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Getting Ready for Back to School

It can only mean one thing when you walk into Walmart and the crayons are on sale for $0.50. It’s almost time for school to start again.

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Depending on who you are, this probably signals either relief or dread.

Being my first year having a “school-aged kid,” I realize (whether I like it or not!) it’s time to start getting him shifted from summer-mode into school-mode. Being a teacher, my first thoughts are of making sure he’s ready for full days of learning and on track for first grade.

And…since teaching is my one area of “expertise,” here are some of my recommendations and favorite things for getting ready for back to school.

1) Read. Every day. Please?!?!
I could definitely make a whole post on this one…and to list favorite books would have to be a series!

2) Pick something – anything really – and learn more about it. E loves learning about animals, so we read Ranger Rick, check out animal books from the library, watch Wild Kratts, download apps (we love NatureTap…check it out if you’re interested in animal identification!), etc.

3) Brush up on math skills. We have lots of apps for this and I change them out when my kiddos are ready for more. However, Hungry Fish is awesome! I’ve used it on the most basic levels with a three-year-old and on the highest levels with fifth graders.

4) Go somewhere. The zoo, the park, the children’s museum, the pool, the backyard? And then talk about it. Ask questions. We talk about everything from animals’ teeth and what they probably eat or why your body feels cooler when you get out of the pool to how to untangle the ladderball balls or why the dog always poops in the same part of the yard.

5) Need websites? Go to Internet4Classrooms for every grade level and every subject area.

Bonus? My favorite websites for upper intermediate (4th-6th…ish) are here. And apps? Other than the ones already mentioned, my guys love Sight Words, Little Writer, Top-It, Click the Birdie and Toy Story read aloud.

Oh, and stock up on those $0.50 notebooks. You can thank me later for that one.

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