Here are the top five action items to get your yearbook staff off to a great start. You might hit each topic during week one and cover them in more depth in subsequent weeks. Or stretch them out to cover a longer period of time. Either way, this is a great way to make sure you haven’t skipped anything mission-critical. Have a great year!

1. Create Good Classroom Vibes
Start each day with 10–15 minutes of icebreakers from the Teams and Leaders section. Create understanding among peers and appreciation for individuality on your staff with personality tests. A fan-favorite personality test is True Colors. Give it a Google search and learn more about how results match your staffers.

2. Gain Inspiration
Have students refresh and reinforce their design skills by drawing layouts and pasting photos and type from magazines. Go through last year’s book and have students list and discuss the things they liked best and the things they would change. Find more design inspo from the online gallery of Portfolio.

3. Develop a Deadline Plan of Attack
Begin planning coverage and content ideas, then place it on your Wall Ladder. Color code it by deadline and list specific spread assignments, which pages will be sent with each deadline, etc.

4. Build a 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. Check out our Pinterest page for staff bonding ideas.

5. Sell That Book!
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.

For more tips on how to get started, give this Surviving The First Week checklist a read. Don’t try to do it all! Decide what works best for you, then incorporate the steps as you wish.