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Teaching a Sample Lesson? We've Got You Covered!

Sample English Language Arts (ELA) Lesson for a teaching interview! This is a great lesson to use as a part of an observation - includes a detailed figurative language overview, an analysis of a poem, and exist slips! You'll be sure to impress the interview committee :)

There’s nothing quite as nerve-wracking and exciting as being asked to teach a sample lesson as one of the final steps of the interview process! As we’re sure you know, it’s important to put your best foot forward. While this can be intimidating, we’ve tried to make it as easy as possible for you with this sample lesson. In fact, we used this lesson, ourselves, when interviewing for a teaching position (we both were offered the jobs!).

Summer Reading: A New Twist

Looking for a challenging and academic alternative to your usual middle school summer reading program? This post walks you through a fun twist that you can use instead!

This year we decided to switch things up a bit with our summer reading assignment for our incoming students. In the past, we’ve assigned a class novel to read, often with some sort of discussion questions to answer and an essay to write. When the first day of school rolled around, the last thing we wanted to do was grade that pile of mediocre essays. And let’s be honest, the last thing our students wanted to do over summer was write those mediocre essays and read an assigned book!

Last Day of School Activities

End of year activities for your middle school English Language Arts classroom! We've also included a free download for end of year student gifts!

19 days until the end of the school year sounds absolutely insane! We are definitely going to miss this year's bunch of 5th graders, but I'm (Caitlin) excited to be moving back to 8th grade next year :) And that means I'll get to teach this same set of kids again! I've absolutely loved them!

That last day of school is always hectic. There's 2.5 hours (at least for us) to say goodbye, do a fun activity, clean everything up, and who knows what else. But, we try to get all of the clean up done in the few days before the last day of school, so we can spend those last few hours together reminiscing about the year, doing a fun and challenging academic activity, and just spending some good, quality time together. We love these five ideas and hope you and your kiddos do, too!

End of The Year Writing Activity - Your Dream House

An end of the year / spring descriptive writing activity that is fun, challenging, and engaging for your middle school students! Students will create their own dream house - including a detailed real estate flyer and a detailed picture of the interior and exterior of their home!

Since it's the end of the year and the days are speeding by, and the end of the school year is basically upon us, we thought it would be fun to share the most recent descriptive writing project we've been working on with our middle school students. Our kids are absolutely loving this project, which is a win-win because it can definitely be tough to keep them engaged toward the end of the school year! We've outlined our lesson plan for this activity step-by-step below :)

End of Year Unit + A Giveaway


We are definitely in summer countdown mode over here! Only 23 teaching days stand between us and sleeping in :) Flights are booked for small vacations, we're getting ready for the Teachers Pay Teachers conference, new swimsuits are on their way (literally just hit send on an order before writing this!), and our list of beach reads is growing. But before we can get to that tropical location (or even just our backyard with some extra sunlight), we want to end the school year with one final (fun!) ELA activity.

Creating Essential Questions in Three Steps

Teachers, this is a great post that teaches you how to write your own essay question for your students! Perfect for middle school and high school english teachers!
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Utilizing essential questions was a game changer in terms of our teaching style! Once we started implementing them, they gave our students focus and purpose and encouraged them to showcase analysis and evaluation of complex ideas - talk about a win-win.

If essential questions are new to you, basically they are "big idea" questions about recurring themes in a novel or literary piece. These questions encourage students to do the following: