ESY Tips and Tricks

First thing’s first, congrats on making it to the month of May! I can’t tell if this school year has gone in the blink of an eye or has taken all of eternity; regardless, take a moment to commend yourself for getting here. Being a teacher is hard and you deserve to feel proud. 



Before you get too ahead of yourself and begin daydreaming of days spent by the pool, let’s talk ESY (Extended School Year). For those of you who have yet to prep your students for ESY, I’m here to give you a few tips and tricks to help get you in the mindset. Let’s dive into what your students may need this summer, and how to prepare it in a stress free way.

1. Less is More


In my school district, all ESY classes are consolidated into a few schools within the district. Meaning my students will not spend their summer in our current classroom with all of their materials and resources. If this is the same for you, then I’m sure you understand why I begin by saying less is more. My first year teaching ESY, I swear I essentially packed up my entire classroom. Bless the poor district employees that were responsible for getting my junk from one elementary school to the next. I learned from this experience, because by the end of ESY I didn’t utilize ¾ of what was sent.


The length of ESY is short. So, so short. Think of what materials will be the most beneficial and impactful for your students’ summer. For many, the goal of ESY is to maintain the skills that our students are leaving with at the end of May. I send each of my student’s individual bins that have all of their mastered materials within it. This way, no matter who is working with each student this summer, they will be able to practice the skills that we worked so hard on during the school year. 

2. Think of Routines


What do you do in your current day to day that can be carried over into ESY? Whether that be a morning calendar routine, practicing turn taking with games, or completing workboxes; think of how you can incorporate these staples into the ESY schedule. Not only will this make prepping easier on you (it’s all already made!), but it will help your students adjust back into their school routine. ESY is obviously going to be different, and that is okay. But don’t feel the need to be sucked into Pinterest to find the cutest summer crafts if you don’t want to. Take what it is working for you currently and move it with you to ESY. No need to fix what isn’t broken.

3. Use TAH Resources


You already know that I have to do a subtle plug for The Autism Helper store. We have amazing materials and resources, and I have no shame in making sure you know about them. Using pre-made materials to work on IEP goals will save you so much time. Let’s be real, it’s the end of the school year, we have no time as it is. Below are teacher and student resources that I will be sending with my students to ESY this summer!

Reagan Strange, MSEd
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