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Showing posts from July, 2013

Idea Development

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Today, I've been working on a set of writing qualities posters. This is the first one. Putting the final pieces together doesn't take that long, nor is it that difficult. Creating the artwork is what takes the most time. I take pride in the fact that I create all of my own artwork or use my own photographs in all of my products. It gives them more of a personal touch. 



Book Lists for Middle Schoolers

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Check out this fantastic list of resources by Pragmatic Mom
Now that I'm going to be teaching 6th grade English Language Arts, I need to start re-thinking my YA novel choices. Most of the books that I've been reading for the last twenty years would be too difficult or too mature for many of the kids that I'll be teaching. I'm going to check out this list and start reading.
As of right now, I'm thinking that I'll begin the year with My Life in Dog Years by Gary Paulsen. It's a nonfiction selection with short, interesting chapters. 
What's on your bookshelf??
Melissa Reese Etheridge


Common Core State Standards for 7th Grade English Language Arts

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Hooray! I just completed my latest product:

Common Core State Standards for  7th Grade English Language Arts
Visit my website for links to all of my products and blogs.
Melissa Reese Etheridge

English Language Arts Anchor Chart Ideas

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Here is a great way of organizing anchor chart ideas.

In middle school, students need to go into more detail when comparing and contrasting. I love the idea of using a visual for this strategy.
One of my favorites that I've come across today. 
Citing evidence is a really big deal under the new CCSS.
Making Connections is always a good strategy.
We're going to be reading more non-fiction.
I like this "exit ticket" idea.
Yes, students need to learn the vocabulary.
A little classroom management goes a long way.
...and one more.
Enjoy your day! 
Melissa Reese Etheridge







New Ideas for Back to School

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Yesterday I completed two products (yea for me!): Grammar Unit Two presentation and Digital Papers. That's a first for me; I don't usually complete and upload two products on the same day, but I seemed to have a burst of energy at the end of the day. I hope the same happens today as I've not been very productive today~or at least not as productive as I wanted to be. 
I'm working on a 7th Grade English Language Arts Common Core State Standards (that's a mouthful) presentation~I'd say I'm almost halfway finished. My plan is to share it with the students on a daily basis so that they can monitor their own learning. 
I created a cool chalkboard template using Corel Paint and PicMonkey that I'm using. After I finish the presentation, I'm going to spruce it up some and add different colors and sell as a blank presentation template. I've realized that if I think something is cool other people probably do also. 
I also found these cool labels on Pinter…

Summertimes Calling Me

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Well, I'm trying to stay busy, but it is so hard sometimes. Sometimes I think that I really would like to be a stay-at-home mom and work from my computer, but I'm not sure that I would stay focused. Summertime should be a time when I could get a gazillion educational and art projects completed, but I can't seem to stay focused or on task. Summertime calls me. I try to have a schedule; I make a to-do list; I have a list of Bright Ideas that I want to get accomplished, but I seem to run out of time before I actually get them finished. I'm not doing horribly, but it does make me wonder if I spend too much time doing meaningless chores. What do you do to stay motivated in the summertime?
Melissa Reese Etheridge

Do You Know Where You're Going To?

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Last summer I began my small business Literacy Speaks Volumes. It began as a blog (the one you're reading now) and a Facebook page. My original idea was to do the research, which I was already doing for my job as a 7th grade English Language Arts teacher, and share ideas with teachers. Why? Because that's the sort of thing that I loved myself. 
As I researched ideas, I came across this site called Teachers pay Teachers that was chock full of free resources and many more resources that were inexpensive. Ta-da...the lightbulb went off! Why couldn't I sell my resources also? I was already creating them for my classroom and sharing them with others. So, my first store was launched.
But it didn't just end there...one blog became three and then of course there was the obligatory Twitter account. Now, I've opened another store on Teachers Notebook and one on Etsy. I also developed a website to go along with this business.
Now after one year, I need to ask myself. Where a…

Crayon Pattern from The Mailbox

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Check out this cool crayon pattern via The Mailbox

Writing Prompt for a Summer Evening

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If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you travel? How would you travel? By boat? Train? Hot air balloon? Who do you wish could go with you? 
Write a 10-sentence paragraph in which you explain where you would go and why. Go into detail about how you would get there and who would go with you.