Tips & Tricks

{Week 1} BTS in a Flash! Teacher Faves

Back to School is such a stressful time for teachers… And if you’re a mom (like I am) we also have to worry about buying uniforms, supplies, backpacks, lunch boxes, etc… for our own children!

But when you put all the worrying aside, BTS can also be one of the most EXCITING times of the year! Every year I look forward to a new school year. It’s not that I don’t miss my students from last year, it’s just that I LOVE the idea of a new beginning or a fresh start. 

So in an effort to give you a much needed break from stressing and offer you some tips, I’ve decided to join a linky party organized by 3 of my favorite bloggers Not So Wimpy Teacher, Fancy Free in Fourth and Ramona Recommends

Check out our linky of Teacher Faves and I’m sure you’ll find a tip or two to add to your bag of tricks. It’s sure to reduce some of that stress you’re feeling right about now!

Here are 3 things that I could NOT live without during BTS time!

Organized Library by Genre:

After many years of organizing my library by AR level, I finally decided to make the switch over to GENRES. It was the best decision I ever made!!!! Last year I purchased these labels by Catherine over at    
The Brown Bag Teacher and I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THEM!

Throughout the year we read books from various genres and we discussed their different characteristics. (Students frequently referred to these posters on the right.) They quickly began to figure out which genres they liked best.
Now that our library was organized by genres, they were easily able to search for books that interested them; and the best part was that each book was already labeled with its AR level. This made selecting books they found interesting AND on their AR level much easier to do. That’s a win win in my book! Teacher and Students were BOTH happy!!!!!

Preprinted Parent Letters:

Before the year begins, I love to preprint letters that I use frequently. That way whenever I need a letter, I don’t have to go scrambling for a sheet of paper and think of what to say and how to say it. Also, I don’t have to worry about whether or not my printer decides to print at that moment. Instead, I just open up my Parent Notes binder and turn to the letter I need, sign it and voila I’m done…. Zero added stress for me!
If you’d like to read more about how I store my notes, check out this post here. Also, if you’d like a FREE copy of my Editable Behavior Chart just click on the picture below.

Invest in Strong Adhesive:

I know I know… you’re probably wondering why I have adhesive as one of my teacher faves. Let me just tell you that there’s nothing more frustrating then arriving at work early in the morning to find a handful of posters sitting on the floor after falling off the walls in the middle of the night. At the time who really wants to stand on top of a desk to start sticking posters back up… NOT ME!!!!!

That’s why after testing out numerous kinds of sticky tac and foam square adhesives I have finally found the answer to my problems… 3M Command Strips. You know those white strips that you attach to the back of 3M hooks. Those small yet powerful strips not only hold up heavy posters ALL YEAR LONG, but if you pull the long strip slowly at the end of the year when storing away your posters, they won’t remove any wall paint.
So far the best deal I have found is for the value pack of 48 small strips. I usually buy about 2 packs at the beginning of the year and they last me the entire year. No more falling posters with these babies. Just attach one strip to the top/ middle of your posters and you’re good to go. You can attach sticky tac to the other corners. That way when the sticky tac lifts up (as it usually does) that single 3M strip will keep your poster from falling to the floor.
So there you have it, my 3 BTS Teacher Faves. 
What is YOUR best Back to School tip? 
Come join the FUN, link up, and share your OWN teacher faves!

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  • Reply
    Fancy Free in 4th
    July 26, 2015 at 3:28 pm

    Great post! Your parent notes are on my wishlist now!!!! And you are right about strong adhesive, I have 5 white boards in my class and nothing sticks to them…. I need to solve that issue asap!
    Thanks for everything!

    Fancy Free in Fourth

  • Reply
    Jamie Sears
    July 26, 2015 at 3:54 pm

    I love a classroom library organized by theme and genre! So student friendly!

    Diary of a Not So Wimpy Teacher

  • Reply
    Diane R
    July 26, 2015 at 8:00 pm

    I love 3M strips! I use them for everything!

  • Reply
    Courtney Hinshaw
    July 27, 2015 at 4:42 pm

    I love your behavior chart and parent communication binder. Thanks for linking up!
    Ramona Recommends

  • Reply
    July 27, 2015 at 9:52 pm

    Your library looks gorgeous! My books are organized, but my labels aren't cute. You've inspired me to love things up a bit.
    Laughter and Consistency

    • Reply
      Melissa Yalesias
      July 31, 2015 at 6:19 pm

      Jan, THANK YOU! It does take a while to organize the books, but once you do it's sooooo worth it. I'm so happy to hear that I've inspired you :0) Have a wonderful school year!

  • Reply
    Kelly M
    July 29, 2015 at 6:06 pm

    You're not kidding about the strong adhesive! I use those little mounting squares & they've saved me so much time!

    • Reply
      Melissa Yalesias
      July 31, 2015 at 6:20 pm

      Aren't they the best!!!!! I swear if I could buy them by the boxes I would :0)

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