Some of the main goals in an English class are to help students become better writers, enhance their critical thinking skills, and improve communication. These strengths may seem individualistic by nature, but working in groups in the classroom can benefit students’ development of these skills. Students need to learn how to work in groups to establish the essential college and career skills they'll need after high school. Here are three benefits of group work in the secondary ELA classroom. 1. Collaborate with New Students Group work allows students to work with people they don’t usually collaborate with or spend time with. Most middle and high school students choose to associate with their friends in class or students with whom they feel comfortable. By doing so, they generally spend time with people similar to themselves. Maintaining an element of group work in the classroom allows students to work with other people that are not in their immediate circle. This process hel...
One of the first things teachers learn in their pre-service teaching classes is the importance of establishing effective classroom routines and procedures for the middle school and high school classroom. Here is a look at 12 effective daily classroom routines to consider for your middle school ELA or high school English classroom. Essential Classroom Routines According to Shana Ramin from Hello, Teacher Lady , daily agenda slides are one of her classroom's most valuable tools. She started creating daily slides a few years ago to keep track of lesson materials and make it easier for absent students to see what they missed. At first, she only posted them on Google Classroom — students could log on and access the information and materials they missed in one convenient place — but Shana quickly realized how beneficial it was to display the slides for students at the beginning of class as well. Students would walk into class knowing exactly what they needed for t...
There’s nothing an English teacher loves more than a good quote to mount on their wall and print across their hearts. Whether you tattoo it on your skin or dry erase marker it on the whiteboard, the quotes we keep close have a way of touching others. Whether your students are avid readers or simply avid Twitter users, there are quotes for every single one of them. Inspire students to love learning, literature, and life with these ten quotes for your classroom: For the kids in your class always talking about their “aesthetic”: “Be yourself. Everyone else is taken.” - Oscar Wilde Let them know that Mr. Wilde was a prominent leader of the aesthetic movement of the 19th century, which championed “art for art’s sake.” Wilde believed that anything you enjoy is meaningful to you, and that’s enough. Thanks, Oscar! For the ones who might not enjoy “mainstream” material: “If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking....
Middle school ELAR teachers, high school English teachers, and even college professors debate the relevancy of the five-paragraph essay. Some teachers say it is time to retire the five-paragraph method for good, and others still see the necessity of the formulaic essay. And for various reasons, both opinions have strong arguments. On the one hand, some educators believe the five-paragraph essay hinders students' creativity with the numerous arbitrary rules and formulaic format it follows. On the other hand, some believe the five-paragraph essay is a necessary training tool to teach new writers where to start. Personally, I still teach the five-paragraph essay in my high school classes. I want my students to master writing a thesis statement, properly embedding evidence, and writing commentary before moving on to more free-form writing structures. Let's look at the metaphor of a house to get a better understanding of why the five-paragraph essay is so critical. The esse...
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...
One of my favorite ways to assess my students' essay-writing skills without actually assigning a traditional essay is with the graphic essay . A graphic essay is an excellent essay alternative for the middle school ELA or high school English classroom. A graphic essay is a graphic representation that contains all of the essential essay elements. It combines writing, visual elements, and design. When assigning a graphic essay, you can have students include any particular aspect from the essay that you want. Getting Started The first step to completing a graphic essay project in your classroom is to have a clear idea of the skills and content you want to assess. For example, if you are working on an argument and persuasive unit, are you looking to assess a counterargument? If you are working on an informative piece, are you looking for explanatory evidence? Once you know what you want to assess, start mapping out the student requirements. I’m pretty old-school when it c...