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Curriculum and Unit Planning with #2ndaryELA

Brynn Allison, The Literary Maven, & Lisa Spangler, Mrs. Spangler in the Middle, (that's me!) host #2ndaryELA on Twitter every Tuesday evening from 8 - 8:30 PM EST. #2ndaryELA is a weekly chat for secondary English Language Arts teachers focused on a topic. Every Sunday, we post the topic and questions on our blogs to allow you to prepare for the upcoming Tuesday evening's chat. Thank you to everyone who joined us last week 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 Tuesday, August 21, our #2ndaryELA chat will be about curriculum and unit planning.

Join secondary English Language Arts teachers Tuesday evenings at 8 pm EST on Twitter. This week's chat will be about curriculum and unit planning.


The Directions:
1. Log into Twitter on Tuesday 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 @2peasandadog) 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, so be sure to use a link shortener like tinyurlbitlygoo.gl or ow.ly Just visit one of those links and paste your long link to shorten it for Twitter. 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 Tuesday evening and in our 2ndaryELA Facebook group!

Get caught up on past chats here:

The Five Keys to Motivation with #2ndaryELA

Join secondary English Language Arts teachers Tuesday evenings at 8 pm EST on Twitter. This week's chat will be about the five keys to student motivation.
Brynn Allison, The Literary Maven, & Lisa Spangler, Mrs. Spangler in the Middle, (that's me!) host #2ndaryELA on Twitter every Tuesday evening from 8 - 8:30 PM EST. #2ndaryELA is a weekly chat for secondary English Language Arts teachers focused on a topic. Every Sunday, we post the topic and questions on our blogs to allow you to prepare for the upcoming Tuesday evening's chat. Thank you to everyone who joined us last week 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 Tuesday, August 14, our #2ndaryELA chat will be about the five keys to student motivation.

Join secondary English Language Arts teachers Tuesday evenings at 8 pm EST on Twitter. This week's chat will be about the five keys to student motivation.

The Directions:
1. Log into Twitter on Tuesday 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 @2peasandadog) 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, so be sure to use a link shortener like tinyurlbitlygoo.gl or ow.ly Just visit one of those links and paste your long link to shorten it for Twitter. 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 Tuesday evening and in our 2ndaryELA Facebook group!

Get caught up on past chats here:

Setting up the ELA Classroom!

Setting up your ELA Classroom? Get some new ideas from the #2ndaryELA Twitter chat!  #middleschool #highschool #classroom #teaching


Setting up a new ELA classroom takes careful planning and it's nice to get new ideas from other teachers who have been there, right?  So the #2ndaryELA community came together to discuss this topic recently and here is their best advice.


You can join in on the conversation too!  We'd love to see you Tuesday night at 8pm EST! 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, links, photos, etc. that will enhance our instruction.



Setting up your ELA Classroom? Get some new ideas from the #2ndaryELA Twitter chat!
 Edit
Q1: What areas in your classroom are designated for specific purposes?
1 like
A1: I have a huge counter in my room. I have that organized & divided so they know where to turn in work, where to place notebooks, & where materials such as markers, crayons, & glues are located.
1 reply3 likes
Q2: What procedures keep your classroom running smoothly?
1 reply1 like
A2: Warm ups are important to have! My students know that as soon as they come in they have something to do. This helps students go to their seats, get the materials they need, and also allows me to do attendance or walk around the classroom to attend to their needs.
1 reply2 likes
Q3: What systems do you use for rewarding positive behavior and addressing negative behavior?
1 like
A2: I try to keep things running as smoothly possible by having an established routine for entering the room and starting class. Streamlining all assignments & notes on Schoology also helps.
2 likes
A3 For positive behavior, all about modeling & taking time to talk & congratulate for the respect & kindness they show. For negative, all about individual conferencing. Never discipline in front of others. We need to listen to understand, to talk with, to work together

3 likes
A3: Team building and setting clear expectations from day one. I also smile a lot...
2 likes
A3.2 For negative behaviors, a lot of my students have behavior plans, so I just follow that. Otherwise, I honestly react on a case by case basis, but I always reiterate that just because a bad choice was made today does not impact how we should feel tomorrow.
1 reply3 likes
Q4: How do you decorate your room? What kinds of bulletin boards do you have?
1 like
A3: Last year I began doing a student of the week. I’d observe all the students & at the end of the week I’d choose 1 student. It was never the same person. They’d get a personalized note & some candy! Also I love making positive phone calls!
1 reply1 retweet8 likes
A4 This will all be new for me. Redesigning with my students. A full classroom transformation. Guaranteed I want motivational quotes, reminders for kindness and empathy, info and ouctures about books, authors, reading, anvases of my students. But I want their input.

2 likes
A4: I decorate with books. I put students in charge of the bulletin boards.
2 likes
A4 I used to design my room to match the book we were reading. We start with Hugo Cabret, so I would create the train station in our classroom. I also had a Starbooks Cafe bulletin board which, honestly, really hurt to take down. Trying to get a bell for my cart ;)
2 replies2 likes
Q5: How do you keep the lines of communication open with parents?
1 like
A5: I love using apps such as Remind & ClassDojo! It’s such an easy way to send reminders, or for parents to contact you. Also on my class website I have a feature that allows parents to send me messages. I get them straight to my email.
1 reply3 likes
A5 E-mail is always my preferred method of communication, because unfortunately, special ed needs a paper trail. I also use a course web page to post the daily agenda and upcoming assignments, and I leave individualized feedback in our online grading program.