This always happens, I am not even finished with the school year and I am already thinking about next year. Do you do that? I always try to do a few things to get prepped and/or planned to make my life a little less hectic come August.
Reflect on the Year
I always try to think back through my year and ask myself, “What went well and what would I change?” I know each group of kids is different and can change the dynamics of a class, but I still try to think about this. Here are some of my major questions,
- Did I like my year plan?
- Did I like my daily schedule?
- Was there something that I did not get to that I wished I had gotten to?
- Was there something that I could skip over or spend less time on next year?
- What projects worked (we are a project-based learning school)?
I have a reflection sheet I made. Writing down my thoughts always helps me. Feel free to grab a copy below.
In August, I always go a little bananas with school supplies. I always stock up on things because they are a good price. I ask for many supplies to be donated, but somethings I just buy myself. Well, this year, I am taking inventory of my leftover supplies. I always try to buy a few extra in case I get new students, but I am really going to try and buy just what I need!
I make copies of the tried and true first week activities ahead of time. That way when there is a traffic jam at the copy machines in August, I am not in a panic.
Pull of First Week Books
I don’t know about you, but when I return in August my classroom is never organized in the same way that I left it in June. I think the cleaning crew likes to play tricks on me and hide things I want for the first week of school. So I have learned to pull out my first week books and favorite activities and put them in a special place (usually my garage).
I always have something in mind that I would like to try new for next year; a new strategy, management tool, unit of study, project, etc? This kind ties in with the reflection piece, but once I decide on what the new thing is I need to prepare for that. Do I need to buy a book to help with my research? Is there a video I can put on my “to watch” list? I always have one or two “teacher” books that I try to read over the summer. Here are two on my list for this summer.
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There you have it! Have you already started to think about the next school year? What do you do to prepare ahead of time?