Secondary Speaks: The #1 Resource for Back to School

Curious about what the best resource from Teachers Pay Teachers might be? A collection of secondary teachers comes together to share the #1 resource for back to school! You can see recommendations for non-subject-specific resources and then for specific subjects. Click through to get your ideas!
Welcome back to Secondary Speaks!

Back to School season is upon us, BUT fortunately, Teachers Pay Teachers is hosting their annual BTS Sitewide Sale on August 3rd and 4th. (Which is a bonus for me, since the 4th is my birthday!)

My wish list is already stocked of items I want to buy from other secondary ELA sellers, but I'm still browsing to make sure I'm not missing out on any great resources while the sale is going on. 

To help us all out, teachers are sharing the #1 resource they wish other teachers had in their classrooms. 

Remember: Stay tuned for more posts, and comment below if you want to join in! 

(If you want to catch up on previous posts from us, make sure to click on the Secondary Speaks tag at the bottom of this post.)

Q: "What is the ONE resource in your store that you wish EVERY teacher had?"

All Subjects:
  • I wish that everyone had one of my teacher binders. They are designed to organize and streamline all of the papers, handouts, schedules and planning that goes along with being a teacher. I use mine everyday and don't have to go "now where did I put that...." because it is all in my binder. (I do recommend, however, that they use a 2 or 3 inch binder because if they are anything like me...well they have a lot of papers to keep track of! :) ) SecondaryMathShop
  • I would suggest my Back to School Packet. It includes thirteen activities for an easy and fun first few days of school. But, OK, maybe it's not for EVERY teacher -- just all the middle grades ones :) Classroom in the Middle
  • I think the back to school reflections (by grade level). They provide everything the teacher needs to create the cheat sheets I mentioned above as well as to create a class community project from the get go. There is no amount of classroom management techniques that can make up for a teacher showing students they care about the individuals they are right from the start. DocRunning
  • I really enjoyed making my resource based on the 2014 hit "Happy'' by Pharrell Williams. The song is so joyous and it was fun to make the product. I have memories of dancing around the kitchen with my daughter to "Happy'' as I dreamed about ways to analyze the song. Allyson's Creative Corner
  • Task cards! Great to see what they remember from the previous year. The Lab

English Language Arts:
  • I'd give every teacher these grading tools - checklists, logs, etc. - to both take some of the stress out of grading and improve the feedback we give. Secondary Sara
  • Even though I teach teens I still do "Back to School" activities as I believe so strongly in building community from the start! And... my students love doing some of these and sharing their ideas with me and their classmates! Addie Williams
  • I wish that every single teacher had my Annotating Text Made Easy resource. It's my best-selling item for a reason. Annotating text is essential in every single secondary classroom, not just English. Once students become familiar with how to correctly annotate, school work will be much easier for them. The Daring English Teacher
  • I wish every teacher had my Summer Reading Character Postcards. This is a fun way to make sure the summer reading was completed! I have my students write a postcard from the prospective of one of the characters in the book they read, to another character. I make sure to tell them that the postcard should highlight the main idea, conflict, and/or theme of the story. Then have the character send a response back on the 2nd postcard. This is also a good activity to use when teaching point of view, as well. To add a little creativity, ask students to draw a picture that reflects the information they included in the postcard on the right side of the card. Lit with Lyns
  • My students LOVE this guidebook, because it has most of the information they need to remember packed in an easy-to-use format. It's by far my favourite product in my store. Room 213  
  • Preparing students for the Writer's Workshop - ideal for scaffolding students through the process of a proper workshop. Let's students practice, and provides a formula and a sample writing for them to practice with. Once finished, students continue to IMPROVE in the process as the year progresses. The workshop is wonderful for so many reasons: It is student-centered. Students really learn from each other, find unofficial student mentors in the group who are particularly good at a certain element and writing bonds are formed between students. It is so much better than one teacher writing and commenting on all of those papers. Gina 
  • I guess that would be any of the 3 Back to School First Week products. I have one that is pretty classic, one that is football themed (I had a TON of boys last year) and I'm putting the finishing touches on a new one that uses interactive notebooks and picture books (that I'll use myself this year). Lisa @ Mrs. Spangler in the Middle
  • I'm preparing a Shakespeare biography that will be ready in a couple of days. David Rickert 

Social Studies:
  • I wish EVERY history teacher had one of these year-long Who's Who reference packets (US History Reference Sheet and World History Reference Sheet); they help students keep people and their historical significance straight each unit. The packet also comes with thorough description of extension activities and review ideas which will allow teachers to get an incredible amount of mileage each unit out of this product. Stephanie's History Store

  • My Simple Math Dictionary since most math glossaries are inadequate. Scipi  
  • Math Vocabulary - Pseudo-Ku Puzzles is a great back2school resource for secondary math classes. It provides a review of vocabulary with a puzzle challenge. This is a Print&Go resource that can be used prior to any instruction. If student vocabulary is weak, the glossary in any math textbook can provide the missing knowledge. weatherly

  • My Scienitifc Method Bazinga game - It is SO MUCH FUN! Even if you don't teach science, it is fully editable and you can format it to fit your curriculum. Science Chick  

ESL & Foreign Language:

Know another resource, or want to endorse one of these? Leave a comment below. We'll see you for another group post soon!

1 comment

  1. I wish all middle school math teachers had my Back to School Pre-Algebra Review Table Top Study Cards Bundle Set. I created these as a way to help my students learn multi-step skills. Students use the cards as we practice classwork and often refer back to them when necessary. I have also used them to help students on IEPs and to utilize as RTIs. Never have to worry about a student sitting there with nothing to do!


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