Thursday, June 6, 2013

Preparing for the First Day of School

I love to-do lists.  They make me sane even though I will probably do only half of the to-do's.  I will take the summer to map out my classroom and how I want those first few days to go so that I'm prepared when the whirlwind of in-service meetings begin and then you are left with a day and a half to get your classroom ready.  Maybe some of these ideas will inspire.

Pocket Chart Ideas:

Calendar
Helpers
Daily Graph
Story/Poem of the Week
Mountain Language/Math
Attendance
Centers
Weekly Spelling/Sight Words list

Sticker Chart Uses:

Weekly Behavior
Homework
Accelerated Math/Reading
Book Club

Displays/Posters:

Math Vocabulary (with pictures/examples)
Science/Social Studies Theme with Literature
Quality Work Examples
Themes/Units (per grading period)
Writing Examples/Themes
Student of the Month
Birthdays
Holidays
Important/Current Events

Preparing for the 1st Week of School:

Script
Getting to Know You Activities
Transitions
Procedures
Ice Breakers
Team Building Games
Practice, Practice, Practice!

To Create Before School Starts:

Center Labels
Name Tags for Centers, Word Wall, Jobs, Graphs, Attendance
Pet Record for Feeding, Cleaning, Take-Home
School Supply Reminder Letter, Record, and Labels
Sight Word Check List, Flash Cards, Activities
Student Folders, Portfolio Check List, Observation Records
Parent Communication Binder, Print-Outs, Contact Info
Data Binder, Scores, Small Groups, Check Lists

The hardest part for me is coming up with a theme for my classroom each year.  I've done jungle (Where the Wild Things Are) and Space (Doig's Discoverers) most recently.  I made a little brainstorming list of possible classroom themes for next school year:
Dinos
Dolphins
Dragons
Deep Sea
Divers
Daring -
Dancing -
Dreamers
Darting -

Or I can use a familiar book series/character as a theme:
How Do Dinosaurs...?
Amelia Bedelia
Curious George 
Where the Wild Things Are
Clifford

As the year progresses, don't forget to take pictures!  Take a picture of each student for BOY, MOY, EOY, photos for a monthly newsletter activities, name tags, etc.

Your ideas, input, comments are welcome and much needed!  Please let me know what your first day of school must-haves/traditions/preparations are.

As the summer progresses, I will add to this list and hopefully include documents, pictures, and links that may be helpful.


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