Wordless Wednesday 1/16: Introducing Expectations

Wordless Wednesday is a quick post with just a picture from my classroom, a short explanation, and a question for you, my readers.
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Many schools start new terms in January, which means a new batch of students and teaching expectations. I have three simple expectations in my classroom: be honest, be respectful, and be on time and prepared. On the first day, students describe each of these expectations in the positive and negative forms.


I have students write around my room, which gets them up and moving and breaks up what can be a very boring first day of the term. Some examples are shared below.






How do you introduce expectations?

This post contains affiliate links, and I will be compensated by the company at no cost to you if you purchase through my links. The opinions here are 100% mine!




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Wordless Wednesday 1/9: My New Bulletin Board

Wordless Wednesday is a quick post with just a picture from my classroom, a short explanation, and a question for you, my readers.



This post contains affiliate links, and I will be compensated by the company at no cost to you if you purchase through my links. The opinions here are 100% mine!



The before and after of the one bulletin board in my classroom.  I do, however, have two of those folding walls that I can staple stuff to.  I hang the day 1 get-to-know-you assignment on this one.





Do you have any creative bulletin board ideas?





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Wordless Wednesday 1/2: Managing Cell Phones

Wordless Wednesday is a quick post with just a picture from my classroom, a short explanation, and a question for you, my readers.



This post contains affiliate links, and I will be compensated by the company at no cost to you if you purchase through my links. The opinions here are 100% mine!



A power tower for the classroom.  I bought this small power tower to sit on my student supply station by the door.  Students can charge their devices while class is going on.




How do you manage cell phones?





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Wordless Wednesday 12/26

Wordless Wednesday is a quick post with just a picture from my classroom, a short explanation, and a question for you, my readers.



This post contains affiliate links, and I will be compensated by the company at no cost to you if you purchase through my links. The opinions here are 100% mine!



This is not anything fancy; it is just half a note card taped to my computer hard drive.  These are how I remember the number of students in each class, so I can make or order the right number of copies of things.  I can look and still manage to forget by the time I get to the copier at the other side of the building, so I also snap a photo on my phone.




Do you have to have a system for remembering class counts?




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Wordless Wednesday 12/19

Wordless Wednesday is a quick post with just a picture from my classroom, a short explanation, and a question for you, my readers.



This post contains affiliate links, and I will be compensated by the company at no cost to you if you purchase through my links. The opinions here are 100% mine!


So, I totally forgot that I had four of these photo keeper boxes full of color, laminated task cards for my English classes.  I am going to be working these into my lesson plans next week.  I bought the task cards from Teachers Pay Teachers HERE.




What old favorite of yours do you want to put back into lesson rotation?





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Wordless Wednesday 12/12

Wordless Wednesday is a quick post with just a picture from my classroom, a short explanation, and a question for you, my readers.



This post contains affiliate links, and I will be compensated by the company at no cost to you if you purchase through my links. The opinions here are 100% mine!



I got this beauty this week.  It connects to my computer, so I can advance my slides from anywhere in my classroom.  I don't know about you, but I hate being tethered to my desk.




What tech tool do you love in your classroom?





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3 Strategies for Improving Grammar in Student Writing: Writing Strategies Book Study

Grammar has always been a writing topic that I hold dear, probably because I had such great grammar teachers in school. Grammar in student writing can be one of the most challenging elements to improve because so much about a students' grammar comes from learning to talk years before they enter our classrooms.


This post contains affiliate links, and I will be compensated by the company at no cost to you if you purchase through my links. 

I am not going to lie to you; I had a moment of sticker shock when I looked at this book because, on a teacher's salary, $36 is a lot to spend on a book.  However, this book is so jammed with great writing tips that it is worth every penny.


I have three strategies for you to try out with your students to improve grammar in their writing. 

 Please let me know how they work out for you in the comments below.
Does it sound like a book?

This strategy for me was a spin on something I already do.  I have my students put their papers in a text-to-speech application and listen to them being read.  

This strategy takes it one step further and asks students:

Do you hear or see anything that is more like everyday speech and not like what you see published in professional texts?

I really think this strategy is great because it works for all levels.
Create Complex Sentences

Even my high school students love to write in long strings of simple sentences, so this strategy was perfect for my classroom.  Jennifer even references a great book that I have read: Jeff Anderson's Mechanically Inclined, so I knew it was a juicy tip.

I usually precede this lesson with a No Red Ink lesson on subordinating conjunctions to help my students gain the language they need to look at their own writing.  A knowledge of dependent and independent clauses is also helpful when using this strategy.

This strategy has students look at combining sentences and adding more details or information at the start or end of a sentence.

Code Drafts

Revision is always a challenge for students, but having students read each other's writing and annotate it like they would a text for reading can be a powerful tool for students to make improvements through the revision process.



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I also have two bonus tools for you as well.

Grammarly is a great online tool for helping students see the grammar in their writing.

Grammarly Writing Support

Teach sentence diagramming to students, so they can visually understand how sentences are put together.  Check out my entire collection of grammar resources, including the freebie below.







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