Low Prep Resources: Simple solutions that save time all year!
By Mary Montero
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I know many of you head back to school in August, so you may or may not be starting to think about prepping for the year. I know for me, it’s always right around this time that I start really planning for the school year, even if I’m not physically back in my classroom yet. While I don’t think anyone should feel obligated to work during the summer, I know some teachers love to prep and get ahead of their school year while they can. What’s even better is that these low prep resources will save you time all.year.long after you get them ready now!
For me, summer prep doesn’t usually include too much fancy classroom decor. It does, however, include cutting laminate in the car on the way to the mall or strapping a sweet baby on my husband’s chest so that we can cut out task cards for the year! Yep. Those things have really happened during past summers! They may sound a little weird, but fitting those little moments of prep in now help me prepare for the whole year ahead. Today, I’m sharing some of my favorite things to do NOW to get a jump start on the year!
My Favorite Low Prep Resources
Skill of the Day are low prep resources that are perfect to prep now and earn bonus points because they will save you valuable time all year long!
I use Reading, Math, and Language Skill of the Day each and every day. When I first started using them, I printed them in five-week sections at a time, but now I just print the whole year at once, if I can. Then I either bind them or hole punch them and put them into a binder. I highly recommend kids keep all of their work so they can go back and reference it as needed!
These short, daily skill reviews have been amazingly beneficial to my students!
Reading Skill of the Day
This valuable resource contains a full year’s worth of reading skill review, plus extra weeks for homework, test prep, and more! Engage your students in a daily review of 17 key reading skills with this *HUGE* Reading Skill of the Day Weekly Journal.
Math Skill of the Day
Engage your students in thoughtfully spiraled skill review with just one skill every day with Math Skill of the Day! This 36 week resource (plus 4 weeks of review) will provide your students with the perfect amount and type of review and practice to keep their skills sharp. I have taken great care to create this resource with student learning in mind, ensuring that all skills are practiced in many different ways and that they aren’t extensively introduced in the notebook until they have been taught in most classrooms.
Language Skill of the Day
Engage your students in a daily review of key language arts and grammar skills with this *HUGE* Skill of the Day Weekly Journal.
Each week includes a daily skill review using a wide variety of high-interest activities. An additional weekly “Boost Your Brain Bonus” activity provides your students with an early finisher activity to stretch their thinking. Finally, this resource includes The Weekly Edit where they correct two sentences based on that week’s skills. (7 activities total per week)
This resource includes a total of 20 weeks of content (140 activities total, including the bonus activity each week). There are FOUR, five-week cycles/sets that provide skill review in increasing difficulty and different formats. Most tasks can be completed in less than five minutes!
Must-Have Task Card Bundles
Over the years, I have used my task cards in so many different ways. I love using them for SCOOT with the whole class, but I also love using them in literacy and math centers, small groups, as a warm up, for independent enrichment, standardized test prep, and for early finishers. I have several bundles that I ALWAYS like to have on hand and prepping them now can make your center and small group planning SO easy throughout the year. If you aren’t sure where to start with task cards, this FREE SCOOT ACTIVITY is for you!
- Monthly Reading Skills Task Cards
- Monthly Themed Fluency Task Cards
- Skill-Based Fluency Task Cards
- Concept Reading Skills Task Cards
- ADVANCED Concept Reading Skills Task Cards
- Reading Response Task Cards
- Grammar Task Cards
- FREE Back to School Scoot Task Cards
- FREE Pre-Reading Task Cards
- FREE Open-Ended Reading Response Task Cards
Along with prepping resources in advance, locking in simple solutions to stay organized will save you tons of time too. The best system for you is the one you’ll stick with all year long! I wrote this post with more picture and tips.
A spinner is the perfect way to store cards that you use all year long. Early finisher and creative thinking cards are great choices here.
Binder rings and hooks help keep current task cards right at your fingertips.
Photo storage containers are the perfect size for storing half-page cards. I like the individual containers for passing out cards to small groups or centers.
You can also store single subjects in larger photo bins with dividers for each skill.
Finally, does colorful organization like this make anyone else swoon??
I hope these low prep resources and tips help save you valuable time this year, friends! Now, tell me… where is the strangest place you’ve ever cut out laminating?
I’m so glad you are here. I’m a current gifted and talented teacher in a small town in Colorado, and I’ve been in education since 2009. My passion (other than my family and cookies) is for making teachers’ lives easier and classrooms more engaging.