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Movement in the Classroom with #2ndaryELA

Join secondary English Language Arts teachers Sunday evenings at 8 pm EST on Twitter. This week's chat will be about movement in the classroom.
Brynn Allison,  The Literary Maven, & Lisa Spangler, Mrs. Spangler in the Middle, host #2ndaryELA on Twitter every Sunday evening from 8 - 8:30 PM EST. #2ndaryELA is a weekly chat for secondary English Language Arts teachers focused on a topic. Every Friday, we post the topic and questions on our blogs to allow you to prepare for the upcoming Sunday evening's chat. Thank you to everyone who joined us last year and we hope that you will join us again.

We'd also love for you to join our 2ndaryELA Facebook group, even if you aren't on Twitter. 2ndaryELA is a group of middle and high school English Language Arts teachers looking to share ideas and best practices. This group is an extension of our Twitter chat and a place for collaboration, questions, and encouragement. Feel free to post teaching ideas, success stories, resource links, photos, etc. that will enhance our instruction.

On Sunday, November 10, our #2ndaryELA chat will be about movement in the classroom.

Join secondary English Language Arts teachers Sunday evenings at 8 pm EST on Twitter. This week's chat will be about movement in the classroom.

The Directions:
1. Log into Twitter on Sunday from 8-8:30 PM EST.
2. Search for tweets with the hashtag #2ndaryELA in the search bar. Make sure to click “Latest.”
3. Introductions are for the first 5 minutes.
4. Starting at 8:05 (@literarymaven or @spanglermiddle) will post questions every 5 minutes using the format Q1, Q2, Q3, 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 #2ndaryELA.
7. Like and respond to other teachers' tweets.

You can schedule your responses to the questions ahead of time using a scheduler like TweetDeck or HootSuite (but don't forget to use A1, A2, etc. and #2ndaryELA). Links are encouraged as well as using images is also encouraged when relevant.

New to chats? Here are 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 read, like, and/or retweet.
5. Always use our hashtag #2ndaryELA, including in your replies 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.)

You can also check out a quick video tutorial in this blog post.

Be sure to spread the word to any teacher friends who might be interested in joining us as well. We look forward to chatting with you Sunday evening and in our 2ndaryELA Facebook group!

Get caught up on past chats here:

Close Reading for Thanksgiving!


Teach your middle school students close reading strategiesand more with this great short story from O. Henry!  #activities #graphicorganizers


I absolutely love it when I can combine something I HAVE to teach with something I WANT to teach.  For example, Thanksgiving is coming up and while I HAVE to teach irony and character development through close reading, I WANT to teach something that relates to Thanksgiving.  So what did I do?  I found this great short story:  "Two Thanksgiving Day Gentlemen" by O. Henry.

It's perfect for both of the things I HAVE to teach and we'll still get to focus on the season of Thanksgiving!

I broke the story down into five chunks and made interactive notebook foldables to go with each chunk for vocabulary, the story events and irony.

Vocabulary

The vocabulary in this story can be a bit challenging, so it was really necessary to over this before each day's reading so my students didn't miss important things.


I help my middle school students pre-read by going over challenging vocabulary before we close read this text.  #introducing #interactive


Words like Saleratus, Seneschals, and Accord will be recorded here before we read the chunk of text from which they come.


Story Events

We read one chunk of the story each day.  Then, after the first read, students summarize that chunk. After the second read, they answer a specific question.  So I made two separate foldables to accomplish these two goals.




Each day my middle school students read one chunk of the story.  For the first read of that chunk, they write a short summary of that chunk. For the second read, they answer an important question about that chunk.  #closereading #activities #lesson



Plus, I also added in some activities where I wanted students to analyze the two gentlemen's character development by focusing on what the text said about them.  Then I asked the students to draw each man based on that text evidence.


Irony

Next, we all know O. Henry is famous for irony.  This story is no exception.   I don't want to ruin it for you if you haven't read it, so I'll just say that the irony really drives home the theme. :)


It's fun to teach irony to middle school students with a great short story by O. Henry and something interactive!  #closereading #activities #lesson


I even made a ZAP game to play to identify the kinds of irony in the story!


Wrapping it up with a Paragraph

The last thing we'll do after working with this story, is to write a paragraph related to the theme.  I've made a nice planning sheet to help the students put of of their thoughts together from this unit.


To finish up our unit on this great Thanksgiving short story, my middle school students plan and write a paragraph connected to the theme.  #activities #lesson


Students really enjoyed this story and we had some great discussions about what Thanksgiving is really all about.  It took us about two weeks to complete, but when we were done, we had learned about vocabulary, close reading, plot sequence, irony, evidence, and paragraph writing!  It was a great way to learn and feel connected to the season all at the same time.


Want to try this in your own classroom?  It's ready to go right here!





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Professional Development with #2ndaryELA

Join secondary English Language Arts teachers Sunday evenings at 8 pm EST on Twitter. This week's chat will be about professional development.
Brynn Allison,  The Literary Maven, & Lisa Spangler, Mrs. Spangler in the Middle, host #2ndaryELA on Twitter every Sunday evening from 8 - 8:30 PM EST. #2ndaryELA is a weekly chat for secondary English Language Arts teachers focused on a topic. Every Friday, we post the topic and questions on our blogs to allow you to prepare for the upcoming Sunday evening's chat. Thank you to everyone who joined us last year and we hope that you will join us again.

We'd also love for you to join our 2ndaryELA Facebook group, even if you aren't on Twitter. 2ndaryELA is a group of middle and high school English Language Arts teachers looking to share ideas and best practices. This group is an extension of our Twitter chat and a place for collaboration, questions, and encouragement. Feel free to post teaching ideas, success stories, resource links, photos, etc. that will enhance our instruction.

On Sunday, November 3, our #2ndaryELA chat will be about professional development.

Join secondary English Language Arts teachers Sunday evenings at 8 pm EST on Twitter. This week's chat will be about professional development.

The Directions:
1. Log into Twitter on Sunday from 8-8:30 PM EST.
2. Search for tweets with the hashtag #2ndaryELA in the search bar. Make sure to click “Latest.”
3. Introductions are for the first 5 minutes.
4. Starting at 8:05 (@literarymaven or @spanglermiddle) will post questions every 5 minutes using the format Q1, Q2, Q3, 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 #2ndaryELA.
7. Like and respond to other teachers' tweets.

You can schedule your responses to the questions ahead of time using a scheduler like TweetDeck or HootSuite (but don't forget to use A1, A2, etc. and #2ndaryELA). Links are encouraged as well as using images is also encouraged when relevant.

New to chats? Here are 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 read, like, and/or retweet.
5. Always use our hashtag #2ndaryELA, including in your replies 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.)

You can also check out a quick video tutorial in this blog post.

Be sure to spread the word to any teacher friends who might be interested in joining us as well. We look forward to chatting with you Sunday evening and in our 2ndaryELA Facebook group!

Get caught up on past chats here:

Using Podcasts in the Classroom


Have you tried listening to podcasts in your middle school classroom? See what the #2ndaryELA community shared on this topic! #ideas #tips


Podcasting is not new, but the idea of bringing podcasts into the classroom in one form or another has been gaining in popularity. It's no wonder with the focus in education being on student choice and project based learning.  Choosing what to listen to in the classroom can really bring a classroom alive.

So how do you get started with listening and what do you do once you have finished listening?  The #2ndaryELA community has you covered with their recent discussion:


What is your favorite podcast to use in the classroom and what is its ELA merit?
A1: I have heard of the 6 minute podcast recently, but have not tried it.
I love using Serial for literacy nonfiction and bias. I think Hidden Brain is brilliant for humanity theme pairings. Good Night Rebel Girls is perfect for bio mentor texts!
I would love to get started with students making podcasts and not sure how to get started - easiest way to record etc.
I like This week I am going to use a snippet of a spooky story from This American Life! Here’s the read aloud link and transcript...
I started exploring podcasts via searching things I was personally interested in on the Podcast App on my phone. Then those same podcasts would have ads that led me@to even more!
How have podcasts improved your curriculum?
Podcasts have improved my curriculum by adding diverse, high-interest, and authentic voices (for FREE)!!
Q2: Podcasts are a fun way to incorporate background information or historical context in a new format 🌎
I use podcasts as a springboard for journal writing, building background on current events for classroom debate, as part of a text set on an overall theme and to reinforce reading standards (citing evidence, summary)
Replying to 
Even though I haven't really tried them out, I know my students will definitely be engaged by them. They love the idea of them!
Where do you find inspiration for podcasts in the classroom?
I find inspiration by listening to lots of different genres of podcasts that I’m interested in! I never listen to find a lesson plan; I let the lessons come to me. If you don’t know where to start, this will help:
Q3: I listen to a LOT of so that’s where I get most of my podcast inspo! 😂
Replying to 
I look for things that need new perspectives and ways for students to have an audience.
How do you keep students engaged while listening?
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Students engagement goes up if they know they’ll be able to respond to what they listen to via writing or speaking. Sometimes I have them take notes on certain things I want them to attend to as we listen.
Give choices. Students decide how they can best actively listen. They can take notes, color, walk around, or anything else that doesn’t involve a phone or distraction! 🤣 Also, pause periodically for discussion!
I usually do whole class listening, but here’s a lovely idea of walking while listening! They used their own devices I believe!

Which free-choice podcasts are your students listening to?
This is a next step for me. I honestly haven’t done much to build my students’ personal podcast canon enough that they’ve even developed these free-choice preferences. I imagine giving a “cast chat” similar to a booktalk to build their awareness of what’s out there.
Replying to 
We have not even discussed this yet - new idea for tomorrow! :)
I hope you found some new ideas for using podcasts in your classroom!  Maybe this will even inspire your students to make their own!

Thanks for stopping by!