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Fresh Ideas For Teaching Poetry

Ideas on how to teach poetry so students are engaged and eager to learn about this text type from the 2 Peas and a Dog blog.

It is important that English curriculum still includes poetry in its lessons. During this interesting, #2ndaryELA Twitter chat, teachers discussed how they used poetry in their classrooms - some teachers teach it as a stand alone unit, others integrate poems as mentor texts in any unit that it fits.

Teachers also shared their favourite poems to teach and which poetry forms their students enjoy writing. Scroll down to the read the curated Twitter chat and learn more using poetry in your ELA classroom.

Get more ideas for teaching poetry at the bottom of this post by following our Poetry Pinterest board.





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Ideas on how to teach poetry so students are engaged and eager to learn about this text type from the 2 Peas and a Dog blog.

#2ndaryELA Twitter Chat on Tuesday 1/17 Topic: Teaching Poetry

Join secondary English Language Arts teachers Tuesday evenings at 8 pm EST on Twitter. This week's chat will be about teaching poetry.
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, January 17th, our #2ndaryELA chat will be about teaching poetry.

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 teach a poetry unit? When? Or do you incorporate it all year long? #2ndaryELA
8:10 Q2: What skills are most important for you to cover when teaching poetry? #2ndaryELA
8:15 Q3: What are your favorite poems to teach? What are students’ favorites to read? #2ndaryELA
8:20 Q4: Share your favorite poetry writing assignments. #2ndaryELA
8:25 Q5: How do you get creative when teaching poetry to appeal to those students who “hate” or don’t “get” poetry? #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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K to 12 Canadian Teaching Resources


A massive list of K - 12 teaching resources created by Canadian teachers.

Kindergarten Teaching Resources
Primary Teaching Resources
Junior Teaching Resources
Middle and High School Teaching Resources
Specialist Teaching Resources

#2ndaryELA Twitter Chat on Tuesday 1/10 Topic: Supporting IEP & ESL Students

Join secondary English Language Arts teachers Tuesday evenings at 8 pm EST on Twitter. This week's chat will be about supporting IEP and ESL students.
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 in 2016 and we hope that you will join us again.

We'd 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, January 10th, our #2ndaryELA chat will be about supporting IEP and ESL students.

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 are ESL and IEP students integrated in your school? #2ndaryELA
8:10 Q2: How does your school communicate a student’s possible needs? Or do you do a needs assessment on your own? #2ndaryELA
8:15 Q3: What have been your biggest challenges with creating successful lessons for all students? #2ndaryELA
8:20 Q4: What extra support does your school provide for students beyond what you have in the classroom? #2ndaryELA
8:25 Q5: What's the best activity, project, or method of differentiation you've found works with your ESL or IEP students? #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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Tips For Teachers On How To Reduce Holiday Season Stress

The weeks leading up to the holiday break can be very stressful if you don't plan ahead. Read below for our top tips for reducing stress before, during and after the holiday break from the 2 Peas and a Dog blog.

Teachers everywhere look forward to their holiday break in December. Spending the Christmas season with friends and family helps get us through the snowy cold days of November and December. The weeks leading up to the holiday break can be very stressful if you don't plan ahead. Read below for our top tips for reducing stress before, during and after the holiday break.

Free Interactive Christmas Writing Prompts from 2 Peas and a Dog.
Before The Holiday Break
  • At the beginning of December, strategically plan out all your lessons and marking load to ensure that your are not bringing home a giant pile of marking.
  • Make sure you prep lessons ahead of time for the at least the first and second week back. It is better to stay a late one night and get everything ready, than to be in a rush after the holidays.
  • Always save your best and most engaging lessons for the week before break.
  • Accept that students will leave early before break or arrive late after break. Your teaching will need to adjust to this change.
  • Have fun with your students! Use our Free Christmas Writing Prompts activity and enjoy reading out loud what funny stories emerge in your classroom. 
  • Get creative with your lessons so that they cover curriculum expectations as well
     as bring the joy of the holiday season to your classroom. Try our Christmas Creative Writing Assignment. Students are provided with 5 different Christmas themed RAFT format writing options (Role, Audience, Format, Topic). They will take on the of role of one character: Santa's Elf, Christmas Turkey, Gingerbread man, Christmas Tree or Museum Curator and create a written product based on the character's specific scenario. This one assignment allows students to practise their creative writing, celebrate the holiday season and covers curriculum expectations for layout, design and writing. 
  • Our world is a global village. It is important for our students to learn about
    different cultures and faiths. We can 
    help our students learn about different celebrations with this holiday research assignment. Students will work in pairs to research 1 of the 16 suggested holiday and/or cultural celebrations. Students could also choose to research a local holiday or cultural celebration. Research is presented to the class in a slideshow format. 

During The Holiday Break
  • Do not take marking home over break (unless it is non-negotiable i.e. exams, finals, summatives)
  • Spend time with family, friends and pets which you don't get to see during the school year.
  • Try out a new recipe or two to add to your post holiday season meal plan. Check out our Dinner and Dessert recipe Pinterest boards. 
  • Use some of your time on holiday break to gather new lesson ideas using Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook Groups, Teachers Pay Teachers

After The Holiday Break
  • Use the first class after holiday break to re-establish classroom community, class norms/rules and procedures.
  • Don't launch into new content the first day back, give students a time to review content, journal about their break and share a memory with their peers

Check out other great holiday ideas by visiting the rest of the blog posts in this series. Click here to read more. 

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The weeks leading up to the holiday break can be very stressful if you don't plan ahead. Read below for our top tips for reducing stress before, during and after the holiday break from the 2 Peas and a Dog blog.

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