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Friday, September 2, 2022

High School Academic Support MUST HAVE'S!

I recovered from COVID and was able to return to school on the 3rd day of school. Phew! 

I decided to write this post on some of the new finds from this year.

Even though I commit to not spending extra money on my classroom at the beginning of the year, I still inevitably devise systems that I think will work better than last year...and some other things that I am continuing because they just make sense!

Here are some of the things that I added to my classroom this year.

Quote of the Week section on the Whiteboard

One type of reading that emboldens me is reading inspirational quotes. I hope that it benefits students as well. I decided to try this Quote of the Week section especially for our Academic Support classes. I found the letters in the cabinet from a teacher who left it behind. 

Monthly Expanded Calendar on Whiteboard

One of the focal points in my classroom is an extended calendar that I put on the whiteboard. I put down Minimum Days, breaks, IEP's (so co-workers know when I will be out), Holidays, SUB days (when I will be out)....Spirit Days, etc. It's pretty big and I cross off the days as I go. It's one of the most helpful things to me organization-wise. It also helps us visualize time as it goes by...

Resource Board

I took this idea from a previous teacher...writing down teacher's names and having a section on the whiteboard where I can clip up important resources, notes, study guides, that the teachers share with me. The ambitious teacher would put down assignments from Google Classroom as they come in. I tried that for one year and could not keep up with it. This is much simpler and helps us organize test reviews and materials as they come in.

Deflect-O Interlocking Horizontal Tilt Bins

I saw this at my daughter's Back-to-School Night from one of her teachers and I just knew that it was going to change our game up in Study Hall. Previously, all of our supplies were just sequestered to 1 or 2 shelves and students had to ask me where to go. Now, they are in clear bins and they make my "extra" teacher persona very happy. The supplies look plentiful this way, and students know exactly where to go for any study material that they may need.

Crayola Colors of the World Colored Pencils

In our English class we do a lot of coloring/art projects, and these skin-tone colors also up the game in this regard! Students can color their assignments in such a way that they look more realistic and they can play with the colors to blend them to their needs. 

IEP folders in my locking desk

I like having IEP folders in my desk because they are much more accessible than in a file cabinet. I also keep notes on the student, career interest inventories, notes on phone calls, etc. in these folders.

Treat chest

Every year, I write a grant to our Parent Organization for monies to buy "Study Skills incentives" for our students. Every week during block period (typically 1 hour and 30 minutes), students get a 5 minute break and are able to enjoy a snack of their choice.

Message-board type writing on the whiteboard

I no longer put agendas on the whiteboard. Instead, we write down important tests, quizzes, assignments and another announcements...message board style. I also put down messages to students...that way if I forget to ask them about something, they remind me. ;)

Emails to Students (High School Level)

When students are absent, begin to fall behind, I like to get in the routine of communicating to them by email. A lot of times they will answer! It's a type of communication that does resonate with them. My goal every year is to send positive emails as much as possible...and I will continue that tradition this year. 

This year, these are the things that have made a big change in my classroom, vibe-wise. I still have many more things to add....right now my classroom is mostly whale themed but I have more to add! What are some of your Academic Support Class MUST HAVE'S?! Would love to hear your ideas in the comments below.

Happy Teaching,


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