Juggling ELA Goes Back To School

I have some new followers on this blog so I thought I'd give you guys a little bit of a background. My name is Tammy and I have 15 years of teaching experience. I have taught both middle school and high school in NYC. I have taught a variety of grade levels and various levels within each grade. For a few years I taught a speech elective (public speaking) and for about five years I taught a creative writing elective. Unfortunately the powers that be decided to do away with those electives to have more Regents prep classes (NY state exam). Most of my experience is on the high school level. I taught AP literature one year and I'm hoping to get that class again this year. This upcoming year will be my 3rd year as an adviser for an after school cooking program. I love to cook and I can basically make anything if I set my mind to it.

I love to read. That's part of the reason why I became an ELA teacher. I'll give anything a chance but I really enjoy reading horror novels. I have a hard time picking one book and saying that it's my favorite. I will say that my favorite author is Stephen King. I like most of his books. One of my favorite books to teach is Hamlet because even though it was written roughly 400 years ago I still think that kids today can relate to it. I try to put my students in Hamlet's shoes. I ask them if they've ever been mad at their parents (come on who hasn't?). Even though I teach in an urban setting I teach Shakespeare in a way that makes the kids think that this could be them. It takes a lot of time to teach Hamlet because we read it in class and for many of my students it's their first exposure to Shakespeare. I don't think that a student should graduate high school without having read at least one Shakespearean play.
The beginning of the year is always tough for teachers and students alike. If you've been in your school for a few years you might get some repeat students or siblings of students you've had in the past. I have a hard time with names in the beginning of the school year so I like to play a lot of ice breakers the first week or so. I have two FREE (who doesn't love free stuff?) products in my TpT store that are perfect for the first week of school. The first is Introduction of a Friend Mini Speech which can be used in a regular ELA classroom or in a public speaking class. I also have The First Week of School-Forms/Handouts which includes my classroom contract, a reading and writing survey and a getting to know you activity. Both of this items are forever freebies in my TpT store and they will be beneficial to teachers in many different grade levels. I hope everyone has a wonderful start to the school year.

English Teachers on TpT Come Together for American Author, Harper Lee

I've always loved reading. I have had a lifelong love affair with the written word. Whenever I read a new author and I like his/her book I look for other books that they've written. I remember when my 10th grade English teacher gave us the novel To Kill a Mockingbird to read as a class. I immediately fell in the love with the book and I was so disappointed when I found out that Harper Lee only had one novel. I've read it several times over the years and I've taught it once myself. I still think it's a classic and one of the best American novels. I even toyed with the idea of being a lawyer because I loved Atticus Finch so much.

A few months ago I saw an article online about a sequel by Harper Lee and I thought it was online gossip. I looked for more articles and I saw several on reputable sites so I got very excited. I have the book pre-ordered for my Nook and I can't wait to read it.

Several English teachers on TpT have decided to throw a collaborative sale. You can save up to 20% tomorrow 7/14/15 in honor of Harper Lee's new book Go Set a Watchman.

My entire store will be 20% off for one day only. Follow this link to my store: Juggling ELA

For a list of other stores participating in this one day sale please go to this link: Study All Knight's Blog


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