The start of a new school year brings promise and new hope. It also brings a fresh set of students unfamiliar with your classroom policies. One of the best ways to help students jump-start the new school year is to teach them all about email etiquette! You are missing out if you’ve never taught your new middle or high school students about email etiquette! It is usually one of my very first lessons of the school year, and I use it as an introductory lesson to help ease into the content. I use this email etiquette teaching resource with my students.  Here are three reasons why teaching email etiquette at the beginning of the school year is essential. 1. College and Career Readiness One of the first reasons to teach students about email etiquette is that it helps provide students with college and career readiness. There are so many essential skills that students need to succeed in the future, and being able to communicate professionally and effectively is one of them. By teaching your s...
Students only have four years in high school English to learn and master so many skills that will help prepare them for college and life after high school. When students leave high school, we hope their English classes have taught them to think critically about what they read and be proficient in writing. Here are 10 must-teach lessons for the high school English class. 1. Embedding Quotes in Writing One of the first things I teach students is how to embed quotes in their writing. I teach this skill with our short story unit, and I really emphasize how to embed a quote properly. This skill takes time. However, with this embedding quote lesson, it is much easier. This embedding quotes lesson includes a presentation for direct instruction, student materials, and even practice to help students learn this skill. embedding quotes lesson 2. Paraphrase, Quote, and Summarize Text In addition to learning how to properly embed a quote, I also need them to know how to paraphrase and summarize te...
With the back-to-school season upon us, it is time to begin planning for the first-week-of-school activities you’ll complete this school year. Here are 15 engaging and fun first-day and first-week school activities for middle and high school students. 1. Student survey Having students complete a classroom survey during the first week of school is a great way to get to know your new students. I’ve used this free back-to-school survey for years, and it is a valuable tool. After my students complete this survey, I keep them behind my desk organized alphabetically by class period in a binder. This survey is also included in my Back-to-School Stations and my  Back to School Activities for Secondary ELA pack . Back to School Activities for Secondary ELA 2. One-word project A one-word project is a fun and simple way to start the school year. I use 4x6 notecards and have students think of just one word they want to embody their school year. I provide students with markers and other art suppl...
For many middle school ELA and high school English teachers, teaching and including vocabulary in the classroom is just one more task, one more thing to do that takes away from reading and writing. However, as tedious of a task as it can be, including vocabulary in your curriculum is integral to helping students become stronger readers and writers. Here are 5 tips to help busy teachers focus on vocabulary Focus on fewer words Having fewer words on vocabulary lists is one of the best ways to make vocabulary less daunting for both teachers and students. As a recommendation, I like to include no more than five vocabulary words a week so that students can focus more on each word. Fewer vocabulary words also help students not mix up words. With both my Academic Vocabulary Program , I provide students with just five vocabulary words a week. Have a routine When students have a routine, they know what to expect in the classroom. One of the things that I like best about how I include vocabulary...