First Day Jitters

The first day of school can be very nerve racking. What will my classroom look like? Did I pick the right clothes? Will I know what to do? Will I have any friends? If this is what I’m thinking, I can only imagine how nervous the kids are! Here are a few tips I found using The Mailbox Gold to help me start the year in an organized manner, have students get to know each other quickly, and prepare for a great new year.


Easy Spelling List Generator!

To help students get to know each other, I created a list of student names for my first week’s spelling test. Using The Mailbox Gold, I wrote two lists, one with the names of my boys and one with the names of our girls. Students can choose either list for this fun get to know each other activity. I created these lists using the The Mailbox Gold toolkit and also included fun ways to study spelling words. The program is easy to use, all you need to do is pick one of the fun borders, type or insert the spelling words and check as many suggested spelling activities you want to use. Quick, easy, professional looking, and kid friendly…just what I needed! You can create your own list too using The Mailbox Gold.

Spelling List Generator


Organized Materials!

I love this idea for kicking off the new school year with organized materials and it makes it easy to prepare for the days ahead! I used the SEARCH at The which is so easy to use. I simply typed in “organize my planning” and found a perfect idea. This one suggested labeling drawers in a small six-drawer filing cabinet with a day of the school week and placing materials needed for the lessons into the appropriate day. See complete directions at:

Name Puzzles Activity

Here’s a great tip to help student get to know each other. Take a picture of each child and create puzzle pieces. During this activity, students need to create a match to find their new friends. For complete directions see:


Let’s celebrate those who need us the most

We all wait for that all important class list and when we finally get it, we do a quick check for things like the number or boys verses girls, health and special needs, or students’ whose names we recognize from siblings we may have had. We know that each class will have its share of academic and behavior issues and sometimes it’s difficult not to think “oh, no” in anticipation of “problem” students. But when I think back (way back) to why I went into education, I have to remember that it is these “oh, no” kids who truly need me the most. They are the ones who enter our classrooms with deficiencies—social, emotional, academic—and in order to truly level the playing field in our classrooms, these are the children who will need the best of us as teachers. So as we prepare our classrooms and anticipate the first day, please join me in celebrating those special few who need us the most and fill our hearts with love and understanding as we think “oh, yes,” I can be the difference!

“You can plan easier, too! To go Gold, click here.

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