Ah yes, it's BACK TO SCHOOL time! I am so happy to be participating in 2 Peas and a Dog's fabulous Back To School Bonanza Blog Hop & Giveaway! I have joined up with all the awesome middle school bloggers below to provide some tips (and freebies!) to cheer up your back to school blues. After reading through the participating blogs, make sure to enter the giveaway at the bottom!
It was difficult to come up with just one back to school tip, so typical me decided to put together a bulleted list of some tricks and tips I have used that have helped me stay organized.
- Create a "Back to School" file to hold all those papers that seem to flood your mailbox during those first two weeks. It's so nice to have schedules, locker combos, attendance procedures, textbook and calculator inventories, and all that other super important back to school stuff at your finger tips so you can grab it quickly when you need it! I created a "teacher binder" for this stuff last year but just abandoned it after a few weeks. I may give it a go again this year.
- Print your seating charts on a bright colored paper! I can't tell you how many times I have set it down, and walked circles around my room sifting through papers trying to find it so I knew who was who. If it's on bright colored paper, it's so much easier to spot!
- Send home a parent info sheet the very first day. Most importantly, ask for email addresses! It's difficult to find time to make phone calls, and unless it's a super major discipline issue, I tend to send emails with concerns or kudos. I also create a parent group email (I BCC so they cant see each other's emails), so I can send announcements of review sessions, upcoming exams, etc. I get A LOT of kids that come to my review sessions because "my mom made me." Heck, I'll take it! :)
- For my last tip, it's FREEBIE TIME! I believe that students need to have some sort of warm-up everyday, even the first day of school. I needed something that was mathy (of course!) and not too complicated so all students could work on the activity while I stood at the doorway to greet students during the first five minutes. I created this Number Challenge where students use the digits 0-9 once only to make each number sentence true. Here's a picture of what it looks like:
I placed them on each desk inside a pocket transparency with a marker and small cloth. It worked PERFECT for a first day warm-up, and I will be using them again this year. Click here to download the Number Challenge Freebie!
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