Monday, August 1, 2016

Summer Tips and Tricks ~ Part 3

Back to school is looming!  Some schools have already started, and some don't start until after labor day, but I go back to work on August 11th, and kids come on the 17th.  In the final stretch of summer there a a few things I have found make that transition back to the routine of school much smoother.  This is the final post of my three part series, so if you missed the first two, be sure to scroll down and check them out.


So I know you've heard it before, but I can't tell you how much less stressful those first weeks of school are if your kids aren't all groggy and cranky in the mornings. It also helps if you aren't groggy and cranky. ☻ I move bedtimes 15 minutes earlier each week for the two weeks before school starts.  It doesn't seem like much, but I have learned that it makes the kids (and myself) so much happier, and mornings are more peaceful.  This makes for a much calmer, more patient teacher during those first few weeks when you are training many little people in your classroom.


It's tempting to jump right into curriculum, and many of us have no choice as we need to follow district mandated pacing maps, but the most important thing to teach the first few weeks is procedures.  And I mean for EVERYTHING!! 

You will save hundreds of hours of instructional time over the school year if your students can line up, transition between seating locations, or get out materials quickly and efficiently.  Your time at the beginning of the year will more than pay for itself as the year progresses.  I am often asked by my colleagues how I fit it all in, and have time for signing, art, and other fun stuff.  My secret is fast transitions.  I love to make it a game with my kids and use timers or a stopwatch to see how fast we can do it.  If the twenty transitions during my day take only 1 minute instead of 2 or more, I have saved 20 minutes that I can use for something fun.

There are lots of "lists of procedures to teach" out there.  One of my favorites is a free product from Rachel Lynette. You'll find it here.  I LOVE her stuff and if you haven't checked out her TPT store and blog, you should.

Thanks for reading!  A classroom tour is coming soon.

Enjoy! ~ Lara