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Getting Ready to Go “Back to School”

Some teachers are enjoying August without a care in the world, while others are at the bitter end of their summer vacation.  Therefore, I thought I’d take a few minutes to point you to some “back to school” posts we’ve written through the years in order to help you get ready for the school year.

If you want more back to school posts, then just search our archives.  Just use the pull-down menu in the left-nav of this blog to view our old posts month-by-month.  Additionally, if you’re looking for something specific, just type the words, in quotes, in the top right corner of the blog and then click on search.

Finally, four non-TWT links.

  1. Check out Franki Sibberson’s “Whole Class Interviews: Building Community in Writing Workshop” Article over at Choice Literacy.  It’ll provide you with an excellent framework for creating writing interviews.
  2. Click here for lots of tips for using Wordle in your classroom.
  3. Jen Barney’s list of the top ten things to remember when teaching writing.
  4. Read through Responsive Classroom’s August 2010 Newsletter, which is packed with ideas about great ways to start the new school year.

Stacey Shubitz View All

Literacy Consultant. Author. Former 4th and 5th Grade Classroom Teacher.

35 thoughts on “Getting Ready to Go “Back to School” Leave a comment

  1. Thanks for the slew of ideas. The one I am excited to try is “memory boxes.” I will be checking on the book and now I have a wonderful use for my old pencil boxes from last year! I love the idea of talking deeply about what a memory is and can see many ties to other content areas that utilize artifact collection. Yippee!


  2. @Juli: I used paint sticks in my classroom library. Each kid got 5 sticks. They’d place them inside of any book basket from which they borrowed a book. This enabled them to return books they borrowed back to the right spot in our classroom library.


  3. Stacey…I looked at the “blank bulletin board” show again…still can’t figure out what you are doing with the paint sticks with student’s names on them (in the lower left box/picture)…can you explain?


  4. Something I really liked about my writer’s notebooks in high school was when my teachers gave me the option of folding over or placing a “Private” sticker on a page. It encouraged me to continue to write everything and anything in my notebook, and actually made me trust my teachers more.


  5. Thank you, as always. I will link to this tomorrow and will share this information along. You two are the best.
    If you haven’t heard, today was a holiday (I just found out.) It’s the ‘August 10 for 10 Picture Book Event’ over at Reflect and Refine blog and also Enjoy and Embrace Learning blog. ‘So many great book recommendations! See below.

    Happy new year ahead!


  6. Great inspiration. The new academic year has already started in our country, Indonesia. We have 2 days off to start the Ramadan season, and we’ll continue school during Ramadan with all teachers and students fasting. It’s a great fight, and some of your ideas are very applicable. Thanks for sharing 😉


  7. Getting the fresh new backpacks organized and stuffed is a fun thing every year! Some great ideas and creative ways to get kids (and adults) looking forward to the new year to come.

    I looked at the ‘celebrity write profiles’ wall, why not make it a profile of the celebrity students you have? Snap a picture of the student up there with a quick Polaroid and make everybody excited about doing something creative 🙂

    Happy schooling!


  8. @Kim & complynn: Thanks so much for your kind words!
    @Gil: If you were my student, I’d probably advise you to create a schedule that you really stick to day after day. Carve out time for all of the things you do, just as you’d schedule a doctor’s appointment. Remember to also schedule time for things like spending time with family, doing homework, and sleep, which can easily get overlooked when we have so much else going on. Good luck with 8th grade!


  9. Chalked full of very useful advice that we’ll be utilizing. Thanks for the helpful hints. Absolutely love the G.E.A.R. Though our kiddo (ok, he’s my stepson, but still love him as if he were my own) is going into 8th grade, this will definitely help him (and us) with his homework. He’s a phenomenal kid, but still has a few issues in the homework department; he’ll make it though! Well there’s my little rant… lol…

    Great post and thanks! 🙂


  10. Love this post and your ideas! I’m not a teacher (in the traditional sense), but you gave me such great ideas to use with my daugther as she goes to school. Thank you!


  11. Hi,

    Well, I’m not a teacher but I’ve read a bit of your site and have a question that I hope you can answer:

    I’m going into eight grade in a normal public school in Canada. Since this is the year before high school I want to get great grades. However, I have a VERY busy personal life – blogging, friends, a small business (not your typical lemonade stand) and so much more but I need help to balance it all. Do you have any tips? Thanks so much!


  12. What a wonderful find — thank goodness for Freshly Pressed!

    I teach college composition classes, but love how inspiring I still find this post. I forwarded the link to the local National Writing Project Director, who I am certain will pass it along. Our listserv has writing instructors from K-12, so I know some will find your blog as practical as it is inspiring.


  13. Just picked up your blog on freshly pressed. This is the best writing teacher sight I have ever seen. And believe me I have been looking. Thanks for all the great info. I will be back.


  14. Interesting post. My kids are older teens, which changes some things – though organization and readying for school is always a scramble.

    One of my kids started back to school yesterday. Too early!

    We so often think of how this affects the kids and the parents, but the teachers – not so much. And of course, we should.

    I find it sad that in some parts of the country we cut short summer and force all of us back to the academic schedule and daily crazy grind, when we ought to be enjoying a winding down, and school starting after Labor Day.


  15. Your memory boxes are a wonderful idea. My boys are too little to write, but they’re certainly not too little to make up stories. I think I’ll start gathering memory boxes for them right away to help them with imaginative play.

    Thanks for the idea.


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