Packing Up Your Classroom With the Next Year in Mind

At the end of the school year, set yourself up for an easy start to the next one.

By Cate Sanazaro
  • Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8, 9–12

Do you know why I love coming back to my classroom? I leave myself a present! When I close up my room for the summer, I pack up one box that's marked “Open Me First." This box contains all the items I will need right away (stapler, scissors, phone list, etc.) I also pack notes from students, favorite student work, cards from coworkers, and any other items that instantly make me feel at home. I also leave reminders in the box: little ideas I had at the end of the school year for the fall. A treat or two is fun to pack too.

I gave my room a makeover last year by painting all of my tired, old, brown bulletin boards with latex flat wall paint. It holds up very well, and gives the room a decorated touch even when it’s not. The choices of colors are endless; I used calming blues and greens.

I prepare a binder at the end of the school year with all of the handouts I will use the first week of school — I pull out the binder and voila! I get to put my time to good use instead of standing in line at the copier!

I get inexpensive composition notebooks that I ask our Industrial Arts class to saw in half. These are our journals, one half for each semester. As soon as I have my class list I write a personal note to each student on the first page of his or her new journal. Their first assignment is to write back.

I decorate my class with all of the best work saved from the years before. I love to hear my new students ask, “Do we get to do that, too?”