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#2ndaryELA Twitter Chat on Tuesday 3/28 Topic: Struggling Readers & Writers

Join secondary English Language Arts teachers Tuesday evenings at 8 pm EST on Twitter. This week's chat will be about supporting struggling readers and writers.
Brynn Allison, The Literary Maven & Kristy, 2 Peas and a Dog 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, March 28, our #2ndaryELA chat will be about supporting struggling readers and writers.

The Format:
8:00 Intros: What and where do you teach? Include a link to your blog if you have one. #2ndaryELA
8:05 Q1: What strategies do you use to support struggling readers? #2ndaryELA
8:10 Q2: What strategies do you use to support struggling writers? #2ndaryELA
8:15 Q3: What books you have found most engaging for struggling readers? #2ndaryELA
8:20 Q4: What writing lessons have you found most engaging for struggling writers? #2ndaryELA
8:25 Q5: Share any tips, ideas or resources you have for assisting struggling readers and writers. #2ndaryELA

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 “All tweets.”
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.)

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:






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5 Quick Dinner Ideas For Teachers

Somedays I just don't have the energy to make a real dinner for myself. I compiled a list of my quick and easy dinner ideas for when you have one of THOSE days. Quick and easy meal ideas from the 2 Peas and a Dog blog.

Somedays I just don't have the energy to make a real dinner for myself or husband. I compiled a list of my quick and easy dinner ideas for when you have one of THOSE days. You know those days when you never sat down once, remembered to eat lunch or use the bathroom. Yes - those days are more common than teachers care to admit.

Meal # 1 - Sandwich and Chips 
A sandwich is a quick meal that takes almost no time to prepare.

Meal #2 - Grilled Cheese and Pickles
This is not the same as a regular sandwich because it's a warm and delicious treat. If you have a portable grill or panini maker it will save you some dishes.

Meal #3 - Eggs and Toast
Eggs are a quick and easy dinner. You can go fancy with over easy or fast with boiled. Throw some toast in the toaster and you are set!

Meal #4 - Soup and Toast
During the winter, I eat my weight in soup. I cannot get enough warm foods during the cold Canadian winter months. Open then can, heat up the contents and make some toast. Volia!

Meal #5 - Cereal 
Find a bowl and make yourself some hot or cold cereal. Add some fruit, nuts, seeds and milk of your choice to make this meal more complete.

Meal #6 - Popcorn (Ok, not really, but maybe?)
Anyone else watch Scandal? In my first few years of teaching, Olivia Pope's dinner of choice was a frequent flyer in my kitchen. I remember coming home, and thinking it required too much energy to open the cupboard, located the popcorn and put it in the microwave. I definitely try to take better care of my body nowadays, but a popcorn dinner definitely happens sometimes.

I hope that you remember these meal ideas the next time you think about picking up dinner. Save time and money by making something quick at home.

Looking for more meal time tips? Check out advice from other teachers in our Teacher Life Hacks series.

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#2ndaryELA Twitter Chat on Tuesday 3/21 Topic: Avoiding Teacher Burnout

Join secondary English Language Arts teachers Tuesday evenings at 8 pm EST on Twitter. This week's chat will be about avoiding teacher burnout.
Brynn Allison, The Literary Maven & Kristy, 2 Peas and a Dog 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, March 21, our #2ndaryELA chat will be about avoiding teacher burnout.

The Format:
8:00 Intros: What and where do you teach? Include a link to your blog if you have one. #2ndaryELA
8:05 Q1: Grading ELA assignments can be time consuming and stressful. How do you ease your grading load? #2ndaryELA 
8:10 Q2: What lessons or activities do you do with students when you need a break from grading or to relieve stress? #2ndaryELA
8:15 Q3: What other strategies do you use in school to help manage stress and avoid burning out? #2ndaryELA
8:20 Q4: What strategies do you use outside of school to help manage stress and avoid burning out? #2ndaryELA
8:25 Q5: What advice would you give to new teachers to help them avoid new teacher burnout? #2ndaryELA

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 “All tweets.”
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.)

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:





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Book Review Confessions of a High School Disaster

Book review of Confessions of a High School Disaster

Book: Confessions of a High School Disaster by Emma Chastain

I was delighted to receive an Advance Reader's Copy of this novel as part of a YA Blogger promotion from Simon & Schuster Canada. All opinions are my own, and I was not additionally compensated for this post beyond the complementary novel.

Summary:

Chloe Snow is a regular high school freshman dealing with all of the trials that come with being a teenager. Being a teenager in the modern world brings about its own set of challenges relating to peer pressure, social media and challenging parents. Throughout the novel Chloe’s life changes in unexpected ways that many teenagers can relate to family issues, discovering one’s own sexuality and friendship quarrels.

Review:

This was a very enjoyable realistic fiction read. It is written in diary format which makes the reader feel like they are listening to a friend discuss their daily life. I know that my students enjoy reading books in alternative formats. I liked the author’s writing style – it sounded like an authentic teenage voice.

My only concern is the emphasis on the main character’s sexual discovery throughout the novel. This content would be more suited to a high school classroom library than my personal middle school classroom library. The book would interest female students in Grade 9 or 10, due to the content, writing style and teenage “chick lit” genre. 

I found this novel available for purchase online through Amazon or Chapters/Indigo.

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Ideas For Teaching Growth Mindset

Teaching our students about the importance of growth mindset needs to be on every teacher's priority list. Students need to know it is ok to make mistakes and learn from those experiences. Read more about how other teachers integrate growth mindset into their classrooms from the 2 Peas and a Dog blog.

Teaching our students about the importance of growth mindset needs to be on every teacher's priority list. Students need to know it is ok to make mistakes and learn from those experiences. 

One of the best examples for students is when teachers showcase their own growth mindset aha moments. Students learn best from concrete examples, not just theoretical discussions. 

Read more about how other teachers integrate growth mindset into their classrooms in the curated Twitter chat below.  


Teaching our students about the importance of growth mindset needs to be on every teacher's priority list. Students need to know it is ok to make mistakes and learn from those experiences. Read more about how other teachers integrate growth mindset into their classrooms from the 2 Peas and a Dog blog.

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