Surviving The First Week

1. Set Expectations
Review class requirements, grading policies, any planned staff work nights/weekends and the importance of making deadlines.

2. INFORMATION
Complete a staff directory with phone numbers, class schedules, birthdays, parents’ names, etc. Have students fill out the contact information cards.

3. CRITIQUE
Go through last year’s book and have students list and discuss the things they liked best and the things they would change.

4. 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.

5. SELL
Discuss and plan your book sales campaign. Have students brainstorm ideas to increase book sales. 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.

6. TEAM BUILDING
Start each day with 10–15 minutes of icebreakers/team-builders. This will help students get acquainted and get over any fears or shyness. They’ll begin to become a cohesive team.

7. PRACTICE
Have students refresh and reinforce their design skills by drawing layouts and pasting photos and type from magazines. Have students shoot photos around campus and find your best photographers.

8. IMPROVE
Have students rewrite five captions and headlines from last year’s book. They should try to make them more informative and adhere to the caption writing formula. Have each staff member bring in five ideas from magazines that could be used in the yearbook. Have students come up with and discuss ideas for feature stories, profiles, polls and side-bars.

9. 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.

10. BOND
Try to plan one out-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.