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#2ndaryELA Twitter Chat on Tuesday 7/26 Topic: Back to School Ideas Part II

Join secondary English Language Arts teachers Tuesday evenings at 8 pm EST on Twitter. This week's chat will focus on back to school ideas.

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, July 26, our #2ndaryELA chat will focus on back to school ideas

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 student information do you collect at the start of the year? How does it help inform your instruction? #2ndaryELA
8:10 Q2: What information do you include in your syllabus? Share a sample if you’d like. #2ndaryELA
8:15 Q3: What are your must teach routines/procedures the first day/week? #2ndaryELA
8:20 Q4: How do you begin building relationships with your students? #2ndaryELA
8:25 Q5: How do you begin establishing partnerships with parents? #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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10 Back to School Supplies Every Teacher Needs

A list of ten essential school supplies teachers need to have a great start to their new school year by 2 Peas and a Dog blog.

Teachers are busy people. We don't have time to drive from store to store thinking about what supplies we might need. Below is a list of ten essential school supplies teachers need to have a great start to their new school year. Leave a comment below if I left something off the list you cannot live without.

1. Good Pens - you will be grading for hours so make sure you like your pens.

2. Binder clips - I use these clips to sort marking, photocopies, notes, and just about anything else in my classroom. These are essential and I could not live without them.

3. Fun sticky notes - I love using different colours and shapes to add some sparkle to day!

4. Scented Markers - who says students get to have all the fun? These markers make anchor chart writing so much more enjoyable.

5. Reliable water bottle - teachers love to talk and we need to stay hydrated to avoid the 3pm candy machine "dinner".

6. Good quality binders - invest in good solid binders that are study and will not bend your lessons. I still use lots of paper because my school is not 1:1.

7.  Highlighters - I buy multi-colour packs so I can model different strategies or parts of a lesson in different colours.

8.  Metal stapler - The plastic ones always jam when I am stapling student work.

9. Coloured printer paper/card stock - my students love it when task cards or other lesson components are printed out on fun coloured paper.

10. Comfortable teacher bag - you will be carrying many items in this bag make sure it has LOTS of pockets, and fits nicely on your car seat.




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Back to School Ideas for Middle and High School Teachers

New and exciting back to school ideas and activities for middle and high school teachers from the 2 Peas and a Dog blog.

We started off our 2016-2017 season of #2ndaryELA Twitter Chats with a great turn out. Lots of teachers shared their thoughts and ideas on engaging back to school activities to make the transition from summer to school more enjoyable for students. 

Teachers are using their summers to prepare for their upcoming classes, organize their classroom, and learn new things through professional development workshops and books. 

Many teachers shared that they are leaving the traditional introduction of rules, and the syllabus until day 2. Other teachers shared ideas for hashtag get to know you activities, shoeboxes full of mementos and letter writing templates. 

Everyone who participated had one thing in common - an excitement for the coming school year. 

Scroll down to read the curated Twitter chat summary. 





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Back to School Ideas Part 1 #2ndaryELA Twitter Chat

Join secondary English Language Arts teachers Tuesday evenings at 8 pm EST on Twitter. This week's chat will focus on back to school ideas.

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, July 19, our #2ndaryELA chat will focus on back to school ideas

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 preparations for next school year are you doing over the summer? #2ndaryELA 
8:10 Q2: What are you most looking forward to about this school year? #2ndaryELA
8:15 Q3: Describe the first day of school in your classroom. #2ndaryELA
8:20 Q4: What is your favorite getting to know you activity? #2ndaryELA
8:25 Q5: What will be your first content-based lesson of the year? #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 Back to School Tips For Teachers

Sponsored Post: This blog post will provide five useful back to school tips that any teacher can use and share with their fellow teachers from the 2 Peas and a Dog blog.

It is almost time for teachers to either go back to school or start the back to school planning process. This blog post will provide five useful back to school tips that any teacher can use and share with their fellow teachers.

EdTech Software provided me with compensation in exchange for this sponsored blog post. However, all of the opinions expressed here are my own.  

1. Plan Ahead For Lessons and Meals
Take time over the summer to plan out your year. Grab a calendar and map out what you would like to teach during each month. Having a long term plan will make daily lesson planning easier. Once you know where you want your students to be at the end of the school year, it is easy to work backwards and plan out the skills they need to get there. My Pinterest Board on Lesson Planning can help you cultivate those great ideas.

Don't just plan out your lessons, be sure to start meal planning or meal prepping if you have a freezer to store prepared food. The first month back to school is one of the most exciting, yet exhausting times of the school year. Having your freezer full of food, or your meal plans ready will make your home life run that much easier. My Dinner Recipes Pinterest Board is full of slow cooker and make ahead meal ideas.

2. Develop A Parent Communication Plan
It is essential that you decide on how and when you will communicate with parents this coming school year. Will it be through paper or digital means? Will it be a combination of both? Start investigating digital tools in the summer so that once school starts it is all set up and ready to introduce on the first day of school. If you are sticking with paper communication this year, decide on your newsletter template and create the template for each month now. This will save you time during those rushed months (i.e. December) when the last thing you have time for is your newsletter. I teach around 60 students a year. I schedule out my time to call each family during that first month to introduce myself and share news about the classroom. Parents really appreciate that initial contact.

3. Find Engaging First Week Activities
During the first two weeks of school I spend a lot of time building a classroom community through activities that relate to the curriculum. I have complied them into this Back to School Bundle for teachers to use.

Activities Include:
-Student Info Sheet
-Interview The Room Activity
-Dear New To Me Teacher Letter Writing Activity
-Letter To Yourself Time Capsule Activity
-Student Seating Plan Choice Card
-Classroom Identity Art Assignment
-Journal Writing Summer Vacation Prompts
-Interactive Story Writing Activity
-Back to School Bingo

4. Try Online Flyers
This year a colleague introduced me to an online flyer app called Flipp. It works on my mobile phone, tablet and computer. Use the search feature in this app to find school supplies in record time. A quick search for crayons in the app and I found seven different stores with crayons on sale, and it listed their price.  Go to the app store on your device and download this great app. 

5. Go Digital 
This is the year to start using more digital tools in your classroom. Textbooks are heavy and can get damaged easily. I cannot tell you how many times duct tape has come to the rescue for a book in my classroom that needed repair. I recently found out about EdTech Software and their fantastic e-book implementation software. EdTech has partnered with major publishing companies to deliver e-books on school and student devices that the teacher can personalize to their curriculum. They provide 24 hour customer support for teachers and students so learning is never interrupted.

The teacher uses overlays (content integrated directly into the e-book) to enhance the textbook experience for students. Teachers can overlay: notes, hyperlinks, YouTube videos (that launch directly in the textbook), photos, video clips, audio clips (to differentiate), quizzes, and attachments such as worksheets or assignments. One of the best parts of this software is that you can link up your Google Drive items. I love using Google in the classroom and was excited that my Google Drive documents could be linked up for student use. Another tool I was excited about was the right click feature that allowed students to highlight the text or search for the meaning of a word. These types of digital learning tools are invaluable for our students.

To use this software, you need to be connected to a reliable internet connection, and have regular access to devices where students can access the e-texts. Both of these can be a challenge in some schools.

Check out this video outlining the features of this software. After the video you can try out the software by clicking this link Try EdTech's Shelfit E-Book Software.

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Sponsored Post: This blog post will provide five useful back to school tips that any teacher can use and share with their fellow teachers from the 2 Peas and a Dog blog.
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