15 Ideas for the First Week of School

Between setting up your classroom, staff meetings, planning lessons for all the other classes you teach, and just general denial that summer is over, it may be hard to get back into yearbook mode again. If that sounds like you, or if you’re new to this whole yearbook thing, here are 15 ideas for the first week of school that will get the ball rolling:

  1. Expectations – Review your class requirements, grading policies, any planned staff work nights/weekends and the importance of making deadlines.
  2. Information – Complete a staff directory that includes phone numbers, other contact numbers (i.e. email, cell phones, work numbers), class schedules, birthdays, parent’s names, etc…
  3. Theme – If it isn’t already decided or in the works, discuss theme and cover ideas
  4. Critique – Go through last year’s book and have students list and discuss things they liked best and the things they would change
  5. Deadlines – Finalize and post the ladder. Color code it by deadline and list specific spread assignments, which pages will be sent with each deadline, etc. Indicate which pages are going to be printed in color and/or spot color.
  6. Sell – Discuss and plan your book sales campaign. Have students brainstorm ideas to increase book sales.
  7. Ads – Discuss and plan your community, parent, and friendship ad campaigns. Decide whether every student must sell a certain number of ads, if they get bonuses/commissions, how to organize, etc…
  8. Team Building – Start each day with 10 or 15 minutes of icebreakers/team building activities. This will help students get acquainted and get over any fears, shyness, etc. and begin to become a cohesive team.
  9. Ideas – Have each staff member bring in 5 ideas from magazines that could be used in the yearbook. Or, have each student bring several magazines and have a “look for ideas” class.
  10. Practice – Have students refresh and reinforce their design skills by drawing layouts and pasting up photos and type from magazines.
  11. Photograph – Buy disposable cameras, have students shoot photos around campus and “discover” who your best photographers are.
  12. Improve – Have students rewrite 5 captions and headlines from last year’s book. They should try to make them more informative and adhere to the caption writing formula.
  13. Brainstorm – Have students come up with and discuss ideas for feature stories, profiles, polls, and side-bars
  14. Delegate – Ask what special contributions/talents each staffer plans to give to the yearbook. From this conversation, decide each staffer’s strengths and what each student’s responsibilities will be.
  15. Bond – Try to plan one outside of class activity. You could go for pizza, go bowling, go roller-skating — anything that will allow staffers to get to know each other and just have fun.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *