During church Sunday, Sara asked those of us that work in the public school system to relate a highlight/success of their first week of school. Here is one that I was excited to share. It is a teaching strategy idea that she gave to me that really worked in my high school classroom!

As background, I had attended a teacher workshop prior to the beginning of school provided by our school system. It was about learning and employing teaching strategies and we were asked to implement them using our course specific content. The idea was to engage students and improve achievement. Sara likes for us to share with her what we, teachers, learn at these sessions each year and she interacts with us how we will practically utilize them. So, after sharing my content idea (something about comparing apple varieties) for teaching comparisons (similarities and differences) she offered one that she felt would excite the students even more, and it did. It was to use the class iguana, Harry Potter (see his picture…Sara named him), and have the students compare him to an alligator.


I drew two intersecting circles on a paper and had the students break into teams (this was the strategy I had learned at the teaching workshop). The students were to work as teams and write five things in each circle that were unique/different to the iguana and then to the alligator. They were then to write three things in the intersecting circles that were similar to both the iguana and the alligator. This really sparked their interest. They got interested in Harry Potter and wanted to handle him. By the way, Sara has never handled him!

They began interacting with one another. A leader/spokesperson emerged in each group. Each one shared, participated and worked together. And they came up with great comparison facts and reasoning from their brainstorming. That activity set the tone for the week and a great week it was!

Thanks Sara for your creative input! Maybe the Daily Lily writers would like to share some of their ideas that work and/or highlights from their first week of school.