Back to school: plan ahead for success

Yes, it’s happening! A new school term has just begun bringing with it meetings, lots of planning and great expectations. How do you feel about the new term? Do you have any special plans? Are there new resources, approaches, ideas you would like to try? Have you made any new term’s resolutions?

One of our favourite mottos says that ‘It’s important to always have something to look forward to.’ We believe that this is especially true when preparing for those months of teaching ahead. Chop up the term into manageable bits with lots of fun days of engaging activities inserted into your weekly routine, and you will have a sense of improvement and success at the same time. You can prepare for these projects, enjoy them, and then reflect on them before starting to plan the next one. To help you get started, here are some creative and engaging ideas for your English classes.

1 Start a reading adventure.

You can call it a reading challenge, a reading plan or a reading competition, whichever you prefer. The idea here is to encourage all students to plan their own reading up until the end of the year. The following ideas are based on the principles of extensive reading.

  1. Students choose the books they would like to read. You provide them with an appropriate selection of titles.
  2. Students have a reading timer to time their own reading.
  3. Reading should not be tested.
  4. Projects, presentations, reading diaries, artwork are welcome.
  5. Encourage your students to choose books from a wide range of genres; remember, comic books, graphic novels, non-fiction books and magazines have a place on their reading list.
  6. Follow up on your students’ reading.
  7. Provide enough time for discussion in class. You can call it a class book club session. Have it regularly.

2 Make reading part of your weekly routine, organise special reading days.

Organise D.E.A.R. sessions, give your students time to read at the end of the lessons, or simply have a fix day when everyone can read for 15 minutes.

3 Get materials, kits and a reading area ready.

Dedicate an afternoon to prepare for all your reading adventures, programmes and special days. Here is a checklist of things and kits to remember.

  1. Print and store your Book Club Starter Kit.
  2. Print and store reading schedules.
  3. Get copies and browse a readers catalogue.
  4. Compile a list of magazines and comic books which are appropriate for your students.
  5. Visit the library with your students and get them library membership cards.
  6. Talk to your colleagues and your headmaster about organising reading days.
  7. Check the special days in your annual calendar, and write reminders two weeks ahead to start preparing for smaller events.
  8. Schedule smaller weekly and bigger monthly reading sessions, and write them in your planner.
  9. If you do not have a classroom library, organise a reading corner with a shelf or table of books, posters on the wall and space for your students’ reading projects, posters and presentations.
  10. Keep checking the schedule of your local cinema to see what films (lots of them are adaptations of classics!) are coming out these months.

Want more? Read our posts about promoting reading, organising book clubs and reading programmes.

Comments are closed.