Packing up my classroom at the end of the year used to be one of my least favorite things to get me closer towards summer. After a few years of experience, I can easily say my pack up routine is quite simple and painless
Make a video before the end of the year
My favorite part of packing up for the summer is taking a video RIGHT before I pack anything. I span the entire classroom fairly slowly making sure to get areas that I may want to put a new board up or have a new idea for. The video helps me to remember where I want things when I come back. This always gives me ideas of the spacing, where I can put new things I find over the summer and will save me lots of thinking time when I need to move the furniture because it’s sitting in the middle of my room.
Something else that has saved me time is to talk to myself in the video. I like to move my room around a lot because there is always ways to make it better for my kids. I say possible wall placements and furniture arrangements. I also give possible ideas for the walls in my video. This SAVES me from having to write down any new ideas.
Decide what to change for next year
In one of my many notebooks, I write down what worked, what didn’t work, new ideas and other tidbits. I also make a sketch of what I want my room to look like when I come back in the summer to setup again. I always forget about a piece of furniture and it throws everything off, so sketching before I pack up is the best way to remember.
Write down what worked this school year
Small things that make transitioning better, lining up better, getting materials and so on need to be thought of. One year I simply switched my rug from horizontal to vertical and it changed the entire flow of the room.
A few years ago, I put my calendar area on the back of a bookshelf. We had another rug facing this area and it was the perfect spot to do calendar. It was low enough for my students to write. This is something I want to find the space for again. Our current calendar setup isn’t ideal for five and six year olds to do all the writing with ease. It’s so difficult when you literally have no wall space sometimes.
Use labeled crates to sort
My favorite thing ever is having these labels to organize with! I have about 20 crates that have lids. Every year, I put all of the crates on my large rug, take the tops off and organize. I leave them on the rug as I am packing. This makes it SUPER easy to put things back that ended up out of place during the school year. I also do my reading and math center buckets the same way. Here’s what those look like.
They have been sorted by skill and by month. Next week, I’m going to only put monthly things in the correct crates and sort my centers by skill. The green ones are for literacy and the pink (I have a whole wall of these) are for math.
Looking for even more ways to help make the end of the year better, check out my post on cleaning up and prepping for next year before summer comes.
If you need some help sorting out things you want changed for next year, here’s some sheets to help you! Pin them now, so you can find them later.
In need of more ideas to help out for next year? Check out this end of the year blog post.