It’s August and that means, it’s time. Thanks to the FB for this one…. (PS – I think I’ve gotten the original creator of this meme linked in the image.)
But now, it’s here so Let It Go…Let It GOOOO…wait, wrong movie. Anyway. I thought I’d give a big run down of some of the best things to get prepped and get for Back to School this year. Full disclosure – some affiliate links. This won’t change your price and I get a small kickback. No pressure!
Things To Do
- Create a list of procedures to teach. These make a huge difference in your classes running smoothly. Once students know what is expected, you can always refer to this pre-set standard operating procedure and it will guide them.
- Set your calendar before you put any school things in there. Anniversaries, birthdays, important dates. Personal calendar comes first!
- Reassess your boundaries. Do you need to be stricter with contacting you on nights and weekends? Do you need to not give out your personal number? Do you say yes to extra things too readily? Take a look at the boundaries you set last year and evaluate if you need to reset some. Check out this post to get more ideas on boundaries.
- Communicate important things to your admin and team. Do you stress really easily on ‘see me after school’ without a reason being given even when you know it’s probably nothing? Do you need help with concert crowd control? What about changes to your performances from last year. Communicate things you want to change while everyone is fresh.
The number one back to school ACTUAL school thing to do is get your curriculum in order. I know it seems less obvious than an empty room, bare bulletin boards and some of the physically obvious stuff, but this is why we do what we do!
Take some serious time, sit down and get your curriculum in order. Plot out what needs to happen where, what you want students to know by the end of the year, and take inventory of what resources you have for planning.
Check out this post to get more ideas for curriculum planning.
- Make sure all your emergency info is in good condition and displayed prominently.
- Check to make sure all your school provided technology works.
- Check inventory on school provided consumable supplies in your room (writing utensils, paper, etc) and see if you need something to get it ordered ASAP.
- Organize your teacher area, files, etc. and set up places for documentation, record keeping, and such.
- Inventory your stuff. Make sure everything you personally own is listed in a document, and clearly marked with your name.
- Get your class lists, set up your gradebook, update iDoceo, and create ensemble lists.
- Prep audition dates for extras like choir, performance roles, etc, school calendar dates and performances.
- Prep your emergency sub plans.
- Print yourself a DND sign for your planning time.
- Decide what’s wall things are essential, what are your daily needs, temporary needs, and what’s just fluff.
Here’s my thoughts:
Essential: Legally necessary stuff
Daily: rules, things you will refer to (word wall or pocket charts for a less overwhelming word wall), etc
Temporary: Recorder fingerings if you only teach it part of the year, anchor charts that you refer to occasionally that don’t really need to be up every day. I’ve used an anchor chart stand so my room wasn’t overwhelmed with posters, and I still love it. Also – books – there are some gorgeous displays I’ve seen on Instagram, but unless you plan on actually using it during the month, it’s just more to look at that doesn’t necessarily need to be out on display, especially when you are displaying books for 6 grade levels.
Fluff: Cute stuff like banners, welcome signs, non-functional decor (things that don’t teach a concept). Keep these to a minimum or pick only a few to accent your room. They may be adorable but don’t let this stuff overwhelm your room!! If you really want all of them, rotate so it doesn’t become too much.
- Pick what you need and start there. It’s always easier to add throughout the year rather than spend all your time during BTS prep to over decorate and let it be overwhelming.
Check out this post for my must have requirements for music classroom decor.
Think about things you wish you had last year while you still have a budget…if you get one… (raise your hand no budget friends 🙋🏻♀️). Create an Amazon wishlist or a Donor’s Choose project to get some tools you’ve been eyeing for a while. Looking for inspo? Check out my Amazon Storefront here.
- Parent volunteer forms (check out this post for a good list of things they can do for you!)
- First week documents – student surveys, info sheets, parent forms.
- Back to school night/open house materials
- Emergency forms
- Pre-tests for necessary assessments, student learning objectives, growth goals, etc
2022 Back to School Guide
Here are some of my favs for BTS 2022!
Resources – Not all new but some amazing resources!
- Voice Collectors:: Stories and Songs of Chinese Culture Bearers
- Vamos a Cantar
- Moving Within the Circle: Contemporary Native American Music and Dance
- Step It Down: Games, Plays, Songs, and Stories from the Afro-American Heritage
- Responsive Classroom for Music, Art, PE, and Other Special Areas
- Songs of the Sun
- Music Education and Social Emotional Learning
- Classroom Management for Art, Music, and PE Teachers
New Children’s Literature
- Stompin’ at the Savoy: How Chick Webb Became the King of Drums (January 2021)
- Roarchestra (May 2021)
- A Neighborhood Walk, A Musical Journey (April 2021)
- Music All Around (April 2021)
- This Magical Musical Night (Sept 2021)
- Playing at the Border: A Story of Yo-Yo Ma (September 2021)
- Powwow Day (February 2022)
- Around the World in 80 Musical Instruments (April 2022)
- The ABCs of Women in Music (May 2022)
- Berry Song (July 2022)
- Find more at www.theultimatemusicedbooklist.com
Favorite Classroom Tools
- Flipside Products Mini Dry Erase Answer Paddles – Set of 24, White
- Dry-Erase Foam Blocks
- Tinikling Cords
- Cube Timer
- White Board Storage Pockets
- Magnetic Pocket Charts
- iPod Nano (no log ins for subs!)
- Mini Erasers
- The Music Teacher’s Curriculum Planner
- Sub Tub Starter Set
- Visual Schedule for Music Class
- Rhythm Manipulatives
- Music or Not Games
- Listening Worksheets
- Kodaly Aspiring Recorder Method
- Mt. Solfege
- Digital Music Teacher Planner
- Chromatic Multicultural Hand Sign Posters
- Folk Dance Posters (Etsy) (TpT)
- 32 Weeks of Musicians Poster Set (FREE!)
- Festive Elements of Music Anchor Charts Posters
- Felt Ball Banner – a small way to add a pop of color
- Light Filters for overhead fluorescent lights
- Multi-Head Lamp
- Black and White “Messy Dot” Bulletin Board Border
- Faux Plants
- QBall Microphone
- Solfege Hearts Hoodie
- Cricut (great for cutting manipulatives and bulletin board parts)
- Wireless Doorbell
- iPad – My favorite 3 apps for the teacher are iDoceo, Goodnotes, ToDoIst.
- JBL Flip Speaker
I hope you’ve gotten some good ideas, some inspiration, and some ideas where to start!
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I’m curious, how do you use the doorbell?
I use the doorbell as a doorbell. I couldn’t hear kids knocking if they came back from the restroom or somewhere else because my door is in a small hallway from my room and the soundproofing made it even more muffled. Little knocks weren’t heard. I also use it for attention because when the students hear it they stop.