First Day of School- 4 tips to help!

Today I am here to share with you what I will be doing on the first day of school looks like and some ideas to help you with yours. This year will be my 22nd first day! I try and jot down some notes after each beginning just so I can try and prepare and remember certain things for the following year. Looking back I came up with 4 tips that can help make the day run smoothly for any teacher!

                                                                            First tip:

 First Day of School Flip Book
At my school students have 30 minutes to arrive in my classroom. Some will be there first thing, while others come in at different times. I didn't want my students ( and parents) just hanging out with nothing to do. Last year I made this flip book. I had it on my students desks so, once they arrived they could work on it while others students arrive. You can grab it for free from my TPT shop just by clicking on the picture.

I also made this version that is printed on colored paper for those students who can write more that draw pictures.  I really like this activity and some years I have saved it and shared it with my students on their last day of school. They are amazed at the growth they had!

Second tip:

Right after everyone arrives and our calendar routine is introduced I have my students participate in a sorting activity. I call it Making Good Choices. Students get a card with a picture on it. Then as a class we talk about the actions that are shown and if it is something that is a good choice to make or a bad choice. As we discuss we sort the pictures in a pocket chart.

I then pass out a variety of extension activities for them to work on. I have 2 reasons behind this. One it shows me the work and how they do and two it is another good way to keep them busy and break out those new supplies they want to use! ;)

You can find this resource by click the cover below.

Third Tip:

Another activity I always work on the first day is creating our classroom rules and expectations. Now that students know what is correct and acceptable school behavior we create our rules together. I start off my showing these posters and having the students then dictate to me what our class rule should be.

I have  13 posters I show them and rules are created. In past years I had words that I created to be displayed under the poster. It worked fine but, I just really like having the students be apart of the decision making process. I feel like it gives them more ownership of the rules since they helped create them.

You can check out the posters here

                                           Fourth Tip:

This is probably the MOST important one! I have each parent fill out this form on either meet the teacher night or at drop off on the first day.

Then after I make sure I have a sheet for each students I write the names down on these sheets I have hanging right by my door.

Dismissal time at the end of the day can be super stressful but, with these sheets at least you can make sure you KNOW how your students are getting home that day. If you would like the sheets you can click on the pictures above to download them.

Now I know that is a LOT to cover in one day. I have found that I need to be SUPER flexible that first week! So I tend to over plan and if I do not get to an activity one day I could always work on it the following day.
I would love to hear about anything else you do on that first day or first week of school too! Leave me a comment below and share with my what works in your classroom.

I hope some of these ideas will be useful to you on your first day.  Wishing you all a very successful school year!


   Feel free to use the image below to pin to your Pinterest boards.

Task Card Organization

Hi friends! I am back today with another organization project that was on my summer to do list. For years I have been using task cards with my small groups. I am a BIG fan of them! You can read about what task cards are right here.  Then I saw a picture that I knew would take my organization to the next level!

In the past, I have used manila envelopes to store them and labeled them on the front of the envelope.

It worked for me for awhile UNTIL I saw these on Instagram.

Aren't they soooo pretty??!!!??!! Many people commented that they would use these cases for task card storage. How smart is that!! I was on board and bought 2 cases. One for literacy and one for math. Then when I was in Target one day I saw the same kind of boxes but in clear!

I knew I would use these too soooo, I got every pack I could find.  My task cards fit perfectly inside and since it is clear I can see right away which set it is.

                                        Each case has 6 boxes so I labeled them by topic.

Then I also created a  label to put on the top of the box. I put my grammar cards together, Early Finshers cards and math cards in the different cases.

I made lables for all the task cards I have. Here are just a few of them:

I also made these covers to put on the front of the boxes:

If you would like these labels you can grab them for free by clicking  right here! I even made ones that are editable. That way you can make labels for any other task cards you may have. The font I used is KG Miss Kindergarten Chunk. You can find it here.

 If you want to see some task cards up close you can check them out  in my TPT shop.

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Hope these organizational tips have inspired you to try them out. Hop on over to the next blog to grab some more great tips!

Monthly File Boxes

Happy Summer friends! I hope you all have been resting, relaxing and recharging! I have been doing lots of that too. Now that July has started my mind is starting to get into school mode. I always like to work on some organization projects over the summer. Last year I re-did my WHOLE classroom library system! You can read all about that library makeover here.

This summer I was inspired by MANY pictures all over Instagram of teachers using these project cases for holding their monthly files. SOOO I decided to tackle this project!

I saw a picture like this on target and immediately texted my teacher BFF. She told me she JUST got the same boxes and I need to grab all I could find!
So I grabbed alll that I could. *** Update- You can find these cases on Amazon. This is my affiliate link. I get a small commission if you purchase the cases from using this link. Iris slim project cases

I found those project boxes at Target back in June. They were on clearance so they were not too pricey at all.  I like to have my monthly themes together so I knew that is how I wanted to organize each box.

 I went through the files, threw away what I multiple copies of and what I never used! Most stuff is on my computer so, if I do need something again I know I have a digital copy. Here is a picture of what can fit inside the box.

Since school starts at the end of August around here I knew this box would only have a few files for now. Most of these items are things I use the first few weeks of school.

Then, OF COURSE, I had to create some super cute covers for the front of the box!

I ran out of double stick tape, so I plan to tape the cover to the case so they don't get lost or fall out.

I decided that I wanted to have the themes I teach that month listed also. Just to make it easier for me.

This year I am going with a rainbow chevron theme so the covers had to match my alphabet and number posters I have made. :)

Until I move all my stuff into my new classroom, I am keeping the boxes in a crate. When they get to school I plan to put them into my file cabinet.

SOO much neater and more organized than my hanging files from years past! Just LOOK at the pile I threw away! Whew.

            If you like these covers I made a set with just the month names on them. Scroll down and click on the link!

You can grab them by clicking right here.

I hope this post has given you a good idea of one way to keep your files organized and neat. I would love to hear about how you store your files in your classroom too! What works for you?