The 1, 2, 3's to Putting Things in Order for Next Year

This time of year is so hectic and jammed full of activities both personal and work.

At school, you are wrapping up the current year, assessing your students, analyzing all the assessment data and having end of the year IEPs and packing up your room. It's absolutely chaotic and you are downright exhausted at this time of year. Right? Well take a moment...right now and just breathe! You DESERVE it!

Even with any of those factors and ending up the school year, one of the most important things to do is to think ahead!

Here are some ways you can THINK AHEAD, ACT NOW and save yourself lots of time later.

Here are some ideas for for getting organized and jump starting your new year.

1. Get organized for the beginning of next year as much as possible. 

Before you walk away for the summer. This will save you so much time when the new year rolls around. 

2. Supply and materials storage. 

When you are packing away all your materials from this year, be sure and weed them out. One of the best things I started doing as I was cleaning up at the end of the year, was to start a FREEBIE box. As I was cleaning out, I would toss items into this bin if I knew I wouldn't be using it or if they were materials for an age of students I was no longer teaching. Then I put this bin outside my door with a Big FREEBIES on it. You should see my colleagues flock to it. I even send out email to fellow teachers letting them know where the FREEBIES box would. This all helped to make room for new materials for the coming year and gave some of the materials to other teachers that needed it.

3. Next year's materials go in front. 

Get all your name tags, get acquainted materials, classroom rules, and first week ideas organized and set up in one place. Put these materials at the front on the shelves or in the drawers. This way you can pull them out easily when you return. 

4. Returning students' materials easy access

If you teach special education, you know you are going to have some of your students returning to you the following year. Be sure to keep their portfolios, assessment information and work samples handy and easy to grab first thing in the year.

5. Organize your student files by color. 

In a special education classroom, you are always working with a multitude of grades and even more ability levels. I love organizing by color because its visually pleasing and an easy to use way to tell one set apart from another. Organize each grade level as a different color notebook. Use actual grade level or functioning level, which ever works best for you. I'm a firm believer in using 3 ring binders with the slip in sleeves on the front and back. This way I can color code any way I want and they are easy to change out. You can also use file folders or pocket folders. 

6. Before you leave 

Update each students information. Make sure they have a current IEP in the notebook, current assessment information and where you left off in instruction. Its amazing what might slip your mind over the summer. Keeping information about where instruction stopped makes a nice smooth transition when starting up the next year.

7. Determine First Day Activities

Determine some get-acquainted / Day 1 and Day 2 activities you would like to do with your class the first day/week of the new year. Prepare the number of activities and materials you need plus a few more in case you get new students. Gather all the materials you need. I like to put all those materials together in a plastic tub and store them at the front of all the supplies so they are the first things I get out when I return. 

8. Ready Theme Materials

I also found a good idea was to decide what theme I wanted to use in the classroom and put all the name tags and things in the tub . As you put things away in storage, put on the labels you want to be using next year. 

9. Take Pictures

If you aren't sure what theme or decor you want to use for next year, be sure and take pictures of your room before you leave. This will help you in planning over the summer and help your purchasing of item be more productive. 


Leaving your room in tip-top organization will make the beginning of next year so much easier.
Take a few minutes now and it will pay off later.


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