Mrs. Spangler in the Middle Goes Back to School!

I am blessed to be a part of this amazing group of secondary ELA teachers called The Literary League and am eager for you to meet the team!  

I am Lisa, a Middle School ELA & SPED teacher
I wonder if you would guess that my favorite novel is virtually anything dystopic (but maybe my favorite is The Giver)
I hear whispers from far across my classroom
I see buried treasures in old SRA kits
I want to travel around the world
I am a Middle School ELA & SPED teacher

I have had amazing success when using this
with my students who have special needs!

I pretend I am a hero that can help & teach anyone, anywhere!
I feel grateful to have been teaching for 21 years
I touch students' lives with streamlined tasks
I cry when students say they don't love books
I am a Middle School ELA & SPED teacher

The day I earned my Master of Education
from Rollins College

I understand that Special People find me everywhere
I say "You can do this!"
I dream about writing a best seller and being an antique "picker"
I try to be the best teacher I can be
I hope that all my children will be healthy, happy and significant
I am a Middle School ELA & SPED teacher!

My most recent antique find ~
I love collecting old books!

Yes, this is the tried and true "I Am" poem that I used to like to do with my students to get to know them.  Now I have even more community building tools in my toolbelt that I like to use.  

One of my favorites for the first day is "The TP Pass".

The "TP Pass" is one of the best ice breakers I have ever used with Middle Schoolers!

Pass around a roll of toilet paper and tell each person to take some.  Then after everyone has some, tell the students that for each square they took, they will have to share one thing about themselves.   I then reveal a list of things they could share to get them started like:
What's your name?
Why did your parents choose this name?
How many brothers and sisters do you have?
What was the best thing you did this summer?
What's your favorite thing to do for fun?
What's your favorite book?
What's your favorite song?

TEN icebreakers + a "Get-To-Know-You" Activity to help you start the school year off right!

You could list anything you really want to know and you might just get it!  :)  If you'd like more icebreakers PLUS a "Get-To-Know-You" Activity all ready to go, then you might want to check this out --------->

Now that you have a fun ice breaker to get you going, I'd also like to share a big time saver that's also FREE:

FREE Syllabus Samples for Middle School ELA that include the time saving Student Information Sheet!

Every year, I pass out a syllabus with a "Student Information Sheet".  I always pass this out on the SECOND day of school.  I do this because the first day is such a whirlwind (and likely an overload of SCHOOL information) so I like to just focus on building community.

The included Student Information Sheet is a huge time-saver and helpful organization tool.  How?  Well I see it as getting 3 birds with one stone:

Bird #1:  I get to introduce my reward system by offering all students a reward for turning in the information sheet TOMORROW.  (This generally results in me getting about 75% of my sheets back!)

Bird #2:  I get the best contact information from these sheets which saves me from trying to look up information that is usually only partially right.

Bird #3:  I use these information sheets as phone logs.  I record the date, who I talked to and the topic on the back.  (I do not pre-print this info on the backs because then some savvy students would figure this out and either not give me the info on the front or give me "mistaken" information.)

So there you have it!  Some of my best tips and tricks to help your year get off to a great start!

I hope you'll take some time to get to know the rest of the Literary League!

An InLinkz Link-up

Thanks for stopping by!

Giveaway Celebration!

I'm very happy to help Miss Johnston's Journey to celebrate her second blogiversary!

There are so many great giveaways like:

And then of course there are bloggers (like me!) who are giving away some great products!

Be sure to head over to Miss Johnston's Journey and enter!

Thanks for stopping by!

Freebie Friday ~ Vegas style!

This is a special Friday because it is the last day of the TpT conference in Las Vegas!

I am offering my newest Reading Comprehension and Skills Games for Hatchet by Gary Paulsen for free for all conference go-ers whether you attend in person or in some virtual fashion.  

You can review key information from and about the story as you play Scoot, Scatter, ZAP, or Quiz Show style  - that's 4 games in 1 !

All I ask is that if you download this freebie, that you leave me some feedback kindness.  :)

However, you know the old saying "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas"?  Well that also remains true here:   this freebie will not last forever.  In fact it will only last until the end of the conference.  So grab yours today by clicking {here}!

Thanks for stopping by!

Vegas Bound!

I am attending this year's Teachers Pay Teachers (TpT) conference for the first time!

I first started with TpT back in 2005, but never really had time to pay attention to it.  Then in 2013, I found the blogger world.  At that time, I was just reading blogs for ideas for my self-contained special needs middle school class.  I quickly learned that the TpT of today was a powerhouse and since I was having so much fun with others' blogs, I thought I should give blogging a whirl and see if TpT could truly work for me.

I became a premium seller on July 4, 2014.  It has now been a full year and I have learned so much but I know I need to learn more if I want to reach my goals. (see that post here)

So this is what I am hoping I will get from Vegas:

I have met some great people online, and now I will get to meet them in real life!  This is important in order to really create those collaborative relationships which help me grow as a person, teacher, and businesswoman.

I feel pretty darn good about my new design :) and think that I have done well with my name and keeping it all connected in all the social media places.  However, I do think there is something I may be missing.  I need to be sure that it's known that I teach and create middle school ELA and SPED.

Marketing Know-How
I am not by nature a "seller".  I swear my brother could sell ice to an eskimo, but I didn't get that gene. 

I did, however, have a little idea that you might be interested in - I am offering an exclusive freebie to all who are attending the conference or who are participating in any virtual Vegas experiences!  

This freebie will go live on my Facebook page Wednesday at 8pm EST to celebrate the conference and all the collaborating and learning that I hope will take place!
(You can connect by clicking on my Facebook icon at the top of the page)

Stay tuned!  We'll see what I learn and can share on Facebook (as well as IG and Twitter) without compromising the integrity of the information presented.

Thanks for stopping by!

The Top 3 pins for July!

Many thanks to Pawsitively Teaching and Inspired Owl's Corner for bringing this linky to us month after month!

I'm so happy it's summer!  That means I have time to do some things I've been wanting some "spare time" to do for ages!

I have always wanted to learn how to crochet.  I think it would be fun to know how to make various wearable items.

Pin source

I liked this pin because it has videos!  I am a visual learner and need to see how it's done.

My Builders Club is opening our school's store.  We don't have a place inside the school for our store, so we have to build one.

Pin source

I like this one because of the shelf and drawer.  The only thing we will have to add is wheels.  It will have to be rolled out and rolled back in on sale days.  I plan to build this towards the end of this month when my husband and boys are off on a "man camping trip". Shhh...

Last, but not least, I have been wanting to learn to play my acoustic guitar forever!!  I actually bought a Chord Buddy that is pictured below, but I haven't had time to play with it!  Well now is the time!

Pin source

Maybe I can learn to play some fun songs that I can take into my classroom.  That's my ultimate goal but I'm not sure I'll be good enough by August.  We'll see!

I hope you'll take a moment to see some other great pins below:

An InLinkz Link-up

Thanks for stopping by!