Monday, September 12, 2016

Back in the Swing of Things!

Hi There!  Back to School season has me so frazzled these days.  Between being a wife, mom to a 9 month old, unpacking and settling into our new home, and trying to get my kindergarten classroom ready and up and running for my littles, I am one frazzled lady these days!  Anybody else?  I had my first official week (well 4 days with Labor Day) with my kinder kiddos and I am looking forward to a great year!  I am slowly getting back into the swing of things.  

I am so happy to be participating in a blog hop with my Kinderfriends about back to school ideas!  One thing I like to do at the beginning of the year to save time is to prep things for the entire school year.  "What?" you ask!  "Why?" you ask.  I like to do this to help me save time down the road.  It is totally possible to make this happen.  Then, when the time comes to use the materials, you are so thankful you spent the time upfront getting things ready.

My rationale is this: I am already prepping things for the beginning of the year, so why not spend a few more minutes getting the materials ready for the rest of the year.

For example, I need Lost Tooth Necklaces now - at the beginning of the year - when my students lose a tooth.  So, why not make a few more so I have them for the entire year?

Don't they look so cute on?

My students love getting a tooth necklace and wear it with pride.  These can be found here in my TpT store and are currently on sale through Sept. 15th.

Another activity I do with my students is a monthly name writing and drawing assessment called "Here I Am in Kindergarten."  Each month I have the students write their name and draw a self portrait.  I love putting this together for parents at the end of the year.  The growth is so visible and is quite amazing.  This year I am doing it every other month.  We already completed our drawing for the first day of school (so that image is not showing).  Since I had to make that copy, why not make the rest of the copies for the entire school year?

Now, each month when I am ready to do the assessment, I just have to go to my paper tray holder and grab them.  They are already made and I don't have to worry about making copies as I go.  Tip: always make a few extra to account for a new student since we sometimes have revolving classes.  These can be found here by grade level (preschool, TK, K, 1st and 2nd) and are also on sale in my TpT store.  

This year my district adopted Go Math!  It is new to us and we are just learning how to use it.  Our district requires that we give a beginning and end of the year assessment.  At the beginning of the year I have to make copies for my assessment.  So, why not make a whole other set for the end of the year since I am at the copy machine?  As you can see from my post-it, I made a note of how many I made to remind myself at the end of the year.  I'm so glad I did!  I am starting the assessment on Monday.  I had 17 students on my roster for the longest time.  I made 22 copies, but I now have 24 kinder students.  So, I just have to make a few more copies for now, and then at the end of the year and I am done.  I will change the number on my master copy post-it as well!

Other things I do now for the entire year:
*Make all of my letter writing pages for each letter of the alphabet that we use (and I have them in the order we learn them)
*Make my number pages 0-20 that I will use
*Write out all of my Birthday Cards for the entire year and keep them in order

There are so many things to do at the beginning of the year, and while prepping for the rest of the year may seem counter intuitive, it really ends up being a time saver!  It takes just a little longer to do, but then it really pays off!

I am having a sale in my TpT store with my lovely #Kinderfriends.  Just search #Kinderfriends and you can see all sorts of back to school items on sale that will make your time back at school off to a good start!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Make sure to hop on over to Cara's blog at Kindergarten Boom Boom to see how she gets back into the swing of things.