4 Back to School Tips to ROCK the EL Education Curriculum

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Back to school season is upon us! (Those Target school supplies shelves get me every time! They need to come with a warning label because I’m not ever emotionally prepared to see them!) Today I’m sharing a few back to school tips with you to help you get started on the right foot!

One of my teammates used to always say the beginning of the school year is like childbirth–so painful you never want to do it again, but then you forget long enough to actually go through with it again (well, that’s the PG version of what she’d say 🀣).

I feel like that is so true, especially for kindergarten. Forget about new outfits and school supplies–achy feet; wild hair; stains on my shirt that I don’t know where they came from; 1,000 cups of coffee a day; and random magnetic letters in my pockets all signal that back-to-school feeling for me.

So many people don’t understand how wild and chaotic those first few weeks of kindergarten are. I remember one year I had a class that needed so much explicit instruction on behavior and classroom procedures, that I had to make anchor charts for things in the classroom we could not eat, lick, chew, or put in our mouths. On that list included things like the wall, glue sticks, shoe laces (your own or anyone else’s), mulch from the playground, and our neighbor’s hair. πŸ˜¬πŸ˜΅β€πŸ’«

We spent nearly 2 weeks reviewing it every day before it finally stuck. It wasn’t even September yet, but I was EXHAUSTED. Ironically, that class was one of the hardest for me to watch leave at the end of the year, and 8 years later I’m still in touch with so many of them and their families. 🩡

So, if you’re new to kinder this year or a brand new teacher altogether–it does get better! Those first few weeks can be painful. But, by Halloween you’ll be finding your groove and have established routines. By Christmas, you’ll have gotten to know them really, really well (and probably have heard alllllllll the things about their parents that they would be mortified to know that you know 🀣). By May, you’ll have a little classroom family and be so sad to see them go, but also bursting with pride at how much growth they’ve achieved.

On that note, today I wanted to share with you a collection of back to school tips and resources.Β If you read nothing else today, I highly recommend at least skimming through one of the blog posts below for freebies.

βœ… BACK TO SCHOOL TIP #1:Β If you haven’t joined the Facebook group yet,Β there’s a pinned post for you to share your classroom wishlist.

Β I’m going to be buying items from a few each month for the entire year! (Some of you may have already started receiving some. πŸ˜‰)

I’ve also been sharing some sneak peeks of upcoming products in the group too if you’re interested in checking those out!

βœ… BACK TO SCHOOL TIP #2: If you didn’t catch my easy peasy 1st day of school supply hack to save you from sorting piles and piles of supplies, here it is:

back to school tips EL education

πŸ‘‰ Before the first day of school, I pulled out my plastic storage totes, filing crates, cardboard boxes…basically whatever I was using to store supplies in my cabinets from the previous year and set them all out in a row on the floor.

πŸ‘‰ I’d stick a Post-It on each one, labeled with the specific supplies I wanted to be put inside. Be as specific as possible since parents may not know your systems! Instead of “writing supplies” or “craft supplies,” if I had multiple types of supplies to put in a single bin, I would put a Post-It for each supply on there, like “pencils,” “crayons,” “erasers,” etc. that way it was super obvious for anyone who was walking into my classroom.

πŸ‘‰ Then, when parents dropped off their kiddos and had 100 Walmart/Target bags in hand, I’d show them the supply area and they would put them in the correct tote for me.

πŸ‘‰ At the end of the day or whenever I had a free moment, I would stick the bins back into my storage cabinet, ready for whenever we needed those supplies! BAM! Easy peasy back to school tip organization!

βœ… BACK TO SCHOOL TIP #3: Sorry, Tennessee teachers/residents only for this one. 😫 Yo​u can help your K-2 students get free at-home reading kits here.​​

βœ… BACK TO SCHOOL TIP #4: Check out some of these helpful blog posts and freebies to make sure you’re first day ready:


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