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Building Relationships with Students - #2ndaryELA

Join secondary English Language Arts teachers Sunday evenings at 8 pm EST on Twitter. This week's chat will be about building relationships with students. 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, August 25, our #2ndaryELA chat will be about building relationships with students.

Join secondary English Language Arts teachers Sunday evenings at 8 pm EST on Twitter. This week's chat will be about building relationships with students.

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:

Ways to Motivate Your Students!

All teachers know that the key in helping students to learn is motivation and engagement.  Get some new ideas to motivate your middle and high school students from the #2ndaryELA Twitter chat!  #inspiration #encouragement

We all know that in order for students to learn, they have to be motivated and engaged.  So the #2ndaryELA nation came together to strategize the best ways to do get students excited about learning!  Read on for some great ideas on student motivation!
Q1: How do you design lessons to appeal to students' different learning strengths?
A1 I try to consider Ss' learning preferences when planning practice opportunities
Do you group students with similar preferences?

Replying to 
I usually let Ss pick their own groups, and they will either pick their friends or the people with whom they'll work best
A1. I try to incorporate movement, visuals, listening, reading and hands on things in my lessons.
Replying to 
This is awesome; thanks for sharing! I have found that when asked how they learn best, MS Ss often don’t understand or know exactly what their strengths are
A1: I do A LOT of observing in the 1st wk. And I have them complete a multiple intelligences survey. Then I look for ways to bring in what the Ss need using Kagan Structures, interactive notes, digital tools (like or ) and audio/visuals.
Q2: How do you foster student ownership of meeting academic goals?
A2: We track progress using a "super improvers" system from which is all about keeping focused on one's target.
A2 This is something I struggle with. I have had success with Ss sharing their success with their parents (I personally contact the parents too)
A2: in my second year teaching and I struggle with this one. We have done class and individual data tracking throughout the year and parent contact. Looking for other strategies !

A2. I have a bulletin board that shows off the students names that receive a 90% or better on assessments. I always give out raffle tickets for those who receive 80% or better on those assessments as well. I also try to do positive phone calls home to share successes
Q3: Describe a time when you allowed students to take ownership in the classroom.
A3: I have tried the "Rally Coach" from Kagan where students become "coaches" for other students. I have also tried project-based learning with menus where students choose and "own" their learning through choice.
A3 I love to have Ss create the seating chart; it really encourages them to consider the best learning environment for all their classmates
Replying to 
This is so cool!! I am definitely adding this to my list of strategies to try this year
A3 just did a little bit of this last week with classroom expectations! Students worked together to create mind maps / flow charts of what they believe our classroom norms should be for the year.
A3. I try to offer options for assessments, class votes on whether we read aloud, I read aloud, or we use an audiobook. I also have the Ss give me feedback throughout the year on things they would like to do.
A3 our personal narrative unit this year will be a cultural narrative and students will get to decide what their end product will be and how they will share their narrative with their classmates
Q4: What do you use for classroom management other than rewards and punishments?
A4: I use celebrations of progress and celebrations for reaching certain goals.
A4 For me, classroom management is all about procedures. My students know exactly what to do when they walk into my room, and they like this.
A4 learning from first year mistakes and successes, it’s all about PROCEDURES. Implementing routines on day one and practicing them for the first 2-3 weeks. Ex: what to do when you enter the room, bell ringers, work turn-in, etc.
A4. I try to provide some friendly competitions in class. MUTUAL RESPECT!!! Providing a variety in my teaching so there is some intrigue when they come into my room. #1 Getting to know my Ss on a personal level. When you show interest in your Ss they will help you!
YES - an once procedures become routines, then things just groove along.

Q5: Share your best engagement techniques and resources.
A5 I have seen high engagement when doing gallery walks instead of traditional whole-class presentations of student work. Ss feel less pressure and are more confident about their product!
A5 My Ss are most engaged when they are moving around the class - SCOOT, Scavenger Hunts, Rotations, etc.
My Ss LOVE Scoot and other games like those! I have to keep it non-competition though.

Replying to 
Yep!! I love rotating stations activities. Not only can Ss work at their own pace, but they get to move around the room
A5. Youtube videos or music are great ways to engage Ss into what you are teaching. Also, asking their opinions on matters and letting them discuss. This shows that their voice matters.
I love playing a song during bell work time - when the song is done, time is up!

The #2ndaryELA community keeps the conversation going all week long over at our Facebook Group and you are invited to join! In fact, we'd love for you to share anything from this chat that has helped you or if you have other motivation/engagement strategies that we didn't cover and you would like to share, we invite you to do so! 

Thanks for stopping by and being a part of the #2ndaryELA community!