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How to Use and Find Young Adult Literature For The ELA Classroom

It is important that our classrooms and curriculum engage students with both classic and current literature. By incorporating more young adult literature in your classroom through book clubs, lit circles, classroom library options and curriculum students can maintain or gain a love of reading from the 2 Peas and a Dog blog.

It is important that our classrooms and curriculum engage students with both classic and current literature. By incorporating more young adult literature in your classroom through book clubs, lit circles, classroom library options and curriculum students can maintain or gain a love of reading.

This week's #2ndaryELA Twitter chat provided great suggestions on how to find and use YA Lit in your secondary ELA classroom. Read the curated summary below to gain some new ideas for your classroom.






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It is important that our classrooms and curriculum engage students with both classic and current literature. By incorporating more young adult literature in your classroom through book clubs, lit circles, classroom library options and curriculum students can maintain or gain a love of reading from the 2 Peas and a Dog blog.

#2ndaryELA Twitter Chat on Tuesday 8/23 Topic: YA Lit in the ELA Classroom

Weekly ELA Chat Tuesdays 8pm on Twitter.

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 school year and we hope that you will join us again.

New in 2016 is our 2ndaryELA Facebook group, which we would love to have you join 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 23, our #2ndaryELA chat will focus on young adult literature in the ELA classroom.

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: Do you include young adult literature in your curriculum or just your classroom library? Explain. #2ndaryELA
8:10 Q2: What are your students’ favorite young adult titles? #2ndaryELA
8:15 Q3: What titles would you recommend to help diversify a classroom library? #2ndaryELA
8:20 Q4: Where/how do you find new books for your classroom library or to use in your teaching? #2ndaryELA
8:25 Q5: Do you or your students do book talks? What other ways do you share what you are reading? #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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Finding Affordable Books For Your Classroom Library

Having a well stocked classroom library and novel set collection is essential for any English Language Arts (ELA) teacher. Schools do not always have the budget to provide these resources for their teachers, leaving many teachers to purchase these books. Read this great list of places to start your search for classroom novels from the 2 Peas and a Dog blog.

Having a well stocked classroom library and novel set collection is essential for any English Language Arts (ELA) teacher. Schools do not always have the budget to provide these resources for their teachers, leaving many teachers to purchase these books. Finding books for a reasonable price, that fits in your teacher budget, can be challenging. Below is a list of great places to start your search for classroom novels.

Novel Sets
When purchasing novel sets of six or more books  for literature circles, book clubs or a class novel study it can get costly. Check out the ideas below to help make purchasing sets of books more affordable.
  1. Book Outlet  Canada or  USA
  2. Your local book store sale rack - check big box and small book stores as they often have great deals on their sales rack. If you can’t find it, ask! It might be worth it.
  3. Scholastic Warehouse Sale
  4. Scholastic Reading Club monthly flyers - their $1.99 specials are very good. I try check all of the upper grades flyers for specials.  Canada or USA

Classroom Library
Finding reasonably priced fiction and non-fiction books for your classroom library requires a little bargain shopping, but is possible. In addition to the ideas listed above for novel sets, you can also check out the places below to find books for your classroom library.
  1. Book Sale Finder
  2. Public library discards rack
  3. Garage sales - read the newspaper regularly in the summer
  4. Retired teachers sales - check garage sale and online sale listings
  5. Thrift Stores - check local thrift stores and ones in nearby towns/cities

Other Ways To Acquire Books
  1. Redeem rewards points for gift cards to book stores
  2. Collect and save your Scholastic points from monthly book sale flyer sales
  3. Ask friends, family and neighbours in person and via social media to donate any gently used books to your classroom
  4. If permitted ask parents of students in your class to donate books their children have finished reading

Share your favourite way to acquire books for your classroom in the comments below.

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Having a well stocked classroom library and novel set collection is essential for any English Language Arts (ELA) teacher. Schools do not always have the budget to provide these resources for their teachers, leaving many teachers to purchase these books. Read this great list of places to start your search for classroom novels from the 2 Peas and a Dog blog.

#2ndaryELA Twitter Chat on Tuesday 8/16 Topic: Learning Stations, Rotations, & Centers

Join secondary English Language Arts teachers Tuesday evenings at 8 pm EST on Twitter. This week's chat will focus on learning stations, rotations, and centers.

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 school year and we hope that you will join us again.

New in 2016 is our 2ndaryELA Facebook group, which we would love to have you join 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 16, our #2ndaryELA chat will focus on learning stations, rotations, and centers.

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: How do you use learning stations/rotations/centers in connection with reading? #2ndaryELA
8:10 Q2: How do you use learning stations/rotations/centers in connection with writing? #2ndaryELA
8:15 Q3: Are the activities in your learning stations/rotations/centers usually independent or collaborative? #2ndaryELA
8:20 Q4: Is there always a tangible product in your learning stations/rotations/centers? How do you hold students accountable for their work? #2ndaryELA
8:25 Q5: How do you manage student behavior during learning stations/rotations/centers? #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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Ideas For Teaching Drama

Drama lessons and ideas for teachers from the 2 Peas and a Dog blog.

Where I teach, Drama is a mandatory part of the curriculum for students in Grades 1 to 8. I enjoy teaching drama, but I have heard from other teachers that they find this subject hard to plan for without a textbook or background experience. 

Below is a general outline on how to start your year and possible topics you can cover depending on the time you have for this course. 

Starting Your Year 
  1. Establish rules specific for drama class to create a safe space for all students.
  2. Co-create Dramatic Presentation Success Criteria.
  3. Teach the Elements of Drama: Role/Character, Focus and Emphasis, Place and Time, Relationships, Tension.
  4. Use Ice Breakers and Drama Circles to get students more comfortable with drama and create a safe space.

Sample Drama Year Plan
    Dramatic Performance Success Criteria from the 2 Peas and a Dog Blog
  1. Establish classroom rules together to ensure safety of students.
  2. Co-create overall success criteria, then add to it for each new unit
  3. Explicitly teach the Elements of Drama
  4. Ice Breakers
  5. Drama Circles

Select a few ideas from the list below depending on the age, grade level and readiness of your students. 

  • Mime
  • Tableau
  • Improv
  • Drama Scenarios
  • Reader’s Theatre 
  • Novel in an Hour 
  • Plays

Cross-Curricular Integration
  • Interview An Expert from Science or Social Studies
  • Monologues
  • Character Hot Seat
  • Wax Museum 

Resources

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Drama lessons and ideas for teachers from the 2 Peas and a Dog blog.
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