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ELA Blog - English Language Arts Resources for the Classroom

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Vocabulary

7 Fun Professional Development Ideas for Teachers

During summer break, teachers should take advantage of their slower schedules to complete professional development hours.  In this article, we'll...

Vocab Gal

Grammar

10 Summer Learning Activities That Will Keep Students Writing [Free Printables]

While summer is filled with outdoor activities that often keep young people active, it should also include summer learning activities that keep...

Tiffany Rehbein

Literacy

Memorial Day Worksheets for the K–5 Classroom

The week before Memorial Day, I always spend some time discussing this symbolic holiday with my students. My mini Memorial Day lesson is simple and yet...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Printable End of Year Activities for Elementary Students!

As the school year comes to a close, it is important to honor our students' hard work and accomplishments. Here are a few of the end of year activities...

Erin Lynch

Grammar

A Fun Proofreading Activity for Students in Grades 3–5

We all have had those moments. We have just hit the Send button on our email, and we see that one word. That one that is misspelled. That one that...

Tiffany Rehbein

Grammar

Diary of Anne Frank Activities That Will Strengthen Descriptive Writing, Grades 3–8

“When I write I can shake off all my cares. My sorrow disappears, my spirits are revived!” Anne Frank wrote those words in her work: The Diary of a...

Tiffany Rehbein

Grammar

4 FREE Shakespeare Activities for High School Students

Every year during second semester, tenth grade teachers at my school begin to teach William Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Julius Caesar. Recently, a...

Tiffany Rehbein

Literacy

Writing a Short Story Lesson Plan for Elementary Students –National Tell A Story Day

National Tell a Story Day is celebrated on April 27th. This is a day for people to get together to tell all kinds of different stories. These stories...

Erin Lynch

Grammar

3 Printable Earth Day Writing Activities, Grades 1–12

April 22 is Earth Day, and this provides teachers with an opportunity to encourage students to get involved in persevering their own communities! With...

Tiffany Rehbein

Grammar

Baseball Parts of Speech Grammar Game, Grades 2–12

The use of sports in the classroom is a great way to engage young people in learning! One of my favorite days of the year is baseball’s Opening Day. I...

Tiffany Rehbein

Vocabulary

April Poetry Month – Fun Poetry Activities & Resources for Teachers

These fun poetry activities will make it easy to celebrate April’s National Poetry Month in your classroom. All month, students and teachers across the...

Vocab Gal

Grammar

5 Fun Grammar Worksheets to Use This Spring!

Spring brings with it both pleasant weather and the interesting dynamic of nearing the end of the school year – which can be exhausting – as well as...

Tiffany Rehbein

Literacy

Note-Taking Strategies for Elementary Students— Texts and Multimedia Formats

Teaching students how to take notes is extremely important, and it needs to be taught across all grades. Most students do not know how to take...

Erin Lynch

Grammar

Celebrity Tweets Worksheet for Revising and Editing Practice, Grades 7–12

Social media has become a powerful tool for teaching and learning. Wouldn’t it be fun to edit spelling, grammar, and punctuation in a relevant and...

Tiffany Rehbein

Literacy

Leprechaun Activities to Improve Students' Writing, Grades 1–5

Over the years I have created and acquired many St. Patrick's Day lessons and activities. Today I am sharing some of my favorite leprechaun activities...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Women's History Month Research Activity, Grades 3–8

Every March, I make it a point to celebrate Women's History Month with my students. Instead of assigning a typical biography report, I make it a point...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Classroom Debate Lesson Plan Inspired by March Madness, Grades 5+

Debates are a fun activity that demand students use a variety of literacy skills. Today I'm sharing a classroom debate lesson plan that is inspired by...

Erin Lynch

Grammar

Informative/Explanatory Writing in the Classroom, Grades 3–12

Lets explore the importance of teaching informative/explanatory writing in the classroom. Students need to have the ability to clearly convey concepts...

Tiffany Rehbein

Grammar

Teaching Grammar Creatively; Seven Worksheets To Get You Started

It can be a struggle to keep students interested in learning about the more technical side of language. One way that teachers can enhance grammar...

Tiffany Rehbein

Literacy

Super Bowl Commercials! Persuasive Writing Lesson for Grades 5+

The day after the Super Bowl, many of my students are tired from staying up to watch the big game, so I try to make my lessons for that day to be as...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Free Printable New Year Activities for Students, Grades 1–5

The beginning of a New Year is a great time for reflecting and goal setting. Taking time to “reflect” on their experiences of the previous year gives...

Erin Lynch

Grammar

4 Tips to Successfully Begin a New Semester After Winter Break

Resolutions abound in the new year, and the beginning of a new semester can represent a clean slate, as well. A new year naturally lends itself to...

Tiffany Rehbein

Literacy

Fun Winter Holiday Writing Activities Elementary Students Will Love

 Two of my favorite books to read in December are The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg and The Gingerbread Man by Jim Aylesworth. I love to use...

Erin Lynch

Grammar

3 Easy Ways to Support Grammar Instruction School-wide

Recently, I had a hallway conversation with colleague who asked me, "Does grammar even matter anymore?" My initial reaction was, "Of course, grammar...

Tiffany Rehbein

Grammar

Using Classroom Centers for Writing in the Middle- and Upper-Level Classroom

This school year, I did something different in my tenth grade classroom. Rather than repetitively stating classroom routines and procedures during the...

Tiffany Rehbein

Vocabulary

Fall-Inspired Haiku Poetry Worksheet

When the weather starts to turn chilly, I want to grab a mug of hot apple cider and go on a hayride. I also want to play in the leaves. While I do not...

Vocab Gal

Grammar

29 Printable Grammar Worksheets That Will Improve Students' Writing

Teachers, literacy coaches, principals, and administrators all want to improve the writing of students. The ability to write effectively and...

Tiffany Rehbein

Grammar

The Power of Journal Writing in the Classroom

Last year, a student spoke to me about missing class for one week due to a family trip. What could she do to make up the work? After conferencing with...

Tiffany Rehbein

Literacy

Elements of a Literacy-Rich 21st Century Classroom

Do you want to bring a 21st century classroom design into your classroom? This guide will assist you in setting up a literacy-rich environment in a...

Erin Lynch

Grammar

Back-To-School Writing Prompts [Includes Printable Worksheets]

With today’s technology, there are many ways to get information about your students. There are also many events going on in a young person’s life that...

Tiffany Rehbein

Vocabulary

14 Free Back-to-School Printables for Teachers

Although I have been working all summer long, the inevitable school year start date suddenly looms up before me, scary and overwhelming. To honor...

Vocab Gal

Literacy

First Day of School Icebreakers for the K–5 Classroom

The start of a new school year stirs up many emotions within teachers and students often including excitement, anticipation and nervousness. My number...

Erin Lynch

Grammar

How to Design Lessons for Teaching Story Structure with the CCSS

The organizer of the Boston Marathon designed the course with a starting line, middle course design, and finish line. The craft behind a story can be...

Beverly Ann Chin, Ph.D.

Literacy

A Guide to Getting Feedback from Students and Using It to Improve Your Teaching

The end of the school year and the summer time is a reflective time for me, as I am sure it is for most educators. An important part of my reflection...

Erin Lynch

Grammar

How Professional Development Can Support Writing Communities in Schools

Professional development days are my favorite! How often do school leaders hear teachers in their schools say this? In this blog post, you will learn...

Tiffany Rehbein

Grammar

Writing Thank You Messages to Teachers; A Teacher Appreciation Week Activity

I fondly remember my favorite teachers. How one instilled a love of reading. How another used humor. How another truly cared about me. Today, I love...

Tiffany Rehbein

Literacy

Earth Day Project: Growing Grassy Heads in the Elementary Classroom

Spring is a wonderful time to teach students about plants and what they need to survive. Use the Growing Grassy Heads Activity to explore plants in...

Erin Lynch

Grammar

How to Build a School Writing Community Around Shared Values–A FREE Step-by-Step Guide

In my post "Writing Communities in Schools: School-wide Literacy Action Plans," I wrote that shared value systems must be one of the first elements in...

Tiffany Rehbein

Grammar

Writing Communities in School; Creating a School-wide Literacy Action Plan

In this article, we'll explore the benefits of building a school-wide community of writers and literacy action plan. With the strategies outlined in...

Tiffany Rehbein

Grammar

The "Grammar Fir Tree" Holiday Writing Activity, Grades 3–8

The rich history and fun celebrations of holidays make students extra lively during the month of December. Although this extra energy can be hard to...

Tiffany Rehbein

Grammar

5 Tips That Will Get Students Revising Wordy Sentences

Helping your students learn to write clear, concise sentences using fewer words is an important part of grammar instruction! Wordiness not only...

Tiffany Rehbein

Grammar

Printable Halloween Writing Activity & Grammar Terms Crossword Puzzle

For many of us, the onset of Halloween means an end to the first quarter of school. Students might be finishing up projects or taking those first...

Tiffany Rehbein

Grammar

11 Elementary Grammar Worksheets That Will Improve Students' Writing

Practice is the key to mastering and improving grammar skills! Here are eleven elementary grammar worksheets teachers can use in the classroom to...

Tiffany Rehbein

Literacy

Sticking to a Plan: Planning and Preparing for Literacy and Learning Centers

If you’re like me, I learned how to plan lessons using a day-to-day, period-by-period schedule. Lessons were chunked into 40-50-minute segments on...

Guest Blogger

Grammar

How Sentence Stems Support Middle School Students in their Writing

By the time students are in middle school, if they are writing an argument then they are expected to include words, phrases, and clauses that create...

Tiffany Rehbein

Grammar

Revision Strategies for Students- How to Teach Meaningful Revision

Revision is an integral part of the writing process. It is in this stage of the writing process that students grow as writers, readers, and thinkers.

Beverly Ann Chin, Ph.D.

Literacy

Back-to-School Elementary Activity: Book Jacket & Table of Contents

A fun way for you to get to know your elementary students better and help them get to know each other is by having them create a book jacket cover and...

Erin Lynch

Grammar

Teaching Students the Different Writing Formats; 8 Printables to Get You Started

As you head back to the classroom, download eight resources that will assist you in teaching students the different writing formats! These posters and...

Tiffany Rehbein

Grammar

Student Volunteerism; A Writing Activity With Purpose, Grades 9–12

I teach an elective class, which content purposefully and intentionally prepares low-income or at-risk students for college. High school students are...

Tiffany Rehbein

Literacy

Beyond the Foundational Four: Additional Content-Focused Centers for Mathematics and Science

As previously discussed, the four foundational centers (Teacher Led Center, Vocabulary, Reading Together and Writer’s Craft) are appropriate for any...

Guest Blogger

Grammar

4 Classroom Icebreakers to Kick Off the School Year

At the beginning of the school year, teachers have the responsibility to establish classroom routines, get to know students’ names, and immediately put...

Tiffany Rehbein

Literacy

Classroom Library Organization Tips for K–5 Teachers

Last year I wrote a blog post about creating a classroom environment where students can be immersed in literacy experiences. One of the elements I...

Erin Lynch

Grammar

Recharge and Refresh: 5 Ways Teachers Can Stay Motivated

July is the month that marks the middle of summer for many teachers. Last month school had just ended and next month school will begin again. Before...

Tiffany Rehbein

Vocabulary

Summer PD: Best Practices for Teaching Grammar & Writing in Elementary

Summertime is a great time for teachers and principals to participate in professional development. Today I'm sharing an eBook teachers can download and...

Vocab Gal

Literacy

Beyond the Foundational Four: Additional Content-Focused Centers for English Language Arts and Social Studies

As previously discussed, the four foundational centers (Teacher Led Center, Vocabulary, Reading Together and Writer’s Craft) are appropriate for any...

Guest Blogger

Grammar

8 eBooks That Will Improve Your Writing & Grammar Instruction

Summer break is a great time for teachers and principals to participate in professional development. Today I'm sharing eight eBooks teachers can...

Tiffany Rehbein

Literacy

The Four Foundational Centers: Teacher Led, Vocabulary, Read Together & Writer’s Craft

In the previous blog, “Learning and Literacy Centers: An Effective Instructional Model for Meeting the Needs of All Students”, we examined why this...

Guest Blogger

Grammar

Crafting Clever Sentences; Organizers for Phrases and Clauses Practice

Making grammar exciting for students is rewarding and challenging at the same time. Whenever the opportunity arises, I like to add tangible and...

Tiffany Rehbein

Grammar

Setting Up Classroom Writing Centers in the Upper Grade Levels

Last year, I hosted a lab classroom where teachers observed my classroom through the lens of questions they had in their own practice. Teachers visited...

Tiffany Rehbein

Grammar

4 Interactive Writing Activities That Can Serve As Relief From Testing

High stakes assessments are coming to an end. This time period provides the perfect opportunity to introduce a few interactive writing activities in...

Tiffany Rehbein

Grammar

Activities for Parallel Structure Practice, Grades 6–12

Poetry is one my favorite genres. Not only is the language beautiful and engaging, but also the rhythm and patterns create a melody that makes reading...

Tiffany Rehbein

Literacy

Hold a Student Showcase to Celebrate Their Writing, Grades K–8

After spending a school year working passionately on developing your students' writing skills, there is no better way to show off their writing talents...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Learning and Literacy Centers: An Effective Instructional Model for Meeting the Needs of All Students

Today I'm excited to have Dr. Katherine McKnight sharing her expertise on implementing Literacy Centers into classroom instruction. Give my guest...

Guest Blogger

Grammar

Strategies for Engaging Middle School Students in Writing and Grammar Instruction

The end of the year is looming, and with it comes the urgency to make grammar lessons for middle school students more engaging. Before school ends,...

Beverly Ann Chin, Ph.D.

Grammar

4 Poetry Month Activities for the Classroom

Poetry is my favorite genre. Whether it’s to read it, write it, or share it, poetry has a special role in many peoples’ lives. Poems often have a...

Tiffany Rehbein

Grammar

ACT Test-Taking Strategies: Tips for Taking the ACT Writing Test

Newness is often a theme that accompanies springtime. Since last September, ACT has been working on changes to its writing prompts. This spring, the...

Tiffany Rehbein

Grammar

Teaching Students the Elements of Writing to Entertain

There are many reasons to get to together with family and friends throughout the year. Whether you like to host people at your home or you like to...

Tiffany Rehbein

Grammar

Teaching Argumentative Writing in the Classroom, Grades 9–12

Teaching both tenth and twelfth grade presents its rewards and challenges. It is rewarding because I get to see so much growth and maturity in twelfth...

Tiffany Rehbein

Literacy

Chinese New Year Activities for Elementary Students

According to the Chinese zodiac calendar, 2016 is the Year of the Monkey. The Lunar New Year falls on February 8th. If you follow my blog, you know...

Erin Lynch

Grammar

Teaching Narrative Writing in the Classroom [Printable Poster Included]

Students love stories. Whether they are telling a story or they are listening to a story, students become engaged with the plot line and interested in...

Tiffany Rehbein

Grammar

How To Motivate Students To Write (And Love It!)

It’s that time of year when the weeks are long, the days are colder (especially if you live where I live), and the students are in their school...

Tiffany Rehbein

Grammar

"The Perfect Meal" Short Essay Writing Activity, Grades 2–6

Besides dedicated instructional time to learn the skills and strategies necessary to become effective writers, students need time to practice what they...

Tiffany Rehbein

Grammar

Dr. Beverly Ann Chin: Advocacy, Leadership, and Mentoring in English Language Arts

Leadership and mentoring, collaboration among different groups, and lessons of advocacy, are just three important topics that were covered in a...

Beverly Ann Chin, Ph.D.

Vocabulary

Persuasive Letter Writing Exercises for Grades 2–12

I can’t wait to present at NCTE 2015 so many educational rockstars including writing goddess Dr. Beverly Chin, grammar guru, Tiffany Rehbein, English...

Vocab Gal

Vocabulary

5 Tips for Parent-Teacher Conferences

If there's one part of the school year that can give teachers bouts of anxiety– it's parent-teacher conference time. These tips for parent-teacher...

Vocab Gal

Grammar

Teaching Students The Many Purposes of Writing

I love sticky notes. If you were to look at my desk or at my planner or at my laptop lid, you would see sticky notes filled with information. A...

Tiffany Rehbein

Grammar

Ideas To Get Students Writing In The Classroom Every Day

One of the most efficient ways to improve student writing is to write daily. To ensure writing occurs daily in my classroom I've implemented quickwrite...

Tiffany Rehbein

Grammar

Back-To-School Writing Assessment Ideas

The first week of school is a great time for students to give you some key information about themselves. On the first day, do something to make your...

Tiffany Rehbein

Literacy

Open House Presentation On Balanced Literacy, Grades K–5

The start of the school year means 'Open House' is right around the corner. For me, that 45 minute time period always flew by as I tried to summarize...

Erin Lynch

Vocabulary

Student of the Week Vocabulary Activity for Grades 1–12

In the small town where I teach, the local paper runs a “Teen of the Week” article about a promising senior every Friday. I am often interviewed as to...

Vocab Gal

Grammar

Comma Practice Worksheets and Anchor Chart for the Classroom

Commas are a common punctuation mark that can spice up any writing.Because there are so many different ways to use commas, students have countless...

Tiffany Rehbein

Literacy

3 Supplemental Programs That Support Language Arts Curriculum

As you prepare to head back into the classroom, you may be looking for programs that will suppot your language arts curriculum. Sadlier’s English...

Erin Lynch

Grammar

4 Spring Worksheets To Keep Students Engaged in Grammar and Writing

Spring brings with it both pleasant weather and the interesting dynamic of nearing the end of the school year – which can be exhausting – as well as...

Tiffany Rehbein

Literacy

Wish Upon a Meteor Writing Activity Inspired by Patricia Polacco

I was so excited for my favorite children's author, Patricia Polacco, to come and visit my school ... and she did not disappoint! What an amazing...

Erin Lynch

Grammar

Six Spring Writing Prompts for Students, Grades 6–12

Students love hands-on activities and spring is a great time to get students interacting with a variety of texts using hands-on activities. The spring...

Tiffany Rehbein

Literacy

Art Mouse Project: Combine Art & Writing to Discuss Bullying in the Classroom

Because students work at different speeds, it’s smart to have an activity readily available for those that finish a reading assignment or writing...

Erin Lynch

Grammar

Earth Day Writing Activity, Grades 2–5

Civic education can be taught throughout a student’s time in school. April 22 is Earth Day, and this provides a great time for students to get involved...

Tiffany Rehbein

Grammar

What's In Your Test-Taking Strategies Toolkit? 5 Printables to Help Students Ace Assessments!

The papers are passed out, pencils are sharpened and fresh test booklets are positioned on students’ desks. It’s that time again: spring testing...

Tiffany Rehbein

Grammar

Dr. Beverly Ann Chin: Developing and Improving Students’ Written Language Proficiency

All English language arts educators are concerned about developing and improving students’ written language proficiencies. Wherever I travel in the...

Beverly Ann Chin, Ph.D.

Literacy

Love Is an Open Door Writing Activity to Display, Grades 2–5

With Valentine's Day approaching you may be looking for fun writing activities to incorporate into your literacy block and decorate your classroom in a...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Three Writing Activities to Start the New Year Right: Reflecting and Goal Setting, Grades K–5

The beginning of a new year is a great time for reflecting and goal setting. Taking time to “reflect” on their experiences of the previous year is one...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Cooking the Perfect Turkey Sequence Writing Activity, Grades 1–3

One of my all time favorite Thanksgiving activities to do with my students is a sequence writing lesson entitled, 'Recipe for Cooking the Perfect...

Erin Lynch

Grammar

Grammar Mini Lesson: Parts of a Friendly Letter, Grades 3–5

I use letters in every class in a variety of ways. High school and middle school students can write letters to their teachers, introducing themselves....

Tiffany Rehbein

Grammar

Complex Sentences Grammar Practice, Grades 3–5

I love using previous student work to improve student writing. Sentence combining is the strategy of joining short sentences into longer, more complex...

Tiffany Rehbein

Grammar

Movie Review Grammar & Writing Activity, Grades 6–12

Last month I shared simple ideas to make grammar instruction meaningful and enjoyable. My number one tip in the blog post was keeping grammar exercises...

Tiffany Rehbein

Grammar

Halloween Sticky Sentences Writing Activity, Grades 6–8

I am always looking for grammar exercises that get students out of their seats. I have used the following Halloween activity with ninth-grade students,...

Tiffany Rehbein

Grammar

Halloween-Themed Grammar & Writing Activity, Grades K–5

Halloween is a celebration that invites nostalgia. Seeing the little kids in their costumes reminds me of how things have changed since I was a little...

Tiffany Rehbein

Grammar

Teaching Writing in the Context of Common Core State Standards

The purpose of writing instruction is to help students become competent, confident writers in both school and work settings – and also throughout life....

Beverly Ann Chin, Ph.D.

Vocabulary

The Big Three Comma Rules Grammar & Writing Tip Sheet, Grades 3–12

Commas, commas everywhere. But where should they really be? Comma placement can be confusing for students. This tip sheet explains the top three comma...

Vocab Gal

Grammar

"Who Are You?" Writing Prompt, Grades 6–12

As I have said in a previous post, I love meeting new people. It makes sense that one of my favorite parts of a new school year is getting to know my...

Tiffany Rehbein

Grammar

Grammar Mini Lesson: Words Often Misspelled, Grades 3–5

I remember when spell check first was included in Microsoft’s documents. “What a blessing,” I thought. “Use your resources,” I told my students as they...

Tiffany Rehbein

Grammar

Common Core Grammar & Writing Exercises, Grades 3–12

Teachers are not alone in the time of the CCSS! The Common Core State Standards are a set of educational goals with a synergistic approach. Standards...

Tiffany Rehbein

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