Sunday, August 4, 2013

Back to School Blog Hop

Are you ready to go back to school? Already there? If you need a little pick me up you have come to the right place! I and 11 other amazing 3rd and 4th grade bloggers have teamed up to offer you some amazing tips, freebies, and a chance to win a giveaway!
First of all: If you hopped to me from Teresa, WELCOME! I am glad to have you here. Second: If you are like me and like to follow the hop in order, click the image above and it will take you to Christi's blog to start from the beginning.

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.

Now onto the freebie. I have decided that my making words activity is going to be free this week. But ONLY for blog hoppers/readers. In order to get the freebie, click either of the images below and it will take you to the product on dropbox. Don't wait because after this week it will be gone!

Want more tips and freebies? Follow the hop to Cynthia by clicking the button below!


  1. My students love making word activities...thank you for this fun set!

    I am so glad we don't have to deal with supplies on the first day. We hand out lists then and I give my students a week or so to bring things in. Seems to work fine since there is not that massive influx!

  2. Thank you so much for these~ a back to school and every holiday making word activities! Love it!

  3. This was such a generous freebie! Thank you so much!

  4. Thanks for the ideas on supplies and how you handle who brought in what. I may have to give that idea a try! The freebie is great and will be perfect for those first few days back at school when I need time to sort through all those supplies!
    Polka Dot Lesson Plans

  5. Thank you so much! I agree with your tip to over plan and over prepare! I never thought to make several copies of my class list, though. It's now on my to-do list!

    Teaching Special Kids

  6. Thank you so much for the freebie! I also love your tip about the supplies!


  7. I had to laugh about the first day(s) supply craziness. I teach first and all my kids want to do on the first day is show/give me their stuff! :) We take the time to get it all organized. Most of my supplies are shared also since I use large tables and not individual desks. My kiddos are a little young for your MW freebie but we begin Making Words during the year in first grade and they love it! :)


  8. Thank you for the Freebie!! It will be great to use. I didn't mind supplies last year. I had bins with each supply labeled with both a picture and words for my Firties last year. I had the stragglers go ahead and sort their items in the bins and called the other students a few at a time. We were done in no time and all I had to do was put the lid on the bins and stack them!! I loved it. (I used my old Saxon bins so the tower had wheels so that I could move it around)

  9. Thank you for the freebie! The back to school one seems like a perfect thing to have kiddos working on while you help them organize supplies!

    A Place to Thrive

  10. Such GREAT advice about being OVERprepared! It's a must for me for a good first week with my students! Also, I'm glad I found your blog; I look forward to being a follower! ~Deb
    Crafting Connections

  11. Gina -

    These are FABULOUS!! My kids will love doing them!

    Third Grade Bookworm


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