First Days of English Blog Hop + Giveaway!

I have come together with the amazing Ms. F and eleven other secondary ELA teachers to bring you what  we teach in the first few days of ELA instruction. This post is going to be SUPER bittersweet because it will be my LAST post as a secondary English teacher. :( and :)  I will be back in first grade next year, and I am so excited and happy about the transition. But, before I get into that, I want to discuss my first few days of instruction as an ELA teacher.

This past year I was teaching secondary English and ESL to students that were reading at a 3rd-5th grade level.  I know! It is sad and kind of crazy! What happened at school, at home, in their lives so that my students are only reading at an elementary school level?

I was in for an even more rude awakening. I realized that I had 18 year olds in anticipation to teach the most beautiful curriculum from Facing History for the novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, but my students weren't able to read the literature! How could I teach high school ELA?! Well, I took a couple of cues from Ms. Erin Gruwell and decided to get to know my students on a more personal level via writing.

So, as my wonderful students shook my hand, gave me a high five, or waved at me to get into the door, I gave them a "Do it Now" activity right as they walked in.  They were to walk in and write a letter to me and explain who they were.

They had something to do as I got myself adjusted in class, and I also got what I wanted from them.  This letter alone was the best thing I did because my students shared the most amazing things to me. I didn't have to poke and prod.  They told me who they were, where they were from, what they liked/didn't like, their dreams, aspirations, and goals. It felt as if they had been waiting this whole time to be asked to just write about themselves.

The crafty teacher that I am, I also used these as their writing samples. I was able to hone in on their writing strengths and weaknesses as I was reading and jotting down notes. My elementary school training helped me identify those teaching points and create mini-lessons that helped my students become better readers and writers.

If you are interested in getting this lovely printable, you can find it in my Back to School Fun Activities for Secondary from my TPT store.

Now, don't think that you're done with me just yet. Back to school ELA is my favorite because there is so much that can be done! I already explained my number 1 item on list, but the second one might be even more exciting! If you think I only like creating goals for myself, then you are mistaken! I love to bring the idea of goals to my students' attention from day 1! This one is going to be highly loved because it is a FREEBIE! Yes, you read right!

I love writing, but sometimes I like to have my students do something interactive.  This flip book is great for my students because they get to have fun with five of their goals.  Creating and planning for goals is not the easiest thing, but this activity breaks it down for the students.

On each page of the flip book, the students are asked to answer the following questions. What is their goal, how do they plan on achieving their goal, and how long will it take?  My students loved it, and I did too! After those two activities, I was truly able to understand who my students were and how I could reach them! I had my work cut out for me, but MY goal was to get my students' reading level to improve.  :) If you're interested in this FREEBIE then you can snatch it from here!

Now, for the fun stuff:

Enter to win a MEGA BUNDLE of awesome ELA and back to school materials.  Here's what you'll receive:

From Reflecting Mrs. Liana "Back to School Activities and Resources!"

From Brain Leaders and Learners' Ellen Weber "50 MI Task Cards- The Fault in Our Stars !"
From B's Book Love "Comparison of Lamb to Slaughter and Little Red Riding Hood by Roald Dahl!"
From the Creative English Classroom "Greek and Latin Roots Scrapbook with Examples & Definitions" AND ""Editable Bokeh Binder Covers and Spines!
From Brynn at The Literary Maven a $10 shopping spree to her store!
From Jackie at Real Learning in Room 213 her "ELA Poster Bundle!"
From Kim at OCBeachTeacher her " American Voices Through Art:  Reading & Creating Non-Print Text! "
From Kovescence of the Mind her "Parts of Speech- Grammar Units: Identify, Diagram, Review, and Test!"
From The Daring English Teacher a $10 shopping spree in her store!
From Melissa at Making Meaning with Melissa "Sassy Sentences: Sentence Variety Using Mentor Sentences!"
From Lauralee at The Language Arts Classroom " Bell Ringers and Grammar Errors for August"
From me at Ms. Fuller's Teaching Adventures my "Back to School Bundle!"

Making Meaning with Melissa, B's Book Love, Kovescence of the Mind, and I have also teamed up with Ms. F to give away a $25 gift card to Teachers Pay Teachers! Get in on this awesomness! (I know...totally not a word...humor me) #schoolgetsmeexcited

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Go ahead and read other amazing teachers' first lesson adventures!

To a happy, new school year!

Here is the script for blogger blogs for the link up:

Back to School Summer Snapshot Ellison Education

Hey hey everybody! Happy Monday! You probably didn't know, but I have been blogging for Ellison Education for a couple of months now.  I know! So exciting! I love their All Star Die Machine and all of their dies! I feel so blessed to be given the opportunity to do this for them!

Well, today I am blogging over at the Ellison Education Blog . I was able to create an awesome Back to School Bulletin Board activity with their dies, and I wrote out a tutorial on how to accomplish it! Check it out, and don't forget to send your love by commenting!