Sunday, August 30, 2015

ALL Teachers - Need the gift of time? Check out these plans

PLAN IT UP  with these terrific Downloads.

From ELA TpT Teacher/Sellers, and organized by Tracee Orman-Free Back to School English Language Arts Grades 7-12 Sampler

ELA TpT Back to School E-Book
Tracee's Product Description: 
Free: Grades 7-12 English Language Arts Back-to-School Sampler

Welcome back to school, teachers! The teacher-authors of TpT want to wish you the very best as you enter this new school year. We also want to say thanks for supporting our TpT stores.

As a result, 45 secondary ELA teachers have offered their best tips and freebies for your consideration. We hope that you will find inspiration as you read these pages as well as fantastic teaching lessons and materials that you and your students will love.

Please note: Each page of the sampler features one free item and one paid item.

Have a great school year!

Here are the links to the other back to school samplers:

Grades 7-12 Back to School Science Sampler 

Grades 7-12 Back to School Math Sampler 

Grades 7-12 Back to School Social Studies and Foreign Language Sampler

Grades 7-12 Back to School English Language Arts Sampler

Grades 5-6 Back to School Sampler

Grades 3-4 Back to School Sampler

Grades 1-2 Back to School Sampler

Grades PreK-K Back to School Sampler
Total Pages  45 

From -The Best pf Teacher Entrepreneurs Marketing Cooperative, and organized by Victoria Leon(Founder of TBOTEMC) -
 Free Back to School Lessons By The Best of Teacher Entrepreneurs MC - 2015

Back to School grades K-12 e-book
Victoria's Product Description:
Start the new year right with 17 free lessons by members of The Best of Teacher Entrepreneurs Marketing Cooperative: 

* Jelly Bean Math 

* *FREE* Apple Orchard Count the Room

* I Found, Who Found FREEBIE

* Apple Math Journal 

* Insert Your Own Pictures On Monthly Calendar Cards

* FREEBIE! Interactive Calendar for SMART Board PK, K, 1st 

* Traceable Calendar Free 

* FREEBIE! Interactive Back to School Flip-Flap Activity 

* Back to School Ice Breaker 

* Back to School Binder Preview FREEBIE for Grades 2-7 & Sp. Ed. 

* My College Application 

* Math Starters 

* Back to School - Personal Narrative Writing 

* Free Sample School Year Scrapbook Portfolio 

* Back to School Ice Breaker Activity 

* Scientific Method Vocab Anchor Chart/PPT Presentation 

* First Day Writing Assignment 

Total Pages 22

IF YOU ARE NOT ABLE TO OPEN THIS FILE or you have any questions, feel free to email me at

Wishing you the best during the new school year,
Victoria Leon

Looking for more?  Check out my store
175 Products English Literature, Novels, Vocabulary, Grammar, Writing, Bulletin Boards, Teacher Resources and Journalism.

"Teachers" TpT ad

With all of these fantastic ideas, you will...
Enjoy Teach It Now Days, Every Day.


Monday, August 24, 2015

Make a Home for the Unit Plan-'Neverhome'

Neverhome by Laird Hunt
Image from Amazon

From the first page of Neverhome by Laird Hunt, I was mesmerized. Was my absorption due to
~the first line, “I was strong and he was not, so it was me went to war to defend the republic”? 
~ the knowledge that women masqueraded as men to fight in the Civil War?
~ Laird Hunt’s ability to spin mere words into vivid and emotional word pictures, such as, “…but there had been a bite of sorrows in that empty place made me glad to think we had found another spot and weren’t going to return,” (21)? As an avid reader, I give three solid, “Yes” votes to these questions.

As a teacher, I appreciate the societal/cultural links, as well as the reasons why this 243-page novel provides a rich cross-curriculum unit of study that secondary school English and Social Studies teachers may share.

Societal/ Cultural Links
~ Constance Thompson, AKA Ash Thompson, is a woman who succeeds in a man’s world, though she has to disguise herself as a man to do so.  The two recent graduates of Ranger School, First Lieutenant Shaye Haver, and Captain Kristen Griest also excelled in a – previously -men’s only domain.
~ Some reasons for the Civil War, from both Northern and Southern Points of View are presented.
~ The interpretation of historical persons, places and things as well as their symbolic meanings is timely.

Cross Curriculum Ideas
~English teachers can share elements of literature activities such as Character, Plot/Conflict and Theme with social studies teachers.
~ Social Studies teachers may share activities that deepen students understanding of the people and places of the Civil War, especially those that are shown- with literary license- in this novel.
~ English and Social Studies teachers could “guest teach” in each other’s classes.

What does this 103-page Unit Plan: Neverhome  offer teachers?
Here is a shortened version of the Table of Contents:
Objectives and Teacher Notes
A Unit Activity Plan (specifies the Common Core Anchor Standards and 
Bloom’s Taxonomy verbs for each activity)
Pre-Reading – What Do I Know?  How Do I Know It?                                                      
Research, Debates, Historical Footnotes

Research Project
Debate Project
Historical Footnotes
Vocabulary Activity
Section Analysis Activity (3-pages; one set is designated for every reading division section
that I created- three each for the author’s book divisions that he names, One, Two and Three.)
Group Activity –Ash’s Journey 1862-1864    
Character Activities (6)
Plot/Conflict Activities (5)
Setting Activity - Setting Up Ash(1)

Pre-Reading, Reading Study Guide,Vocabulary, Map Activity
Character, Plot/Conflict, Setting

Symbols, Theme, Tone, Figurative Language

Symbols Activities (2)
Theme Activities (2)
Tone Activity (1)                                                                                            
Figurative Language Activity

Speaking and Listening, Writing, Quiz and test, Answer Keys                 

Points to Ponder/Discussion Topics (10)
Essay Topics (8)
Project Topics (9)
Assessments/Division Quiz
Assessments Unit Test
Answer Keys: Historical Footnotes, Vocabulary, Neverhome Unit Test

This product, Unit Plan - Neverhome,  provides a plethora of teacher notes, activities and assessments that enable students to ~deepen their reading comprehension and their understanding of the Civil War and its impact on contemporary society.
~grasp the fact that what happens in the past always impacts the future
~ strengthen their writing depth and their higher level thinking skills, and, to
~ create lifelong readers and learners.

Enjoy a Teach it Now Day, Every Day

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Sunday, August 2, 2015

First Day Tried & True Linky Party

Ahhhh! As these lazy, hazy days of summer wrap most of the country in humidity,teachers are enjoying a few days to a few weeks of sleeping in, basking in the luxury of traveling to the tick tock of their own clocks, and catching up with months of saved TV shows.

The first teaching-related stress/frustration dream has yet to invade their restful sleep with images of Joey who can't sit still, of Zelda who can't stay quiet and of George who won't wake up. 

That perennial,"What will I teach the FIRST DAY?" question has yet to fuel the first of many Decision Conflicts that will crop up before students strut, shuffle or slink into the classroom. 

And after weeks of flip flops sandals, shorts and tee-shirts, the annual end-of-summer closet Search, Sort, Purge and Shop has yet to happen.

But, as surely as each and every mattress store in the country will hold continual sales, as surely as a good donut will never be local, and as surely as Downton Abbey will fade to black after the last episode of Season 6  in 2016, school bells will ring and teachers must have their alarms set, their lessons finalized and their clothes ready.

Here are 6 Tried and True Tips  to ensure a smooth transition to the 2015-2016 school year

1. As you fill your carts with pens, pencils,  paper (lined, unlined, construction etc.) and push pins, remember to toss in some presents for yourself: Kleenex, paper towels, spray cleanser and hand sanitizer. You will be glad you did about a week into the year when two-thirds of your students are suffering from the Back to School Germfest caused by too many breathing bodies in an enclosed space and the back of your nose is teasing you with its pre-cold tickle.

2. Create detailed plans for the first month- yes, the first month before the Starting Bell.  Why?
Because PLC, department and faculty meetings will consume a good deal of your contract hours.

Because Back to School night information and edicts will start filling your email and snail mail boxes before Labor Day (some BTS nights start as early as the second week of school). These will sap your planning energy with thoughts of how to prepare a welcoming and engaging presentation.

Because your students will demand your full time and attention, which is what teaching is all about in the first place, as they adjust to the new term, and because administrators will want to see how you plan to ensure each one’s proficiency.

3. Ladies- no matter how incredibly chic those new gray Zigi Soho Tasmin Peep Toe Pumps are, or how sophisticated they look with your new dove-gray pencil skirt and purple silk blouse- DO NOT WEAR THEM! Your feet will hate you until December.

4. Gentlemen-do not don your Cool Story Bro tee-shirts until your students and colleagues get your droll sense of humor.

5. Be firm but fair. If you want your charges to join you on the Learning Path, it is more important for them to view you as challenging than easy. The former means that you are poking at their minds and teasing their brains to actively respond-verbally or in writing. The latter might be construed as “I don’t care” when you want it to be interpreted as academically open-ended.

Remember no conflict exists with happily ever after. That’s why Julian Fellows had Matthew die at the end of Season 3 in Downton Abbey. Challenge leads to conflict of the positive or negative variety which leads to thinking and doing which ends in learning.

6. Create First Day activities that engage, inspire and energize discussing, thinking, and writing.  Here are two FREE lessons that have walked the walk and talked the talk of those criteria.

First Day Writing Activity - Four Corners ~ FREE 
First Day Writing Activity - Four Corners 
Students love to offer their opinions on just about any topic, to move around and to debate pros and cons with their peers. Getting them on their feet where they can share their thoughts on a variety of contemporary topics is crucial in creating an atmosphere that promotes evaluating ideas and supporting their own assertions with valid points. The Four Corners Activity covers all of those bases.

First Day Writing Assignment-Revised ~ FREE
First Day Writing Assignment-Revised 
This activity offers teachers a baseline of each student’s writing skills. After analyzing each piece of writing, teachers will have the basic foundation for their year’s writing program.  The ideas are student-friendly, and offer a smooth transition from summer to the classroom because it  awakens students thinking, analyzing and writing skills.

For all of you who will be leading classrooms this year, revel in these last few days/weeks of your time- your way.

And when those school bells ring...
Enjoy a Teach It Now Day, Every Day.

Thank you to Chrissie Rissmiller  and
Sarah Tighe for organizing this Linky Party.

Undercover ClassroomEducation Electrification

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Check out this Back to School Round-Up of the TpT Sale, Linky Parties, and Newsletters

August has arrived! That means Back to School bells will soon be tolling for you. Teachers, to ease your classroom return, the next few weeks will be filled with an abundance of personal teaching tips, lesson ideas and suggestions for you to organize your classrooms

Back to School Blog Linky parties, newsletter posts and a secondary teacher collaborative  e-book offer many go-to opportunities for your to enjoy, and which will ease the time you spend planning for the 2015-2016 school year.

Your wallets will love Teachers Pay Teachers Love Back to School  Sale on Monday August 3rd-Tuesday August 4th.  Be sure to use 
CODE BTS15 when you check out.

Up in the morning & Off to School-

Top Secondary Teachers TpT Sale Link-Up

TpT Sale Top Secondary Teachers August 2015

We love back to school time here in secondary! Join us to celebrate with the TpT Sale, August 3rd - 4th and get those lessons you need for up to 28% off! Check out the top secondary teachers below for some great deals on top lessons!

A Space to Create

The Classroom Sparrow

Room 213

Darlene Anne’s ELA Buffet

Danielle Knight (Study All Knight)

Michele Luck's Social Studies

Teaching FSL

Juggling ELA

Making It Teacher

James Whitaker's SophistThoughts

Created by MrHughes

Leah Cleary

Addie Williams


The Creative Classroom

Mrs. Brosseau's Binder

Pamela Kranz

Getting Nerdy with Mel and Gerdy

ELA Everyday

The Creative Classroom

Kesler Science

Live Love Math

To the Square Inch- Kate Bing Coners

The Classroom Sparrow

Liz's Lessons

For the Love of Teaching Math

ELA Everyday

Chopsticks to Mason Jars


Charlene Tess
Amy Brown

My  TpT Sale Poster
In my store, all of my paid items are discounted 20%. That incentive, plus the TpT discount,gives you a total of 28% off!

Teachers pay Teachers Back To School 2015 Sale

Also, you will treat yourself to the gift of less planning time with all of your new lessons and activities.


Be sure to check out the following:

The First Day Tried and True Linky Party goes LIVE on AUGUST 2nd at 8:00 A.M. Easter Daylight Time. In it, 47 elementary and secondary teacher/bloggers share classroom teaching tips and First Day Activities that hook students into reading, thinking and writing. I'll post my blog link here tomorrow, after the Linky Party begins.

First Day Tried and True Linky Party

organized by
Chrissie Rissmiller  
Undercover Classroom
Sarah Tighe

Education Electrification

Weekly, Marjan Glavic publishes his awesome newsletter, The Busy Educator.  It is chock full of articles for teachers on all levels to read, and terrific teaching tips, lessons and activities from a variety of sources, including many teachers.

Here is the link to his newsletter All you have to do to subscribe is type in your email address in the space provide.

The Busy Educator

Also, on August 2nd,  check out  the August Edition of this awesome newsletter

C.L.A.S.S. Resources for Teachers

As their header explains, this is a "Collaborative Language Arts and Social Studies resources for Secondary Teachers. Articles providing creative teaching ideas for ELA and Social Studies secondary classrooms. To subscribe, go to

This newsletter was founded and is published by two teachers
History Editor~ Andrea Annas and, ELA Editor~ Dr. Heather Barkley.  
They accept submissions from any secondary social studies and ELA teachers.

Check out their TpT Stores:
History Gal                                              ELA Resources from Dr Barkley

Keep coming back- I'll be adding to this post as other opportunities to ease your Back to School entry arise.  with this opportunities, you can rest assured that for the 2015-2016 school year, you will be sure to...

Enjoy a Teach It Now Day, Every Day.