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#2ndaryELA Twitter Chat on Tuesday 8/30 Topic: Teaching 2.0 Open Forum

Join secondary English Language Arts teachers Tuesday evenings at 8 pm EST on Twitter. This week's chat will be an open forum so bring any questions you have about teaching.

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 30, our #2ndaryELA chat will be an open forum. That means you'll be posing your questions live and we'll all try to answer as many as we can. We're excited to try this for the first time so bring your burning questions!

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 questions do you have about teaching reading in your classroom this year? #2ndaryELA
8:10 Q2: What questions do you have about teaching writing in your classroom this year? #2ndaryELA
8:15 Q3: What questions do you have about teaching grammar & vocabulary in your classroom this year? #2ndaryELA
8:20 Q4: What questions do you have about using technology in your classroom this year? #2ndaryELA
8:25 Q5: Any other questions? #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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Strategies To Help New Students

Starting at a new school after moving to a new home in a new city can be exciting, but it can also be nerve-wracking and stressful. For hundreds of thousands of students across the country, that is what any academic year has in store for them. As a teacher, there are many things you can you do to help your new students with this adjustment. Read to learn strategies for helping new students through classroom structures, welcome buddies and curriculum assessments from the 2 Peas and a Dog blog.

Today we have a guest blogger Sara Boehm, on the blog discussing how to help new students with the transition into their new school. 

Starting at a new school after moving to a new home in a new city can be exciting, but it can also be nerve-wracking and stressful. For hundreds of thousands of students across the country, that is what any academic year has in store for them.

As a teacher (and in many cases, the first point of contact for these students), there are many things you can you do to help your new students during their first days.

Friendships

As students hit middle school, friendships begin to take on a more significant role. Your new students are desperately seeking to find ‘their place’ among their peers: finding friends with similar interests and activities where they can shine and grown their talents and passions. 

Take a few moments to talk with any new students. Ask them questions about where they moved from and what they like to do.

Introduce them to the class with this information or give them the option of introducing themselves if they feel comfortable.

Knowing their interests and past extracurricular endeavours, perhaps you can make suggestions to the student on clubs and activities they might be interested in trying.
Moving is an exciting time for a fresh start, and a time to try new things. Encourage students with suggestions on where and how to try something new as well!

Finally, seating placement can play a big role in how a new student settles in and acclimates to your class and to the school as well. When possible, try to seat new students next to or near students who you know will be helpful, welcoming, and who potentially share common interests.

The same is true for group work as well. Consider placing newly transferred students with those helpful and inclusive students who will be sure to get them up to speed and keep them on track.

Finding Their Way Around

No one likes the feeling of being lost! Whether or not your school has assigned the new student with a ‘welcome buddy’ to show them around the campus, you should check in with the student and see if they have any questions or if they would like additional guidance.

Most importantly, let your class know that it is their job to make sure the new student is getting around okay, has a place to sit at lunch and gets all their questions answered. Use this opportunity to teach existing students the importance of helping and being welcoming of others who are new.

Identifying Any Gaps in Their Learning

Another critical area that sets the foundation for how easy or problematic a new student’s first months can be is academics. Difficulties in class level placement and/or potential curriculum gaps can make navigating a new school even more challenging.

Students may end up in a level that is too easy or too advanced for them. Be sure to regularly monitor how the child is doing and feeling early on so that you can help to correct any misplacement before it causes issues in the child’s understanding or advancement.

Even if placed correctly, schools (especially across state/provincial lines) may teach topics in a different order, creating gaps in a new student’s foundational understanding if they haven’t yet been taught a topic in one school only to transfer to a new school where it has already been covered.

As best as you can (by asking for feedback from the student or by briefly reviewing any available syllabus or materials from their previous class) try to determine any gaps that exist (the student can then consider private tutoring, self study, or other relevant forms of catch up).

As a teacher, there is a lot you can do to ease the transition for new students and create a welcoming environment for them. It is equally important to encourage existing students to be kind and helpful to those in new a situation.

In the comments section, share your tips and tricks for helping new students. And from someone who was frequently the “new student” (I was in a new school every year from the 6th through the 10th grade), thank you for all the great work you do in helping out the ‘new kid’ during a tough time!

Sara Boehm is author of The Essential Moving Guide For Families and other titles in its series. Boehm has lived the world of corporate relocation, moving 12 times as a child and as an adult. She empathizes with all who are going through the moving process, and works with companies and individuals to assist those whose lives are being disrupted by relocation. She received her MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and presently lives in the Los Angeles area and runs Essential Engagement Services.


Starting at a new school after moving to a new home in a new city can be exciting, but it can also be nerve-wracking and stressful. For hundreds of thousands of students across the country, that is what any academic year has in store for them. As a teacher, there are many things you can you do to help your new students with this adjustment. Read to learn strategies for helping new students through classroom structures, welcome buddies and curriculum assessments from the 2 Peas and a Dog blog.

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.
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