10 Resources to Re-Energize the Secondary ELA Classroom

10 Resources to Re-Energize the Secondary ELA Classroom
With a new school year upon us, it’s time to re-energize your teaching practices with some new routines and resources. Here are ten teaching resources and strategies to implement in your classroom this year.

Bell Ringers

I use the first five to ten minutes of every class period for a do-now, or bell-ringer, activity. The students come into my room, see what the do-now is, and begin working. This provides me with valuable time to take and enter attendance, answer student questions, and check on individual students. I use this free bell-ringer recording sheet and stamp every student’s page every day. This provides me with a chance to have some facetime with every student, even if just for a moment.

1. Sentence Combining Bell-Ringers

These bell-ringers are great because they help students improve their writing. I project a slide up on the board, and the students read the cluster of individual sentences and combine them into one grammatically correct, complex sentence. To help show how there are multiple ways to write sentences, I have my students share their answers aloud to help model good writing.

2. Growth Mindset Bell-Ringers

I absolutely love these bell-ringers. Each bell-ringer includes a growth mindset quote and a common core writing prompt. Students read a quote relating to a growth mindset, and then they respond to either an argument, informative, or narrative writing prompt.

3. Classroom Culture and Community Bell-Ringers

Classrooms should be a place of acceptance and belonging. These bell-ringers focus on facilitating a positive classroom community through conversation. Each bell-ringer includes a quote about love, acceptance, tolerance, and diversity and a writing prompt.
10 Resources to Re-Energize the Secondary ELA Classroom

Writing Instruction

When I teach my students writing, I like to focus on just one element at a time. This helps not to overwhelm the students. My Writing Spotlight teaching series helps break down the essay writing process into manageable mini-units to build students into strong, confident writers.

4. Writing about Quotes

This writing mini-unit focuses on commentary writing. Students learn how to transition from “This quote shows” to more analytical, high-level commentary and analysis writing.
10 Resources to Re-Energize the Secondary ELA Classroom

5. Writing in the Third Person

This writing mini-unit helps students focus on keeping their essays in the third person. This unit includes a PowerPoint presentation for direct instruction and student materials that will help students focus on this skill.

6. Writing in the Literary Present

Students have a tough time writing in and maintaining the literary present when writing about text. This unit includes a PowerPoint presentation for direct instruction and student materials that will help students focus on this skill.

Complete Engagement

It’s no secret that teachers have to compete with distracting factors in the classroom. The key is to include engaging activities in which the students will want to participate. Whether it is a stations activity, task cards, or escape rooms, students learn more when they are actively engaged.

7. Literary Analysis with Sticky Notes

Hands down, teaching fiction, literary elements, and literary analysis with sticky notes has completely changed the way I engage with my students. This resource will help you make your short story unit fun and engaging. Best of all, you can use it all year with any text!
10 Resources to Re-Energize the Secondary ELA Classroom

8. Parts of Speech Escape Room

If you need to review the parts of speech at the beginning of the school year, this parts of speech escape room is the perfect way to get students collaborating as they work together to review the parts of speech and complete the escape room challenge. 

9. Peer Editing Stations

Students need guidance and support with peer editing, and these peer editing stations do just that. Your students will work their way through four different peer editing stations or rotations as they complete peer editing. With each new station, students have guidance and support to help them with the process. 
10 Resources to Re-Energize the Secondary ELA Classroom

10. Response to Literature Task Cards

These task cards work with any piece of fiction. They can also be incorporated into an engaging stations activity where you can review a short story or novel while also getting your students up and moving around.