Sunday, August 6, 2017

FIVE Back to School Tips

Hey Guys!
With back to school at the forefront of my mind I thought I would share some things I have learned over the years. Now don't get me wrong. I am NOT a veteran teacher by any means. I am going into my fifth year, but with a staff of mostly new teachers, I am leaned upon {happily} quite a bit!

1. Think about your procedures, a lot.
No one ever told me this in college, and I student taught with an amazing teacher, but in third grade. I never thought that I would have to teach my students how to get a pencil, or how to wash their hands. Here are some basic procedures you will want to think about, and then model, and practice with your students:
-bathroom breaks outside of class bathroom breaks
-how to turn things in
-how to get a new pencil
-using the drinking fountain
-class restroom break procedures
-walking to the carpet/meeting space
-behavior at meeting space
-how to line up
-attendance
-lunch count
-passing things out
-attention grabbers
-how to throw tissues away
Obviously this is not an all inclusive list, but it is a good place to start. Once you know what you want to do, practice, practice, and practice again. And if it doesn't work how you thought it would, it's ok! Change it and try again.


2. Plan more read alouds than you thought you would need. They are seriously a life saver, and give your kids, and you, a well deserved break. Did they get through something really quickly? Great, read a book. Did they doze off during your lesson? Great, read a book. Do they seem bored out of their minds? Great, read a book. Do you have ten extra minutes? Great, read a book. Read alouds give the kids so many opportunities to practice procedures as well. Walking to the meeting space, practicing sitting on the carpet {NOT touching anyone!}, walking back to their seats, responding to questions, raising their hands, and stamina to sit for that amount of time. Plus, read alouds usually have great lessons in them. Here are some great back to school read alouds:
-Chrysanthemum
-Wemberly Worried
-First Day Jitters
-The Night Before First Grade
-If You Take a Mouse to School
-No David
-Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon
-Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun
-How Full is Your Bucket?
Once again, this is not an all inclusive list, but a great place to start!

3. Now, by no means am I a big craft person. Cutting, gluing, pasting, scraps, it's just not my jam. And not to mention, copies. Ugh. BUT, during the first weeks of school, craftivities are invaluable. Students are practicing following directions, cutting, gluing, pasting, where to throw scraps {not on the floor}, making connections with stories, and the list goes on. There are a TON of great resources on TpT for craftivities, just search for the book you want to connect it with! Some of my favorite craftivities for back to school are No David, and Wemberly Worried.


4. Have some teacher treats around. I don't know about you, but a piece of chocolate at 1:30 can really give me some motivation to get through the day. Those first weeks are tough! You are trying to establish a routine with not only your students, but as a professional and a spouse/parent/furparent/whateverelsetheworldneedsyoutobe. I have been off for 10 weeks and have basically no routine, it is tough for me to get back into it, and I am an adult. Imagine how our students are feeling. Many late nights, movies, video games, bon fires, etc. The list goes on on why summer is a blast, but we all have got to get back into a routine. So if a piece of chocolate, or an iced coffee gets me through the afternoon, then so be it. Just be sure you have something that you love and look forward to. That way even if you want to cry on the inside you will have a smile on the outside.

5. Seriously. Go home. Leave your computer at school. Don't take anything. You cannot pour from an empty cup. I have been there. I know what it feels like to drown. But! I made myself drown. Nothing has to be perfect, or just so. They are children. They do not care. They are worried about other things, like pulling the large booger out of their nose, or what they are going to play at recess. They won't know if the anchor chart isn't from Pinterest or if the graphic organizer is perfectly centered. Or if your classroom looks like the one from that teacher who has been teaching from umpteen years. They do not care. They care that you are kind, warm hearted, and cheery in the morning. You know how you are when you are stressed and don't sleep enough. Make the list, make a goal to cross a couple off of it in the morning, or before you leave. Then, go home, pour the glass of wine (or tea, or water, or whatever), watch some Netflix, and go to bed. Come back in the morning well rested and ready to take on the day. 

And that's it folks. Those are my five tips that I have learned over the past fews years, and will strive to achieve this year! What are your tips??




**All clipart was purchased and created by Melonheadz and Educlips