ELA classroom routines are a key part of any English Language Arts classroom. Study after study has shown that students thrive on consistency. Be it behavioral expectations, grading uniformity, or class and curriculum structure, consistency benefits all students.
That doesn’t mean that you can never have a day that is out of the ordinary, but it does mean that having a standard ordinary day is an important component of most successful classrooms.
Today let’s look at three middle school ELA classroom routines you can use weekly to help establish consistency in your curriculum.
Weekly ELA Classroom Routines
Independent Reading Journals
Independent reading is a useful and positive activity to help create consistency in your classroom. Maybe it is part of your homeroom routine, maybe it is what students do when they finish their work, maybe part of every Friday is dedicated to this task – however you use it, this activity does present one big challenge: how do you track and assess it?
I have my students read every day for 10 minutes as soon as they enter the classroom. So once a week I have them write a reading journal entry to share their thoughts on what they have been reading the previous week.
One great option is my easy-to-use Independent Reading Journal Assignment. This resource includes six tracking forms and one reading journal assignment to help students stay organized and purposeful as they read. This weekly journal structure helps students stay accountable for their reading as well as provides me time to conference with students about their work.
I explain in detail how I structure my reading journals and my independent reading program in my virtual workshop on middle school reading engagement. Find out more about Lit Launch here. Find this resource on Shopify CAD or Teachers Pay Teachers USD.
Article of the Week
Another great activity to help create consistency in your classroom is by using an article of the week activity. By designating one day each week to have students on their own, as homework, or as a group look at a specific article you not only set up a routine, but you also help your students regularly interact with non-fiction texts.
Each week assign one high-interest article for students to read and respond to. I like to provide variety in my response activities.
You can see an in-depth look into my article of the week program set up here. Once you are ready to use this program in your classroom – check out my Article of the Week Full Year Mega Bundle for everything you need to incorporate this activity into your curriculum. Find this resource on Shopify CAD or Teachers Pay Teachers USD.
Six Minutes Podcast Unit
This podcast is the perfect way to start or end your class each day. Each episode is 6 minutes long. Students can practice their listening skills while they learn the story of Holiday, how she ended up in the ocean in Alaska and then rescued by a family on vacation.
Students can demonstrate their comprehension by taking a quick 3 question quiz after each episode and responding to key events with a journal entry. Try episode 1 with your students to see how they like it. Find this resource on Shopify CAD or Teachers Pay Teachers USD.
If they love it then go investigate my Six Minutes Podcast Unit for a ready-to-go full-year classroom warm-up solution. You can also check out this blog post for more Six Minutes podcast lesson ideas. Find this resource on Shopify CAD or Teachers Pay Teachers USD.
Keep It Consistent
There are many other activities to help make consistency a part of your classroom and curriculum – daily writing journals, sharing time, daily oral language or grammar practice, and so on. Whatever method you go with, intentionally incorporating these things into your classes can help create the consistency that your students will thrive upon.