Journaling at the start of class is an excellent way for middle school and high school students to get into the right mindset to learn. Some students may enter your English classroom ready to dive into a text or a writing assignment, but many students need to ease into the material, and getting thoughts flowing on paper is a great way to do this. While it may be sufficient to tell students to write for a few minutes about whatever is on their minds, it can be helpful for many students if you provide guidance or a general topic for their writing. Here are four 10-minute journaling activities to use at the start of the secondary English class. 1. Picture journaling in the secondary ELA classroom For this exercise, find an interesting photo online and project it onto the board so that all your students can see it. Instruct them to write for 10 minutes about the picture. They can engage in creative writing and write a story, or students can jot down descriptive details of the pho...
Here are some engaging novel activities for middle school ELA and high school English that will help make in-class readings more fun. These unique activities will help students get involved and help them practice team-building skills and creative thinking. Journaling as a Novel Activity Journaling is an excellent way for students to express what they do or do not understand, which could help them grow as readers. With journaling, students would need to talk about each chapter and answer questions such as: What do you know so far? What do you like/ not like about this chapter? Think of it like this! A student chooses to read Lord of the Flies, and they record each chapter in their journal and answer the questions. After students finish reading, you could advise them to reflect on their answers and write if anything has changed. For example, say a student did not understand the bullying of Piggy. But after looking-over their journal, the student realizes the reason for the bu...
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...