Secondary ELA's First Days of School

9:00 AM Sarah Koves 9 Comments

How do I start my year?

It might be best to tell you what I teach first because what I teach drives how I start the year.

My schedule last year:
1) AP Literature
2) AP Psychology
3) Civics and Economics
4) Honors English 11
5) Civics and Economics
6) Prep
7) English 11

This year my schedule will be a little different:
1) Women's Studies (first semester) and 
Journalism (second semester)
2) AP Psychology
3) Honor English 11
4) AP Literature
5) Prep
6 and 7) District Curriculum Work

AP English and English 11 (Honors or not) all begin the same way: Boot Camp and Literary Terms.  My Boot Camp post goes into detail about how I set up my first two weeks and why I set it up that way.

Both of my AP classes take a base-line full-length test the first week of school, but I really try to do it on day 3 or 4.  This still gives then enough time to switch out (this happens more than I would like), but gets a score early enough in the year to mark their starting point.

In psychology I start with Personality Puzzles.  They are a good get-to-know each other activity and introduce students to some basic psychology ideas.

To be honest I have no idea how to start women's studies or journalism.  I created these classes, and have to write them from scratch.  Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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Be sure to hop over to see what the other secondary English teachers are starting their year with.

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