Now onto my tip. It took me some time to come up with just one thing to share with you. I am no pro when it comes to back to school by any means. In fact, this is the first year since 2010 that I have been AT school the first full week. But back to my tip...
Be OVER organized and OVER planned. The first day is very chaotic. Always. It doesn't matter how many years you have been teaching. By the end of day one, we are all ready to crash. Let's start with being over organized. Have everything ready for the entire week. There won't be time for you to run and make copies, find the materials, or plan a last minute idea. This also goes with being overplanned. The kids will want to know how this class will run. If you leave downtime- they will talk. You do not want this the first week! Keep them busy. Other things I do to make sure NOTHING goes wrong (even though something small will): I have 5 copies of my class list ready to go. One will hang on my door and the other 4 will be used for various things. One will keep track of how kids get home regularly AND how they will be getting home the first day of school. Another will be to hand out to other teachers as needed (support teachers, etc). I also have 3 copies of my dismissal roster.
But the one BIG thing that I do to help stay organized and less chaotic has to do with my school supplies. And here is how I handle the doom that could come from supplies.
1. Put each child's name on an index card and place them around the room. (I have used large paper bags before so students could just place their supplies in there, but some kid bring them in crates, bins, etc. so this works better for me.) Students will place ALL of their supplies by their name before finding their desk.
2. Each group will have the necessities until supplies are sorted and taken care of. Pencils, colored pencils, scissors. All at the groups.
3. I made a copy of the supply list for each child. I go through each child's supplies one student at a time. As I go through the bags, I mark off what each child brings. This way I can send home notes later in the week or the following week remind parents what is still needed.
4. I use class supplies for most things, so I have preplanned WHERE each and every supply will be stored so that when I am ready to put things away, I don't have to stop and think.
I promise you those 4 things save me SO MUCH stress. I know I can't be the only one who has supply stress.
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