Right now, I'm in that limbo of grading midterms/making quarter two report cards AND trying to get everything ready for next semester (which is tough, since I'm in the middle of overhauling my Outsiders unit, among other things!)
Fortunately, I'm finally at the point in my teaching career where I have some pre-made materials, either from last year or the summer, for the upcoming semester that are saving me TONS of time, and they might be able to do the same for you.
The routines I started in first semester are helping me breathe easier, because now I know that I can launch third quarter vocabulary, affix studies, reading, and poetry without any lapse of classroom management or learning. Plus, I can reuse them every year!
Here are some routines that are the foundation for my semesters of secondary ELA; these are currently used in my middle school classroom but have also been used with high schoolers.
#1: Data-driven, differentiated vocabulary
I'm writing a full blog post on this later so you can see exactly how we use it, but having pre-made Quizlet flashcards, practice logs, and multiple sets of words for differentiation is saving me a lot of time while feeling assured that they are "acquiring" words in more than one way.
#2: Greek & Latin affixes program
A blog post on this is also forthcoming, but in third quarter my students will be learning, reviewing, or moving on to the application level of root sets #9-12 in a differentiated manner, using a combination of my flashcard set and the application/ practice activities.
#3: Poem of the Week
On Poetry Friday, I play a video or audio file of a poem being read aloud, and then we answer questions about it (either written responses or through discussion). This routine is partially because I had a goal this year to NOT wait until April to discuss poetry with students!
If you want to know more about all of my bell-ringers and routines, click here to read more about them (and click here to get a sample of it for free).
In addition to some of these routines, I also like to start a quarter with a shorter activity or project; this helps students get active immediately, puts grades into my book sooner, and buys me time to finish preparing units (or finish knocking out report cards).
Thus, I'm starting off this quarter with some creative approaches to potentially-dry topics: grammar and non-fiction. (Click to read more about grammar poetry and my snow days mini-unit!)
I'll post again later this semester so you can hear more about what we're doing in class, especially once my Outsiders unit is posted! :-)
How are you starting off this semester? Share with me in the comments!