Favorite Lessons for Back-to-School

After Labor Day, the back-to-school season is complete. Summer is over for everyone, fall is in the air, and it's time to think about sweaters, pumpkin-spice lattes, and the lessons you will need to keep your students engaged and learning.

To help you with those lessons, we've assembled some of our favorites. Check them out!

Establish a classroom routine and provide a helpful reference point for you and your students with these editable daily agenda slides for Google™ Slides and PowerPoint. These agenda slides will help you communicate clear learning goals and simplify classroom procedures. They are perfect for back to school, as they are a great way for your new students to stay organized and up-to-date.

Nouvelle ELA

This Creative Writing Round Robin writing activity is great any time of year, but it’s especially excellent for building classroom community during the Back to School season. Students collaborate to write a short story with the SWBST elements (Somebody wanted but…so then…), but the catch is that they can only see the person’s writing just before theirs. They continue to swap stories until each group has five collaborative tales. This ends up being such a silly and fun activity, even as students practice low-stakes writing.

Room 213
Get your students actively engaged in the learning process with these exercises - all you need is some paper, sticky notes, markers and/or colored pencils. Then, you can choose from one of over THIRTY activities that will get your students thinking critically as they collaborate with their classmates. Just download, choose an activity, and get your students excited about learning. The best part is that the activities can be used with any text!

A great way to start the school year is with a close reading short story unit! Packed with lessons, activities, and writing prompts for seven short stories, this unit has everything you need to teach your short story unit. First, students will read the stories. Then, they will go back and closely read and carefully selected passages. Along the way, they will identify quotes to use for their writing. Finally, students will use the quotes from their close reading to work on a literary analysis prompt!

Tracee Orman

I don’t know about you, but I hate decorating bulletin boards throughout the year. But I have found that even secondary students love seeing something new each month. So I designed and created these fun interactive bulletin boards you can use ALL YEAR LONG! The best part is they are SO EASY! Just print, fold, and post! They will keep your students engaged and excited for a new one each month!

Presto Plans

If I had to pick one English teaching routine that totally transformed my classroom, it would be bell-ringers. They jump start student learning, calm classroom chaos, reduce uncertainty, and make transitions smoother, all the while allowing the teacher to maximize their time and maintain their sanity. They also can buy you an extra 5-10 minutes at the beginning of each class to do attendance, check in with students, and maybe even take a moment to yourself. My bell-ringer sets include a unique daily activity that helps students improve their ELA skills like grammar, vocabulary, writing, and figurative language in a high-interest way.

Addie Williams

I love to find ways to connect with my students at the start of the year and one of the best ways I have found to connect with kids is through music.  My goal at the beginning of a new year or semester is not only to get to know the students, but also to assess their writing skills and identify early on where I need to focus future lessons.  One of the ways I can do this is through my Soundtrack of My Life (or Summer) activity which is available in both print and digital formats.  This resource asks students to create the music that best represents their entire life or just their summer (I let them pick which one they want to do).  Not only is it fun to hear them talking about their music picks, but I can easily share their favourite songs with the class as they’re working.

That's all for now! We wish you all the best as you start (or continue) your new year.

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