My To Do List (and a New School Box Winner!)

Our previous winner failed to contact us within 48 hours... So we picked a new winner!
Congrats Michelle! We love your Kinder Fun blog and hope you buy some good stuff from The School Box with your $25 gift card! (Just make sure to contact us within 48 hours... or we'll have to choose someone else.)

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Have any of you started having back to school nightmares yet? Well, I have! The only cure I've found is to start working on my to do list and begin checking stuff off. I thought I'd share some of things I still need to do before school starts to help any of you who are new to teaching or who need help ideas/inspiration of new things to do in your classrooms.

1. Revamp our 5th grade disclosure document. 
Thing about our homework policies, late work policies, etc. I have 2 new {awesome!} teachers on my team this year, so we'll need to see how we can incorporate new ideas.

2. Finish my reading calendars.
This project is taking forever because each little number in the corner is its own text box. So, for each month I have to drag the little numbers around. Is there an easier way to do this?

3. Make my new 'welcome to 5th grade' decor outside my classroom.
 Because my new theme is cupcakes (see my class blog here) I want to write in big letters, "5th Grade is Really Sweet" and have cute scrapbook-y type cupcakes with each students' name on it. 

4. Revamp my classroom jobs board. 
Come up with a cute rotation system and decide if I want to change or add any new jobs.

5. Make my "Fast Finishers" books. 
I like to have a book filled with educational and fun activities for students to do when they finish an assignment early. Of course students can always silent read or work on writing as a fast finisher, but I also like to include some cursive practice pages, times tables, crossword puzzles, math riddles, etc for my students to work on if they choose.

6. Start my plan book. 
Get my first few weeks of school figured out. Decide which type of get to know you games we will play, get my math all mapped out, etc. I try to mix things up a little each year, I'm constantly on the lookout for new and fun ideas.

7. Decide which type of gift I want to put out on my students' desks for Back to School Night/Open House. 
I'm thinking either a '5th grade survival kit' or I might order some designer cupcakes from a local bakery with a cute welcome topper. They are a little pricy though... so we'll see about that.

8. Decide how I want to do spelling this year.
It seems each year I change the way I do spelling. It's because I've never been completely happy with it. Is it better to give more spelling homework each week so students come prepared for their test on Friday? Or should there be less homework so they focus on reading and math homework instead? Which program should I use? (I've used Literacy Place, Words Their Way, and Rigby... I've never been completely happy with any of them.) How do I adequately challenge each student? Some students are on a first or second grade reading/spelling level... some are on a seventh or eighth grade level. How in the world can I properly do leveled spelling/individual spelling lists? 

9. Organize my desks and put name tags on. 
(They are all still stacked on the counters from getting my carpet cleaned this summer.) I always use clear contact paper to adhere the name tags to their desks. 
 I usually order this one from Carson-Dellosa.

I'm sure I have a thousand other little things to do, but I think I covered most of the big projects that have been on my mind.

Please share of the things on your to do list. I'd love to see if I'm forgetting anything important. :)
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