Writing Tools for Back to School Linky Party



Well, it's that time of year for me. I go back to school tomorrow, and I get to meet all my new tweens on Wednesday.  Thank you to Denise of #TeacherMom for hosting this linky party for the last 5 weeks!  

For the last week, we are talking about writing tools.  For the last 15 years, I have worked rigorously on creating tools for my middle schoolers to help them with writing.  As much as we want to think so, most middle school students do not like to write, especially structured essays; therefore, creating exciting and engaging writing lessons, which simplifies the process, is always my first task.  I have turned the parts of an introduction into a silly acronym-Give The Toddler The Cookie (Grabber, Transitional Sentence, TAG, Thesis Statement and Concluding Sentence). The acronym for the body paragraph is TALES-Topic Sentence, Add an example/Claim, Lift a line/Cite a line from the text, Elaborate and Sum it up. I have my students repeat and practice this over and over until it is engrained in their mind, and crazy enough, they can recall it very easily!

Secondly, I created writing maps to help my students "navigate" the rules to writing certain paragraphs.  When laying the rules and expectations out like this, the kids find it so much easier to write, especially the introduction paragraph.




Lastly, we cannot forget practice, practice, rigor, and practice.  The only way I feel my students improve is with practice and peer-editing.  I love when my students peer edit, because not only are they constructively helping their peer, but they are also watching out for errors, grammar, writing techniques and punctation.  

This week I am giving away all three of my writing maps!
  Introduction map, Body Paragraph Map, and Conclusion Map 




Enter the raffle below to win this awesome and productive product!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Thank you so much for checking out my blog! Make sure to check out my other teacher friends!

Kim




TpT Anniversary!





It's my 1 Year TpT Anniversary!  


August 29th marks my 1 year TpT anniversary, and I could not be anymore grateful.  This year, TpT exceeded my expectations two-fold, and I never expected my store to be as successful as it is.  262 followers later, and over 950 sales, I would say that is a great year! I can't wait to see what year two has in store for me!

Thank you so much everyone! I have met some incredible people along this journey, have learned so much about Social Media, and I have had a lot of smiles and late nights.

From August 26th-29th, my bundles and writing tools will be on sale for 20% off!

Here is the top 10 items I have learned over the past year:

10. Make vibrant and colorful product covers.

9. Do not get bummed with a negative feedback.  It's bound to happen.
8. Create a blog-www.englishohmy.blogspot.com
7. Join Facebook and Twitter-the more you are out there, the more people see you. @kim_englishohmy
6. Think outside the box. Be creative.
5. Buyers LOVE bundles.
4. Offer freebies more often than not.
3. Do something fun with your earnings-I am going to Puerto Rico with mine!
2. Sales will come.  Patience is definitely key.
1. Do not let TpT get in the way of your family.  They always come first!

Thanks so much again everyone! Teachers are amazing!

Kim

Language Tools for Building Back to School


Happy Monday Everyone! 

This week we are discussing language tools.  Thank you again to Denise of #TeacherMom for holding this awesome linky party for the third week.

Because I teach middle school English, one of my largest language focuses is building my students' vocabulary.  It drives me up a wall (sorry, I couldn't help the idiom) when my students continuously use the same, cliche, elementary words for description or even just in their vocabulary (good, bad, stuff, thing, etc.); therefore, every two weeks my 7th and 8th grade students receive a new set of vocabulary words.

Where Do I Find my Words?

I always pull my vocabulary words from the piece that we are reading.  Whether it is fiction or non-fiction, there are always sophisticated words that I think are important to add to my students' vocabulary.  Honestly, choosing random words doesn't help the students in the long run.  Finding words that they are currently reading makes the words more applicable.

How Do I Implement These Words?

So, here is the catch for my students.  I only focus on ten words every two weeks, which doesn't seem that bad.  Wellllll...when they are quizzed on these words, they do not receive a word box.  They have to know the spelling, the definition, and how to use to the word in context without anything in front of them.  Yes, this does not happen over night, and that is why we work on these words for two weeks.
During week 1, the students define the words, write sentences, and draw pictures for the words. I use interactive notebooks in my classroom, so I incorporate the vocabulary words interactively. Here is an example:

The students cut the columns out for their notebook, glue them in, and the definitions go on the back, and the sentences go on the actually notebook page.

During week 2, my students are then instructed to incorporate these words into context by creating a short story with 7 of their words.  Here is an example:


At the end of week 2, the students will take the vocabulary quiz.  By now, my students are very familiar with the words, and I hold extra help, so the students are familiar and confident with the words.

I truly am extremely passionate about expanding my students' vocabulary, and I hope you are too!  Therefore, this week I am giving away my first set of Vocabulary Interactive Notebook-10-15 weeks of vocabulary words, quizzes, and other activities!

Enter the RAFFLE below to win this awesome Interactive Vocabulary Notebook Product!


a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thanks everyone!

Kim

Don't forget to hop around to the other blogs!



Classroom Tools for Building Back to School!




Hi Everyone! 

Welcome to week two of Building Back to School! This week we are talking about must-have classroom tools.  Thank you again to #TeacherMom for hosting this Linky Party!

One classroom tool that I must have is my Smart Board.  I use my Smart Board for everything, including keeping attendance, games, and other fun activities.  Yes, I use it for attendance! I have this cute template of bubbles that I put all the students names in, and they have to pop their bubble when they come in the room. This makes it so much easier to take attendance!!!

Another classroom tool that I like to have is the multi-pack of Expo markers that have the really cool colors like hot pink, purple, orange, and other fun colors. I used different colors for my different sections of classes (and they are fun to draw with!).

Another classroom tool that I enjoy is bins!!! Bins, bins, bins! I have bins for work to be turned back, bins to hold work that I handed out, and bins for catch all! Especially being an English teacher and paper rules my world, bins are a necessity! I wish I had pictures to show you!

I am also a little bit of a pen snob.  I have certain pens that I will only grade with, especial the Paper Mate Flair Pens.  These are my absolute favorite, and when I lose one, which is bound to happen, it really is a loss for me! I definitely would say that these are my "go-to" pens by far.


I hope you are having a wonderful start to the school year, and if you haven't started yet, I hope you are preparing! Check out all of these fantastic teachers I linked up with!

***Kim***


An InLinkz Link-up

Back to School Blog Hop!



Thank you for the Owl Teacher for hosting!


Happy Back to School Everyone! 

I can't believe the summer is going so fast, and we are already in August! I know that some of you are already in the throws of teaching, but if you are in the northeast, like myself, we do not start until the beginning of September.

Because I am a planner, and I like to have all my ducks in a row, my first and most important tip for old and new teachers is visit your classroom before you go back to school. I know, I know.  The last thing we want to do is go and see our classroom before we have to, but you will feel so much better when you do. Honestly, I don't remember where I put things before I left, and for me, I like to have my room organized before going back for the first time.  It definitely puts my mind at ease.  

With that, I will also suggest buying all of your back to school supplies now, and not right before school.  So many stores including Walmart, Target and Staples are running killer sales right now, and you can buy all your supplies without putting a huge damper on your wallet.  For example, I need to buy new bins for my interactive notebooks, and right now, Walmart has huge Tupperware bins on sale for $5.00 each! If you go to these stores right before school, well, good luck.  It is a mad rush, and many of the supplies will not be in stock.  My son is going in to first grade, and I bought all of his supplies back in July!

One of my favorite teacher tools for the beginning of the school year is my planner and calendar.  I have to plan, plan, plan! I know some people can just do things day by day, but I need to plan a month a head of time! I write out short notes for myself on the small calendar, and then write out more detailed lessons on the planning pages. Because I use my calendar so much, I created and added it as a product for my fellow teachers.



Another teaching tool that is very handy is my students' contact sheet.  This is one of my first handouts, and my students have to fill this in and hand it back to me.  I create a whole binder of these and break them up class by class. It is an excellent quick reference sheet for you, and anytime you contact the parent/guardian, you have your notes directly in front of you.  I have used this sheet for many years, and I created it for FREE for you.

Please feel free to download it from my store, and please feel free to check out my other products.  Also, I LOVE MY FOLLOWERS! I would greatly appreciate feedback or a follow! Thank you for your support.

GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY!
Enter my giveaway and win my new product, Literary Terms & Figurative Language Flash Cards!







Check out all these other fantastic teachers, and hop around!!!



FLASH FREEBIE!!! Creative Writing! August 4th Only!

FLASH FREEBIE! GO GET IT!
AUGUST 4th ONLY!

Thought I would share my FLASH FREEBIE with you everyone! I am so grateful for all of my customers and followers! Teachers Pay Teachers has exceeded all of my expectations, and I am on the brink of my one year anniversary. 

 I thought I would run a freebie with the Teachers Pay Teachers sale! My entire shop is on sale the rest of today and tomorrow, and everything is 20% off! 
Click my blog button to go right to my store!



 My Creative Writing Flash Freebie is 16 slides of the 50-slide product! I am always looking for really engaging creative writing prompts, and I created a product that fulfills ENGAGEMENT! No more writer's block for your students!
CLICK THE IMAGE BELOW TO GO RIGHT TO THE FLASH FREEBIE!



If you download the product, I would greatly appreciate it if you leave feedback. I hope you follow me too!

Thanks so much!

**KIM**

Teacher Tools for Building Back to School-Monday Linky Party


HOSTED BY:
Hashtag TeacherMom

One of my favorite teacher tools for the beginning of the school year is my planner and calendar.  I have to plan, plan, plan! I know some people can just do things day by day, but I need to plan a month a head of time! I write out short notes for myself on the small calendar, and then write out more detailed lessons on the planning pages. Because I use my calendar so much, I created and added it as a product for my fellow teachers.


CLICK HERE TO GO RIGHT TO THE PRODUCT!

Another teaching tool that is very handy is my students' contact sheet.  This is one of my first handouts, and my students have to fill this in and hand it back to me.  I create a whole binder of these and break them up class by class. It is an excellent quick reference sheet for you, and anytime you contact the parent/guardian, you have your notes directly in front of you.  I have used this sheet for many years, and I created it for FREE for you.



Please feel free to download it from my store, and please feel free to check out my other products.  Also, I LOVE MY FOLLOWERS! Thank you for your support.

I hope you have a wonderful rest of the summer and a great start to the school year!

Here is the blog Monday schedule for the next couple of weeks!

***KIM***

First Day Tried & True Linky Party-Back to School



I know that it's time for many people to go back to school.  Teachers are filling up their classrooms with new supplies and decorating, while the students are buying all their new clothes and school supplies. I just went to Walmart and bought $50 worth of supplies for my son who is going into first grade! The looming question for many teachers (and dreams for me that start in July) is what am I going to do the first week of school? Are you going to jump right in with curriculum? Are you going to incorporate some ice breakers to get to know your students? Create rules? This back to school linky party is to see what teachers are doing for the first day or week of school.

Normally what I do the first couple days of school/week is establish all the basics.  Because my first day of school is on a shorten schedule, I don't get to spend much time with my new students; therefore, in an extremely quick forum, I go over the requirements and needs for the classroom on the first day.  Because I do Interactive Notebooks with my students, I usually create a folder for my students with a few dittos-Requirements and Rules for English (this gets pasted into their Interactive Notebook), Remind101 sheet linked up to my class (Have you used this?!?! Go to www.remind101.com. Parents get reminders on their cell phones!), as well as other odds and ends.

The next day, I will finish up with whatever I didn't get to finish up with from the day prior.  I usually have the students create name tags to go on their desk because I have 130 students' names I have to memorize (ugh). In addition, I create an anchor chart of all the questions that middle schoolers love to ask and the answers to these questions.  It drives me bananas when my students ask questions that they know the answer to-Can I use the bathroom? Can you sign my pass? When is extra help?  

Once all of the basics and questions are answered, I like to get to know my students.  I created a fun and engaging activity that is current! Students love to talk about themselves, especially middle school students, so I created a Facebook Getting to Know Me back to school activity. In this activity, student talk about themselves, their likes in music and movies, as we as their hobbies and favorite quotation.

 Facebook Back to School Activity
Click on the picture to go straight to the product!


I hope you have a very successful first week starting school! 

Kim

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