Diary of a Not So Wimpy Teacher

End of Year Student Gift Ideas

Student gifts do not need to be expensive! They should be meaningful. Check out these simple ideas for end of the school year gift ideas for your students!

As we get closer to the end of the school year, teachers in my Facebook groups are asking for end of year gift suggestions. I put together some of my best ideas!

First, gifts are not required! Don't feel like you have to give one. I honestly don't think that students expect them. The end of the year is a blur for students and teachers. If the gift is stressful- don't bother. It does not mean you don't love your students. Give hugs!

I liked to give a gift, but I am not the kind of teacher who is willing to waste money on dollar store junk. I am a mom and I know that those trinkets get broken and/or thrown away within a day or two. It might seem cheap, but really it ends up being a waste.

I also like for my student gifts to be meaningful and help my students to remember our year together. A sand pail or a beach ball just don't generally hold much meaning.

Instead, I like to give one of the following gifts...

1. Book

I always took great pride in helping all of my students to discover their love for reading. We shared many books during the year and so it makes lots of sense to give a book as a gift. Plus, I am encouraging a little summer reading.

Books can be purchased very inexpensively through Scholastic. I collect the $1 books or buy the sets that are discounted. If you plan ahead, you could try doing a Donors Choose project for books from Amazon.

Make the gift more meaningful by writing a personal message on the inside cover. My own children cherish books with notes from their former teachers.

Book Raffle

I really LOVE to make the book gift a fun end of year activity with a book raffle! Students can earn the raffle tickets based on behavior. This helps with the end of year itch! Students love the actual raffle and go home with a book that they can't wait to read. 

Click HERE for more information about book raffles.

2. Class Video

In my past life I must have been part of the paparazzi. I constantly took pictures of my students on field trips and doing fun activities in the classroom. 

At the end of the year, I would use iMovie to make all of these pictures into a movie. Pair it with some fun music and you have a special gift.

You can burn the song onto a DVD. I like this option because it becomes a keepsake. If you want a less expensive option, you can upload the video to a class website or Google drive and provide a link or a QR code for students to access the video.

I love this gift idea because it reminds students of all the fun we had together!

3. Class Picture

Not a big picture taker? If you didn't take a lot of photos during the school year, it might be difficult to put together a video.

That's ok! Gather your kiddos for a class photo shoot. Print the photo for each student and stick them in dollar store picture frames. 
So simple! And still meaningful!

4. Awards

Student gifts don't have to be elaborate to be meaningful! How about hosting a class awards ceremony? 

Print an award that is special for each of your students. As you present them make sure to tell the class exactly why you chose that particular award for each student. 

This is a feel good activity and gift! Students leave knowing just how proud you are.

These end of the year awards are the perfect gift!

Click HERE to check out these editable awards.

5. Handwritten Note

I feel that a handwritten note is one of the most meaningful gifts that you can give.

In this digital age, it is super rare to receive a handwritten note. That makes them a million times more special.

Grab some pretty stationary of notecards. Spend a few afternoons writing personal and heartfelt letters. What made you proud? How did they grow? What made you laugh? What is a fond memory that you have? What will you miss about them? What is your hope or dream for them?

If you feel comfortable, you might consider including a personal email address and giving students permission to write to you and keep you up-to-date on their family and schooling. They love this!

Whatever you decide, I hope that you are taking time to really enjoy your sweet students during the end of year chaos. These moments are fleeting.

Have a Not So Wimpy day!

Teacher Tips for Preparing for Maternity Leave

You’re almost ready! The baby is coming soon, and you’re tired but excited to get everything ready for your new addition at home. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of preparation that needs to be done at school as well. Getting ready for your maternity leave can be very stressful!

If you follow me on Facebook, then you probably saw my BIG announcement! My husband and I are super excited to be expecting baby number FIVE! Wowzers!

I know how hard it is to focus on work when you are pregnant. It's like my sweet little baby has completely sucked my brain right out of my head! All I can think about is car seat safety rankings and baby nursery decor.

I also know how hard it is to be a long-term substitute. Prior to becoming a full-time teacher I was a substitute for many years. I had the opportunity to substitute for many new mommies. I had some awesome long-term jobs and some that I couldn't wait to be over.

I thought I would combine a my mommy and substitute experience to put together some tips for preparing for your maternity leave. I hope these help you to get focused and prepared so that you can truly enjoy your new little addition!

Utilize other classroom teachers.

Let other grade level teachers know when your leave is and ask to use their lesson plans. Make extra copies to share with your substitute. Most colleagues are very understanding, especially if they’ve been through the leave process and having children. Offer to take over some of the load when you return. 

If you don’t have another teacher in your grade level, check out my grade level teacher groups. These communities allow you to interact with other teachers and find a tribe to support you! So many amazing ideas, tips and resources are shared every day.

Talk to your admin.

Every school/district has different expectations for how much a teacher must prep for a leave.

At my school, we were expected to loosely lesson plan for the entire leave and do the photo copying. I have heard of other schools that only require a week of lesson planning.

It is a good idea to find out early what will be required. You don't want to be surprised late into your pregnancy!

Arrange a sub weeks (or months) in advance.

Do not wait until the last minute to find a substitute teacher. Slots fill up fast, and great long term subs can be hard to secure. 

Ask your colleagues or other teachers in the district for recommendations for long term subs or request someone you may have had in the past. Even districts that do not allow you to request specific subs for short term absences typically encourage prearrangement and requests for maternity leave substitutes.

If possible, invite your substitute into the classroom so that she can observe your class. It gives you a chance to model your procedures and show her around your classroom.

Batch your maternity leave planning.

Don't plan on doing all of the lesson planning in just one weekend! That will really stress you out.

Instead, schedule a little time into your weekly schedule starting in your second trimester. Use this time to do planning and photo copying in batches. For example, spend a couple of weeks prepping math centers. Then spend a couple of weeks getting a writing unit prepped.

Rather than working week-to-week, save time by prepping a subject at a time for the entire leave.

Don't forget to think about holidays that will happen during your leave!

Keep your lesson plans and materials organized.

This is a good tip for any teacher but especially for those going on leave. Organizing your files and lesson plans to make them easier for your guest teacher to find and use will make your life a whole lot easier when you return. 

Make the copies you know your sub will need for your leave. Make copies early (for before your due date) in case your bundle makes an early appearance. Filing your copies into weekly folders and having daily drawers set up for your sub will make the experience more pleasant for them. 

They may even want to come back and sub when you have well-child checks or need to stay home with your infant after returning to work!

Don't forget the basics.

Your substitute will need lots of information in order to effectively run your classroom!

Things you may want to leave:
Class Roster
Allergies and medical concerns
Daily schedule
Specials schedule
Duty schedule
Passwords (for teacher computer and sites and for students)
Calendar of important dates (meetings, field trips, holidays, etc.)

Make a little packet and leave it in a binder or folder for your substitute. She will thank you later!

Would you like to use my FREE editable templates? #woohoo Click on the picture below to download!

Be flexible but firm when you return.

Know that even if your sub is wonderful, it’s not the same as having you in the classroom. Whether you take your leave at the start of the year or after 100 days of school, your kids will have an adjustment period when you return. Your guest teacher may have stricter or more lenient behavior expectations. 

When you return from your leave, share pictures of your baby, tell your kids about your family, but act like it’s the first day of school again. Praise positive behaviors and correct poor choices before they become habits. Review expectations and model them with your students. Check out THESE fun free activities for reviewing procedures. You could prep them before you go out on leave!

Following these teacher tips for preparing for maternity leave will help you focus on the most important thing during your time off: taking care of your child and yourself. Your students will be fine, but know that having that special bonding time with your child is the number one priority. Don’t worry about emails or phone calls. Let them pile in your inbox and go to voicemail. This is the time for you and your family! Congrats!

7 Ways to Save Money on Teachers Pay Teachers

Tips for saving some money when buying resources for your classroom from TpT

Teachers Pay Teachers made me a better teacher. That might sound cheesy to you, but it is the absolute truth. TpT gave me the ability to meet my students' needs in ways that went above and beyond the outdated curriculum. TpT made me look like a rockstar with super fun activities while saving me time that I could spend with my family.

I love TpT, but I couldn't always afford as many resources as I wanted. Teachers are on seriously limited budgets. (Not that I need to tell you that!)

Over the years, I have come up with seven different ways to save a little on my TpT purchases. I want to share in hopes that this will help you!

1. Leave Feedback to Earn Credit

Teachers Pay Teachers values quality feedback on resources. The feedback helps other teachers to find the resource that will best meet their own classroom needs.

Since feedback is so important, TpT rewards you for leaving feedback! When you leave feedback on the resources that you have purchased and used in your classroom, TpT will give you credits. 

The amount of credits that you earn is based on the price of the resource that you purchased. For example, if you purchase a $3 resource, you will receive 3 credits when you leave feedback.

For every 20 credits that you earn, you can take $1 off of your whole cart.

Teachers Pay Teachers keeps track of the credits and you can choose to use them when you are checking out.

Before you check out, head to your purchases page and make sure you have left quality feedback on previous purchases!

2. Follow your Favorite Stores

Some sellers offer a discount on brand new resources. 

This discount is usually only available for a day or two. If you follow their store, Teachers Pay Teachers will send you an email when they add a new resource. Make sure you open this email right away to see if the new resource is something that you need and nit it is discounted.

Not sure how to follow a store? Head to the store and click on the star that says "Follow Me" directly under their store name.

Want to follow my store? I offer a 50% discount on new resources for the first 24 hours! You can follow by clicking HERE.

3. Follow your Favorite Sellers on Social Media

Most sellers have Facebook pages and/or Instagram accounts. 

Sometimes sellers will use their social media to announce a sale in their store or on a particular resource. Also, they might have special giveaways or contests on their social media. 

I often give away gift cards and large resource bundles on my Facebook page and my Instagram account

4. Join your Favorite Sellers' Newsletter Lists

Some sellers have email newsletter lists. You usually get a freebie just for signing up for their list!

Sellers will send likely send emails when they are having sales, giveaways or have new resources. This is a great chance to grab a deal!

What I love most about these emails is that the seller is sending lots of tips and ideas that help you to know if the resource will meet my needs and how to implement it in the classroom. This can help you to save money buying resources that just aren't what you need!

You can usually find information about signing up for a newsletter list on the seller's blog or social media. You can always send them an email or TpT question to ask if they have an email list.

It's super easy to get on my newsletter list! Just type your first name and PERSONAL email address in the boxes below.

5. Team Up to Take Advantage of Extra License Discounts

Do you plan with your team? Do you all end up purchasing the same resources on TpT?

Did you know that most sellers offer a discount on the purchase of multiple licenses? It's typically a 10% discount! 

If you know that one of your teaching buddies wants the same resource, team up and buy both licenses from one of TpT account. Then you can split the cost and you both save a little!

*Note: It is necessary to buy multiple licenses if you are going to be sharing a resource with a colleague. The terms of use on nearly every TpT resource state that the resource can be used by one classroom. Sharing would be a violation of copyright law. So it's a darn good thing we can get a discount on those extra licenses! 

6. Take Advantage of Bundle Discounts

Many sellers offer money saving bundles in their store. The bundles are a collection of resources from their store that they sell as a package at a discounted price.

I offer many bundle for 20% off of the price of buying each individual item in the bundle.

Buying a bundle costs more up front, but they can be a huge money saver in the long run!

7. Talk to your Admin about Signing Up for TpT for Schools

Teachers Pay Teachers has created a brand new program that is the bees knees! They worked with all types of schools (public, private, charts, parochial, etc) all over the country to create a TpT for Schools portal.

Basically, school can join and get and get an account for free. Teachers are then able to put TpT resources on a wish list. Their administrators can see the wish lists and purchase licenses for the teachers. 

You probably won't get everything that you ask for, but wouldn't it be amazing to get a few new and FREE to you resources?!

If your school is not already signed up for TpT for Schools, you can talk to your admin about getting signed up. 

You can get more information or have your admin get your school signed up by clicking HERE.

Have a Not So Wimpy day!

Reading Test Prep Tips

Taking standardized tests can be scary for elementary students. With so much emphasis on testing in schools, it’s not surprising that even young students worry about test performance. Fortunately, teachers can help students (and themselves) lessen test taking anxiety with these simple reading test taking tips.

Don't call it a test.

Terms like “learning snapshots” or “show what you know” are far less terrifying than tests or assessments.

In my classroom, I called the test days- Game Days.

I liked to tell my students that all the assignments (formative assessments) we do in class are practice. They’re working on their skills to prepare for the final performance or game.

Getting their heads in the game can be easy by putting up positive signs and having countdowns to “game day”. Write your students some fan mail and encourage their parents and other teachers to do the same. They will love being superstars on the field for their big day!

You can read more about my game day testing theme by clicking HERE.

Practice reading the directions.

Remind your students that there are different types of questions on the test. This is especially true of the ELA tests.

Carefully reading the directions for each section is imperative to make sure answers are marked correctly. With more and more tests being taken digitally, there are test items that require multiple answers, highlights, and manipulation of text. 

Give your students a chance to see these types of items and clarify directions on practice tests. Check your state's testing website for examples to show your students.

Teach how to eliminate obvious incorrect answers.

Talk to your students about answer choices that are most likely incorrect. Answers that give choices like always and never usually indicate incorrect answers. Any responses that are counter to what the student knows can be crossed out to help narrow down options.

Show students how you want them to eliminate these answers without getting pencil marks in the answer bubbles!

You can do a Google search for bubble test paper. Print and actually let students practice bubbling.

Review context clues and vocabulary skills.

Reading passages often feature vocabulary words in context. Practice learning how to find the meaning of words by looking at synonym, antonym, definition, example, and inference context clues in narrative and informational texts. Prefixes, suffixes and roots are also great tools.

I found that my students greatly improved on this skill after I implemented my tier 2 vocabulary program! They were so used to being word detectives.

This is not only a great test taking skill but something your students can use across the curriculum as they read and unpack different pieces of writing.

Incorporate review centers and games.

Passages are a necessary evil when preparing for an ELA exam. Students need to practice with longer text. I do my best to make these passages fun with my Work Hard, Play Hard review day. Students are rewarded for completing the passage and questions with a fun activity such as art or a game. My students were sad when our time was up. They literally begged for more!

Engaging Reading Test Prep CentersI love to use THESE reading centers. The cards make them a little more fun than straight up passages. Plus, they cover so many skills that my kiddos needed to review.

My students love to be the teachers. I will split them into groups and give each group a topic (main idea, character traits, context clues, etc). The group will make posters/anchor charts and then give the class a short lesson. You remember more of what you teach!

I add some serious test prep fun with THESE free vocabulary games! Make sure to include words that students are likely to see on their test such as: examine, compare, contrast, support, etc.

FREE vocabulary games

I hope that these tips give you some ideas for making ELA test prep meaningful and fun. Most importantly, don’t stress yourself or your kids out before game day. 

In fact, if you have been practicing since the fall, they’ll be ready to go and so will you! Believe in them!

Math Test Prep Tips

Test taking season is here. <Insert groan and eye roll.> 

I know that testing is not fun. Test prep does not have to be stressful for you and your students. Check out these simple tips for preparing for math testing.

Use math centers to teach skills all year

Coming up with engaging math lessons for both new concepts and to review can be exhausting and time consuming. But, I've got you covered!

 Try THESE math centers. They have the same set-up with all your math concepts for the year. 

Students love the fun activities and I love that they are consistent so that I don't have to waste time teaching students HOW to complete the activities.

I even have sets specifically for test prep!

Click HERE for 3rd grade test prep centers. 

Click HERE for 4th grade test prep centers. 
Click HERE for 5th grade test prep centers. 

 Since the centers are fun and engaging, they take the groans out of test prep.

Use reference materials that mirror the test.

Most state or national standardized tests have reference cards or materials (formula sheets or rulers) that may be printed offline for practice.

Even if the actual testing materials are digital, it’s important to let your students know what the reference guides will look like and what they can use on the day of the test. Head to your state's testing site to see what they have available!

Review using technology.

Do you have any devices in your classroom?

Getting ready for testing can be fun by using online, interactive competition games like Kahoot or personalized learning websites like Moby Max or Zearn.

Check out THIS post to see other fun ways I’ve used technology to review math in the classroom.

Review with hands-on activities.

I have said it before, and I will say it again: I hate worksheets. I really do. They are so boring!

Students will engage and remember more of your review if they are moving, playing and creating.

My students love to practice their math facts (crucial for the math test!) using THESE free games. The fidget spinner is a fan favorite for sure!

Another fun way to get your kiddos practicing tough skills is with interactive notebooks. I use them in small and whole group all year. During test prep, I choose skills that students are still struggling with and give them additional activities for their notebook. I also like to take any of the activities that I prepped, but we didn't have time for, and put them in their centers.

Keep it meaningful- but hands-on and your kids will learn so much more!

Don't rush the curriculum.

Your math curriculum was written to take the entire school year. Testing is not on the last day of school. The reality is that you will not get to everything before the test, but your students will be tested on everything.

Don't get scared and start teaching three lessons per day! You will lose your students. You might cover everything before the test, but your students won't learn everything before the test.

Instead, look at your pacing guide and make sure that you cover the biggest testable units prior to testing. In third grade that would be multiplication, division and fractions. Put the units that don't have as many questions on the test at the end of the year. For third grade, that would be geometry. Check your state's testing website. They might even have a guide as to the percentage of questions from each domain.

If you use math groups, you can teach some mini lessons for those skills that you won't get to teach before the test. You could do this with groups that are higher and don't need as much small group time to review the current skill you are teaching.

This means that the lower groups might not even get introduced to a skill before the test. That's ok. I would rather spend tons of time helping them to master multiplication and do well on that portion of the test than to quickly teach everything and have them do poorly in all areas.

Foster a growth mindset.

When it comes to math, the phrase “I can’t” gets tossed around a lot. Adults and children alike can have a mentality that they are not good a math or not a math person. Use positive language and tell your kids that struggle with math concepts, to ask questions and approach problems differently. Instead of saying, “I can’t”, try saying, “I’m getting better with practice.” Positive language makes all the difference when promoting growth in any subject, especially math.

When it’s time to take the big math tests this year, your students will be prepared with these math test taking tips.

Focusing on big concepts and having fun all year will help your students have the confidence they need to continue to show progress and pass their tests.

Have a Not So Wimpy day!

Ditch the Worksheets: A Better Way to Spiral Review

I can't sugar coat this. I just can't. I am sorry if this offends you, but I have wanted to say it for so long. So here goes...

I HATE worksheets.

I don't just dislike worksheets. I literally hate them.

I have no choice about using them in some cases. We are required to use the math worksheets that come with our math curriculum. I do everything I can to make them quick and engaging. That is about the only time you will find my students doing a worksheet. 

I know that lots of teachers use worksheets for spiral review. I see teachers asking about worksheets with daily language or math problems that spiral through the standards. I have used them in the past too. #iamnotperfect 

I am issuing a challenge.

Ditch the spiral review worksheets.

Hear me out..

Why ditch the spiral worksheets?

Worksheets are boring. 

A list of questions that students have to sit in their seats and answer just isn't fun! And what's worse? I was using my spiral worksheets as my bell work. It was the first thing that students did when they walked into my classroom. It set up their day. And I was boring them to tears. Not good!

Spiral worksheets don't match our pacing guide.

It is HIGHLY unlikely that any spiral worksheets that you will find will match the order that you are teaching the skills. Therefore, it's not really a "review." My kiddos would feel frustrated when they were asked a question that we had not yet learned. I would find myself doing a quick half-hearted lesson when we were really supposed to be reviewing. 

The worksheets can be a time sucker. 

Students need time to complete the daily problems. Then you need time to go over the answers together. Then you need time to reteach or introduce the skills that your students had never seen before. What started as a simple five minute activity, can easily turn into a 20-30 minute activity. 

How should I spiral then?

I am not suggesting that spiral review is a bad thing. I strongly believe in spiral review. I love to teach in units of study, but if you never come back to the early skills, students will forget. We remember what we do repetitively. I just think that their are better ways to spiral then just giving a worksheet.

Build spiral review into your centers and small group time. 

The best part about using small group and center time for spiral review is that you are able to differentiate the review! Every student doesn't need the same thing anyway.

During math centers, my students have a rotation that is completely based on review. Since they are doing review activities, they are able to complete them more independently. When they are struggling, we can work on the activity together during our small groups. During reading centers, my students have a rotation that includes spiral review through reading response.

During reading small groups we have discussions about main idea or character traits weeks after we learned and were assessed on the skill. In math groups, we will use white boards to solve problems from math lessons taught last month. (They don't remember that they already solved the same problem, so I just grab the problems from past homework sheets.)

Give students engaging review activities rather than worksheets. 

Give them centers. Give them games. Give them projects. Get then up and moving around!

I use my math center sets as my students' math spiral review. They are engaging and fun. My students like to do them. To make it a review, I give them a skill that we have already covered whole group. For example, they won't do the multiplication set until we have finished the multiplication unit from our curriculum.

Keep task cards handy.

I love to use task cards in my classroom. We do at least one task card scoot every week. It is part of our grammar routine. The kids love getting out of their desks and moving around the classroom as they answer the questions on the cards.

Task cards can be used for super quick spiral review too! It really helps me to get more bang for my buck after prepping these task card sets.

I keep a few sets of task cards that we have already done whole group (or didn't have time to do whole group) on my table or counter. If we happen to have a couple extra minutes before recess or specials, I grab a few of the cards. I will read the question aloud and call on a student. If they answer it correctly, they get to get in line first. We continue until our time is up and the rest of the class joins to line to leave for specials.

This is super simple!

Look for natural times to review during lessons. 

Spiral review does not always have to be an extra activity that students must complete. It can be super quick additions to your current lesson.

For example, when I am teaching students about adjectives, I also have them point out the nouns and verbs. Later, during guided reading groups, I can point to one sentence in our book or passage and ask them to find the adjectives. 

The same can be done with math. Students are finding the area of a rectangle. Ask them what they know about rectangles to review geometry. Throw in multi-step word problems so that your students have more opportunities to practice addition and subtraction even during your multiplication unit.

They need the repeated practice. I didn't have to prep anything else and it takes just an extra minute or our time. Simple!

Use price of admission when students are entering the classroom.

I love this quick and simple activity! It is similar to an exit ticket, but no copying is needed and it happens as kiddos are entering the room.

I print THIS sign, laminate it and staple it to the wall next to my classroom door.

I use a dry erase marker to write a question each day. It is best when the question is a yes/no question. It is even better when there is more than one correct answer.

Give me an example of an adverb.
Give a x12 fact.
What is one ingredient needed for photosynthesis?
What was one cause of the Civil War?
What is one way to make a noun plural?

My questions come from prior lessons and let me see what students remember and what they need to review.

My only rule is that you can't give the same answer as the person in front of you in line. If it is a question with just one right answer, have students whisper the answer in your ear.

If a student doesn't know the answer, I have them go to the back of the line and I tell them to listen real carefully! They usually have a correct answer by the time they get to me again. If lots of students get the answer wrong at first, I know we need to review during small groups!

You can also use this activity to get to know your students better. Once a week of so, ask a personal question.

What did you have for breakfast?
What do you like to do after school?
What is your favorite TV show?

I just love learning little details about my students. It helps me to really connect with them in the classroom.

What do you think? Can you take me up on my challenge to ditch the spiral worksheets?

Have a Not So Wimpy day!

Classroom Organization: Lesson Plan Materials and Resources

A time saving tip for getting your classroom resources prepped and organized!

How tight would you hug me if I could help you to save lots of time prepping your teaching materials resources this year? What if I told you that I could save you time? #cantbreath
My teaching buddies would often make fun of laugh at my craziness. 
I have to fess up. I was the annoying teacher photocopying her Valentine's Day activities in December. I was the OCD teacher who had a label, binder or folder for EVERYTHING. I was the goofball who color-coded my lesson plans.
Do you know someone like that?
My friends might have gotten a good laugh out of this, but the truth is that my crazy organization usually saved me tons of time.
I regularly left school at my contracted time and almost never came in on a weekend or break. I carried a tiny teacher bag because I didn't cart home papers and projects. 
Home is for family time.
So how dow did I do it? How did I meet the crazy demands of teaching and still prioritize my time with family?
I am going to share the number one routine that I feel saved me the most time and helped me to be a prepared and less stressed teacher. It's a three step process.

Step One: 

Make copies of the resources that you know you will need for the entire quarter.
I am supposed to be telling you how to save time, but the first thing I tell you to do is a ton of work. Give me a chance to explain...
If you take the time upfront to get a bunch of your copying done, you will open up time in your schedule the rest of the quarter. This means you will be able to go home early more often.
Here are things that I always had ready for the entire quarter:
  • spelling lists
  • vocabulary lists and assessments
  • grammar notebook activities, task card recording sheets and assessments
  • book club printables
  • math facts
  • math assessments
  • math center recording books
  • bell work
  • holiday, science or social studies activities that I knew I wanted to do
That is a ton of work!
Do you have a teacher that you can team up with? Maybe one of you can do ELA and the other can do math and holidays?
Are you allowed to have a parent volunteer do some copying? I had a volunteer who came in for 30 minutes once per week. She was able to get tons done for me and it was a very small commitment for her.
Having all of these weekly materials ready to go will mean that you don't have to have a melt down when the printer or copier breaks, the copy line is two miles long on your break or you have to have an unplanned substitute day. You are ready to go!
I promise that this is the hardest step and that it gets so much easier from here.

Step Two:

File all of your copies into weekly folders.
The worst thing that you could do is take all of those stacks of papers and pile them on to your desk, shelves or tables. That will stress you out every time you look at the pile! Plus, you will waste time trying to find what you need.
The solution?
It is simple, Put the papers in folders labeled by week. 
Organizing all those papers into weekly file folders!

Step Three:

File the papers for the next week in daily drawers before you go home on Friday.

So if next week is week three, you will take everything from the week three folder and put it in the correct drawer. I will put my spelling lists in the Monday drawer and my grammar assessments in the Friday drawer, etc.
It will be so easy to find what you need each day and you don't have a ton of papers piled on your table.
Organize your daily classroom papers into drawers with labels!
What do you think? Are you going to get ahead and get organized? I am rooting you on!

A time saving tip for getting your classroom resources prepped and organized!

Have a Not So Wimpy week!