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!
Q1: What areas in your classroom are designated for specific purposes?
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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.
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Q2: What procedures keep your classroom running smoothly?
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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.
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Q3: What systems do you use for rewarding positive behavior and addressing negative behavior?
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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.
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

A3: Team building and setting clear expectations from day one. I also smile a lot...
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.
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Q4: How do you decorate your room? What kinds of bulletin boards do you have?
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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!
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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.

A4: I decorate with books. I put students in charge of the bulletin boards.
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 ;)
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Q5: How do you keep the lines of communication open with parents?
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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.
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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.

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