5 Things to Do at the End of the Year to Make Next Year Rock!

My dear, dear friends, I am here to tell you that we are in the home stretch! Did you think you would make it? More than any other year teaching I had some serious doubts that I was going to survive this one, but here we are! Today's post is all about using the end of year excitement to make sure you are set for a smooth start to next year. 
I know you are tired! I feel ya there, as is evidenced by the fact that this is my first post in about the last month. Things totally got away from me, like they do EVERY April, but I am ready to get my mind clear and get ready for the end of the year! So, here you go, five things I do at the end of every year that are absolute lifesavers for the beginning of the next year!

1. Clean up your files

 If you are anything like me, then your files are looking a less like files and a lot more like piles right about now. Embrace the mess! Instead of tediously filing each and every piece of paper take this time to reflect on what you did with them. If it worked for you and your students, then by all mean file that bad boy away for use another day. If though, it was a little less than awesome, and not something you actually look forward to doing again then recycle it! Don't have any remorse over it either! You are a super teacher, and you don't need anything less awesome than your totally amazing self cluttering up your files! You will find something even better and you will rock it!

2. Go ahead and copy what you can

I don't know about your school, but the line for the copy machine looks pretty much like a Disney ride when we go back, and my friends there are no fast passes here. Even if you work somewhere with a print shop, the amount of time required to get something back now verses in August is insane. Do yourself a big favor and go ahead and take care of the things you know you will need NOW! Personally, I copy my information for parents, a first day packet, many class builders and team builders, and my DRA tests for the fall.
I know that this takes a little bit of planning, and even more time figuring out where you can store the copies so that you don't forget that you already did this at the beginning of the year, but it will pay off in spades!

3. Get excited!

End of the year teacher tired is something that I strongly believe should be filed as an actual medical disease, or at least qualify us for some sort of extended happy hours/relaxation time, and it is really easy to feel down and out about coming back in just a couple short months. BUT give yourself something to look forward to! This might mean planning to do something fun with your class the first week of school, redecorating a part of your classroom, or diving into something new like literature circles or project based learning!
When you give yourself something new to look forward to in the fall I promise that it will put a little extra pep in your step for these last few weeks!

4. If you don't have a use for it, get rid of it!

I am the queen of saving stuff that I think I just might have a use for one day. DON'T DO THIS!!!!!! It will only cause you heartache when you have to either move rooms, pack all your stuff up, or you just see it staring at you from the cabinet when it gets in the way of you trying to find something that is actually useful in that moment.
I have never once regretted getting rid of some sort of little knick-knack or item that I thought I could use in a creative venture, and do you know why? There are always more!
I used to save containers for hands on materials when we go to our measurement unit. I would save them from year to year, which took up a ton of space and really got in the way. Then, I started recycling them after our unit every year and asking the next years students to bring new ones in. They loved hunting their houses for the containers, and I loved not having to store a growing collection!

5. Stock up on some new goodies!

This means it is time to stock up on everything that you want to do at the beginning of next year (or for the rest of this year) in order to have time to go through it, and make it your own! 

If you are looking for a way to keep your students actively engaged in the next few weeks, I would highly recommend this Field Trip Culminating Project! It includes research, math, map skills, and writing tasks. 
Some of my favorites for the beginning of the year are Mentor Sentences that rock for helping students to build their understanding of grammar and mechanics and science quick writes that integrate writing into science so easily that you will want to do them all the time! 
     
Of course if you are looking to set yourself up for success in Texas History next year, you know I've got you covered! The Texas History Notebook Bundle is a great place to start. It is full of activities that will help you and your students organize their learning into their interactive notebooks with fold-ups, sorts, and reflection questions. If task cards are what you like, check out the Texas History Ultimate Task Card Bundle which has 17 sets of task cards all catered to units of study in Texas' History. Finally, the Texas History Ultimate Bundle is full of units of study for all important aspects of Texas History including the notebook bundle, the task card bundle, dice simulations, PowerPoints, and many other activities. It is all you will need for an entire year of Texas History!!!
    
Thank you for stopping by the blog, and finally I would like to offer my sincere appreciation to YOU! To you as a teacher, and a blog reader, and a race fan know that I love you, and you are appreciated! As just a little thank you I have a Rafflecopter giveaway going on to give away a TeachersPayTeachers gift card! Enjoy the rest of your year, and bask in the glory of teacher appreciation this week! 

16 comments:

  1. I print and bind my morning work for the. Extra year into individual bold for all my students!

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  2. I print and bind my morning work for the. Extra year into individual bold for all my students!

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  3. I have a rotating curriculum in science & social studies (a four year cycle), so I check on next year's curriculum in April or May and let my subconscious start planning and watching for ideas.

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  4. Well, this is my first year teaching, so I'm looking for good, easy things to do now to prepare for next year! Hopefully I'll have a full summer to prepare for next year, instead of the 6 days I had this year!!

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  6. I usually purge and organize my closets as well at take a general inventory of what I have. I LOVE the making copies ahead of time idea - I will definitely be doing this since I teach three subjects. Never thought of this before! Any stress we can save at the beginning of the year is so worth it! :-)

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  7. I think the get rid of stuff is the #1 time saver for me!

    Tara
    The Math Maniac

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  8. I do a deeeeeep clean/organization session. It's awful but it always feels so much nicer at the beginning of the year!

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  9. I"m a pack rat so purging is on the top of my list!

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  10. I try to make sure that I get everything back in its place rather than just shoved in a cupboard (which is what I really want to do when I just want to get my summer started). But having everything nice an organized when I get back to my classroom makes me feel so much better.

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  11. My goal is to clean up my files, and throw away what is not needed or did not go as planned. I also want to set up a "digital" filing cabinet since most of what I find now is digital.

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  12. I started cleaning out files yesterday but never thought about starting to copy for next year. Thanks for the tip! I also am a big fan of the summer purge. It makes me feel rejuvenated in the fall when I come back!

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  13. I purge all of the things that I did not use so that I can get rid of clutter. Also, I reorganize my files in order to find things better next year.

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  14. I totally agree that you need to clean out your files! I am a HUGE pack rat- I keep thinking that I will need it one day. I have to force myself to throw things away!! Thanks for the giveaway :)

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  15. I always reorganize and purge things so I can find them quickly at the beginning of the year!

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  16. I do all of those things, too!

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