5 Easy Back to School Classroom Prep Ideas


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Back to school classroom prep and set up can be hectic and time consuming. It doesn’t matter if you have taught 20 years or 2 years, we all struggle to stay organized and focused with the millions of tasks we need to complete.  Preschool and kindergarten teachers not only have recreate their rooms each year, they have to have them up and running prior to the school year starting due to open house and orientation.  This can leave teachers frazzled and overwhelmed.  However, there are things that you can do now that are simple and won’t interfere with your already crazy schedule.

The items below are a quick outline. Check back over the next few weeks to learn more tips and tricks to no fuss classroom set up!


1.  Laminate Nameplates and Cut-outs you Plan to use the Following Year.
 

After teaching 8 years in a district based 4K, I have learned that if you don’t start classroom prep before the school year begins, your classroom set up could take hours.  When my kids go to sleep at home, I would designate an hour to prep. Most tags and materials should last for the year therefore make sure to have nameplates, name tags and bus labels laminated before the school year begins. Some teachers prefer to laminate at home using their machine because the district laminating sheets are super thin.  

finally, when class lists are posted in August, I label everything using a permanent marker and the great thing about that is that I can reuse the tags by wiping the names of with nail polish remover.

2. Prepare Back to School Folders

Part of our program hours we have a preschool orientation and open house.  At the open house each family gets a folder for their child to use throughout the school year.   Many teachers use Facebook groups and emails to inform parents, but I also feel they need to have a hard copy of important events throughout the year. I have been know as a parent to delete important emails which is why I love having the folder of information to refer back to. Once you find something that works you can change dates as needed.

What I include in the folder:  

Welcome to Preschool (Overview of the Year with contact Info)

Preschool Schedule

Contact Information (a personal one for myself)

Bus Rider/First Week of School Label

Meet the Teacher Letter

Newsletter Sample

Media Release Form

School Background check

Volunteer Form

Business Card

 Make sure that each page is a certain color.  That way when I discuss the pages at orientation I can refer to the color in case they are out of order.  District forms that change each year. These pages can also be edited for kindergarten. Try to have the folders stuffed before the parent orientation so I can explain each page. Get the Forms {HERE}

3.  Classroom Prep: Week by Week Calendar

Items that are used on a daily basis like the calendar, alphabet, weather chart and job charts receive a lot of wear and tear throughout the year.  If there is damage to the items I will reprint and laminate or replace.  Place the items in a tub labeled “calendar,” which I can easily find at the beginning of the year.   The calendar is the focal point of the classroom and can be very time consuming to set up, so having all of the pieces fresh and ready to go will help with set up time.  


4.  Classroom Behavior and Routine Charts

One of my behavior management tools that I use is a play center rotation chart.  This board takes a lot of wear and tear throughout the year, therefore to save time my assistant or myself update this activity during our last few days of school by replacing the ripped library and center cards.  Store this board in a poster box and it is easy to pull out and have attached to the wall prior to orientation.  

5.  Arrival Routine and Folder Box

Another activity that I like to prepare ahead of time is our arrival board and folder label.  Each day the boys and girls place their owl on the board and their folder in the folder box before heading to the carpet.  Get a copy of the folder label and “Who’s here today? sign (here) for FREE. 

    Most of the items that I like to have prepped and ready are things that will make the room presentable for open house/orientation because having these items prepped give parents and children an idea of how our daily routines work. During orientation I like to make reference to these important routines..

The summer is a precious time to myself and family and I want to spend as much time at home as I can prior to returning, so the more prepared I am the less time I have to spend in my hot classroom:)        

Make your back to school classroom prep a breeze with a little planning!

Check back over the next few week for more back to school prep and classroom set up tips and freebies!

Check out some of our Back to School Posts:

Play Centers Rotation Board

Back to School Centers

Back to School Kindergarten

Back to School Sight Words

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