The Literary League's Back 2 School Give-Away

The Literary League, a group of exceptional secondary English Language Arts teachers, is hosting a Back to School Give-Away. Enter to win a choice of gift cards, middle school and high school ELA resource bundles, and shopping sprees to middle and high school ELA TPT stores.

By the time I grab my books and I give
myself a look I'm at the corner just in time to see the bus fly by. It's
alright’ cause I'm saved by
The Literary League! That’s right, we are at it
again! It’s one of the biggest back-to-school give-aways courtesy of some of
your favorite ELA sellers. 

We’re teachers too, so we know that feeling of going
back to school.  Cure those back to
school blues by entering this HUGE give-away. 
Not only multiple prize packs, but also multiple winners!

The give-away will
run Monday 8/31 to Monday 9/14. 
You’ll see some familiar and maybe even some new
faces, so follow our stores and our social media accounts, and stay updated
with what’s new! 
Winners will be announced Tuesday 9/15.

The Literary League, a group of exceptional secondary English Language Arts teachers, is hosting a Back to School Give-Away. Enter to win a choice of gift cards, middle school and high school ELA resource bundles, and shopping sprees to middle and high school ELA TPT stores.

Prize # 1: Gift Card of Choice

Win a $50 gift card to Teachers Pay Teachers, Amazon, Staples or Target.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Prize #2: Middle School Resources

Win all of the resources listed below for your middle school ELA classroom.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Prize #3: High School Resources

Win all of the resources listed below for your high school ELA classroom.

Reading: Guide Your Students Through the Process

Notebook Bundle

The Art of Persuasion

Core Literature Bell Ringers for Secondary English

Poetry Packet

to Close Reading for Middle and High School - Model and Practice

Thinking: What is Textual Analysis #2

and Nonfiction Test Passages

Story Starters Task Cards

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Prize # 4: Middle School TpT Store Shopping Spree 

Win a $10 shopping spree to one of the TpT Stores listed below.

2 Peas and a Dog

The Creative Classroom

Literary Sherri

Mrs. Spangler in the Middle

Darlene Anne

Fisher Reyna Education

Brain Waves Instruction

Stacey Lloyd

James Whitaker's Sophist Thoughts

Created by MrHughes

ELA Everyday

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Prize #5: High School TpT Store Shopping Spree  

Win a $10 shopping spree to one of the TpT Stores listed below.

Room 213

The Daring English Teacher


Making Meaning with Melissa

Linda Jennifer

Brynn Allison

Juggling ELA

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Teaching Tips from Students

In the beginning of every new school year, I always try to get to know my students as best as I can. One of the ways I get to know my students is by having them complete a student survey that asks a lot of telling questions (what their biggest accomplishment is, who lives at home with them, and what their motto is). I keep these surveys handy throughout the first few weeks of a new school year, and I constantly refer back to them to find out more about each student.

One of the most telling questions on my Back to School Survey for Secondary Students provides me with invaluable information about what each student needs in order to be successful in my class.  Every year, I ask my students what I can do to help them be more successful in my classroom.
The vast majority of students answer this question genuinely. However, I usually have a few students respond with answers like, “no homework,” and “buy me donuts.” When students really take this question to heart though, their answers provide me with so much insight and push me as their teacher to be a more effective educator.  

After reading 100+ responses to this question, I compiled some of the most helpful and insightful student responses. Yes, they are our students and we are their teachers, but we can definitely learn from our students. All we have to do is be willing to ask and listen.

So, here is what students want us to know. Here is what students say we as teachers can do to help them succeed in our classrooms.

  • “What you can do to help me be successful is explain every single topic and lesson with great detail.”
  • “Explain things in different ways.”
  • “Don’t go too fast when teaching.”
  • “When I write an essay, read [it] and give feedback. Push me to do better. Make it fun to be involved.”
  • “You can offer help and make the lesson easier if it is hard, or wait [until] everyone has got it. Then move on.”
  • “Please stay on top of me no matter how small the assignment. I will procrastinate.”
  • “Announce important dates so I can’t forget.”
  • “Being supportive and understanding would help me a lot.”
  • “Help me catch my mistakes and correct them.”
  • “Do reviews before a test or major quiz.”
  • “Be understanding. Try and be in my footsteps because I have a lot of responsibilities.”
  • “Explain clearly what we are doing.”
  • “Something you can do is call on me for any question in order for me to learn.”
  • “Teach me well, push me to do my best, and make things interesting. That is my way of learning.
  • “Well I don’t usually understand when people give directions the first time, so I will ask a lot of questions.”
  • “Thoroughly explain assignments, help us with essays, and be fun.”
  • “Try to break down the lessons so I or we can understand.”
  • “Listen to what the student has to say and put yourself in their shoes.”
  • “You can always tell me right away what I’m missing or what OI need to do if my grade is going down.”

This question is on my FREE Back-to-School Student survey. You can download it for free HERE!

How I Use Pinterest as an Educator

This blog post is part of the Secondary Smorgasboard Linky hosted by the ELA Buffet and Desktop Learning Adventures. To read about more great teacher Pinterest uses, click on the links at the end of this post :)

Like so many other teachers, I LOVE Pinterest. From classroom décor, to lesson plans, to behavior management, Pinterest has everything (and then some) that a teacher could ask for. And while Pinterest can be a treasure chest filled to the brim with clever ideas, it can also be a bit intimidating as well. I remember feeling the stress of planning my son's first birthday party. I blame the hours upon hours I spent looking at top-notch Pinterest birthday parties. While browsing through Pinterest (whether it be for teaching ideas, wedding decor, birthday party ideas, or anything else), it is important to not compare.

As a secondary English teacher, I use Pinterest almost daily to look for ways to improve my lessons, hone my teaching craft, and decorate my classroom. With the latter being my favorite. Follow me on Pinterest HERE! 

One of my favorite Pinterest boards is my Classroom Inspiration board. Before discovering how teaching and Pinterest work hand-in-hand, I just simply purchased some writing process posters at a big-box teacher store, stapled them to my (otherwise rather bare) walls, and called it a day. That isn’t happening anymore, and I’m really excited to completely redo my classroom this year.

Secondary teachers can use Pinterest to find fun, colorful, and age-appropriate ways to decorate their classrooms. Check out all of the secondary classroom décor ideas I’ve pinned to my Classroom Inspiration board.

Another board I use a lot is my Secondary ELA Resources board. While I occasionally pin some of my Teachers Pay Teachers resources to this board, I try to mostly pin free lessons, innovative ideas, and helpful strategies that compliment what I teach in my own classroom. Whenever I’m looking for complimentary resources for a common core lesson I’m teaching, I’ll go back and look at this board to see if I can find anything that is useful for me.

Check out all of the secondary English teaching resources and ideas I’ve pinned to my Secondary ELA Resources board.  

Secondary Smorgasbord Linky

Assigning Writing in the Beginning of the School Year

The first week back to school is usually pretty hectic. From getting back in the swing of things, to preparing for the first day, and learning 100+ new student names, there is a lot to do. And almost every single year it seems like your back-to-school list grows faster than you can check things off.

In the midst of all of the back-to-school chaos, there is something that you, as a secondary teacher, should do: get your students writing! But I teach science/math/physical education, you say. You should still have your students write something for you in the first week of school.

Regardless of the content you teach, there are two reasons why it is essential to have your students write in the beginning of the year.

1. Assess their writing ability – Looking at and analyzing your students’ writing can tell a lot about each individual student as well as your class as a whole. Which students have a firm understanding of the English language? Which students struggle with piecing words together to form a coherent sentence? Who are the students who lack focus and organization in his or her writing? Even if you teach a subject that doesn’t focus on writing, understanding and knowing your students’ writing abilities is helpful because writing ability and reading level correlate with one another. If some of your secondary students have difficulty writing a sentence that is grammatically sound, chances are they might have a difficult time understanding the textbook or directions for more complicated processes.

 2. Get to know your students better – Within the first week of school with a new class, I like to assign a personal narrative essay to my students. One of the main reasons why I do this is that I want to get to know all of my students on a deeper level. When I read their personal narratives in the beginning of the year, I learn something about each and every single one of my students. To help me remember the personal narratives, I like to read/grade them with a set of my class rosters. After I read each narrative, I like to write several words by each of their names to help me get to know and remember them better. 

This is the narrative essay I give to my students every year in the beginning of the year. It's filled with personal narrative writing prompts as well as a fictional narrative assignment. This writing pack also includes peer editing forms, brainstorming ideas, and a teacher rubric!

TpT Back to School Site-Wide Sale!

It’s that time of year again! The students are on their way, whether you are ready or not! So, it’s time for the Teachers Pay Teachers Back-to-School Sale!

The great English teachers in the Literary League have teamed up to make sure that this Back-to-School season is a great one!

Every single educational resource in my TpT store will be 20% off on August 3 and 4! You can save an extra 10% is you enter in the promo code TPTBTS15 at checkout!

Teachers love back-to-school!

Danielle Knight (Study All

Darlene Anne- ELA

Mrs. Spangler
in the Middle

Created by

The Classroom

The Daring
English Teacher

ELA Everyday

Juggling ELA



Meaning with Melissa

Peas and a Dog

Secondary Solutions-Simply Novel


Linda Jennifer

Fisher Reyna

The Creative


Room 213

Brynn Allison


Perfetto Writing




The Superhero

Created for

Brain Waves