When I’m on summer break, I don’t want to do TOO much related to school. However, I’ve found that if I prep a few things here and there, I can make the back-to-school rush a little easier for myself. No matter if you are new to the classroom or an experienced veteran teacher, here are 3 things to consider prepping over break.
Visuals can make or break a classroom. Some of my favorite visuals include core language boards, visual schedules, and visual necklace lanyards. This way, no matter the learner, you have a visual to meet their needs. I use the visual necklace lanyard pretty much everywhere I go and for all students, not just those on my caseload. Additionally, everyone loves a schedule! Creating a visual schedule helps reduce anxiety, creates routines and allows students to predict what is coming and reduces behaviors. We have a visual schedule for pretty much every learner. Core language boards are great for those students who are not yet using AAC or who need additional support to communicate. I keep these laminated core boards taped to my tables at all times so learners can use them whenever needed. We shrunk them down and put a small one in our lanyards, too, so we have them on the go.
Pull up your caseload’s IEPs and go to the previous year’s goals (not the current goals). Find skills they mastered, and start creating some independent work that matches those goals. Have a student who isn’t ready for independent work yet? Try Easy Matching Workbooks! These are errorless tasks and simple matching tasks that are fun, easy to prep and engaging for learners. There are tons of sets to choose from!
Goal Specific Tasks
Now that you know what your students can do independently, I want you to review goals they are going to be working on in your classroom. Start making a list of how you’ll address each goal. From there, pull materials and prep some items to get you off and running in the fall. For several of my students, learning to comprehend and answer WH questions is a goal. I prepped the entire WH Question Unit Bundle and it’s paid for itself over and over again. You can buy just one question unit or the whole bundle, and it comes with two sets of task cards, adapted books, and work tasks. Everything I need to take data on the IEP goals is at my fingertips!
Ready for Fall
Starting to prep now, and getting a game plan together on how you’ll address communication, independent work and IEP goals will have you ready for fall without interrupting your summer plans. Taking just a bit of time now pays off when your students walk in the door for back to school! Happy prepping!