Hey there, educators, administrators, and all-around ELA lovers! I’m Emily, the newest contributing member of the Sadlier ELA Blog crew. I’m so excited to have the opportunity to share ways to support you in being the very best for the students you serve!
Let me tell you a little bit about what will be in my wheelhouse here at Sadlier’s ELA Blog. In my upcoming blog posts, you’ll read all about my favorite English Language Arts resources and instructional ideas for K–8 classrooms. Today I’m going to give you a little sneak preview. You’ll learn a bit more about me and I’ll introduce one of the topics and teaching strategies I’m passionate about.
A Little History
True story—I started out teaching high school seniors, and ended up teaching fourth graders. It was an odd (but amazing) journey! After completing my Masters, I spent a year learning and student teaching in a Grade 12 English Language and Literature class in Cambridge, MA. Having mentally committed myself to a career in high school, I was shocked when the principal asked me to take over for the Grade 8 ELA teacher (who suddenly went into labor over Thanksgiving break). Terrified of middle schoolers, but eager to prove myself, I jumped right in. Thankfully, I’ve never looked back.
After teaching Grade 8 humanities for two years in Boston, I moved back to my home state of Arizona where I taught a “mixed age” class in a small, Title I charter school for four years. It turned out to be one of the most incredible and challenging experiences of my life. What I thought would be a mix of Grade 7 and 8 students turned out to span quite a larger gap: Grade 4 to 8. Here I was, teaching five grade levels with students whose instructional levels ranged from K–10, and with only two years of teaching experience under my belt. Needless to say, differentiation became my life. Despite my initial hesitations (to put it mildly), I learned pretty quickly that a passionate educator who loves what they do can connect with students in any situation and at any grade level.
A Look Ahead at Some of my Favorite ELA Topics
I’m excited to encourage and inspire other teachers by sharing some of my experiences and the knowledge I’ve gained along the way. Look out for more blog posts from me soon! I’ll be diving into my favorite ELA topics, including
Phonics that Works (and is also FUN)!
Developing Word Knowledge In the Early Grade Levels
Building Reading Comprehension Skills and Close Reading Instructional Strategies
Grammar and Writing In Elementary Grades
I have so many topics I’m excited to jump into, but phonics is going to be my first! To put it simply, phonics is the foundation for all other ELA topics.
Phonics that Works (and is also FUN)!
As an ELA teacher with a handful (or a lot of handfuls!) of topics to cover each day, I sometimes feel less than enthusiastic when it comes time to planning my phonics lesson. But after just two days in the renowned Wiley Blevins Phonics Masterclass, I felt a renewed excitement about the importance of strong phonics instruction. You’d better get ready, because I can’t wait to share all of my activities and ideas right here on the Sadlier ELA Blog!
It’s one thing to read a phonics instruction manual, but it’s another thing entirely to learn from the ultimate phonics guru himself. After two days of learning about how to implement a research-based phonics approach that doesn’t leave you scrambling for instructional time, I feel ready and inspired to take a fresh look at how I design and execute phonics lessons in my own classroom.
Since phonics is such a vital skill for students to master if they are to gain proficiency in more advanced concepts, it’s about time we make it research-based, as well as fun. So, in my blog posts this spring, you’ll be hearing all about how to
Design and implement phonics lessons with strong instructional techniques
Plan effective, theory-based phonics assessments
Overcome your phonics pain points by making your lessons fun and manageable
Be on the lookout for more research-based, fun phonics activities, ideas, and downloads in my next blog post! In the meantime (if you’re feeling antsy), grab this free Connected Text–Short u Worksheet for your Grade 1 classroom.
You don’t want to miss out on all the fun, so come back for more soon!