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Monday, August 22, 2011

School Bell: Before School Starts- pt 4..Paper Piles

Today is the next last School Bell before my gremlins start a new school year.  You may be beginning this week or in may regions may have already begun.  So, the topic today is clearing the debris and safeguarding the celebrations of last school year and preparing a space for this year's celebrations, accomplishments, and..yes... even debris. If at all possible do it in tandem with each child, using the opportunity for reflection on the past year, dreaming and goal setting for this year, and hopdfully start some self-fulfilling prophecies of a good kind. 

You don't have to do it my way, but it does help keep clutter down, and preserve at the same time. [In my Nov 2, 09 and Sept 2, 2010 blogs I wrote about my filing system for school work.] If you have a different system fine... in fact please share your system.. we can all use new ideas! But whatever system you use, try to accomplish these four steps during this week.

1. Gather and sort through all the random papers, projects, reports, and evaluations from the last school year.  Choose what to save and what to let go.  Don't just save the best work, but also some that will show progress in a later year.  Be sure to save something as a handwriting sample. Be sure to save at least one report card from the year. If you already did this, just check through it as you do step two.

2. Label every sheet that you keep with the child's name and the school year.  You will NOT remember years later which year, or even which child, unless you do it as each year passes, believe me!

3. Preserve..Put all the "saves" into a single folder or container and add key info such as grade level, teacher's name, and school attended at the very least.  Adding extra info about activities, best friends, etc. will also be something enjoyed later if you can do it.

4. Anticipate the coming year.  Label an empty folder or container with this school year and place it where it can be easily used throughout the coming year. If possible, have each child put on their back to school outfit and take a picture if them.  Trust me, it is much easier to do the week before school than in the first day rush! Maybe even have each child hold a sign with the coming school year or grade level. Add this as the start to their new folder [or cover decoration].

You're almost there.... Next Monday .... introductions

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