Back to School Classroom set up can take a lot of time! We all want our classroom to look warm and inviting but, we also need time to create quality lessons. Check out some helpful tips to make calendar set up quick and painless!
Back to school has always been an exciting time for me. I love shopping, so all of the back to school school supplies, clothes and teaching items were right up my ally.
During my first 7 years of teaching I would pick a new theme and completely makeover my room. What started out as excitement and enthusiasm always ended in a hurried and exhausted fashion, leaving me already burned out and more unorganized by the time school started. I envied my high school teacher friends that hung up one poster next to their desk and quickly moved on to writing up lesson plans.
Fast forward a few years and two kids, I came to the realization that I no longer had a week to set up my classroom. It was more like a day. This was frustrating to me, because I wanted my room to be cute and inviting, but I didn’t have time. So I came up with a simple plan that would help me create a beautiful calendar area that I would be proud to display every year.
If your school is like mine, you have one day to get into your classroom either before, during or after professional development. That doesn’t leave a lot of time for set up. In this post we will just focus on the calendar area. I am breaking it up into two categories. 1. Things to Prep Prior to Set Time and 2. Classroom Set up.
Things to Prep or Purchase Prior to Set Up
Below are pictures of items that I purchased prior to school starting. I purchased these items ahead of time because they always arrived late if they were ordered by the school. It was important for me to have the classroom set up prior to open house. I also wanted them laminated so the materials would last more than one year. I adore the Carson Dellosa woodland theme, because it was appropriate for my preschool or kindergarten classroom and would work for the entire year.
*I included the affiliate picks below for your convenience. However, you can choose the theme that works for you! You can also find these items at Lakeshore Learning and Craft Stores.
- First, laminate the calendar for durability.
- Next, tape the library cards to the calendar to represent the days of the week. You may want to laminate these as well.
- Next, cut the sticks to fit in the library pockets and add number stickers
- Finally, laminate other materials you want to include in the area
I also like to include a skill of the day activity. In the beginning of the year I start with Shape of the Day or Color of the Day. Throughout the year this will change as the boys and girls needs and levels change (Name of the Day, Letter of the Day). I love that the Skill of the Day activities have an interactive component to them. My kids looked forward to this each day.
Classroom Set Up
Now that your prep is done, you can enter the classroom ready and focused to work. In our previous post Setting up Your Calendar Area for Success we look at calendar placement in your classroom and how to incorporate it into your morning routine.
To save time and prevent errors, set up your calendar area on the floor below your area to begin. My pet peeve is stapling things to the board and then spending time moving everything around after I find out there is no room left.
After you have determined placement of the materials, measure out how much paper you will need to staple to the board. Fabric is an option as well. I always leave a little extra paper, just in case I decide to add something last minute.
Next staple up your boarder. I am really particular about the corners:)
Finally, add the calendar and other materials to the board.
This process should be pretty quick. You have more to do, but having this important focal point done will free you up to finish other important back to school prep.
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 Skill of the Day Posts: