Back to school time is right around the corner, which means it’s time to prep, organize, and get ready for a new school year. Some of the most essential teacher to-dos this time of year are organizing your classroom, getting your classroom management plan in place, and planning back to school lesson plans. To help you simplify lesson planning and getting organized at the beginning of the year, read on to learn about my top back to school resources for 2nd grade.
Top Back to School Resources
The back to school season can be crazy and stressful. There’s always so much to do and think about in order to start the year off on the right foot with your new students. The last thing you want to spend your time on is scouring the internet for the resources you need that will make your life easier.
When it comes to finding resources for back to school time, I like to think about it in 3 steps. First, you need to get your classroom and supplies organized. Secondly, you need a classroom management plan that you can implement from day one. Thirdly, you need resources for your lesson plans.
Don’t make the mistake of trying to plan all of your lesson plans first. Take it step-by-step and tackle the most timely resources first.
#1. Classroom Supply Labels
Before the school year even begins, the first thing you must do is get your classroom and supplies organized. From your teacher supplies to your math manipulatives, word work supplies, and more, there’s so much organization that goes on within a classroom. Organization is helpful not only for you, but for your students as well.
These Classroom Supply Labels include the name of the supply as well as a kid-friendly picture to match. This is very helpful for students, especially ESL students. They can easily find what they need by looking at the picture. They’ll also become more familiar with these classroom vocabulary words as they will see them often.
I have a set of classroom school supply labels, math manipulative labels, and word work labels. You can grab all of them in my Classroom Supply Labels Bundle.
The math manipulative label set comes in two different size options. There is a 4X4 option that fits perfectly on plastic shoebox containers that are great for math manipulative storage. Read more about how I organize my math manipulative tubs in this blog post. They also come in a 1X3 option that is great for smaller drawers or containers that you might use.
The classroom school supply label set covers items such as pencils, erasers, glue sticks, glitter, tissue boxes, paper towels, brads, paperclips, thumbtacks, and other common school supplies.
The word work set has labels for items such as magnetic letters, pom-pom words, play-doh, letter tiles, rainbow writing supplies, and more.
This back to school resource will help you organize almost everything in your classroom. All the labels come in color and black and white versions, so you can choose what works best for you. There’s also an editable version so you can create your own text labels.
#2: Classroom Management Reward Puzzles
Once you have your classroom organization in place, the next thing you need to think about is your classroom management plan. You may be tempted to jump straight to lesson planning, but without routines and procedures in place, your classroom can quickly become chaos.
One of my favorite classroom management strategies is using Classroom Management Reward Puzzles. These are created to help you with whole group classroom management. There are over 70 reward options to choose from in this resource. Each reward is low or no cost, making it even easier (and less stressful) on you!
Each puzzle board starts off blank. As students work together towards a whole group behavior, such as transitioning, lining up properly, classroom clean-up, etc, they earn a puzzle piece each time the teacher catches the whole class using the correct behavior.
There is a number on the back of each piece that matches a number on the board. As they earn more pieces, the puzzle slowly reveals the class reward. Once they complete the puzzle, they earn that reward.
Each puzzle comes with 10 and 15 piece options, so you can differentiate to meet your students’ needs. I recommend starting with a 10 piece puzzle board at the beginning of the year. This will help reinforce those positive behaviors right away and give students a quick win.
#3: Classroom Reward Coupons
The next back to school resource is also for classroom management, but this one focuses on individual behavior management rather than whole group. Instead of using a treasure box for rewarding students, I like to use Classroom Reward Coupons.
These coupons are full of basic, simple rewards that don’t cost you a thing as the teacher. They help students focus on actually achieving something rather than just trying to earn “things.” There are several different rewards to choose from, such as being the class author, moving their seat next to a friend, etc.
This resource comes with a cover and plastic sleeve inserts, so you can easily store them in a binder to keep them organized. These reward coupons work perfectly alongside behavior management systems like Class Dojo. The rewards come in color and black and white. There is also an editable template so that you can type out your own rewards for your students to use.
#4: Guided Math Units
Once you have your classroom organization and classroom management plan in place, then it’s time to start thinking about curriculum and lesson planning. The next back to school resource is my 2nd grade Guided Math Units. It’s important to plan your guided math units before your math stations, that way you know what you’ll be teaching and working on.
These units are a comprehensive, research-based math curriculum that comes with everything you need to teach guided math successfully in your classroom. Each unit comes with a set of lesson plans, objectives, vocabulary words, materials, a whole group lesson, warm-up idea, independent practice, and a small group activity for that day.
Not only do you get the lesson plans, but you also get the materials and activities to go along with them. Plus, you get vocabulary posters, pre and post assessments with data checklists, higher-order thinking questions, math crafts, interactive notebook activities, task cards, overview pages of each daily activity, and more.
#5: Math Stations
After you have your guided math units in place, then you can plan for your math stations. While it may be a few weeks before your math stations fully kick-off, you’re going to want to have all of your materials so you can introduce the activities and practice implementing routines and procedures.
My Monthly Math Stations for 2nd Grade will help you plan and prep for your math stations and take the guesswork out of it. Each set comes with a monthly theme to help your students review previously taught skills in a fun, hands-on way.
#6: Comprehension Question Stems
This last back to school resource will help your students have strong educational conversations and get them thinking critically while using important vocabulary words. These Comprehension Question Stems come with various questions that you can ask your students for every type of reading and math strategy and concept.
They encourage your students to think outside of the box and allow you to always have meaningful questions right at your fingertips. These are great to have at your small group table and near your whole group area. Students can use these question stems for partner talk or turn and talk activities.
I hope these back to school resources help make planning for the beginning of the year easier and less stressful on you.
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For a sneak peek into these resources, check out my YouTube video below.
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