Friday, August 30, 2013

Teaching: Back to School Ideas for the first week

Welcome back to school y'all! I cannot believe the first week is already done. I am still frantically trying to learn about 130 student names #secondaryprobz!

This is my second year to teach sophomore English. Last year was my official  first year of teaching (after teaching half a year of 7th grade English it was a cake walk!) I am really excited about some of the new things I'm trying in my room this year.

This new bulletin board is probably my favorite thing... Here is what it looked like for the first day of school. The picture isn't super, but it basically says if blank had twitter.  I will fill it in with different people, authors, or things we are studying.  For the first day I had, if our mascots had a twitter. Then, I made up goofy hashtags for them. (#yourmascotsuitsmells) I used sentence strips and had our librarians laminate them.  I used dry erase markers to write my different hashtags. 

I already updated it from their Root Words List for the week. One of their roots is "derm," so I wrote a a hashtag that said #mileyshowedtoomuchepidermis Many of my students noticed the board and got a kick out of it! I can't wait to keep updating it this year! 

The first day of school can be a little bit scary, so I always introduce myself to the students.  I want them to see where I come from.  I tried this last year and improved upon it this time around.  I used all different shirts from periods in my life (high school, college, runs, wedding, and baby pjs) to tell them all about me.  
Then, I had them create a t-shirt out of construction paper to describe themselves. I didn't give them a template or any very strict rules.  It is really cool to see who wants to use scissors, who wants to make a tank top, and that type of stuff! I hung a clothesline from the Dollar Store around the room and had the students hang their shirts on the line.

I really love how my personal area turned out this year.  I have a chair to sit in and teach from the back of the room, when I have to use the computer.  (So that I can control the mouse and all that without sitting behind my desk) I also reoriented my desk to create an "L". It keeps the students from coming behind the desk now, since I have almost a counter for them.  I stapled fabric right to the wall behind my desk since there was no bulletin board there.  I am using thumb tacks to hang things on it! Works for me...

This year I am trying some different things. Including dipping my toes in the "interactive notebook pool."  I will try to get some more pictures of what's happening in Mrs. Riley's class to show off my new improved systems management for the year. :) 

Good Luck to all!


  1. I love this! Please join our "Show Us Your Classroom" link up on Tuesday!!

    1. Yay! I just did... Thank you guys for passing along such good info :)

    2. Thanks for linking up! Your room is too cute. I would love to talk about interactive notebooks with you. Email me at, and we can talk about some options.

  2. So glad to have found your blog through the Curly Classroom girls. I'm a fellow high school English teacher and cheer coach! I look forward to sharing ideas...go team!

    Jenn @

    1. It's so great to meet a fellow cheer coach/English teacher... nothing like planning for a dress up day and a writing assignment simultaneously, haha!