We’ve come to the last “thing” on our list and I suspect for many of you, it’s the largest one. And I suspect you might consider it the most important of all the things to do. It’s prepping for the next school year! Depending on when you are reading this, use this list for prepping for the next year or re-organizing for the current year.
Many teachers spend their summers prepping for the new year and I’m no exception. It makes it especially difficult as I do not have a classroom assigned to me for the fall. As of today, I’m still applying for classrooms and this round closes the following week. If I don’t receive a phone call or email by June5th, I’ll have to wait until mid-August to apply again for a classroom. Currently I am in a grade one class and more than likely I will have either a grade one or grade one/two split. I’m comfortable with both but prefer the straight grade.
So I’m going to plan that way. There are 5 items to consider for prepping for the new year, that aren’t about your classroom arrangement or decor.
Prepping: Course Overviews
What I like to do is grab a 11x17 sheet, make a grid and create a tentative ‘year at a glance’. This is not where you write details. This is just a brain dump of what units you would like to teach, field trips to go on, themes to cover, etc. Here is a sample of the previous year.
This is a draft of last year’s course overview. As I changed schools mid-year I stopped using it.
Prepping: Unit Plans
Based on the themes or units I would like to teach, now I’m going to look at my files to see what currently exists. If you are teaching the same grade next year as this year, this should be easy. Most of my units are in binders so I go through as many as I can to make sure I have them prepped for next year. I like to have at the beginning of the unit, a unit overview, books to get out of the library, possible guest speakers, field trips to support the unit. If you are new to teaching, check out this blog post on unit plans vs lesson plans.
Prepping for the Next School Year: Get Your Assessment Tools Ready
I often struggle with this one. I have had so many over the years, I still do not have one I’m happy with. Depending on your grade, you will need: pre-assessments, rubrics summaries, end of term assessments, etc. I do have some of these already in place, but I need to organize them better.
Books, Books, Books
Keep a tentative list of books you want to cover. I’ve been so impressed with the teachers who are posting their 100 read alouds in a year on colourful bulletin boards.
Isn’t this fabulous? I would have loved to seen how this would have appeared by the end of the school year. Source: https://www.instagram.com/miss_schwartz_class_adventures/
Here’s a partial of another. These are printed onto digital post-its and the mini clothes peg is glue to a thumb-tack. Very clever! Source: https://www.instagram.com/p/B91h7sVh1FT/
This is a goal for me. But in order for this not to be a burden halfway through the year, I want to start creating to squares of book photos to hang on the bulletin board. How will you itemize the books you want to read to the class this coming year?
Create a Master To-Do List
Most teachers do this first, but I tend to do it as I’m working on the other four. Either use your planner, a large sheet of paper or create something in Google Drive/keep and make labels for all the things you will need to purchase, need to create, need to do, in order to be ready for the first day of school. I’m not going to lie to you, this list can get COLOSSIAL! But putting everything into categories will help it look more organized.
That’s it! Don’t be overwhelmed by this. Remember the “how do you eat an elephant?” approach. You can do this and don’t be afraid to ask for help. We’re all in this together!