I love adding pops of color and expressive decor to my classroom. One way to do this is by putting classroom posters on my walls. Here’s a little trick to help you make those classroom posters really stand out on your classroom walls. Some of my favorite classroom posters are these ELA Quotes Classroom Posters and my Growth Mindset Classroom Posters . 1. Print the poster on bright white paper or cardstock. The bright white paper helps produce the best results. The color from the ink looks best when it’s on bright white paper. If you don’t have a good-quality color printer, it is best to print the posters at an office supply store. 2. Cut off the margins with a paper slicer I use this paper slicer to cut off the margins of the posters. Since the printer leaves some blank space in the margins, I cut them off. I like using the paper slicer to ensure a straight line. Plus, it saves time. I use the paper slicer when I am also preparing my escape room kits. 3. Back the posters with bright ...
There’s no doubt about it: this past school year has been one of the most challenging years for teachers in a very long time. Whether you were teaching 100 percent in-person, hybrid, concurrent hybrid, fully remote, or some strange mix of those teaching variations, it was tough. Now that one of the most challenging years is coming to an end, it is time to spend some time recovering from the year’s tough demands. So here’s a look at several ways teachers can recover from this past year. 1. Set aside work-free time Summer break should be a time for teachers to leave school at school altogether. And while that isn’t entirely possible for the entire break, set aside a specific amount of time for no school work. So whether it is two weeks or all but two weeks of summer vacation, avoid your email, logins, and try to push those thoughts aside. It’s summer break, enjoy! 2. Unplug for a couple of days each week As teachers teaching during a pandemic, we’ve been looking at screens all year long....
One of my favorite end-of-the-year activities I’ve ever done with my students is an end-of-the-year letter to themselves. I did this one year that I had seniors. I had them write a letter to their future selves, and I told them I would mail the letters to them in one year. Several days before we begin the assignment, I tell students that they will be writing a letter to themselves and that I’ll need for them to bring in a self-addressed, stamped envelope. I collect the self-addressed stamped envelopes for several days before the actual assignment, and I keep them organized and separated by class period and then in alphabetical order. The main reason why I collect the self-addressed, stampede letters for several days is so that more students bring them in. I usually let them know about the assignment on a Thursday so they have the weekend to get the supplies, and then we usually don’t write until the end of the next week. I provide envelopes and stamps for all of the students who did no...
One of the best planning tools a middle school ELA or high school English teacher can have is a detailed, unit-by-unit secondary ELA pacing guide and curriculum map . For both new and veteran teachers alike, having a pacing guide helps to provide the initial framework and structure for the lessons and activities within a set year. I remember my very first year teaching. One of the classes I was assigned was a freshman support English class. For struggling students, this was their second English class in their schedule, but it didn’t count as a high school English class -it was an elective they had to take. I had no curriculum, no planning team, no help, and I was even told NOT to use the textbook or read the standard text because the other freshman English teachers might use some of that content. It was a struggle. Had I had something like this free Secondary ELA Curriculum Map and Pacing Guide (available in both a traditional print and digital format ), I would have had more guidance...
Do your students have a hard time remembering characters and symbolism within specific stories? There is one way to keep your students' creative side going and help them remember important details while studying for quizzes. The way to do so is to draw and cut out characters. But you first need to have your students answer some basic questions about the characters: Before you begin the activity, ask your students these questions: What is the character's name? What is the character's title? Does this character have a symbolic object? Does this character have a symbolic color? Does this character have relations with any other characters? If so, list them. What is the fate of this character? How did the character get their fate? Students will do this individually so they can see how much they know about the characters. If you'd like to add in more collaboration, give students 5 minutes to answer the questions individually and then have them partner up. With their new partn...
Some of my favorite days in the classroom happen when I facilitate a breakout room activity. Breakout room days are always fast-paced, invigorating, and a little bit hectic. And as fun as escape rooms are, there is always a time and a purpose for planning an escape room activity into your secondary ELA classroom. Here are four ways to incorporate escape rooms into your ELA classroom 1. Using Breakout Room Activities as an Ice Breaker One way to include breakout room activities in your classroom is to do so as an ice breaker type of activity during the beginning of the school year. By facilitating a breakout room at the start of the school year, you can allow students to learn how o work with each other. Also, facilitating a breakout room at the beginning of the school year is a great way to see your classroom dynamics. One great breakout room to facilitate toward the beginning of a new school year is my Growth Mindset Escape Room . In this escape room activity, students work together a...