Where to Start?!


Uhmph... I get this question quite a bit.. and I have not figured out the best answer.  What I do is make a LARGE to-do list.  I try to make it in the most logical order and do my best to keep to it.  Usually my list is a series of questions.. because I am never sure how I am going to set up my new classroom! I feel like every time I cross something off my list I add two more! It's never ending :) Of course I stray from my list but in the end.. I get everything done! (or ENOUGH done...) Here is my to-do list which I will cover in detail these next few weeks through my blog posts! Feel free to post any questions and I'll do my best to answer!

  • Organize ALL cabinets
    • Teacher's Desk
    • Filing Cabinet
    • Art Cabinet
    • Game Cabinet
    • Label all cabinets!
  • Arrange Furniture
    • How will I arrange student desks this year?
    • Am I sticking to 3 work centers?
    • How am I going to set-up technology
    • Adapted Seating/Equipment?
  • First Day of School Newsletter/Packet
  • Classroom Theme
    • What colors?
    • Bulletin boards
  • Monthly Themes
    • Post Word Walls
    • Possible Art Projects/Crafts
  • Schedules!!!
  • Review individual IEP's
    • Make master schedule list (services minutes/week)
    • Copy IEP goals
    • Create Data sheets
    • Set-up IEP tubs
    • Contact OT/Speech/APE/PT/AAC to set up schedules
  • TEACCH Task Boxes
    • new File folder games
  • Sensory Integrations??? Individual AND Whole Class?
  • Communication Systems
  • Curriculum
  • Create student materials
  • Label everything with student names and/or pictures!
    • desk
    • mailbox
    • cubby
    • schedule
    • task schedule
    • folders
  • Send out Welcome post cards to students!
  • Visuals
  • practical Classroom decoration

Wow. long list. and I know I did not cover HALF of the things I need to do.  This was what I could come up with as of now... BEFORE I step foot into my classroom! Feel free to post any questions or comments if you would like me to address anything :) Thanks for reading!


  1. Looks like your well on your way to a successful beginning to the new year!

  2. I have made at least 4-5 lists, my classroom theme is owls and my bulletin boards are already done. So yeah for that. Can't wait to read more!

  3. Melissa,
    I am one of your newest & biggest fans! Thank you for sharing your classroom & expertise! As a teacher of multiple disability children (K-12+) your blog is such an encouragement! I purchased several items on TPT and will be able to use them with a little adapting. I have a question about the PECS starter book for communication. I realize it is a large file but I was wondering if I could receive it directly from you and avoid the 25 minute download? Thank you and have a super school year!

  4. I normally have a section on my to do list regarding my aides. What will they be doing? How will I train? Meet with them regularly? Make sure they know all stations? the list goes on and on

  5. Wow! This is quite a list! Good Luck! Love your blog!

  6. Awesome list! Good luck~ Just discovered your blog and am LOVING it!

  7. How many days/weeks do you spend in your classroom before school actually starts? I have a similar list of to-do items but have a hard time gauging how long I'll need to complete the list of items. Not to mention the random, before school meetings I get pulled into that takes away time from planning. Thanks!