Classroom setup can be a daunting task throughout the summer. Depending on your school's policy, you may be able to set up throughout the summer or you may have to wait to get the go-ahead. No matter when you begin your classroom setup, it always feels like a process.
I have learned to prioritize what needs to be done before the first day of school. Putting in a little bit of time at home can go a long way! By getting a few simple things done at home, you can save a lot of time once you are in your classroom to set up.
Here are 5 time saving tips for setting up your classroom:
1. Making Labels
There are so many things to write names on once you receive your class list. Name tags, clothespins, craft sticks (to choose partners, etc.), lockers/desk tags, mailbox labels, folder labels, notebook labels, pencils, etc. Making sure that names are on supplies is something that I feel is important for the first day to help develop procedures in the classroom. Labeling supplies can all be easily done from home with a little bit of time at night…while still enjoying some Netflix.
This is really a time saver when you get into your classroom. Your supplies and labels are ready to go and the time you spent creating or writing labels can be spent setting up.
2. Hot Glue Gun
I used to spend so much time ripping and rolling tape, only to have things falling down by the first weeks of school (especially in the humidity)! Then I started using a hot glue gun to hang posters and decor around the room. It is a HUGE time saver. Hot glue is much quicker to use while hanging things up than tape, but it also stays on most surfaces much longer. I have used hot glue on painted walls and brick without any peeling of the paint. If you are worried about the paint, you can put a small amount of painter's tape on the wall and stick the hot glue to the tape. (I have not had to use painter's tape to adhere the glue to the wall, and have never had an issue with paint peeling off.)
3. Cut and Laminate
Investing in a small laminator and laminating sheets to use at home can be a huge time saver. Being able to cut and laminate at home saves a lot of time. It helps you get focused and be more productive while in the classroom. It's so easy to get distracted when you are back to school to set up your room. Having a plan and having small things done at home can make your time more effective; which in the end means less time spent in the *hot* classroom setting up. And this is an easy job to enlist help from friends or family members too!
4. Make a Plan
It is so easy to get distracted when you are setting up your classroom. There is just SO much to do! Make a plan for what you want to get accomplished and try to stick to that plan. I'm notorious for starting one thing and getting easily distracted by the next. Before you know it, I have a whole new library set up and only a half-completed bulletin board!
Use your time wisely, make a plan, and do your best to stick to it. You can plan your room set up, make a list of things to hang, decide what need to be organized, plan the supplies to label. And while you are working, turn your phone off or listen to music or a podcast so that you are not distracted by checking your phone. It can be a pretty big time saver to help you tackle your list and stay focused.
5. Painter's Tape
I saw this trick online, and I'm not sure of the original (genius) source, but it is a big time-saver! You can use painter's tape for your bulletin board letters and accents before you staple them to the board. I am THE worst with aligning bulletin board letters. I have been known to set up a cute saying only to take it down numerous times because it's so crooked and uncentered.
To use painter's tape, you lay down your letters or bulletin board accents and cover them with painter's tape (works best on laminated letters). Then you can arrange them on the board as you would like before you commit to stapling. SUCH a time saver!! No bending over to grab letters over and over. No crooked phrases. Everything is perfectly in line with this time-saving hack!
Doing work at home may not seem like you are saving time, but it can make all the difference. The “at home” work may involve some labeling, cutting, and laminating; but in the classroom it is easy to get distracted by just HOW much there is to do. Being prepared and staying focused will help you complete your classroom setup more efficiently.
I hope you found a few helpful tips to get ready for back to school!
And here are a few more tips and things you can do from home to prepare for the school year HERE!
You might also like to check out more beginning of the year resources:
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