Friday, August 2, 2013

33rd Day: Cleaning Comes First

If only I had posted my Common Core woes earlier, I would have saved my summer!

Thank you to each person who posted a comment (and those who wished good thoughts, even without typing them). My spirits are buoyed--like a balloon rising with each nod of agreement. Although we seem to be a bit "tardy" in readying ourselves (and our students) for Common Core in my district, it sounds like the "growing pains" I have been experiencing are not completely unusual. Thanks for the encouragement, sweet BloggyFriends!

In an effort to take my mind off Common Core, I decided to chronicle my steps to getting prepared for the new school year. Nothing is particularly unique or extraordinary, but taken together, it is my passage to readiness. In addition, I really am trying to be a more consistent blogger, so this is a challenge I've set for myself.

Consequently, for the next thirty-three days, I'll give you a peek at one of my accomplishments. I admit this is probably certinly more helpful for me than for you--but it will keep me moving forward and help me focus on getting things done. In our district, we still start school the day after Labor Day. By that time, many of my BlogFriends will have been in school for a month (or more!). But we are also still in school until the second or third week of June, so it all evens out eventually.

For me the best approach is to do as much cleaning as psooible in advance. Before I lock the door the last time, I like to have most everything scrubbed and ready for the new year. And it is not unusual for my bathtub to look like this for a few days as different items get washed and scrubbed.

Once I've got everything washed, I put it in plastic bags, so it doesn't get dusty when the custodians come in to do the floors. And here it stays until I return in August.

I love coming into my classroom for the first time when the floors are still shiny and there aren't eraser bits on the floor and crumpled up math papers stuffed into the dim recesses of the desks.

Here are my supplies. There wasn't a lot to clean because I had done most of the hard work in June, but I had everything I needed in one place and I could get the task done quickly and move on to unpacking.

One last comment: This is the BEST product I have ever used for taking off all things adhesive (as well as ink pen and marker markings!). It's a bit oily (which is, I think, why it works so well), so you have to "wash" the surface afterwards, but I have used this to take off stickers, price tags, labels and the residue left from ancient contact paper. Just look at the promises on the labels!

We have lots of restrictions governing what can and can't be used at school, but if you're free to choose, this might be worth investigating!

Whew. One day down, thirty-two to go. I hope I can come up with enough tasks to fill the days (and the posts!), but I'm feeling determined (today)!

Sending good wishes,


  1. I'm your newest follower! I also teach 6th grade! (5th also). I am super excited to follow all your getting-ready posts- I don't go back until September 4th!

    Floating Through Fifth

  2. I wish our district went back later! Good luck with your getting ready journey! I too am heading into the Core and not sure how to feel about it. You are not alone my friend.

    Math Madness

  3. I've been posting about getting ready for school too. I feel like it's more for me than my readers also but I like reading what other people are doing (maybe it's just me).

    Lesson Plans & Lattes

  4. Thanks so much for the tip on the spray for taking off adhesive! I am in need of something that will do that right now! Where do you get it at?
    Crafting Connections

  5. Hi Kim! I always love to see what other teachers do for clean up and organization. Great idea to post it because now you have a record for next year. I always get there and can't remember all of the things I have to do in which order! I must admit the majority of my cleaning up at the end of the school year is actually prepping for the new school year. I can relax more if I know there's less to do later!
    Whimsy Workshop


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