First Days of School Blog Hop! - Room 213

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First Days of School Blog Hop!

I am excited to be linking up with some awesome ELA educators for this "first days of school" blog hop/giveaway--and also very excited that my first day doesn't happen until September!

I'm going to re-share some things that my followers may be familiar with, not because I'm being lazy, but because they have been proven to work for me time and again.  I start every class, every year in the same way because I've found a formula that works for me.

First off, I'd like to share my digital syllabus.  A syllabus is a very individual thing, as we all have different information to give to our students, but if you're interested, you can use this as a starting point and adapt it and make it your own.

Why do I use a digital syllabus?  I want to use much less paper, so the information is going on line, on our course website. If there is someone who doesn't have internet access, I will print it off for them. Secondly, I wanted to create a syllabus that they will actually read, not just shove to the back of their binders, as I know they have in the past.  We all know that this generation is much more likely to read it if it's on a screen! You can read more about this in my previous post.

On to my classes: I never jump into the curriculum on the first few days of the semester, because I want to spend time creating the classroom climate. I want my students to think, explore new ideas, debate and discuss, and in order to do so, they need to spend time getting to know each other and my expectations for them.  It can be like prodding cattle to get teens to open up both their minds and their mouths, so I think it's important to devote the time to creating a safe place where they can feel free to express themselves.  If I don't have that, then it's awfully hard to do the other activities I want to do with them throughout the year.  I'd recommend that you carve out as much time as you can to create the climate you want in your room. If you'd like to check out the start up activities that I have used for a number of years, you can check out these blog posts here.  

Enjoy checking out the other tips on this blog hop and have an awesome year!


  1. I did a visually appealing one page syllabus in addition to a full syllabus for my spring semester college comp classes and students definitely paid more attention to it. But now I'm thinking how to make it more digital and perhaps the ideas.

  2. I love your digital syllabus! It's eye-catching and informational! It's a great idea.

  3. A digital syllabus is an awesome idea! I think I have a new project before school starts!

  4. A digital syllabus is a great idea! I am trying to use less paper this year and plan to use Google Drive. Maybe I can try this out also. Thank you for sharing!

  5. So enjoyed the fact that you help students to create their classroom climate before leaping into the text. Great ideas here and thanks! Do your students also offer suggestions for what that climate will become? Thanks for this wonderful post! Ellen


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