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Back to School

Back to School Resources - Previous Revision

It's time for school bells to start ringing, classrooms to start buzzing, and teachers to start off on their year-long adventure with a new group of students. Get things off to the best start by asking them to respect their differences and make the most of their similarities as they explore English language arts together. By asking students to share information on their lives, their backgrounds, and their dreams, teachers can build community in the classroom that will support literacy instruction throughout the school year and encourage students to participate as reflective and creative members of a variety of literacy communities.

Teaching Strategies

Connecting to Summer Reading This Fall
You encouraged students to read over the summer. What do you do now that they're returning to the classroom? Check out the Summer Reading and Learning Resources for ideas!

Back to School Booklist
Compiled by the ReadWriteThink staff, this booklist names texts that can be shared with students the first few days of school. If you have additional titles that have been successful in your classroom, please write and share them with us!

Back to School Lessons for the Elementary Classroom
The ReadWriteThink Web site has been providing quality lesson plans, interactive student materials, web resources, and ELA standards to classroom teachers since October of 2002. Highlighted here are examples of some elementary lesson plans with a focus on back to school and creating classroom community.

Back to School Ideas for the Middle and Secondary Classroom
Get the year off to a smooth start with these imaginative ideas for writing, talking, and even decorating the classroom with your students! 

Back to School Ideas
 NCTE's Classroom Notes Plus offers a number of back to school icebreakers and community building activities. Just the thing to get the year started!

Related Resources
More Than a Number: Why Class Size Matters
 This NCTE Position on class size and teacher workload, from Kindergarten to College, addresses the challenges of incorporating today's high standards into the classroom, and asks that we reconsider the number of students assigned to teachers of English language arts.

Classroom Notes Plus
 Classroom Notes Plus is a quarterly collection of practical teaching ideas contributed by middle, junior, and senior high school English teachers from across the country. Each issue is packed with dozens of immediately usable ideas including surefire motivators, practical suggestions for teaching literary classics, and in-depth features.

 Log on to for FREE research-based lesson plans and online resources that will help you use Internet content to teach reading and English language arts in grades K-12.

How Writing Works by Looking at Yourself as a Writer
 This sample activity from the CoLEARN Writing Initiative immerses parents in their own memories and present experiences as writers can help them identify not only the complexities involved in the act of writing but also the multiple genres and strategies we use as writers.

Features of Literacy Programs: A Decision-Making Matrix
 Prepared by the Commission on Reading with the National Council of Teachers of English, this resources provides checklists that can help all English Language Arts teachers as they prepare their classrooms for the upcoming school year.

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NCTE - The National Council of Teachers Of English

A Professional Association of Educators in English Studies, Literacy, and Language Arts