Back to School 2020-2021: 5 Things I am doing to get started!

Cover image with text: Back to School 2020-2021

Well, now we know the plan for going back to school in 2020.  Read on to see what is happening in my neck of the woods! This post contains affiliate links to Amazon.  That means if you purchase anything through Amazon using the links provided, I will receive a small commission at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support!  

The schools that I teach for are offering 2 choices.  1. Distance Learning:  All instruction will be provided via the computer.  2. In-Class Learning.    

So, for our in-class learners, we are going back to school this year on “Yellow”. That means we are in a hybrid model.  Half of my students will come to school on Monday and Thursday, the other half will come on Tuesday and Friday, and all of my cherubs will do “e-learning” on Wednesday while they deep clean our building.   How am I preparing for this?  Good question! So, in my last Back to School Post (you can find that HERE if you are interested), I talked about the things that I was doing while waiting to hear the Back To School plan.  This post is about what I am doing now that I know what that plan is!    

1. Removing Excess Furniture:

This part makes me sad.  I LOVE my classroom furniture.  I have several pieces that I have gathered over the years to make my classroom more comfortable and unique.  I have to take these items out to increase the space for social distancing in my classroom.    

Image of classroom furniture in the hallway.

The orange couch was my first piece of classroom furniture from when I started Second Grade.  The rocking chair was a gift from my hubba when I started teaching 21 years ago.  Each piece is special.  They are going in my basement until next year (hopefully)!  

2. Wearing a Mask:

I have been wearing a mask when venturing out into the world from the very beginning of this pandemic, but I don’t go out often, and when I do it is for short periods of time.  I have been practicing wearing my mask for long periods of time during the day.  I am getting more comfortable with it.  My classroom is Star Wars themed, so of course I needed to get some Star Wars masks.  I ordered these from Disney (no affiliation, just like the masks).   

Image of me wearing a Disney Star Wars R2D2 Mask

    I do plan to bring several with me to school every day, and having some extra paper ones just in case. Here are the ones that I picked up from Amazon (affiliate link):    

3. Making Plans for if I get sick…

This one did give me pause, but it is good to have a plan, right?  I live with my hubba and my 2 sons.  Hubba works from home and my boys will be distance learning this first semester (we will reevaluate then).  So, I am the only one leaving the house.   I will be able to come into the house, put my clothes straight into the washer, and take a shower without having to come into the house proper, so that is a help. But, we only have one bathroom.  Most of our “house” is in the living room.  So, if I get sick and have to quarantine I get the bedroom and someone is going to end up sleeping on the couch or doubling up.  No one is happy about this, but that is how it goes, right?  If I have to use the bathroom, I will have to mask up.  I am hoping not to get sick, but at least we know what we are going to do in case it happens.  Now if I get REALLY sick…we will have to go from there.

4. Making Plans…

Planner Meme about being organized

This is definitely me.  I am not sure who made this meme originally, but it speaks to me! This year, I am opting for a digital planner.  I did a post earlier this summer about my Back to School thinking at the time and talked about a digital conferring notebook that I made.  You can find that post HERE.   I am also planning to do my lesson plans digitally as well.  I am currently working on making my planner (as I don’t yet know my schedule or class list), and I will share it with you when it is finished. There are some amazing teacher planners on Tpt and Etsy if it is something that you are interested in researching!  I love the videos of these ladies (they use the GoodNotes 5 app for their digital planning), I am not affiliated with any of these people or GoodNotes.  When I started becoming interested in digital planning, these are some of the videos I watched:   Hey, JessicaKristi DeRoche (she makes digital planners.  She is the one that started me on all of this!) CoyaPlansandCreates (love her style!)   I will apologize now.  This is what led me to become a digital planner.  I fell down a rabbit hole because there is so much out there and it is SOOOOO much fun!  If you have a digital planner that you love or a digital planning YouTuber, please let me know in the comments!    So, I am working on creating lesson plan templates that will work for me teaching hybrid (for at least this first grading period.  Here are a few I have come up with.  (You can get these for free below!)  

Image of Hybrid Lesson Plan Template
Image of Hybrid Lesson Plan Template

5. Organizing for teaching online and in person.

This one is a bit difficult at the moment as well.  I have never taught this way, so it is a new adventure!  I have been purchasing things that I can use both in my classroom and on-line.  I have also been updating a ton of my resources so that they can be used both in-person and online.   It is nice that I will be seeing my students twice a week!  This does make planning a little more interesting, however.  Keeping up with who is doing what and what I said to whom has been a bit of a challenge.  Then, we have Labor Day off, so I won’t see those kiddos, so it is kind of a mess.  Thank goodness I have an amazing team of teacher colleagues!  So, here are some of the digital/print items that I have made that I plan to use this year!  (Shameless Plug).  

Image of Digital reading Logs

These are fun, interactive reading logs, and responses!  Each comes with a teacher and student video to show you and your students how to use their logs!  You can see one of the student videos here:   My kiddos LOVE my Writing Skills Journals!  These are the perfect way to practice writing skills as I teach them (You Do!).  They are labels for which month I use them, but only some of them are themed.  The rest of them you can use anytime you are teaching that particular writing skill!  I have these fun journals both in print and digital!  You can check them out here:   These are the ones for October, I do have others, and am working on making more as we speak! See more by clicking on the picture:  

Image of digital and print writing skills journals

  The digital version of these also comes with teacher and student videos.  You can see the teacher video here:   One more!  This is a fun, interactive number sense product that I have in my store:   Interested?  You can find this HERE!   WoW!  Thanks so much for reading all of that!  Don’t lose this information: Pin it!  Thanks again for stopping by!

Blog Post Image Bitmoji with a Mask

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