03 August 2015

Syllabus Extravaganza: Steal some great ideas!

Weird teachers have one thing on their mind right now: the perfect syllabus.

I had hoped I wasn't the only one who made a hobby of syllabizing, and recent posts among my PLN amigos indicate I'm not!

I'm pretty tickled that the infograph syllabus is catching on:
Also check out Courtney Cochran's sketch-note syllabus! I had every intention of learning to sketch note this summer, but, alas, the road to the first week of workdays is paved with good intentions.

Allison Wienhold's Spanish I, II, and III syllabi are pretty visual, too, even if they're not Piktocharts. I think that's the key: presenting the information in such a way that it can and will be read.

I've also gotten some cool syllabus ideas from Pinterest (the source for all things teachery). I'm especially intrigued by the interactive notebook syllabus and may do something with that next year.

Carrie Toth, however, takes a less visual but more thorough approach when creating the perfect syllabus, breaking down each quarter's grammar, culture, and literacy focus with concise communicative goals.

And then Sara-Elizabeth Cottrell breaks down the absolute essentials of syllabusiness still further--infograph or no: content overview, assessment policies, tools, classroom culture, and clarity.

For those of you in AP land, Courtney Johnson has some tips for creating an amazing AP Syllabus (with a little help from Sra. Cottrell and Sr. Peto).

As for delivery, I like that first-day stations are catching on--get students to interact with the syllabus individually without wasting valuable class time droning through it. Here are a few ideas for other stations that can be going on at the same time: 
  • Sra. Stilson is thinking about a name station, a student info form station, Twitter account setup, and a station for exploring weekly homework choices.
  • Sra. Wienhold also has a proficiency station and expands on the Twitter set up with "shelfies," bios in the TL, and music suggestions.
  • Mme. Farabaugh is considering a class Instagram account in addition to the Twitter account, and a helpful app downloading station.
  • Some stations I've tried for Spanish I include shelfies, Google Translate comparisons, and Pinterest playlists.
  • I've tried different stations for Spanish II too: action shots for essential verbs, karaoke with past songs, pre-TPRS story forms, Skitch goal setting, and portfolio flashbacks to review what they could do the year before.
As for my syllabus for this year, I'm still working on the links in ThingLink, but I've got my syllabus channel on ThingLink...and a preview sans links:

#3 in the Top 5 posts of 2015


  1. We joined the infographic syllabus train today. Here's another example to share.