Planning Ahead

You are all going to think I’m crazy, but I’ve already started thinking about next year! I can’t help it!  I am naturally a planner, and I really want to do as much as possible before summer vacation. My school is going to be undergoing construction this summer, so who knows when I’ll be able to do anything there. Plus, I want to enjoy my summer as much as possible!

One of the tip-top things on my list is to have my morning work folders ready BEFORE the end of the school year! I’m not gonna lie. They take some time to put together, but they are so worth it! I would be lost without them!

The first thing I did was to buy my supplies.  I needed three-ring binders, which I bought from Amazon, and I bought a ton of page dividers.

I love using Best Value Copy to make copies of my morning work.  There is no way I would have the time, paper, or copies to run all of these at home or at school.  Here’s my car all loaded up with morning work!

After I got all of my materials, I printed inserts for my page dividers. This is one task I do not enjoy!  I went ahead and printed everything at one time, so I would have to go back and redo this step again.

I used my dining room table for my prep area, and I assembled the page dividers in all of my notebooks. I had a little helper with me for that job!

All that was left was for me to place the work inside the folders!  I added all of the Weekly Word Problems for the year.

I added 20 pages of the Number of the Day to each folder.  I always start the year with the easier version. I also also definitely continuing only doing one-half page each day.

 I haven’t added all of the social studies and science reviews, because I still want to adjust my social studies and science lesson plans {more on that soon}. I want to make sure that the weekly reviews are in place for concepts we have previously studied.  I may make a few second grade review pages to help get us started.

My last section was for my Language Arts Morning Work.  It does cover all of the third grade Common Core Standards, so I take this very slow. I begin the year only working on the problems that my students should already know how to complete. Over the first few weeks of school, I give brief mini lessons on the questions, so that my students should have some understanding of all of the problems.

I know it is early to be thinking about next year, but I wanted to share while TpT was still having its big sale!

Thank you 3AM Teacher for the graphic!


  1. says

    Just curious – does your school give you an allowance for all of those materials? I love your organization and the concept of everything being in one place, but no way could I afford all of that. Do you have any tricks for funding?

  2. says

    I wish! We don't get any type of supply money, so I do buy it myself. I try to reuse as much as possible from year to year, so after the first year it's not too bad. That's one of the reasons I bought black binders, because they don't look bad after a year's worth of wear and tear. The place I use for copies has really good rates…..way cheaper than printing myself. I think Donor's Choose would be your best bet on funding.

  3. says

    It's an online printing store. I send them a PDF, and they print it for me. I have all of my morning work and math journals printed through them, because of our copy limits.

  4. says

    Will you do a post showing how you set everything up in the binder and talk about the routines you have set up in the classroom with your students using them?

  5. says

    I would love a post like spotsanddots described. Do the students use the same binder for "morning" or "bell" work for all subjects? Last year, I stapled together booklets of math morning work by month (after trying it in 3-pronged folders). I love seeing how other teachers work, and you are not crazy for planning during the summer – it's called working smarter, not harder! LOL!

  6. says

    I was going to send my files to be printed by BVC, but I don't want to send all of the 'extra' pages. I only want the ones that I need for my kiddos. How do you send the file without including those pages? Or do you just send the whole file and toss the things you don't need/use? This will be an excellent time saver for me if I can figure it out. Thanks so much for sharing all of your great ideas and products!

  7. says

    I love this so much!! I remember reading this last year and thinking about possibly starting it as well!! Are you going to do this again this next year? How do you manage the grading aspect – do you go over it daily as a class, each page every morning? Where do the kids store these types of things? How much do all of your materials end up costing? Is that out of your own pocket? Sorry for all of the questions, I'm just so curious!! Thanks!!

  8. says


    I'm actually going to use my new spiral math with the constructed response problems. We go over it together every single day, but I don't take a grade on it. My students store the binders in their desk. I've got to find the website we used for our binders. It was such a good deal. We spent about $30 on 50 binders and 150 dividers.

  9. Arika Jackson says

    I love this and I am preparing to do this for next year! I want to get started now since I am due to have a baby in July. I want this completed by June! I would love to know where you got your binders and your dividers?

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