Monday, August 3, 2015

Teacher Tools to Help Organize Your Year

For the entire month of August I am linking up with #Teacher Mom for Building Back to School. This first week we will be discussing Teacher Tools.  One of my favorite teacher tools was an inspiration that came after mentoring several new teachers.  I realized that many of the necessary things teachers need on the first day of school hadn't been taught to them in college courses and many times they do student teaching in the spring and their cooperating teachers have already taught the students how to meet their expectations.  

I joined forces with one of my favorite people, Erin from Snazzy in Second and we created a list of all the items we thought new teachers need to have covered before the students darken the doors.  We sat and discussed the various ways we have taught or carried out our procedures over the years. Some things we were super organized with and others were "organized chaos."  For each policy we listed "The Super Organized Teacher" and "The Organized Chaos Teacher" way.  We also provided editable versions so each teacher could edit the policy to fit their classroom needs.

We began by looking at our classroom policies (pencils, snacks, water, tissues, supplies, computers, parent communication and student behavior).  These were the simple things that are part of every day.  You can read more about this section and download great freebies here.

Classroom Policies
We then focused on moving about the room and school. It is critical that students know your expectations for moving throughout the building with you and without you.  In this section we provide solutions for entering the classroom, lining up and walking in the hallway, going to the bathroom, student errands, packing up, field trips, and dismissal.  The end of the school day is such a crazy time with all of the after school activities it is important that students know where they are heading each day.  I have some great ideas and freebies available here to help ensure that your students know what you expect!

Great ways to keep up with the classroom comings and goings. 

Organization of paperwork and materials came next.  This section focuses on classroom libraries, turning in classwork, homework, morning work, and notes from home.  We also suggest student jobs that will help you get everything completed each day.  And suggestions for using parent volunteers is provided.
Great tools to help organize parent and student volunteers
and all of that paperwork! 
The last area we looked at was lesson procedures. We focused on answering these questions:
1. What to do with early finishers?
2. How to establish your classroom rules and expectations?
3. How should students answer questions?
4. What is expected with student group work?
5. How do I carry out a successful independent reading block?

This teacher tool is on sale here until August 9th.  Go check it out!

What other procedures do you feel need to be provided to help new teachers reduce that beginning of the school year stress?  You can find more ideas in the links below.


  1. This is amazing!! What a great gift for newbie teachers! :)

    Denise Hill, #TeacherMom

    1. That was our hope. That first year is so hard so I hoped we could help ease the stress a little.


  2. What a great post! There are SOOO many things to think about before the year begins. I love that you have laid it all out for new teachers to think through. It all is SO important in helping each day and the whole year go smoothly, not to mention how much having it all planned will positively affect the teacher's stress level and mood all year.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Sarah (from Mrs. Jones Teaches)

    1. Thanks so much for the feedback. I have watched so many new teachers who were great leave the profession from the stress of the first year.

      - Jessica

  3. What a wonderful gift for any teacher; but especially a new teacher. You have included so many things in this product. Nice work!

    Sugar Cube Learning