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5 Tips for a Stress Free School Year

Ask any teacher and he or she will tell you that back-to-school is one of the most stressful times of the year.

But what if I told you there were a few simple things you could do at the beginning of the year to make the rest of the year less stressful?

5 Tips for a Stress Free School Year in Preschool and Kindergarten

Back to School Stress

There’s no way to avoid back-to-school season, it’s here! Many teachers are so stressed out in the beginning of the year with the mounds of paperwork, classroom set-up and endless meetings they get sick right away.

Start your year off on the right foot by incorporating these ideas below to reduce your stress and save time.

Back to School Nametag Solution

Heavy Duty Nametags

Do your students have a way of making nametags disappear like Houdini? Or perhaps they choose to snack on their nametags, sound familiar?

Nip your nametag problem in the bud and make these heavy duty nametags for your students to save valuable time.

Car Tags in Preschool and Kindergarten

Car Pick Up Tags

It’s the end of the first day of school and you’re completely exhausted. Parents are anxious to see their little ones and cars are lined up for miles- this could take forever!

Speed up your car pick-up line with car tags. Trust me- this will save you valuable time and you’ll be the first one back in the building after school, you can thank me later!

Substitute Lesson Plan Printable Forms

Substitute Planning Guide

Do you have back to school nightmares- or schoolmares? I used to have schoolmares about not waking up on time for the first day of school, then I had a death in the family one year and had to be absent on the very first day of school.

Do you know what saved me from having a nervous breakdown that year? My substitute planner! Invest a little time up front and have a thorough substitute guide ready to go on the first day of school “just in case.”

A little extra time spent up front will allow you to relax and feel less stressed the rest of the year.

Lesson Plans

All preschool and kindergarten teachers know that lesson plans are really just an outline or a guide, especially on the first day of school. If you get to twenty percent of what is written in your lesson plans on the first day you’re doing well.

Having your lesson plans written in advance for the very first week will allow you to adjust to the classroom routine without having to stay late each night- because you never know what will happen those first few days. Over planning is so much better than being caught unprepared!

Parent Communication

Having a thorough parent handbook prepared in advance is one of the best ways to save yourself valuable time this year. Anticipate parents’ questions and put their minds at ease with a well-prepared handbook.

A Parent Handbook will eliminate unnecessary phone calls, notes, misunderstandings and any number of hassles that arise from not having everything spelled out clearly from day one.

You know what else will save you oodles of time and stress this year? A parent presentation. If you meet with the parents of your students before the first day of school, have an open house, orientation, or meet the teacher type event you need to have a well planned parent presentation. A presentation that matches your parent handbook is even better, right?

More Back to School Resources:
Best Back to School Books for Kids
Printable School Supply Checklist
Open House PowerPoint Templates
Printable Parent Handbooks

Follow my Back to School board on Pinterest for more great ideas!
Back to School Pinterest Board

Free Printable Nursery Rhyme Labels

Nursery rhymes are such an important part of any early childhood classroom because they can be used to support a wide array of standards and skills at many different levels.

Nursery rhymes are included in the CCSS, you can find them listed under Standard 10.

You can teach many of the Common Core standards through nursery rhymes such as phonological awareness skills, re-telling, and fluency. Nursery rhymes also help build stamina and independence in emergent readers.

Printable Nursery Rhyme Fluency Sticks

Printable Nursery Rhyme Labels

Today I’m sharing this free printable with you below that will make learning the rhymes fun for your students while building fluency at the same time.

One page has labels and each label has a picture and text. You can print the labels on Avery 5160 or Avery sticker paper and stick them on tongue depressors.

I also included a large label you can attach to the front of a can to hold the sticks as shown in the picture above.

Printable Nursery Rhyme Labels

How to Use the Nursery Rhyme Sticks

Place the sticks in a can, I used a Crystal Light container, and select one student to draw a stick from the can.

The picture on the stick will indicate which voice should be used to recite the rhyme. Some of the choices include dinosaur, baby, whisper, and robot.

Kids absolutely love this activity because they’re having fun and being silly without realizing they are actually gaining valuable skills.

I recommend doing this activity just once or possibly twice daily when you have a few minutes before or after lunch, before you go home, before you go to specials etc.

This will keep the activity fresh and fun for your students. Have the students follow along as you point to the words on a chart (using a cute pointer of course!) to reinforce concepts of print.

Click on the picture below to download your free copy of the Nursery Rhyme Fluency labels

Free printable nursery rhyme labels for fluency fun via

More Nursery Rhyme Resources:

Follow my Nursery Rhyme board on Pinterest for more great ideas!

Free Jack and Jill Printable Book, Chart, and Song

Last week I announced the new printable Nursery Rhyme Readers enhanced packet. This week I have an exciting update; you can now download a FREE preview of this packet that includes the entire Jack and Jill book and song charts in both color and black and white, several resource pages PLUS the audio file of Dr. Jean’s Jack and Jill song!

Free Printable Jack and Jill Book, Chart, and Song from Dr. Jean via

Download a Free Sample of Jack and Jill

We know how important it is for you to put books into the hands of every child in your classroom. These books can be used to make that valuable home school connection and provide literacy resources for your student’s families.

Printable Nursery Rhyme Books, Charts, and Songs from Dr. Jean via

Nursery Rhymes Support the Common Core Standards

Rhyming Readers can also be used support the Common Core Standards in natural and meaningful ways such as:

  • Phonological Awareness
  • Fluency
  • Oral Language
  • Word Recognition
  • Punctuation
  • Vocabulary
  • Comprehension
  • Print Concepts
  • Book Handling Skills
  • Key Ideas and Details

What’s Included in the Nursery Rhyme Packet?

The full Rhyming Readers packet includes:

  • 10 printable nursery rhyme books in both color and black and white
  • 10 printable nursery rhyme song charts with picture cues for emergent readers in both color and black and white
  • 10 audio files in mp3 format so your children can read and sing along with Dr. Jean

Printable Nursery Rhyme Readers Printable via

Follow my Nursery Rhyme board on Pinterest for more great ideas!

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