Monday, August 31

Back to School Giveaway from The Literary League

The Literary League, a group of exceptional secondary English Language Arts teachers, is hosting a Back to School Give-Away. Enter to win a choice of gift cards, middle school and high school ELA resource bundles, and shopping sprees to middle and high school ELA TPT stores.

By the time I grab my books and I give myself a look I'm at the corner just in time to see the bus fly by. It's alright’ cause I'm saved by The Literary League! That’s right, we are at it again! It’s one of the biggest back-to-school give-aways courtesy of some of your favorite ELA sellers. 

We’re teachers too, so we know that feeling of going back to school.  Cure those back to school blues by entering this HUGE give-away. Not only multiple prize packs, but also multiple winners!

The give-away will run Monday 8/31 to Monday 9/14. You’ll see some familiar and maybe even some new faces, so follow our stores and our social media accounts, and stay updated with what’s new! Winners will be announced Tuesday 9/15.


The Literary League, a group of exceptional secondary English Language Arts teachers, is hosting a Back to School Give-Away. Enter to win a choice of gift cards, middle school and high school ELA resource bundles, and shopping sprees to middle and high school ELA TPT stores.

Prize # 1: Gift Card of Choice
Win a $50 gift card to Teachers Pay Teachers, Amazon, Staples or Target.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Prize #2: Middle School Resources
Win all of the resources listed below for your middle school ELA classroom.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Prize #3: High School Resources
Win all of the resources listed below for your high school ELA classroom.
Close Reading: Guide Your Students Through the Process
Interactive Notebook Bundle
Rhetoric: The Art of Persuasion
Common Core Literature Bell Ringers for Secondary English
Found Poetry Packet
Introduction to Close Reading for Middle and High School - Model and Practice
Critical Thinking: What is Textual Analysis #2
Fiction and Nonfiction Test Passages
Short Story Starters Task Cards 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Prize # 4: Middle School TpT Store Shopping Spree 
Win a $10 shopping spree to one of the TpT Stores listed below.
2 Peas and a Dog
The Creative Classroom
Literary Sherri
Mrs. Spangler in the Middle
Darlene Anne
Fisher Reyna Education
Brain Waves Instruction
Stacey Lloyd
James Whitaker's Sophist Thoughts
Created by MrHughes
ELA Everyday

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Prize #5: High School TpT Store Shopping Spree  
Win a $10 shopping spree to one of the TpT Stores listed below.
Room 213
The Daring English Teacher
Nouvelle
Making Meaning with Melissa
Linda Jennifer
Brynn Allison
Juggling ELA

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Sunday, August 30

Text Selection and Young Adult Literature


Brynn Allison, The Literary Maven & Kristy Avis, 2 Peas and a Dog are hosting #2ndaryELA on Twitter every Tuesday evening from 8 - 9PM EST.  #2ndaryELA is a weekly chat for Grades 6-12 English Language Arts teachers focused on a topic.  Every Sunday at 11am EST, we will post the topic and questions on our blogs.

The Rules:
1. Stay on topic & stay positive!
2. Please do not post or promote paid products unless specifically asked.
3. If you arrive late, try to look through other posts before beginning.
4. Feel free to just lurk, like, or retweet.
5. Always use our hashtag #2ndaryELA – even when replying to others.
6. Make sure your twitter feed is set to public. (Also keep in mind that Twitter is completely public – that means students, parents, and administrators can and will read what you tweet.)

The Directions:
1. Log into Twitter on Tuesday from 8-9PM EST
2. Search for tweets with the hashtag #2ndaryELA in the search bar.  Make sure to click “All tweets.”
3. Introductions are for the first 5 minutes.
4. Starting at 8:05 (@literarymaven or @2peasandadog) will post questions every 10 minutes using the format Q1, Q2, etc and the hashtag #2ndaryELA
5.  Respond to questions using the format A1, A2, A3, etc. with #2ndaryELA
6.  Follow any teachers responding and who are also using the #2ndaryELA hashtag
7.  Like and respond to other teachers tweets.


The Format:
8:00 Intros: What and where do you teach? Include a link to your blog if you have one. #2ndaryELA
8:05 Q1: How does the inclusion of YA literature support all kinds of readers? #2ndaryELA
8:15 Q2: Where can I find great books to extend and strengthen my teaching? #2ndaryELA
8:25 Q3: What are the hot books for teens? #2ndaryELA
8:35 Q4: How does YA literature encourage non-readers to read? #2ndaryELA
8:45 Q5: What are some great informational texts that I can use in my teaching? #2ndaryELA
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Saturday, August 29

Teacher Life Hacks

time saving ideas for teachers

Welcome to a new blog post series about teacher life hacks. According to Google, a life hack is "a strategy or technique adopted in order to manage one's time and daily activities in a more efficient way." These weekly blog posts will hopefully provide you with an idea or strategy to make your life less stressed and more organized.

teacher life hacks - slow cookers

The slow cooker is the most genius cooking tool. On Sundays, I prepare mine and my husband's lunch in two different slow cookers. I let it cook all day Sunday, and have it finish just after dinner. Then I portion it out into daily servings. If I am really ambitious, I clean the slower cooker and set it overnight to make one or two dinners for the week ahead. This saves me time during the week making lunches in the morning. We both have long commutes, so any task that can be done the night before is important.

Check out this great collection of recipes.


Do you have a life hack you would like to see featured on a post? Submit it here.

Thanks for reading,
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Sunday, August 23

Parent Communication in the ELA Classroom


Brynn Allison, The Literary Maven & Kristy Avis, 2 Peas and a Dog are hosting #2ndaryELA on Twitter every Tuesday evening from 8 - 9PM EST.  #2ndaryELA is a weekly chat for Grades 6-12 English Language Arts teachers focused on a topic.  Every Sunday at 11am EST, we will post the topic and questions on our blogs.

The Rules:
1. Stay on topic & stay positive!
2. Please do not post or promote paid products unless specifically asked.
3. If you arrive late, try to look through other posts before beginning.
4. Feel free to just lurk, like, or retweet.
5. Always use our hashtag #2ndaryELA – even when replying to others.
6. Make sure your twitter feed is set to public. (Also keep in mind that Twitter is completely public – that means students, parents, and administrators can and will read what you tweet.)

The Directions:
1. Log into Twitter on Tuesday from 8-9PM EST
2. Search for tweets with the hashtag #2ndaryELA in the search bar.  Make sure to click “All tweets.”
3. Introductions are for the first 5 minutes.
4. Starting at 8:05 (@literarymaven or @2peasandadog) will post questions every 10 minutes using the format Q1, Q2, etc and the hashtag #2ndaryELA
5.  Respond to questions using the format A1, A2, A3, etc. with #2ndaryELA
6.  Follow any teachers responding and who are also using the #2ndaryELA hashtag
7.  Like and respond to other teachers tweets.

The Format:
8:00 Intros: What and where do you teach? Include a link to your blog if you have one. #2ndaryELA
8:05 Q1: What is your approach to parent communication? (how, when, how often, etc.) #2ndaryELA
8:15 Q2: What are your tips/best practices for contact about positive behavior/academics #2ndaryELA
8:25 Q3: What are your tips/best practices for contact about negative behavior/academics? #2ndaryELA
8:35 Q4: How do you use technology to help you communicate with parents & keep track of contacts? #2ndaryELA
8:45 Q5: Do you involve students in the parent contact process? How so? #2ndaryELA

See you there!

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Saturday, August 22

How to Help Students Be More Organized


I am linking up this month with a great group of teacher bloggers for our monthly Bright Ideas Blog Posts. This month I am going to cover how to help your students be more organized. 



Do your students struggle with organization? Are they constantly searching for papers in their desks, lockers, school bags?  I know some of mine fight this organization battle daily. Organization is something that comes very naturally to me. I love to keep my classroom and home organized, so it took me a few years into my career to realize that students might need support in this area. 


Student Organization
Unit Table of Contents 
The first thing I implemented when I began my student organization mission was handing out a syllabus and a blank table of contents for every unit I taught. My unit outline or syllabus helped prevent the daily "What Are We Doing Today?" questions and kept my lessons more focused. 

After I modeled the proper use of a table of contents, students were responsible for keeping their notebook table of contents up to date, and I would walk around the classroom and complete random notebook checks to help students with their organization.

The table of contents was also posted up in my room on chart paper so students could reference the master table of contents if they were absent or forgot to write it down during class time. 


Co-Created Student Organization Tips
Once the school year had started and students had were back into their school routine, I used class time to formally teach organization. I knew that it was important for students to have a voice in developing their own organizational systems. 

I divided the class up into groups, and handed out chart paper and markers to each group. Students were then asked to brainstorm and write down any ideas they had that helped them stay organized and focused on their school work. 

Once all the ideas were collected, each group presented their top tips to the class, and a master anchor chart was created as a reminder of the different systems that other's found successful. This anchor chart hung in my classroom until the last day of school. I am excited to do this activity again this year, and see a different set of ideas emerge. 

Lastly, some students still need more support so as a grade team we set up regular times for students to clean out their lockers and organize their binders. During these set times, students would help others students and teachers would be available to assist students who needed more individual attention. The things I have seen come out of lockers during these monthly clean up sessions was nothing short of amazing.

Need more great ideas? Check out these great blogs below.


An InLinkz Link-up

Like these organizational ideas? Check out our classroom organization Pinterest board.