I am all about simple tips that make my life easier throughout the school year. Once the year gets rolling – you’ve just got to hang on and keep trucking. Systems that are ready to go, last year-long, and can be easily continued are what I live for. My goal (and your goal!) is to decrease my monthly to-do list. The less things I need to maintain on a monthly basis – the easier my life is. And the less likely it is for me to forget one of those monthly to-do list items.
My first few years of teaching, I learned about the glory of visual monthly calendars. My lovies live and breathe by these simple pieces of paper. They wanted to know when the days off were, what holidays were coming, and each and every little schedule change. I realized fairly quickly how important it was for my students to have visual calendar each month. What took me a little longer to catch on to – was how to make this system simple for me! The first of the month seemed to creep up on me like the looming deadline for my Nordstroms Bill. Suddenly my kids were breathing down my neck and peering around my shoulders as I hurriedly threw together that month’s calendar so my kids could bring it home on the first. (no exceptions with my little rigid kiddos) Long story short – it was a pain in the butt and the last thing I wanted to be dealing within in the middle of a hectic school day.
Over-prepared organization to the rescue! A few years ago – I started prepping my monthly calendars for the whole year in the start of the school year. OMG. So. much. easier. No more kids bugging me on the first of the month. No more rushing to get it done. Plus – the added benefit of my kids being able to look ahead at schedule pages for the entire year.
I put the year long calendars in their main binder and we reference these ALL THE TIME!
In this resource – Visual Monthly Calendars 2015-2016, you can grab a year’s worth of visual monthly calendars for your kiddos! These calendars are fully editable so you can customize for your classroom’s needs.
Suggestions to add to calendars:
- student and staff birthdays
- holidays and days off
- staff development days
- class parties
- half days, late starts, and early dismissals
- days you will be taking off
- parent teacher conferences
- assemblies, pep rallies, and school plays
I add everything I can in the start of the year. Then I print, photo copy, and load into binders. Additional changes definitely come up throughout the year – and we add those changes in ourselves. I think this gives my kids some responsibility and ownership over their schedules and makes them more independent!
Check these calendars out: