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Get Ready for Next Year: Essential Summer Classroom Prep

Back to School, Summer, Teacher Support

Written by: Katie Palmer

It happens to many teachers… You are sitting outside, relaxing and taking in all things summer break, when it hits. The school planning bug. Your brain wonders if it is too early to start planning, but your heart is excited at the thought of a new school year; a fresh start. This post will walk through the essential summer classroom prep work you can start now that will give you a smart start to next school year.

Let's break this post down into easily managed categories, that way you start the planning slowly, doing each section when you are ready!

Prepping Center Materials

Garage Sales Grabs

Digital Summer Classroom Prep

Prepping Classroom Displays

Prepping Center Materials

Centers can make a teacher's life so much easier! When successfully modeled and implemented, literacy, math, grammar centers (etc..) allow students extra skills practice and creates an environment perfect for pulling small groups. However, centers to require some summer classroom prep work!

Center Prepping Tips:

  • Print your centers at the end of the school year or early in the summer. This gives you ample time to cut & prep.
  • Laminate, then cut while watching a show, listening to music or a podcast. This helps pass the time! (Some teachers even laminate again after cutting the centers out the first time!)

Podcast Recommendations for While You're Working

Many teachers already have a favorite show (or two or three!), but often haven't jumped into the world of podcasts yet. If you have or have not started listening to podcasts, here are top recommendations from Team Lucky Little Learners and our Teacher Facebook Communities for 1st and 2nd grade:

  • Wiser Than Me: Hosted by Julis Louis Dreyfus, this podcast features interviews of older women who share their life wisdom.
  • The Most Dramatic Podcast Ever: Reality TV fans will delight in this podcast hosted by former reality host, Chris Harrison
  • Sold a Story: This podcast, which was recommended several times, explores how reading has been taught in our education system, and the resulting consequences.
  • Bored Teacher Podcasts: Check out these different podcasts featuring teacher centered topics.
  • The Lazy Genius: Life advice, tips and tricks for surviving this adventure called adulthood.

Centers Storage Ideas:

Now that your centers are prepped, where to store them all? Here are some of our favorite storage options.

1) 10 Drawer Rolling Craft Organizer

Everyone loves these rainbow colored carts! (Which can be found in other colors too.) With ten drawers, teachers will be able to store several centers.

Rainbow Rolling Craft Organizer

2) 3 Drawer Plastic Cart

At a low price, these carts are perfect for centers storage! If you purchase three carts, you can use one for each month! (These carts could potentially hold all of your centers for the year!)

Sterilite 3 Drawer Plastic Cart

3) Tabletop 3 Drawer Organizers, set of 4

With 12 drawers, these will hold OODLES of centers!

Sterilite 3 Drawer Units-Set of 4

Grab monthly labels for these drawers below.

Get this exclusively on All Access

toothy task kits

Join All Access to download everything we've ever made.

For more storage ideas, check out this post: How to Organize Math and Literacy Centers.

Need Centers?

If you are on the hunt for centers to engage your students, Team Lucky Little Learners has got you covered! Our centers are prepped and ready for the entire year!

Math Centers

Our math centers are packed with ten centers for each month!

2 Ways to Get This Resource

Join All Access to download everything we've ever made.

toothy task kits

Or... Purchase the bundle in our shop.

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2 Ways to Get These Resources

Literacy Centers

Just like in math, our Literacy centers are packed with engaging activities. These centers focus on:

  • Phonics
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Grammar
  • Phonemic Awareness

2 Ways to Get This Resource

Join All Access to download everything we've ever made.

toothy task kits

Or... Purchase the bundle in our shop.

toothy task kits

2 Ways to Get This Resource

Join All Access to download everything we've ever made.

toothy task kits

Or... Purchase the bundle in our shop.

toothy task kits

Garage Sale Grabs

When I was younger, my grandma and I would pull up to the garage sales before they started. She always told me, “We need to be the first ones there to get the true treasures!” As teachers we are always looking for deals, and let me tell you, I have found many gems at garage sales throughout the years. What types of classroom materials have I found at garage sales? All sorts of things:

  • Picture books: make sure to quickly leaf through any books checking for intact pages and a sturdy spine. Here is a list of must buys when found at garage sales: Best Read Alouds for 2nd Grade.
  • Bookshelves
  • Folders/Notebooks
  • Paper/Scrapbooking Materials
  • Games
  • Puzzles

Digital Summer Classroom Prep

There are a few things teachers can prep digitally for the upcoming school year.

Edit All the Things

If you are a yearly All Access subscription member, you even have access to editable resources you can create from the comfort of your own couch! Click the Edit it Easy button below to access all of our editable resources in one spot.

Create Student Accounts

Another summer digital prep tip is to head to any website you plan on using with your class that requires you to set up student accounts. I like to create these accounts in the summer as soon as I get my class list. This allows me to have their login cards ready to go on day one.

Keep all of your students' login info in one spot!

2 Ways to Get This Resource

Join All Access to download everything we've ever made.

toothy task kits

Or... Purchase the bundle in our shop.

toothy task kits

Setup Parent Teacher Communication

School to home communication (and the other way around) is vital to a successful school year and good parent-teacher relationships. In today's world, sending a text or email is usually the easiest way to contact classroom parents. Check out these ideas for stress free communication from the start.

Email Group

If your email service allows, it, setup an email group. Title it with the school year, and it will be easy to send class wide emails with a click. (No more entering everyone's email each time!)


Seesaw might be one of the most popular teacher communication sites. It allows you to easily send text like messages to parents, as well as photos to an individual or the whole class. Click the image below to setup your free teacher account.


Remind is an amazing way to text parents, without having to give out your personal phone number. Bonus, teacher accounts are free. Sign up below.

Prepping Classroom Displays

A classroom has several important areas that both teachers and students reference daily. The materials and displays for these areas can be prepped during the summer in the same fashion as centers. (Think cutting, laminating, Netflix and cozy pants.) However, Lucky Little Learners' main goal is to make your teaching life easier. We have already created any classroom display, label or tag you can think of! All of these ready to print displays are available on All Access with the click of a button! The bonus to the Classroom Setup kit is that teachers can print these materials off in any color that will work for their classroom theme. (Also, all displays are designed with an easy to read font for students!) What sort of classroom display/organization materials does Lucky Little Learners have prepped for you?

SO MUCH! You will have to do ZERO extra work, just print and cut out (laminate if you wish). Click on each category to browse the materials, or hit the easy button at the bottom to see it all.

Calendar Display

  • Date/number cards
  • Monthly headers
  • Holiday/special event cards
  • Today's date flip calendar
  • Number of days in school counter
  • Student calendar template
  • Weather cards
  • “Today is/Yesterday Was/Tomorrow Will Be” labels


  • Book/bin labels
  • Supply labels
  • Folder labels
  • Teacher toolbox labels
  • Mailbox labels
  • Binder covers & spines

Classroom Library Labels

  • 200+ book bin labels
  • Matching stickers for books

Classroom Jobs Display

  • 35 student job cards to choose from (2 versions)
  • Job application

Student Birthday Display

  • Small & large bulletin board headers
  • Month posters (2 versions)
  • Name cards (2 versions)
  • Certificates
  • Home letter
  • “All About Me” posters

Classroom Schedule Display

  • Bulletin board header
  • Small & large subject headers/time cards
  • Analog & digital times
  • Individual student cards

Classroom Visual Pack

  • Class rules poster & student booklet
  • Alphabet posters (3 styles)
  • Number posters
  • Voice level chart
  • Class dismissal chart
  • Lunch count chart
  • ASL hand signals poster
  • Number line (and student version)
  • Desk name plates
  • Partner cards & grouping posters

Open House Pack

  • Postcard template
  • Student gift tags
  • Volunteer sign-up forms
  • Transportation form
  • Classroom wishlist
  • Parent sign-in
  • Meet the teacher letter template
  • Photo & social media release forms
  • Student info forms
  • Meet the teacher checklist
  • Open house station signs (2 sizes)

Classroom Gift Tags

  • Back to school student gift tags
  • End of year gift tags
  • Birthday tags
  • Parent gift tags
  • Teacher appreciation tags
  • Teammate gift tags

I Can Statements

  • Focus wall headers
  • Grammar/phonics/math/reading comprehension/writing objectives
  • Scope & sequence for 1st & 2nd grades

Back to School Resources

  • Editable monthly classroom newsletters
  • Back to school teacher binder/folder cover & spine label
  • Teacher checklist
  • Procedures to teach checklist
  • First day of school ideas list
  • Back to school read aloud list
  • Blank editable lesson plan templates
  • Daily Google Slides template
  • Parent contact log
  • Absent folder covers/templates
  • Reminder note template
  • Behavior punch cards & reward coupons
  • Desk fairy/monster notes
  • Class names word search template
  • Student name doodle tags autofill pages

2 Ways to Get This Resource

Join All Access to download everything we've ever made.

toothy task kits

Or... Purchase the bundle in our shop.

toothy task kits

Ready to simplify Science of Reading alignment?

Join Team Lucky Little Learners member Katie to see how easy and engaging it can be.

Happy teaching!


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Hey there!  I’m Angie, owner of Lucky Little Learners. Our #1 goal is to support K-2 teachers.  We provide unlimited access to over 20,000 printables that are aligned to your standards.