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3 Back to School Tips + Freebie

This back to school tips are perfect for any teacher getting ready to go back to school. I'm also sharing my favorite freebie for parents with the use of my Class Dojo system!

With back to school just around the corner, I figured I would gather some tips, tricks, and a great freebie for you to get ready for the year! These are all things I use personally in my classroom and stand behind that ALWAYS make my year a tad bit smoother.

This back to school tips are perfect for any teacher getting ready to go back to school. I'm also sharing my favorite freebie for parents with the use of my Class Dojo system!

Getting ready for back to school? Save this to Pin!

Tip #1: Organize your materials

My first tip has to do with organization and the use of binders. Binders are a HUGE time saver for those things we need to keep in paper form. Yes, we are in living in the digital world, but sometimes it’s easier to grab my binder of masters, run down to the copy room rather than search through my drive to find what I need. As you can see, I have almost every subject there at my fingertips in case I need to help with any additional intervention or lesson.

This back to school tips are perfect for any teacher getting ready to go back to school. I'm also sharing my favorite freebie for parents with the use of my Class Dojo system!

Additionally, if you do work with a binder system, you MUST have adorable binder covers. It gives your bookcase and/or desk a little extra flair. And who doesn’t need that?! Featured in this photo above from my classroom is my best selling Lilly’s Bright and Sassy Editable Binder Covers. You can read more about my binder system and how I use them in my classroom here.

Tip #2: Community Supplies

In my opinion, you need to skip the personal pencil boxes and messy desks! Trade it in for group supplies or even community supplies. I’ve done both ways during my teaching and students respect and take control of their supplies much more when they have to share with a team. So here is what I did: I found these awesome cups at Ikea. They are $1.99 for a 6 pack. I then took a drive up to Dollar Tree and found these bins for $1 each. Lucky for me, the cups fit in here perfectly! I totally know this because I had the cups in my purse when I went in there! :]

This back to school tips are perfect for any teacher getting ready to go back to school. I'm also sharing my favorite freebie for parents with the use of my Class Dojo system! This back to school tips are perfect for any teacher getting ready to go back to school. I'm also sharing my favorite freebie for parents with the use of my Class Dojo system!

Right there you are at $3.00 per table group. This is the same price as one of those table caddies {I can never seem to find these at Michaels} minus the organized brightness! I created, cut and laminated the team labels and slapped them on the fronts with velcro. Now onto the organized part, each cup with hold their supplies. You can easily have a cup for each student but I like the simple look of everything being sorted. So one cup will be pencils, markers, glue sticks, colored pencils, scissors, etc. You can see that I sat them on top of my tables group bins. These housed all of our notebooks and materials we needed throughout the day. There you go: cheap, easy and organized as promised!

Tip #3: Add plants to your classroom

Our classrooms are our second home, right? They are also our student’s second home and sometimes they can be a place were they feel the safest. I try to always make my classrooms feel like a small community and homey feeling. My last tip is the simplest of all, add small touches to your classroom to make it feel like a home. Last year, I had each table group home a plant on their desk. I was a bit worried in the beginning of the year of them surviving, but guess what? They did! The students (and fellow teachers) loved the look, it felt homey and my students continued to take care of their plants throughout the school year! I got these plants at Ikea for $3 each and purchased the metal plant container for $1 there as well. Not too bad of a price to pay to create a comfortable environment for my students.

This back to school tips are perfect for any teacher getting ready to go back to school. I'm also sharing my favorite freebie for parents with the use of my Class Dojo system!

Back to School Freebie:

If you have never used Class Dojo, you have to check it out, what are you waiting for?! It’s free and easy! Teachers love the data it creates, students love the adorable dojo monsters and parents love the communication tools. This is a great resource to bring that home to school connection alive. I wrote more about how it ran in my previous classroom here including my use of Dojo Dollars and Dojo Store.

This back to school tips are perfect for any teacher getting ready to go back to school. I'm also sharing my favorite freebie for parents with the use of my Class Dojo system!

At the beginning of the year I send home a copy of this parent letter so I can get the parents involved as well. It makes everything easier when the parents are on board as well! All they have to do is fill it out and send it back. You are able to enter their emails (multiple emails too for each child!) from your account so there is nothing more the parents need to do.

This back to school tips are perfect for any teacher getting ready to go back to school. I'm also sharing my favorite freebie for parents with the use of my Class Dojo system!

So, what are your back to school tips and tricks? How do you get ready for the new school year? What do you use for classroom management with your students? I would love to know more about your classroom!  If you found this useful and want to share with your other teacher friends, pin the image above!

Alexis Porter
Alexis Porter

Hey there, I’m Alexis! I’m a 30 something bubbly and creative teacher turned web designer living in Seattle, Washington. I absolutely love designing unique brands + websites for fellow teacherpreneurs, creatives, small businesses, bloggers, & many more. When I’m not working on all things Laugh Eat Learn, I enjoy cooking, movies, reading (always with caffeine in hand), and organization of literally everything. I’m also a pure perfectionist which makes everything a little more fun!

Find me on: Web | Instagram | Facebook

17 Comments

  1. August 30, 2015 / 7:02 PM

    Your rafflecopter is empty!

    • August 30, 2015 / 7:06 PM

      Thank you so much! I've been having trouble with it all morning and thought I fixed it. It's all fixed now! :]

  2. August 30, 2015 / 7:49 PM

    I created homework folders for my special ed kiddos by printing their name on an owl name tag (owls are our classroom theme) & printing a cute HOMEWORK label, then attaching both tag & label to their homework folders using double-sided tape. Works like a charm – it's very rare I don't get homework back. During registration, I also let parents know that my kiddos will have homework Monday through Thursday nights (2 nights of ELA, 2 nights of math) so they won't be surprised or blindsided.

  3. August 30, 2015 / 8:27 PM

    I like making a take home folder that says bring back on one side and leave home on the other.
    Emily

  4. August 30, 2015 / 9:51 PM

    Introduce the Great Pencil Challenge.

  5. August 30, 2015 / 9:58 PM

    Plan extra activities for the first day, in case the students get antsy or get through the other activities first. Focus on getting-to-know-you activities and intro to classroom procedures.

  6. August 31, 2015 / 1:18 AM

    This year I'm trying to be like a duck. Let the small stuff roll of your back! So far I've been much less stressed. 🙂

  7. August 31, 2015 / 2:04 AM

    I placed a straight line (green masking tape) by the emergency exit and by the classroom door. This will remind the students to line up straight and one behind the other.

    Let the student who need a moment deliver a special note to a fellow teacher. So that the student can relax and come back ready to work, sometimes it works better than other consequences.

  8. August 31, 2015 / 2:19 AM

    My back to school tip is to get organized! Binders have been my way to organize!

  9. August 31, 2015 / 6:45 AM

    My tip is to be flexible and if things don't go as planned it's okay.

  10. August 31, 2015 / 9:26 PM

    My back to school tip is to go in with a plan but be prepared that things do not always go as planned and it is ok!

  11. September 4, 2015 / 1:02 AM

    Have on hand "New Student" baggies made for those surprise new students added to your roster.

  12. September 5, 2015 / 2:47 AM

    Take time for yourself.

  13. September 5, 2015 / 2:49 AM

    Take time for yourself.

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