Useful “Back to School”-related links I’ve found

There seems to be a lot of it about at the moment – useful blog posts and resources for starting a new term/semester/year at school. I’ll soon be starting work at a new school, myself – lots of new classes and new ways of doing things ahead. So, I thought it would be useful to collect and annotate some links that can be helpful at such times (not least so that I have them all in one place when the time comes and so that I can close some of the tabs currently open in my browser window!) – I will add to this post as new links appear. Let me know if there are any good ones you’ve seen that I’ve missed by commenting on this post. 

  • A new class: building a  learning environment together  Rachael Roberts reminds us how important it is to establish a harmonious classroom environment, where learners can work together comfortably and supportively, then provides a list of activities divided up by theme that we as teachers can use to help this process along. Well worth a read before you start back.
  • 10 ways of getting back into your teaching routine (part 1 and part 2) Adam Simpson focuses on how we as teachers can help ourselves ease into a new school year most effectively. Very important, as it’s all too easy to focus so hard on the new classes facing us, that we forget to take care of ourselves too.
  • 50 things to do the first week of school David Deubelbeiss provides us with 50 (!) things we can do during the first week of school, that can help make it and the time that follows more successful. A whole mixture of things – and you might think “well, obviously…” yet many could easily fall by the wayside in that hustle and bustle that the first week brings…
  • How to teach…a new class A Guardian article/blog post by Emily Drabble, which is bursting with possible resources for you to look at before you start teaching a new class. Though aimed at NQTs, there is probably something for everyone in this post!
  • The 9 Golden Rules of using games in the classroom  We are almost bound to use a game or two during our first few weeks back teaching, as well as throughout the rest of the school year – but how can we use them most effectively? Adam Simpson gives us 9 rules to follow in order to ensure that we get the most out of the games we use.
  • A Map of Me Sandy Millin’s ice-breaker activity is a sure way of helping your learners to get to know each other better and discover what they have in common. Whether you are working with continuous enrolment, as she is, or starting a new school year,  this one could well be worth using!
  • What I know about… I could write on a stamp! Carol Goodey describes an interesting “getting to know you” activity involving postage stamps and a lot of talking. Might just come in handy…
  • Icebreaker Idea And this is one of mine – combines “getting to know you” with an opportunity to see what your learners are capable of in terms of oral production. I also came up with it due to working with continuous enrolment, but see no reason why it shouldn’t come in handy near the beginning of a school year too…
  • Breaking the Ice is by Rachael Roberts and contains a mixture of interesting ideas for first lessons with students, for creating an atmosphere conducive to learning.
  • Introductions – a video challenge is by Larissa Albano, who gives us a lovely first lesson plan that combines getting to know you with needs analysis and results in a resource that you and your students can look back on as the course progresses.
  • Relationships was written by Larry Ferlazzo and is another great getting-to-know-you idea that combines all four skills and sets up some solid foundations for the new course ahead.
  • I want to learn English because... by Kieran Donaghy is a lesson plan and materials based on a short film commissioned by Oxford University Press. A good way to get your students talking about why they want to learn English and how they want to use it in the future.
  • #100happylearningEnglishdays is by Larissa Albano, and while not necessarily only for the first lesson, could be a great way to set the tone for your course – one of lots of out of class learning!

Good luck with the new term/semester/year – may it bring you lots of effective teaching and learning, and remind you constantly of why it is you became a teacher. 🙂

image taken from via Google search licensed for commercial reuse with modification

image taken from via Google search licensed for commercial reuse with modification 


6 thoughts on “Useful “Back to School”-related links I’ve found

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