Back to School Resources for the 1st Week of School and Beyond

life skills teacherspayteachers teaching experience transition planning Aug 01, 2023

Whether you feel excitement about a new school year or dread, you have to be prepared or you will be eaten alive (not to sound dramatic, but we all know it’s true).  Knowing what you need to start the first day and week of school and having the time to create and perfect said resources are two separate tasks and sometimes you just don’t have the time or mental bandwidth to do both. So… check out the list below!

Best Back to School (and Beyond) Resources for High School and Transition Special Education Teachers:

First Day & Week of School

Paraprofessional Training Manual

Created to meet the needs of both new and veteran support staff, this is the training manual you will want to have your aides review and engage with prior to the first day of school, but the scenarios at the end will be meaningful from the first day of school until the last.  With the ability to edit specific sections, this comprehensive guide can be tailored to exactly what you need for your students and classroom.


Getting to Know You

It’s the non-ice breaker for the times when you want an ice breaker activity without all the awkwardness.  This resource includes activities for students to complete independently, with a partner, and as a whole class, so you’ll strike just the right mix of new peer and whole class interactions without being overwhelming.  

What’s a Transition Plan Lesson- Slide Deck & Checklist

If you teach high school or transition, helping students know what their IEP Transition Plan is and how it impacts their day-to-day at school is so important that it deserves time at the start of your school year.  This resource includes a Google Slide deck to help increase understanding of the Transition Plan and a 1 page checklist for students to work through as they review and engage with their own Transition Plan.  A great option for the first week of school or for an open day before different parts of your schedule really get in full swing.  

Vocational Skills Inventory

If you are getting a new crew of students or changing ages or levels, assessing their vocational skills so you can plan future lessons and place them at appropriate volunteer sites is a great first week of school activity.  With over 125 vocational skills, including prevocational, vocational, and soft skills, completing an inventory with each student will give you a full picture of their strengths and areas of opportunity and will help you narrow in on appropriate work boxes, vocational lessons, and volunteer placements.  


FREE: Age of Majority Visual

Depending on the age of your students, you might use this once or monthly to help your students understand how their rights change once they turn 18 years old. 

Resources for Daily Use

Daily Life Skills Warm-Up

If you want to review important life skills each day and want a new set of questions in every worksheet, then THIS IS THE RESOURCE FOR YOU!  With 925 questions, your students will answer 5 NEW life skill questions with each new worksheet.  Imagine spiraling back through important life skills every day!  This resource includes 185 pages, so you’ll have enough to use one per day!  Questions never repeat and topics are appropriate for the modern day student! 

Question of the Day (Vocational Skills, Life Skills, & Consumer Math)

If you are looking for a casual way to get students communicating at the start of a lesson or to round out those last few minutes before the bus or bell, this is the resource to grab!  With 180 questions specific to Vocational Skills, Life Skills, or Consumer Math, you will get engaging on-topic conversation going with just a single question.

IEP Transition Skills Goal Bank

Never sit at a blank IEP goal page again wondering what goal to write for a student.  With over 900 transition skills, this resource covers all the key areas for independent living, education, training, and employment.  Read More about the Transition Skills Goal Bank awesome resource HERE!



Resources for Weekly Use

Transition Portfolio

If you need a Professional Growth Plan objective to help students set meaningful goals, then this Transition Portfolio will do just that!  Students will identify people who support them (and how), their goals, their strengths and weaknesses, align their strengths/weaknesses with their goals, challenges to anticipate with their dreams, available supports, and more!  With 2 formats (written response and circle response), this resource is for teachers who have a wide range of students in their classroom and want to address the same skills at the various levels.  

Weekly Worksheet (and yes, you can grab 1 page of all of these for FREE HERE!)

Safety Skills (Read more about this resource HERE)

Kitchen & Cooking

Consumer Math

Functional Math  (Read more about this resource HERE)

Functional Reading (Read more about this resource HERE)

Vocational Skills  (Read more about this resource HERE)

Transition Workbook (Read more about this resource HERE)

Use 1 sheet each week and it will last you the whole school year.  Similar to the Life Skills Daily Warm-Up, these weekly worksheets focus on a set of skills to keep concepts and learning fresh in students minds.  With between 4-6 questions per page, the worksheets can easily be worked into your morning or afternoon routine or used as homework! 


Pro tip: Grab one of the resources above and print a set for the class along with answer keys.  This is a great resource to grab when a lesson runs short or you have a substitute teacher! 



Life Skills Homework

If you want to have a way for students to practice transferring the skills they learn from the classroom to the home setting, this is a simple way to allow students and families to choose the best and most appropriate skills in their own home.  If you grab any of the Life Skills Lesson Units in this curriculum, they are included, but you can download them separately to use with your own lessons and curriculum and calendar! 

When you feel like your teacher toolbox is full of meaningful, easy to use resources that you know are appropriate for your students, you’ll feel confident and (mostly) ready for the school year ahead.  Now, go fill that toolbox!


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