The end of the school year is near and you and your students are feeling the excitement of summer break. You’ve almost made it! But not so fast, teacher friend. Before you head out for a summer of relaxation and rejuvenation, check out these tips for planning ahead for next school year.
I know…you may not even want to think about it yet, but I promise, these tips will make your life so much easier when you head back to school next year.
Plus, you can do a lot of prepping for the year over the summer on your own time. AKA, in your PJ’s while sipping coffee and watching your favorite Netflix show. 🙂
Tip #1: Use a Pacing Guide
The first tip for planning ahead for next school year is to look at your grade level pacing guide. Look to see which skills you’ll need to cover in the first few weeks and months back to school.
A pacing guide serves as your go-to reference when planning your units, themes, and lessons throughout the year.
While you definitely don’t need to start planning your lessons right now, it’s helpful to see which skills you’ll be working on right away. Therefore, you can print and prep materials over the summer.
It’s also helpful to see the entire year at a glance so you can prep materials in bulk, such as yearlong centers, morning tub activities, etc.
By knowing exactly what key skills you’ll be teaching throughout the year, you can also be on the lookout for teacher professional development opportunities or Facebook groups to join over the summer.
You can grab this Kindergarten Pacing Guide Freebie by filling out the form at the bottom of this blog post.
Tip #2: Take a Classroom Inventory
Taking an inventory of what you currently have in your classroom is helpful when planning ahead for next school year. Your school might even require this as part of your teacher checkout process at the end of the school year.
By going through your classroom and taking inventory, you also prevent yourself from holding onto items that you haven’t used in awhile.
You can even have your students help you do this during the last week of school. They can help you organize manipulatives and supplies (while practicing teamwork and sorting skills…yay!) They’ll feel so good knowing they’re helping prepare your classroom for the next group of students.
Make a pile of items you want to get rid of or donate to another teacher (first year teachers are always appreciative).
Then, go through your files of centers and worksheets that you printed and see what is left over or reusable. Put these items in a pile to use next year. Finally, look at what you have and make a list of what you still need to purchase and prep.
Don’t forget to take inventory of what’s in your teacher space. Need to clean out your desk and replace pictures in your picture frames? Do you have a stack of random books and papers lying around?
By getting organized now, you can come back to school after the summer feeling lighter and more prepared.
Tip #3: Plan Ahead with Bundles
Bundles are your best friend when planning ahead for next school year. By purchasing and prepping bundles that will get you through the first months of school or even the entire year, you’ll take a lot of time, work, and stress off of your plate when the school year rolls around.
Reference your handy pacing guide and look through your pile of resources you’re saving for next year. Then, determine what you have and what gaps you need to fill in your curriculum. Think about strategies or units you want to implement with your students. Do you want to use morning tubs, seasonal centers, etc?
Once you have your wishlist of items you need and want to implement, treat yourself to some teacher retail therapy and shop for bundles.
Not only do bundles save you money, but they also provide consistent activities for your students and allow you to prep ahead of time. Imagine having skill-based, seasonal, and yearlong activities ready to go before the school year even starts!
Tip #4: Print and Laminate Early
Finally, to make planning ahead for next school year effective, take advantage of the slow copy room traffic at the end of the year. Print and laminate your materials before you head home for the summer.
Most teachers aren’t using the copy room during the last week of school, but you know how crazy it can get in there come back to school time.
I know summer is calling you, but stay disciplined and hang on for just a bit longer. Go print and laminate all of the resources you want to prep over the summer. You don’t need to cut or organize them just yet. Just print and laminate and put them in a box to take home.
While you’re enjoying your slow mornings or afternoon quiet time, you can cut and organize your materials into labeled file folders or large zipper baggies without rushing around.
I think it’s actually kind of therapeutic sitting down to cut perfectly laminated centers and resources. It’s one of those mindless activities that you can do while catching up on a show or listening to a great teacher podcast.
I hope these tips for planning ahead for next school year help you get organized, feel confident, and minimize stress as you look to the new school year. By implementing these tips, you can focus your time on your students and planning amazing lessons when you get back from summer break.
Want a copy of the Kindergarten Pacing Guide freebie? Simply fill out the form below and get it delivered right to your inbox!