Can you believe that it is almost time to go Back To School? We have so many wonderful schools as customers, so we thought you might enjoy this lesson plan idea from our friends at Mead! As an added bonus, you can download a pdf for FREE at the bottom with this lesson plan should you want to print it out for your files!
For twenty three million students nationwide, the school day begins and ends with a trip on a school bus. The greatest risk is not riding the bus, but approaching or leaving the bus. Most of the children who lose their lives in bus-related crashes are pedestrians, 4 to 7 years old, who are hit by the bus or by motorists illegally passing a stopped school bus. And the dangers aren't just in the morning going to school. In fact, NHTSA points out that more school-age pedestrians have been killed between 3PM - 4PM than any other time of day.
As a driver, it is crucial for the community to be extra cautious during the school pick-up and drop-off hours, and to treat school buses as something best seen from a distance, rather than up close.
Here are some rules to make sharing the road with buses safe for everyone:
"Back to school, back to school, to prove to dad that I'm not a fool." Billy Madison was ready--are you? To get you into the Back to School mindset, here is a fun video the Holderness family made last year*:
Do you need more Back To School ideas? Check out our Pinterest Page for a round-up of our favorite ideas and blogs!
*We are in no way affiliated with the Holderness family. We just think their videos are hilarious.
Just like January 1st, Back to School time is a great time to “kick off the new year” and get organized! Here are some tips/tricks to get organized in your inbox! We also have a FREE printable for you to download if you like keeping your to-do lists the old fashioned way. There is just something so satisfying about putting that check mark next to a completed task!
Clean Up Your Outlook Inbox and Save Time on Email With These Fun Tips/Tricks:
Set up folders
Organize emails by subject,department, client, sender, etc…whatever works for your workstyle.
Archive Ancient Email
Put emails you want to save, but don’t reference often in archives to help de-clutter your inbox and folders.
Put “Search” to Work
Use your email’s search feature to find a specific email. Searching by keyword or sender is much quicker than digging through everything!
Avoid Repeated Typing
If you find yourself using the same text over and over, you can save it in Quick Parts to easily insert in emails. Here is how to set it up:
Write Emails, But Deliver Them in the Future
This is great for announcements that cannot go out right away, but you want to get it off your plate of things to remember to do. Here is how to do it:
Use Color to Identify Messages From Specific Senders
Want email from a certain person to stand out? Make it a distinctive color! Start by select an existing message from the sender in question. Then, here is how you can set it up:
If you had de-clutter your inbox and make it more efficient on your to-do list, you can check it off! If you need some to-do list inspiration, feel free to download our FREE To-Do-List printables below to print out and check things off to your hearts content!
Back-to-School season is a good time of year for all of us to get organized. I took the liberty (and channeled my former office worker self) to interview my friend, Hannah, who also happens to be a professional organizer. Did you know there was such a thing?! For those of us who are not-so-organizationally or spatially inclined, or are just plain messy, Hannah offers some great tips for my "duh" sounding questions:
Me: I can't even see my desk because it's covered in stuff. Where/how do I start?
Hannah: Start by sorting the easiest pile for you to trash or shred. This will make you feel accomplished so you avoid getting overwhelmed and quitting halfway through the organizing project. I suggest finding a clear spot on your desk or the floor to lay your papers into categories as you sort. This will help you visually see what you have before you start creating a filing system. Be sure that your file categories make sense for your specific paper needs, and label your folders clearly.
Me: Soooo much paper--how do I keep it in order?
Hannah: Once you get a filing system set up and all of your papers in order, spend 5 minutes every day sorting and filing your current papers. That way you won't get overwhelmed with growing piles of paperwork on your desk. I suggest keeping a stapler handy to attach groups of papers as soon as you get them so they are sure to stay together. Once or twice a year, reevaluate your filing system. Determine what works, what doesn't work, and throw out files that are obsolete.
Tip: Always open mail as soon as you get it and immediately throw out junk mail and any empty envelopes.
Tip: Reduce the paper flow and opt out of getting junk mail using handy apps like PaperKarma.
Me: I have a million pens-where do I put these?
Hannah: Get rid of some of them! Spend 15 minutes testing them out, and only keep the ones that you like and that actually work. It is surprisingly relaxing! Then find a container to keep on your desk and resolve to never get more pens than can fit in that container.
Me: There is so much RANDOM stuff-staples, pushpins, stickers, tape, cards, etc. around. How do I find a place for these items?
Hannah: If you have drawers, invest in some drawer organizers with multiple sections in a variety of sizes. They are perfect for keeping your office supplies neat and organized. If drawer space is scarce, find some desktop containers to contain your office supplies. Be sure to purchase containers that fit your style- if you love them, you will use them!
Me: How do I know what to throw away and what to keep?
Hannah: Now that most documents can be accessed on a computer or online, it is not necessary to keep as many paper files. As a rule, the IRS says tax-related documents should be kept for 7 years. You can keep the following documents for a year or less: bank records, bills, receipts, and pay check stubs. Be sure to shred anything that has personal information!
Me: I can't see what's in my file folders. Help.
Hannah: If file folders aren't your thing, I suggest using horizontal desktop paper trays or mounted wall files. Both are great options for visual people, as they allow you to easily see your files and access them quickly. I like to use file folders for long-term file storage and these more accessible options for daily paper flow.
Hannah Marsden is a Chicago-based professional organizer for Chicago Anytime Assistants, a company offering personal assistants that specialize in errand services, professional organizing, and moving and relocation.
There’s usually one thing on parents’ minds when it comes to Back-to-School season: school supplies. Yes, they can be fun to shop for, but there’s more to this time of year than just navigating sale ads and going through checklists.
It’s a mindset change for the office, too. New projects, new quarter and new wardrobes! And hey, doesn’t anyone consider how parents feel when the kids are back in school? They have to make adjustments like pickups, drop offs, and babysitting for those late night meetings. Not to mention squeezing in extra time to pack lunches. Hope you remembered to grocery shop!
Here are some tips to sail smoothly through this change of routine from summertime slowness to back-to-school schedules.
Photo by Life Without Pink http://www.lifewithoutpink.com/
Back-to-School TransitionAlthough summer's heat has not yet faded, ready or not, the new school year is here. And with that comes the early-morning frenzy as parents across America race to get kids out the door on time, properly fed and with all the snacks, books and homework they need for the day.
The start of school brings on new challenges as families juggle various activities and multiple schedules. The good news is that you can bring order to this chaos and stay organized throughout the year when you apply the following tips.
Clear the Clutter
Kids and clutter go hand-in-hand as they outgrow clothes, wear out toys, and change interests. Along with your child, cull through their closets and drawers for items to give away or store for later. Organize the remainder and make room for the new. Each child's room should be neat and orderly before school starts.
Stock Up and Save
Don't miss out on huge savings on clothing and school supplies. Take an afternoon to assess each child's wardrobe. Before making your list, check for possible hand-me downs from older siblings. Once you start shopping look for mix-and-match outfits to stretch your dollars and simplify mornings. Find out from the school or teacher what supplies might be needed and take advantage of savings by stocking up on the usual items they'll need throughout the year like paper, folders, pens, pencils, markers, binders and so on.
Establish Guidelines and Routines Ahead of Time
The most important routine to establish is a set bedtime. It's a proven fact that well-rested kids are more alert in school, so get them to bed early on school nights. Establish appropriate bedtimes based on age. A 3 to 6-year old child needs 10-12 hours of sleep, 7 to 12-year old need 10-11 hours and 12 to 18-year olds need 8-9 hours. The night before school starts is not the time to set up the household sleep schedule. Instead ease kids into the school year routine slowly during the last two weeks of summer. Gradually begin earlier bedtimes and wake up times as the start of school approaches. Keep in mind it takes an average of two weeks for your body to adjust to time changes.
Set ground rules for other school-related issues as well. For example, establish where, when and how homework will be done - in the dining room, bedroom, with music and the TV on? While some kids sit down immediately after school, others may need to relax before tackling assignments. It's fine if kids have different times and styles as long as they know the rules and stick to them. Make it clear when cell phones, computer games and internet is shut off. Turning devices off early allows for kids to unwind before lights out.
Have a Dedicated Space for School Items
Select a spot near the door to stash backpacks, books, homework, lunch money and supplies so they're not strewn about the house. Having a dedicated space or cubby for each child makes it easy to grab what they need without frantically searching the house in the morning. If it stays in one place it will not be forgotten.
Establish a Central Calendar
Between school projects, lunch menus, and sports practice, it's hard to keep busy schedules straight. That's where a central calendar helps. Whether you select a large paper calendar with big squares, a bulletin board, an erasable whiteboard or use a smart phone app, choose a format that works for you. Make each child responsible for reporting and recording his or her events. Don't forget to block off family time each week so you can all reconnect.
Start the Day Calm, Cool and Collected
The more you can do ahead of time, the smoother the mornings will go. The night before set out breakfast dishes, make lunches, lay out clothes, and collect supplies and homework needed for the next day. Older children can assume these responsibilities but be sure to develop consequences if they become lax. Allow for plenty of time to get ready in the morning with a set schedule for the shower, getting dressed and eating breakfast. Many parents find it helpful to complete their own morning routine before getting the kids up. Staying with a set structure creates a sense of order and calm that continues throughout the day.
Planning is key to lowering the anxiety of a new school year. Start organizing today for a great academic year ahead.
With school back in session (or soon for those of you with September starts), let's grab some back to school inspiration. We're talking about the write stuff - putting pen to paper. At Twist OP, we have everything you need. From pens to writing instruments, from white paper to custom stationery, put your pen to paper. Send someone a hand written note, leave a thank you on someone's doorstop or desk - it's that time of year. You can always count on Twist Op.
August kicks off back to school for many and what's more appropriate then talking about packed lunches and the main item that many fret over. The sandwich of course. The name “sandwich” has a bit of a scandalous beginning. Sandwich is the name of a place in the county of Kent, England. In the late 1700s, the Fourth Earl of Sandwich, John Montague, was known to be an avid gambler. He would spend so long at the card table that eventually his hunger would get the better of him. For sustenance, he asked for bread, meat and cheese. Because he needed a hand free for his cards, he put the meat and cheese between the bread. Other players saw this convenient snack and asked for the same.
The universal appeal of the sandwich is that it can be customized for every taste and every meal. They can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner; as a snack or a meal, sweet or savory, hot or cold. They can be as humble as a PB&J or as exotic as a lamb bánh mì with spicy mint rub. After all, the beauty is in the eye of the sandwich holder.
As the kids head back to school, what kind of sandwich are you making?
With the school bell poised to ring, parents, students, and teachers are streaming into stores in search of supplies. Gone are the days of hop-scotching from one store to the next. This year it's all about getting everything in one stop. Here's what they'll be looking for.
* Calculators - Printing, non-printing, pocket-size, or scientific, calculators in every shape, size, and price, continue to be among the best selling of all back-to-school supplies.
* Pens, pencils, highlighters, markers - A necessity for every student, every school, everywhere.
* Pocket calendar - One of the most underrated items, a pocket calendar helps with everything from dating an assignment to planning a research paper.
* Cell phones - While talking during class isn't allowed, it's a family necessity for schedule coordination.
* Ruled notebooks - Get a different color for each subject. This year consider going green by buying those made of recycled paper.
* Binders and pocket folders - For organizing miscellaneous handouts and papers.
* Backpack - Big enough to hold various shapes and sizes, but not too large for the child.
In addition to the above, popular items for the college-bound include:
* Planner - Electronic or paper, this must-have helps keep projects, papers, and assignments on track.
* Sturdy backpack or messenger bag - While a shoulder-style messenger bag keeps things neatly arranged, a sturdy backpack (or one on wheels) easily accommodates the heaviest textbooks.
* Laptop - An everyday essential for class work, research, and communications.
* Flash drive - For those times when you can leave the laptop at the dorm, conveniently carry your work in your pocket.
* Markers - Including fine-point, thick-point, and plain (non-toxic).
* Colored chalk - Livens up the lesson and helps make an important point.
* Index cards - Great for customized flash cards, teacher's notes, and general organization.
* Post-it notes - Handy labels and reminders.
* Color folders - Keeps classes, subjects and lesson plans together.
* Tape - Both transparent and masking for multiple uses.
Get the school year off to the right start with the right stuff. Find all these supplies, and much more, at www.twisop.com