Complete distance teaching high school English is so much different than teaching in-person. To effectively teach remotely, I have to modify everything I know about teaching, from classroom management to teaching strategies. And I am quickly learning that just when I feel like I am getting the hang of it, there's a change or a pivot in the plan. However, for now, teaching high school English remotely from the quietness of my empty classroom is what my day looks like. Several weeks ago, I asked people what questions they had about my experiences teaching remotely. Since I go back to school earlier than many people across the nation, I am trying to share my remote teaching experiences as candidly as possible to help prepare other teachers for what's to come. Compulsory distance teaching has been nothing short of a rollercoaster ride. This post is the second remote teaching QandA blog post I have. The link to the first blog post is at the end of this post. How do you build classro...
With classes starting up again soon, it is essential to welcome your students back into the classroom in an engaging and personalized way. When students see personal touches they can connect to during class, they are more likely to see the classroom as a welcoming space where they can be themselves. A place that they will want to be. While classrooms may look different this year, whether you are teaching in-person, in a hybrid setting, or entirely online, there are still ways to add personalized details to the back-to-school season. If you're looking for information about starting the school year remotely, you might be interested in this blog post . Here are four ways to center your classroom on the needs and interests of your students. Creating a Student-Centered Classroom: Get to know your students. This notion may seem obvious, but to personalize your classroom for your students, you have to know a little bit about them before starting the class. A great way to do this is to sen...
After being back in the classroom teaching my students remotely for three weeks now, I am starting to feel like I am more in the groove. I don’t have distance teaching high school English mastered -I’m not even close, but I’m noticing that these remote teaching tips help me save some time and sanity. Now, while every week, every day of distance teaching will be different this school year, these distance teaching time-saving tips might help those challenging days not seem so bad. And trust me, I had some bad days also. You can read about my first two weeks in this blog pos t.  Remote Teaching Tip: Batch Your Work Batching your work is a productivity strategy that I use in my everyday life. Not only does batching my work keep me organized, but it helps me cross items off of my to-do list pretty quickly. To batch your work when you are remote teaching, set aside a dedicated chunk of time to focus on just one task and do your very best to complete that task before getting distracted and mo...
With so many middle school ELA and high school English teachers starting the school year with remote or hybrid teaching, this school year will look very different from previous years. Whether you are distance teaching your English students or teaching in a socially-distanced high school or middle school ELA classroom setting, teachers are looking for more digital solutions. Here’s a quick glimpse at my top 10 must-have digital teaching resources for secondary ELA. Digital Essay Writing Unit for Secondary ELA This digital essay writing unit is ideal for middle school ELA and younger high school students. This teaching writing unit breaks down essay instruction into three distinct lessons: teaching the into and the thesis statement, teaching the topic sentence and body paragraph, and teaching the conclusion.  Digital and Editable Writing Rubrics for Secondary ELA You will never need to make another rubric every again! This digital ELA writing rubrics resource includes five fully-editable...
Thank you to everyone who sent me a question about my experience teaching remotely for the first two weeks of the school year. I hope that my experience back in the classroom, remotely teaching, will help you get a good start for the school year. I received so many questions that I am breaking this post up. This post is the first round of remote teaching Q&As. My first two weeks of remote teaching were definitely interesting. From my first day of school, which was absolutely awful and isolating, to my first full week of instruction, it's been nothing short of a roller coaster ride. Alas, it is getting better. However, it would be utterly naive of me to think that I've mastered the art of distance teaching. I am in no way an expert in remote teaching, but here is a look at my experience. Please note that when I say "week 2," that means one-half week and one full week of remote instruction. Our half week was one half-day and two full days (but block schedule, so jus...
Like teaching remotely, ending the school year while teaching remotely is anything but ideal. We miss our students and our classroom communities we’ve built. And even more upsetting is the lack of closure students, and teachers will have this year. When schools shut down in mid-March, we had no idea it would be for the entire school year. However, one of the best things we can do for our students and ourselves right now is to stay positive for our students. Here is a list of ten different end-of-the-year activities that you can do remotely with your students. Collaborative Google Slide Project With a collaborative Google Slide project, you would assign each student one Google Slide to create. Students could fill their Slide with pictures, favorite quotes from the year’s readings, what they learned from the class, or their favorite memories from the school year. The options are endless! Once everyone submits their completed Google Slide, and you compile them into one present...
With distance learning in full swing, here’s a closer look at ten resources that English teachers can digitally assign their students. All of my SMARTePlans digital resources run on the Google platform and can be posted electronically on secured learning management platforms like Google Classroom and Canvas. With any SMARTePlans resource, students can access the files via the Google Suite and type directly in the file! 5 Digital Resources for Middle School ELA SMARTePlans Digital Parts of Speech Unit This digital parts of speech unit is optimized for digital learning. Utilizing Google Docs, Forms, and Slides, this unit includes direct instruction, practice, and assessments! SMARTePlans Greek Mythology Digital Notebook Engage students in Greek mythology with this digital Greek mythology notebook. Students will learn about various Greek Gods and Goddesses. SMARTePlans Digital Grammar Task Cards These digital grammar task cards are perfect for remote learnin...
One of my favorite ways to deliver content to my students digitally (and also to save paper) is to use Google Forms in the classroom. If you haven’t used Forms before, or if you are new to using Google Forms, this blog post is for you! Google Forms is a survey-like app included in the Google suite, and it works beautifully well with Google Classroom. If you’re interested in the many ways you can use Google Forms in the classroom, you can read my previous post: 10 Ways to Use Google Forms in the Classroom . To start using Google Forms, you’ll want to open up a Google Form . To start, you’ll have your choice of starting a new form from scratch, or you can choose a template. I usually start one from scratch because it is easier for me. However, I also like to format my Works Cited pages manually… so, yeah. However, if you do choose to use a template, the Google Forms Template Gallery has an education category. Once you are in a new Google Form, you will want to set it up so tha...