How can planning increase a student's chance of getting great teacher recommendations?
Generally, it is the junior year teachers that a student will ask to write the letters of recommendation. It is a good idea to have one letter that is from a math or science teacher and one letter that is from an English, or history, or language teacher.
You do not want to be a "grade grubber," but it is important to show that you care about learning (not just the grade), ask good questions, be a positive, productive member of the class. Get your work done well and on time, be pleasant, have a sense of humor. All these attributes can lead to positive letters.