There’s so much to think about as the new school year approaches! The classroom, kids, back to school activities – and that’s just the beginning! Organizing and revamping plans to use throughout the year are always on teachers minds at this season too, because everything you can do now to get resources in order and get them organized can only make your life easier when the time comes to use them.
With that thought in mind, I’ve collected together previous posts from several categories that might be helpful at this time of year. Here you will find ideas for the first days of school and getting the classroom ready as well as useful posts for getting organized to teach reading, writing, and vocabulary skills in the middle school and upper elementary language arts classroom. (And links to some FREEBIES, too!)
Back to School
Ten Back to School Poems – Ten poems that work great with middle grade kids at this time of year
Starting the Day, Starting the Year – About a nice picture book to use at the beginning of the school year
Getting the Classroom Ready
Making Your Classroom Their Classroom – Ideas for personalizing your classroom so that kids feel at home and take ownership of the space. (My guest post at Middle School Mob)
Making Your Language Arts Classroom Their Language Arts Classroom – More ideas about setting up a room that kids will feel is their space, especially for language arts and reading teachers.
Grouping Strategies – Ideas about grouping kids to start off the year, or at any time
Work-saving Teaching Ideas
No-Copy Foldables – Simple foldables that kids can make from plain paper
More No-Copy Foldables – More ideas for easy foldables that don’t involve making copies or using templates
Response Cards – Activities that use various types of simple response cards for high engagement without a lot of moving around the room
Using Task Cards for Individual, Small Group,and Whole Group Lessons – Lots of uses for task cards to incorporate into your lessons as the year rolls along
Story Elements Lesson Planning Ideas – Story elements is something that language teachers teach off and on throughout the year. This post offers teaching ideas as well as picture book suggestions for introducing various story elements.
Middle Grade Classic Novels – A collection of helpful posts about often-used middle grade novels
Choosing Classroom Novels – Middle graders are a unique bunch, and choosing just the right novel for your group can be a tricky business
Organizing Vocabulary Instruction for the Year – There is so much that falls under the heading of “vocabulary” for language arts teachers – literature vocabulary, language arts terms, vocabulary skills. This post is about organizing it all.
Teaching Affixes and Roots Step by Step – More about organizing the skills part of vocabulary instruction – all those prefixes, suffixes, and roots
Improving Writing Skills at the Sentence Level – A good place to start – many kids can benefit from an in-depth review of sentence writing at the beginning of the year.
Informative, Explanatory, and Descriptive Prompts – A collection of free prompts, also see additional posts on the blog for free narrative and opinion prompts.
Literary Terms Word List – A useful list of terms for language arts teachers
Solving Analogies – A poster that you can download for free that spells out for kids just how to solve analogies
Prefixes, Suffixes, and Roots – A simple chart, reminds students which is which and provides examples
Context Clues Chart – Steps for using context clues to determine the meaning of unknown words
More Middle Grade Blogs
Middle School Blog Log – Links to lots of great middle grade blogs helpfully organized by subject area
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