doesn't change, so I know that it will be nice to have to just grab and go. I have the first 9 weeks of 5th grade done! This summer I will be working on getting the entire year ready for you, as well as 4th...possibly 3rd!. Here is just some to get you started!
OK...so those are some of the things I do to ensure a smooth start to the new year. Phew...that was a long list! I didn't realize just how much I actually have ready before I leave for the summer. Like I mentioned, I get going on this really early...about a month before school ends. I hope you picked up some of the freebie forms along the way.
Now...for two special commenters, I am going to give you the Welcome Packet and Reading Logs! Just leave a comment about how you personally get ready for the new year and I will pick two people with a random number generator on Monday, May 21 at 9pm PST. Good luck and I can't wait to hear your ideas!!
And we have two winners!!!