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April 21, 2017

Lifesaver Start-Up Box

Written By: Brandi Jordan
Originally Published On: May 2013
Category: The School Year
Lifesaver Start-up Box for Teachers

Lifesaver Start Up Box - Be Ready for Back to School -

The first day or so back in the classroom after a nice summer break can be overwhelming.  From organizing to planning to simply remembering where you packed everything, the days can be long! We asked some of our Really Good Teachers what they do to make the start of the school year easier and this idea by Shelly, a 2nd Grade Teacher, from Parachute, CO was a huge hit. She said that in order to make the first few days a success, she creates a box of everything she needs when she’s packing up in May.  Find out more below!

How to Make a First of the Year Start-Up Box

“As I’m closing up my classroom for the year, I create a ‘first of the year’ box that contains everything I want and need for those first few days,” Shelly explained.  “This box is a lifesaver for me. In it I stash the following items:

  • labels
  • files folders
  • name cards
  • tongue depressors or craft sticks
  • items for specific activities/games/assessments
  • a couple of permanent markers
  • magnets
  • index cards
  • my stapler and extra staples
  • paperclips
  • an extension chord
  • an extra phone charger (because I inevitably forget mine when I go in to get my room set up!)
  • scissors
  • sticky notes
  • and more!

The list goes on and on and changes every year as I change. I keep a list on my phone as I’m working those first few days of things I wish I had put in the box and then refer to it again in May. I also include a wish list of new purchases I want to make for the beginning of the year, so that I don’t forget anything.

It’s made setting up the classroom so much easier and I’m not running around a few days before I have to be back in the classroom to make sure I have everything.  I know that it’s all right there in the box!  Oh! I also make sure that the box is totally unique (and labeled!) so that I can recognize it in the sea of classroom boxes on that first day.  Hope that helps!”

Lifesaver Start-up Box for Teachers

Do you have a trick for making the first few days of setting up your classroom easier? Share it below!

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  • Eva Crawford
    May 15, 2013

    I do this every year. It really does help out! Thanks for sharing.

  • Erica P
    July 7, 2012

    Hi teachers!

    I am a new teacher, starting in second grade, after working in advertising for 10 years. All of this is fresh and brand new to me, but I love this idea. Can anyone provide some more suggestions of items to have handy on the first day?

  • Kris Jenkins
    May 27, 2012

    What an AWESOME idea! I did this, only it’s all in a drawer of my desk. I also put hard copes of notes that will need to be tweeked in the front of my filing cabinet. I also have a folder on my desktop that has been labeled “Beginning of the School Year.” Now I can spend the summer relaxing and reading!

  • Daina R.
    May 9, 2012

    Great idea! This is especially helpful for teachers who might switch grade levels from one year to the next.

  • Emily Sheehan
    May 7, 2012

    This is a great idea. At my school, we are required to clean out our desks, even if we aren’t moving classrooms. Last year I ended up packing away everything I would need to get started with setting up and preparing for the following year, including scissors to open boxes!!! I will give this idea a try at the end of this year so I’m not searching for those much needed miscellaneous items next year.

  • Joan B
    May 6, 2012

    I love the idea of using a box to store all the important items I will need for the next school year. I think I will set up the box today and start adding items to the box. I will also include labeled folders, bulletin board ideas and other ideas for the new year!

  • Amanda Lawson
    May 6, 2012

    I love this idea and will help me remember exactly what I want at the beginning of the school year.

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