May 2, 2013

Summer Challenge 2013: Goal #1


This summer, we are being intentional about spending just a little bit of time doing some things that can make a big impact on our classroom. Join us as we try to create a stress-free school year! Did you miss the first part of this series? Check it out here.

Ready to start our Summer Challenge? Let’s roll up those sleeves and dive right in.

Here’s this week’s goal:

Create a quick list of things you need done at the end of the year or the beginning of the year that your current students can help with.

(Now, before I get any emails, let me just say that I am not advocating taking time away from productive learning to have students help you clean or sort. We all have unstructured moments in our day- when kids are arriving, dismissal, indoor recess, etc- that we can utilize to make our rooms a little more organized, thus allowing us the freedom to spend our time creating better lessons. That’s when this step should be implemented.)

You won’t actually do this first challenge during your summer break.

This needs to be done during the last week or two of school. We’ve all experienced the crazy mixed-up schedule that leads up to the last day of school. There are often 3 minute pockets of time where at least a few students don’t have anything to do. Instead of wasting those few minutes, let’s be efficient! Just pull out your list and assign a small ‘teacher-helper’ task to these early-finishers. Kids LOVE helping most of the time and are more than willing to ‘play teacher’ for a bit.

Does this sound like a nice idea to you…but you just aren’t sure your kids can actually do anything to help? Here are some ideas to get your wheels turning.

Things students could help with:

- wiping down ANYTHING. Have them dust your shelves, computers, etc.
- collect textbooks and stack them in order (if they are numbered)
- staple papers together
- sort papers into student boxes or folders
- sort art supplies and throw away tiny crayon nubs, scraps of paper, etc.
- organize classroom library or start to pack books into boxes
- take down items from around the room (on bulletin boards, doors, walls)
- use dry erase marker to take off the marker on your laminated items.
- peel nametags off of desks or cubbies

Just start looking around your room and you’ll get a few ideas. Be thinking about next year as well…are there any small things that you can do now to make setting up your room next year easier? Anything that can be labeled or prepped now? After all, if we can save time on the maintenance of our room, we can devote more time to lesson planning and producing quality teachable moments for our kids!

Alright, good luck with this challenge. Don’t forget to come back and let us all know how it went!

On your mark…. Get setGo!

Just joining us for the Summer Challenge? Don’t worry! You still have time to jump in with both feet! Here are the links to the mini-challenges we’ve accomplished over the last few weeks:


Following along with the Summer Challenge? Grab my button here:

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