Ok, so I thought it would be interesting to find out how everyone handles the first day, the week and first couple of weeks back to school, regardless of grade level. Please respond with your grade level and subject(s) for perspective Grade: high school (all 9-12) Subject: English 1st day is minimum day, so it's 35 minutes classes (compared to 55 minutes). This day is really just there for the students to figure out their schedules, find their classes, get acquainted (and for our office to really figure out student enrollment, since some of our students go back to their regular schools and don't even tell us). On this day all I do is assign the seating chart and go over rules, procedure and expectations. At the beginning of the year I have a powerpoint and students take notes filling in blanks. After winterbreak I do it quicker, I have a questionnaire that students are supposed to answer (about rules, etc), but we do it together, going over everything they need to know. Day 2 and 3: they complete a diagnostic tests (a CAHSEE practice test) but it's not for grade, it's for effort (the grade is for me to know). I always feel that this sets the tone that we're going to get down to business. In these 2 days there is no interaction, just focusing on the test. Students are able to listen to music on their phone. Day 4 is Thursday. From that day and the following 1-2 weeks we're doing very short lessons, read biographies of famous people and answer questions, sometimes watch short videos, etc. I will focus on people who overcame incredible obstacles and / worked for a great cause: starting with MLK, Nelson Mandela, Ghandi, Cesar Chavez (and overall compare / contrast them), then Elie Wiesel, and finish up with a few more recent people. Then we'll start reading I Am Malala (overcame a great obstacle and is a great role model) and will probably read that for 2-3 months.