If you are like me, you look forward to the start of a new school year, but dread the hectic re-start. I have learned over the years a few tips to make the summer/ work transition a little easier!

First, I create some freezer meals for my family. I take one day and prep at least 5-6 meals in freezer bags that I freeze to later put in the crockpot. (If you don’t have a crock pot, it is a necessity.) Dump frozen food in the crock pot in the morning and come home to a complete meal in the afternoon. Some of my favorites are : Honey Sesame Chicken , Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken and Cilantro Lime Chicken. (recipe for this one at the end of the blog post) At least for me, having a meal to come home to the first week of school really lightens my load.

Second, I select my novel study for the first month of school. If you teach students with mild intellectual disabilities, it is a chore to find novels that are high interest, low reading level. One of my favorite novels to kick off the school year is: I Know What You Did Last Summer by Lois Duncan. This mystery, suspense book is a perfect “read aloud” to kick off the school year. (email me if you would like me to send you some of my vocabulary/ comprehension questions from the book) (servingupsuccessinc@gmail.com)

Third, I clean out my closet. I know it’s a chore, but the feeling you get when it’s done lifts your spirits- LOL.

Lastly, I decided on my data management system for my classroom. For me, I’m old school. I create a manilla folder for each student. Stapled on one side of the folder is each student’s goals and objectives and accommodations. On the other side, I staple our Serving Up Success data collection form. On the back, I staple a parent contact log. As the year progresses, I place work samples inside the folder. When IEP time rolls around, everything I need is in one place. It’s a “one stop shop.”

For more about my “Begin the School Year” unit, send us an email at servingupsuccessinc@gmail.com

Cilantro Lime Chicken:

3 chicken breasts, juice of 2 limes, chopped cilantro to taste, 1 bag of frozen corn, 1 can of black beans drained, 1 jar of salsa, salt/pepper/garlic to taste

Dump in your crockpot and cook on low all day. Serve with tortilla chips or rice. Enjoy!