Collaboration Strategies for Your Classroom.

Collaboration is great, isn’t it?! It brings students together and not only enhances their learning, it builds those critical social skills students are in desperate need of. Here are my 5 favorite strategies I use in my middle school classroom to encourage collaboration. They are step by step, easy to implement, and low prep (because that’s how this teacher rolls!) Click to learn about the strategies and start using them today. Yay!

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Building Relationships: Activities for the First Week of Middle School

You are a great teacher (that's why you're checking out products related to building relationships) and you know how important it is to spend time getting to know WHO your students are before you jump head first into content. 

This post will give you some ideas you can use to start building relationships the very first week. Click to read more and start planning!

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Rigorous Novel Review Idea: Using Geometry to Form Connections

This novel review is a great way to get students thinking about the connections between characters, events, and personalities. The idea of using shapes and randomly selecting characters makes the students think, talk, and analyze the novel in order to come up with their connections. I love hearing the conversations about the characters and events in the novel as I walked around. They even had insights I never would have thought of! Click through to read how to use this easy, almost no prep review in your classroom today!

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Savannah Kepley
6 Tips for Effective Socratic Seminar Management

After years and years of holding seminars in my middle school ELA classroom, I have come up 6 tips you can implement to help you and your students get the most out of a seminar session! I believe these tips help my seminars run effectively in ALL of my classes (yes, even that class that can’t handle hardly anything) Click to see if there are any tips you can add to what you’re already doing!

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Chasing Lincoln's Killer: Teacher Outline and Lesson Plan Ideas

This is your one stop spot for how to teach Chasing Lincoln’s Killer to your students! I have complied everything I have learned from the years of teaching with this novel, so you can save time and have access what works! This post details exactly how I approach each chapter and specifically outlines the strategies I use to engage students and encourage analytical thinking.

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Adding Movement to your Reading Time

Wow. Some days are just a struggle in the middle school ELA classroom. Trying to get 12-14 year olds to focus on reading for an extended amount of time takes some work and energy. After watching my students float off into la la land after 15 minutes of reading, I knew I had to come up with a way to keep them engaged during extended readings…

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Classroom Organization Forms

I love to think about my beginning teaching days when I did not have systems set into place. How students would be absent, and I wouldn’t even realize it. Then they would come back the next day and bombard me with ‘what did I miss? What did I miss?’ questions. And then there was never any consistent follow through on my part to make sure the assignments were turned in.

Finally, I created some forms to help establish some systems and procedures…

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Making Gallery Walks Meaningful

I don’t know why today was they day, but it was. I mean, I’ve done it this way for years. But, for some reason, today was the day that where it became glaringly obvious: the way I was doing gallery walks to showcase student work was not meaningful or engaging. This is how I fixed the problem between class periods and instantly increased student engagement.

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Intentional Thinking & Collaboration

Do you have students in your class that seem to get overshadowed? That struggle to get their thoughts out as fast as some of your other students. I saw this happening when I was asking questions, and knew something had to change. This is how I got my quieter students and those who need a little bit longer processing time involved…

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