Plan ahead: End the year ready for next year

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After teaching for more than 10 years now, I am starting to cherish my summers even more. When I first began teaching, I would LIVE at school during the summer. As soon as my room was waxed and ready, I would be back moving around furniture, putting things back out, and prepping for the next school year.

End the year ready for next year with these quick tips.

NO MORE!

It’s time that we begin to cherish our summers. YOU can spend less time in your classroom during the summer and still be just as prepared. How is this even possible you ask? The month before school ends, began what you would normally do during the summer. This can be cleaning your closets, rearranging your cabinets, moving furniture, changing decor, and so on. Choose one task to do a week.

Cleaning your closets

My closets are the WORST right now. I’ve just been shoving things in during the school year. Then, I wait until the summer hits to finally tackle this. Spend one week cleaning out all of your closets and cabinets. You can get it done. You can even label and organize your cabinet. If you need some labels for your monthly items, I’ve got you covered. You can grab these free month labels.

Organize your classroom by monthly themes with these free monthly labels. What's even better it that they have a blank editable template included. Get organized now.

Rearrange and plan out your furniture

The last few weeks of school, I play around with different places for larger furniture. If you have any bookcases that are low and long, these are perfect to making sections in your classroom. I had one long bookcase that housed all of my math manipulatives. This piece was already great to section off an area for a rug and pillows behind it. It was low enough that the students could reach of it. Another option is to push similar pieces together to create a longer piece. I eventually moved these two bookshelves together and away from the wall to create a little nook behind it. Of course, it was where I could also see behind it from my table.

Classroom organization can start at the end of the year before the year one. Prep your new year as you prepare to close on a school year. It's the best thing I've ever done.

Photograph/video your entire classroom to shop with

This really shouldn’t count as a week task since it can be done in a few minutes. I like to take a video of my classroom after I’ve moved my furniture around. I also talk to myself in the video about potential placements of things on the wall. This is just in case I forget where I put my furniture when the janitors place all of my things back. I LOVE moving my classroom around each year because it keeps it fresh for me.

Taking pictures of my classroom or taking a video has been a game changer in the summer. When I’m out shopping and wondering if something I want to buy fits in with my color scheme or is the right size for a wall, I can easily check my pictures and video for reference.

Plan early and copies for the beginning of school

I started doing this a few years ago and it was THE SINGLE BEST thing I could do for my future self. Please! Do it for yourself. I do simple things that I know I’ll need. When I used to use morning work, I would copy things that I used for the entire year. I copy parent notes that won’t change. You know those same things that you send home every single year? Yep. I go ahead and have these copied. This should be done so when you do return, you’ll be able to focus on all of those “Oh I didn’t expect to do this” list of things that will come. You’ll have extra time and won’t have to waste time right before school making copies of things like your Meet the Teacher page, Notes from You about the school year and so on.

Prep binders/journals at home

Right before the year is over, I clean out a crate that we use for our binders. My kids usually stop bringing these towards the end, so it’s perfect to snag one. I start putting copies of things that I will make books out of. In the past, I’ve created calendar journals/notebooks, data binders, social skills journals and things of that nature. I copy all of these and they’re something that I can do during the summer when I feel the need to do something related to school. This will help urge the itch to go in my classroom. I’ll have everything in the crate that I can make into a notebook or journal.

I use the Proclick to make pages into books. These are perfect if you do calendar notebooks. You can check out more details for the Proclick here. I love these more than the coil binders because my kids have a hard time opening these. With the coil, they can just unwind and it and then no notebook.

I use it for my kids morning journals, social skills journal, math journals and more. My favorite thing is that at the end of the year, I reuse the spines. I open them, take all of the papers out, staple them and send them home. Yes, I’m that cheap, but it’s smart to do. You can check out our calendar binder here. I stopped using the bulky binders and went with the Proclick notebook way instead. They are much easier to store this way.

I have you covered for your return to school as well. Check out my post about the First 30 Days of Kindergarten and grab your checklist.

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