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Prepare for Next Year… NOW!

May 7 Deedee 3 min read

Are you looking for ways to prepare for the next school year now?   I always start dreaming about my next school year in May.  May is also the time when I have to pack up my class.  Here are a few ways to help you prepare for next year.Prepare for next year now

 Clean out and Pack up!

Quite honestly, I have always had to resist the urge to shove and stuff at the end of the year.  In May, I always feel like I am in panic mode.  There never seems to be enough time.  So returning the retired math and literacy activities to the proper place takes a back seat.  It helps to have a spot to store them.  So, as I pull out the next week’s (or month’s)  activities, I can easily return the completed ones to their rightful home.Organzing for next year nowPrepare for next year now

Prepare for next year now Prepare for next year now

I also want to take the time to look at the materials I have in the bins.  It is time to purge the ones you did not use from the year before.  Having bins pre-labeled helps. You can download these bin labels for FREE by clicking HERE.prepare for next year now

Since I use these differentiated cubes over and over, I do not store them like this. [I purchased the blank cubes HERE.] I take the cards out of the dice…prepare for next year now

and this is how the Just Roll With It cards are stored.prepare for next year now

Binders for days!


I like to keep by curriculum in individual binders.  This makes them easier for me to use.Prepare for next year

You will notice that the fiction unit (unit 7) and opinion unit are missing from my shelf at home.  That is because I am using them in a classroom right now.  You can see all of the writing units HERE.Writers workshop 5

I love having a monthly overview of the lessons that I am going to teach.  This allows me to look ahead and move lessons around to fit the needs of the classroom.  If I am noticing the bulk of the students need to work on making their words easier to read, but I am only on Day 4, I can easily skip ahead and teach Day 8.  Then I can go back to the Day 4 lesson the next day.Writers workshop 6

I also use plastic pocket page dividers to organize my mentor text.  Each writing unit has a few suggested mentor texts.  I like to keep those texts in the binders.Writers workshop 19

Close Reading

Avery binder company LOVES me!  I got all of my binders at CostCo.  They seem to have the best price, but you can also get them HERE on Amazon.  Prepare for next year

The plastic pocket dividers are perfect for organizing the books.prepare for next year

Each of our Guiding Readers Close Reading units are planned out for you!  Just print and teach!prepare for next year

Prepare for next year

Leveled Text

We have completed 2 sets of leveled text.  Level C will come out this week!   Again!  I love the binders to keep them organized.Prepare for next year

The plastic pocket dividers are perfect to store the books.prepare for next year

I also use them to store the word work and sentence work.   Then the lesson plans and running records are at my fingertips as well.prepare for next year


Deanna Jump and I created our guided math curriculum for kindergarten way back in 2013.  It was one of the first guided math curriculum units that were made FOR kindergarten teachers BY kindergarten teachers.  While we are extremely proud of them, it was time for them to get a little face lift.  We started this update with the creation of an additional unit.  We had been contacted by school districts in Texas who were looking for one additional unit to help them meet their TEKS kindergarten standards.  Ta DA!

Prepare for next year

Again… we offered a month-at-a-glance view.Prepare for next year

We also reformatted the lessons.  We added a literacy connection suggestion and video links!   In units 1-10, the lessons will remain the same, we just want them to get a fresh look.  You can expect all of the kindergarten units to be updated by mid-July.  So, you may want to hold off on printing these until then.prepare for next year

Curriculum Maps

Curriculum Maps are a fantastic way to organize your thinking.  These kindergarten and first grade curriculum maps offer the “Big Ideas” surrounding reading, writing, math, and phonics.

Prepare for next year

Prepare for Next Year Now

Start slow.  Don’t get overwhelmed.  Think about what worked great for you last year.  Think about what areas you would like to improve on.  If you start now, you will not feel so overwhelmed in August.

Prepare for next year now


  • Melissa May 7 at 7:38 pm

    Hi Deedee, I have been using your guided reading curriculum and love it. My kiddos really improved their retelling skills this year?. I was wondering where can I find the side profile binder labels for these units? Thanks, Melissa

    • Deedee May 8 at 7:01 am

      Hi Melissa! Thank you so much! I am so happy to hear your students are rockin’ the retell! I noticed the exact same thing in my classroom! You can find the binder spines in the free download that was included in this post.

  • Natalie May 7 at 7:58 pm

    I absolutely love this! As you are working in classrooms have you worked in any half day programs? If so, please share any tips you have for fitting it all in (or the best things to prioritize).

    • Deedee May 8 at 7:04 am

      Hi Natalie! Yes! Bless you half day teachers! It is a struggle to get it all in I am certain.

      One option is to alternate writers workshop with reading response (still do the reading thinking, but just not the writing response part of Guiding Readers.

      You might also only do one stations time. For example, in my classroom I had one station time that was literacy. Then in the afternoon, we had math stations. You may want to combine this time and have a mixture of math and literacy activities in your station time.

      I hope that helps!

  • Ashley King May 8 at 6:17 pm

    Thank you so much Deedee for the extra Math unit with time and money. You read my mind. You are such a great mentor to me without even knowing it. I met you twice in Chicago since I work for Chicago Public Schools and you are as gracious in person. I strive to be as good as you one day! I’m sure you hear this all the time, but if you are ever in the Chicago area and want to stop by, my classroom door is always open. =)

    Ashley King


    • Deedee May 8 at 7:14 pm

      Gosh! Thank you Ashley! I am so glad you have found me helpful. Here is the truth though… if we worked together, I would be the one that you would have to knock on my door and say, “Hey, Deedee… it’s lunch time.” or “Hey, Deedee… we have an assembly now.” I was once voted, “Most likely to be confused about the schedule.” So my flaws are many!!!

      I would love to come visit!!!!!

  • Lesley May 9 at 6:18 pm

    I have purchased the writing units, guided readers monthly units, guided reading leveled units, and the math units. I love everything and how easy it is to organize! Will the math units have spine labels?

  • Kristen Ryan May 10 at 5:30 am

    Hello!! Thank you for everything you do. Your units make my live so easy. I have all the reading, math, writing, roll say keep, and math and literacy games. ( I am a Deedee Junkie) I was wondering what size containers you are using to store your things. They look like they stack nicely and fit what is needed. Thank you again for making my life easier.

    • Deedee May 10 at 10:04 am

      Hi there! Thank you so much!!!

      The bins with the monthly stations are 15″ x 11 1/2″ x 6″ (I know because I left the label on one…lazy).

  • Stacie Cleary May 11 at 7:28 pm

    I use and love the guided math for first graders. Are you planning on updating those with a literacy component as well? I also love your guided reading level units. I can’t wait to use them (and leave them for subs!:)

  • Michelle June 12 at 11:15 am

    I love all of your resources. Thank you! I am now in the organization phase…..what size binders do you use for each- reading, writing, math. I used a 2 in for one of the guided reading and it was a hot mess. Am I putting too much in them? I did use page protectors. ? Maybe I should just hole punch the papers.
    Thanks for all you do and trying to help the unorganized get organized.

    • Deedee June 12 at 11:22 am

      Hi Michelle,

      Leveled Texts: I do not have page protectors only the dividers (one for each book)… so 6 per binder. My binder is 2″ and they all seem to fit in there. I would try taking the protectors out and hole punching them.

      Guiding Readers: 3″ binder, but I think a smaller binder would work just fine.

      Math and Writing: 1 1/2 or 2″ binders would work great 🙂

  • New Teacher Tips June 27 at 9:43 pm

    […] see a green and white curtain? Behind the curtain are professional books I want to keep handy and curriculum binders for the year.  You can read more about these […]

  • kelli September 11 at 11:41 am

    I cannot find where your curriculum maps are? Also, I have purchase some of the units and was looking to have the matching spines for the binders and am not able to find those either. Can you point me in the right direction/? Thanks!

    • Deedee September 11 at 12:12 pm

      Hi Kelli!

      There is a box at the end of the post. If you fill that out, it will be emailed to you. It all comes together. 🙂

  • Susie LaBelle August 3 at 11:01 am

    Hi LOVE THIS!!! Do you have a ink for the monthly plastic bins? Thank you!

    • Deedee August 5 at 9:17 am

      I got them at Target a few years ago. I think they still have them there!

  • Susie LaBelle August 4 at 2:44 pm

    One more thing, I don’t see a link to the Guided Reading units. I looked in both your store and Deanna Jump’s, there are some in her store that have different covers ?? Where can I find the ones you reference above?

    • Deedee August 5 at 9:15 am

      Here is the link to the Leveled Texts: Leveled Texts

      The covers that I had in my pictures are the binder covers that are included in the units. 🙂

  • Susan Mischler July 3 at 8:55 am

    Hi. I have been using the Kindergarten Math bundle that you and Deanna created for several years now but am finally getting around to organizing it. I was wondering if you have binder splines for the units? I have begun putting everything into 1 !/2 in. binders but once they are on the shelves I can’t tell which unit they are so this would be helpful and your stuff is so nice! Thanks. Susan

    • Deedee July 19 at 3:58 pm

      Yes! You will find them in the curriculum guide. You will find it on the sidebar of my blog. It is free 🙂

  • C Martin March 18 at 11:12 pm

    I love it all! Do you have a way to purchase your curriculum as one large bundle for everything so I make sure and get all I need at once. Once I sit down to get it all organized I want to have it all! 🙂

    • Deedee April 4 at 4:25 pm

      I’m sorry, I don’t 🙁

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    My teaching career allowed me to experience teaching to different age groups and in different classroom environments. My heart belongs to early childhood education and I love working with other teachers who share this same love as me. Read More


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