I cannot believe I just wrote that. “Back to School” is one of those frightening phrases teachers start to hear mid-July signaling school is just around the corner! I know many of us have been busy collecting things we want to try with our students in the fall. I know I’ve already purchased my bulletin board materials and decorations. (I decided to go with a Disney Mickey theme this year.) I’m excited to be a part of a Collaborative Teacher Project in the fall focusing on Math interventions for students with special needs. I’m hoping to share my new found “tools” with all of you soon!
Getting Ready for Back to School
I wanted to tell you about some of the things I do in preparation for a new school year that you can do too! I know it can be an overwhelming time for both teachers and students. It can also be an exciting time of making a fresh start!
1. One way you can get free “stuff” for your students is to write the professional sports teams of your state and request incentives. I do this each year and have been overwhelmed with the response! I’ve received pencils and stickers from both the Chicago White Sox and Chicago Cubs! I’ve even received a personal hand written note from Cubs Management along with headphones and stuffed animals. I’m hoping this year to write to the Chicago Bulls and of course our Stanley Cup Winners-The Chicago Blackhawks! These incentives are fun to pass out to students who have gone above and beyond in their efforts! Perhaps they could earn them by completing a certain number of tasks, reading a certain number of books, or writing in their journals….Free stuff is always great!!!!
2. Take pictures of all of the books your child has read this year and make a poster! Children love to see their accomplishments add up and this is a great way to display all of their hard work over the summer! Maybe you joined the Barnes and Noble Book Club over the summer or did your local library’s Summer Reading Program. You can even take a picture of your child holding their digital book on their Kindle or iPad.
3. Now is the time to get ready for the schedule! Make a picture schedule using Board maker to help your child anticipate their day. This will help with your expectations as well as their anxiety. It is also a great way to get the morning routine down before school starts. Incorporate chores, breaks, etc. to break up the “work.” Use the Board maker program to print out pictures of tasks. Laminate them and use Velcro to create a schedule where students “tear off” the task when completed. For my students with Autism, this is a must. They are able to see their day and anticipate what is coming up next, along with the satisfaction of knowing they completed a task and are done with it for the day.
4. Start gathering the materials you will need. I know I’ve been school supply shopping for both of us! Grab extras for January when your supplies have dwindled down and new crayons are like gold! I’ve seen pretty good deals already and it’s not even August! Break up your trips so your wallet doesn’t take such a hard hit!
Check out our Back to School Pinterest for some more fun ideas and for my homeschooling parents check out How to Get Back Into the Homeschooling Routine!
Only a few more weeks of Summer before School takes over. Prepare now so you are ready! Enjoy the last weeks of fun and relaxation!