Looking Ahead Blog Hop

Quick tips to help you end the school year right and get ready for the next school year without using your whole summer vacation to plan.

Hello Readers,

I am writing this blog post with a little over 3 weeks left of the 2015 school year. I will be sad to see this group of students move on to high school, but I really need my summer to rest up. I have joined up with some great English Language Arts bloggers to help you plan now for next year's start up.

Tip #1: Use the Photocopier Before You Leave


I never leave at the end of the school year without having my first day photocopies completed or at least easily accessible in a folder. Basic items like Student Information and Interest Forms, Reading and Writing Surveys and Back to School Bingo. These are items I use every year and I know will be useful for the first day as I am trying to get to know my students.

Tip #2: Reduce Prep by Using Long Term Assignments

I love year long assignments that students can get familiar with the routine and format, so they develop more independence as learners. My favourite product in my store that I use every year in my classroom is my Genre Based Independent Reading Assignments.

Here is a detailed blog post about them, and how I use them. Each month students must read a certain genre. By the end of the school year students have been exposed to more than just their "go to" genre.

What do you do in your classrooms to help with the back to school rush? Leave a comment below so we can all learn from your expertise.

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Don't forget to read the other great posts in this Looking Ahead Blog Hop.


  1. I like to make many of my copies over summer too! However, that is pretty new. I wish I did that earlier in my career. It would have saved so much stress! I use our district's print shop for big orders. It really helps -unless if your schedule gets changed over summer.

  2. Loving the long term assignment to get students reading a variety of genres! Off to check it out now!

  3. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I can't agree MORE. Anything you can do now to reduce those "August Blues" right before you go back... I am all in favor of! And.... I have to say ... those genre-focused book reports are fantastic!

  4. Good advice re the copies! I love the long term assignment idea too--it also allows for lots of good scaffolding.

  5. My co-workers used to think I was crazy when I made copies for next year at the end of the year. Glad to see I am not the only one thinking ahead.

    Brynn Allison
    The Literary Maven

  6. Drat! I wish I had read about the copies before today - we're out for summer - and that idea is gold! :)

    Mrs. Spangler in the Middle

  7. Great idea to have a back to school activity planned before summer even starts! :-)

  8. Love the photocopy idea... I hate the panicked rush at the start of the year to get organized! 3 weeks left for me so I've got some time.

  9. I have your genre reports, and they're great! I recommend them to all middle grade ELA teachers.
    Thank you!

  10. I, too, make all my copies for the first week of school before leaving for summer break -- when I return, I always feel ahead of the game and ready to roll! I think that's one of the best gifts teachers can give themselves so that they can relax a bit over those few short weeks in the summer!

    Literary Sherri

  11. Great idea! I wish I could make copies for the first week of school, but where do you keep them? I just don't think I have enough space!

    1. Great question. I keep them in a file folder in my classroom over the summer. If you can't make the copies then pull out all the master sheets you will need and leave them somewhere accessible over the summer so you don't have to search during Back to School season.


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