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ELA Fun

The End of the Year in ELA

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The End of the Year in ELA

As the school year comes to a close, you might be looking at your calendar thinking, what on earth am I going to do with these random extra days?  Or maybe you have room on your calendar for a final unit, but no idea what to do with your students.  I’ve got your solution right here! Here is a roundup of 13 ideas for ELA mini-units and lessons that can effectively and meaningfully fill between 3-5 days at the end of the year.  

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Teaching Annotation with Google Keep

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Teaching Annotation with Google Keep

Over a decade of teaching, I feel like I’ve heard it all!  This year, however, I feel like I’ve found a new and sustainable way of reframing how I look at annotation.   Yes, it does involve some tech, but don’t be intimidated! It’s a low-tech approach and works on multiple devices.

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10 Adventurous Teaching Ideas for 2019

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10 Adventurous Teaching Ideas for 2019

Teacher burnout is a real thing.  Exhaustion from the myriad demands placed on our shoulders year in and year out can make anyone question why on earth they started in this profession in the first place.  

As a teacher in the US, the winter break gives me a chance to reevaluate my “why” in teaching.   Why do it? Why work so hard? Why work to the point of burnout every single year? When there’s actually time to slow down and remember the answer to that question, the answer is so simple - why?  Because I love watching kids learn. That’s it. It’s that simple. And when does burnout start to feel so painful? It’s when the job has become something other than dedicating time to helping students learn and experience new things.

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"How to Be A Person" A Spoken Word Poem to Reset Your Classroom Culture

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"How to Be A Person" A Spoken Word Poem to Reset Your Classroom Culture

Whether I’m starting a brand new school year, returning after winter break, or even just starting a new quarter, there’s always this itch in my gut that tells me to take a breather on those first few days together to regroup and reset our classroom culture and community. It’s vitally important to take the temperature of your classroom - has it been feeling toxic lately? Are students there to be the best versions of themselves? Are we having fun but not working hard? Are we working really hard and don’t know each other at all?

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6 Ways to get Started with Stations

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6 Ways to get Started with Stations

When I first started teaching, I remember trying so many different ideas all the time in my classroom. It was exhausting running a new small group scenario or differentiation strategy several times per week, and over my many years of teaching, I’ve come to master a handful of strategies that are versatile and work EVERY time (at least NOW they do!). For me, learning stations are the way to go. I’d say at least once a week, I have my students engaging with content through a learning stations setup and I love it.

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My 9 Favorite Fictional Moms {and one real one, too!}

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My 9 Favorite Fictional Moms {and one real one, too!}

#MomLife is new to me this year, so this will be my very first Mother’s Day!  The journey through motherhood has already (in just five and a half months!) surprised me with a joy that I could never capture in a sentence.  

To celebrate, I’d like to share my list of my FAVORITE Fictional Moms.  These moms span from childhood picture books to blockbuster hits, from traditional mother figures to nannys and caretakers.  Here are my favorite fictional moms and how they exemplify and celebrate the real moms in our lives.

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The Senior Sendoff:  6 Ways to Say Goodbye to Seniors

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The Senior Sendoff: 6 Ways to Say Goodbye to Seniors

If I'm being honest, I'm equal parts filled with embarrassment (this song was my JAM!) and truly sweet nostalgia.  Sometimes it's hard to remember what it felt like to be in high school.  This song and music video bring me back to that ultra vulnerable moment when we were all desperately trying to hold on to our high school days and pretend like we weren't shi*%ing our pants thinking about college (or lack of college plans!).

If you want to make this year special for your seniors, I've rounded up some great ideas, products, and projects that just might do the trick.  Let us know in the comments below what YOUR favorite Senior Sendoff idea is!

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 The YouTube Scavenger Hunt

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The YouTube Scavenger Hunt

Right about now, everyone's turned to the "leggings only" mentality:  not only have we decided to stop putting together Instagram-worthy outfits and Pinterest-perfect lessons and procedures, but we're starting to cut corners and cover them all up with a nice, flowy dress.

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