Feature Friday: Academic Conversation Bundle

Academic Conversation Cover Bundle“Are your students off-topic in class? Get your students talking on-topic with the Academic Conversation bundle. Check it out!

There are so many benefits to having your students spend time in discussion: increased engagement, higher retention, developing multiple points of view, empathy, and forging new relationships. This only works if your students are on-task.

These prompts and response starters are great to keep a conversation going and to make it go deeper. Students will challenge one another, build on ideas, paraphrase, elaborate, support ideas with examples and synthesize conversation. When used with cooperative learning structures, students will share in the conversation in a respectful manner that tames the chatty students while allowing the shy students an opportunity to share in a safe, small group environment.

The bundle includes posters and placements in both 8.5 x 11″” formats, as well as the super-versatile Academic Conversations flipbook that students can hold in their hands or paste in their notebooks.

You’ll use this again and again, every year because it helps students develop socially as well as intellectually. My administration believed in this so much that the principal had these posters professionally printed for every classroom in my 1500 student school! It has really paid off for us and I’m sure it will be a great addition in your classroom as well.”

Mrs. Brosseau's Binder Michelle is a secondary Science and Physics teacher from Ontario, Canada.  She blogs at Mrs. Brosseau’s Binder and shares her materials through her Teachers Pay Teachers Store.
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Feature Friday: Company Project for Real-World, Collaborative Learning

Company Project Long PinThe Company Project is an engaging activity that combines real-world writing and creativity.  Students work together to develop a fictional company, from the company history to the products to the testimonials.  Like any business, students have to figure out what to sell and how to sell it.  Plus, it includes several different types of real-world writing to use along with it– including business letter, complaint letter, response to a complaint letter, envelope, advertising and more.

I originally designed this project to keep my summer school students engaged, and it was so successful they barely noticed the most beautiful days of summer outside our windows!  And they certainly never asked “When will I use this?”

Includes student instruction sheets, grading, and lots of options to fit your classroom needs and time frame.

Note: The Tri-fold boards work really well for this project.  And, if students don’t take them home, some construction paper refreshes them for reuse.
CDickson Profile PicClair Dickson, high school English teacher, likes free eTexts and Project Based Learning to stretch her meager budget. Visit her store High School English on a Shoestring Budget to stretch your budget.
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Back to School eBooks at Teachers Pay Teachers

This post originally appeared at Mrs. Brosseau’s Binder.  Reprinted with permission.

Have you seen the new Back-to-School eBooks from TpT?  You’ve got to check them out! Each one is full of tips for teachers to get off to a good start with your classes.

Even better – every single contributor has made a freebie available to you! That’s a lot of freebies!

Here are the links to the secondary eBooks based on subject:

English Language Arts & Humanities






Social Studies



Mrs. Brosseau's Binder Michelle is a secondary Science and Physics teacher from Ontario, Canada.  She blogs at Mrs. Brosseau’s Binder and shares her materials through her Teachers Pay Teachers Store.
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Missing My Goal

I won’t make my TpT goal this year – and that’s okay.

In January, like a large portion of Americans, I made a goal for myself. A TpT store resolution. At the time I realized that yes, this was a big undertaking. I gave myself all sorts of pep talks, spoke in clichés (go big or go home!), and told my husband I could do it when he politely told me that I was setting myself up for failure.

I marched along, checking numbers off a crumpled note card. Up until May, I was on track! I created/ fixed/ tweaked 8 products per month. Then my kids got out of school, the weather got nice, and I couldn’t sit on the computer all day. (Actually, I just went to TpT as I typed this and looked at the statistics and saw that since May, I have posted 8 products – my goal for each month, not one summer).

Reflecting on the end of my summer, I was bummed. I beat myself up and wondered how I let this happen when I had been doing so well. Like any person with an English degree, I wrote out my feelings, and I thank you very much in advance for reading my top five list of why I am at peace with not meeting my TpT goal for the year.

1. I am not publishing junk. I refuse. Could I have published 8 new products? Probably. I wouldn’t be proud of them though. I prefer not meeting a goal as opposed to meeting it with fluffy products.

2. Meaningful lessons take time. I want to test materials on students. I want to tweak my notes. I want to rearrange my worksheets or add another for further clarification. I don’t want to scrap material that doesn’t work – but I will take the time to do so if it is in the best interest of students.

3. My goal maybe, a bit, was lofty. I know 8 products would be stretching it, but I have so many ideas! Fun ideas! Ideas to help others! Ideas begging to be turned into lessons! Still, 8 products per month while I work and mother three kids? It was a big order.

4. I am taking lots of time for thinking. When I taught full-time, exhaustion followed me. That guy was everywhere.

Now that I work part-time, I am still busy, but I do have those moments where I can think. I can reflect on lessons. I can brainstorm. I can type an idea, scrap it, and come back to it later. My best lessons – the ones that students enjoyed and I treasure – came from lots of thinking. If I don’t meet my goal because I am thinking, well, I’ll miss my goal for that.

5. I spent lots of time with my kids this summer. We went on vacation, rode bikes, visited parks, climbed trees, had picnics, bowled, hosted sleepovers, attended sleepovers, played with cousins, ate too much ice-cream, picked homegrown tomatoes, chased the dog, read for the library’s summer reading program, and stayed up late.

And you know what? I sat at kindergarten registration on Thursday and looked at my middle child, beaming with confidence in her tiny seat in her new kindergarten classroom. I stood in the hall, bouncing my one-year old, realizing that I would be back in this classroom in four short years, placing her in a tiny seat. Later, I looked at my second grader, nonchalantly assessing his new classroom, asking the teacher about science projects for the year.

And I am glad that I did not hold myself to my goal for the year. I love making products, but I cannot envision coming home from a college dorm room in seventeen years and wishing I could trade these summer memories for more products, more money.

Honestly – of course I want more products in my store. I want all the ideas from my head typed – all those half sheets of paper, scribbled in the night made into fruition. I want to save money for that college dorm room!

As I reflect on missing my goal for TpT, I am at peace. I take the teaching profession (which includes TpT) and my parenting job too seriously to goof them up. If that means missing my goal for the year, not getting those products out there, that is what it means.

We teachers work on a different schedule than others. August brings a time of closure, a time of new beginnings. It can also bring a new meaning to the goals we have for ourselves.


LanguageArtsClassroomLauralee Moss, a secondary language arts instructor, has taught for over a decade. She has a B.S. in English Education and a M.A. in Teaching and Leadership; visit her blog for more ideas or store for great products.
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Teachers Pay Teachers Back to School Sale: Product Round Up, Part 2

sale72090Teachers Pay Teachers is having a Back to School Sale August 4-5th!  So, we’ve rounded up some of our best All Year Products.

profile pic2Tara, Science in the Cityexit ticket coversq

Pack of 50 Exit Tickets (Formative Assessment): I have found it very important in my class to have closure, and to have students reflect on what they learned, or wrap up in some way. This package provides a variety of ways to do that on a regular basis. You choose what is best suited to your lesson that day! This pack includes fifty (50) exit tickets. The first 40 of these can be used for most subjects and many grades. The last 10 are best suited to science.

These include drawings, self-assessment, vocabulary, etc.

OC_BEACH_TEACHER_revised_finalKimberly, OC Beach Teacher:OCBeachPairedBundle

Bundle: Paired Passages and Common Core Writing Tasks (14 Texts): Challenge your students to think critically with this bundle including ALL of my popular Paired Passages. These lessons require students to synthesize their reading and identify central ideas across texts. Each lessons guides them through close readings of texts that vary by genre, time period, and author; then the pre, during, and post-reading strategies help them construct connections between the texts. Each lesson culminates in a writing task that imitates the style of the PARCC prototype.


new logo blogJackie,Room 213: research bundle cover

Research Skills Bundle: Now, more than ever, it’s important that our kids learn to research properly. In this cut-and-paste world, they can form some terrible habits. This package of lessons will help you teach your students how to paraphrase and use quotations properly. Then you can review with task cards and leave them with an easy-to-use guidebook.


CDickson Profile PicClair, High School English on a Shoestring Budget:The Raven Tweets Thumb

The Raven Tweets: #Nevermore!  A fun twist on the poem “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe.  Students will translate the poem into Tweets!  Does it change the meaning or mood of the poem?  Includes reflection on how the format affected the poem.  Great fun for the students and relates to their interests.


LanguageArtsClassroomLauralee,The Language Arts Classroom: eighth

Eight Grade Grammar Bundle:The Eighth Grade Grammar Bundle contains practice and assessment for teaching grammar in eighth grade, or for reviewing skills that older grades need.


Mrs. Brosseau's BinderMichelle Brosseau, Mrs. Brosseau’s Binder:spinner

Naming Compounds Spinner- A Fun Chemical Nomenclature Review: This is my favorite! Students can have a tough time learning and remembering how to name chemical compounds. Is it ionic or covalent? Does the metal have multiple ionic charges? You won’t have to answer these questions anymore because the spinner does the work for you! Students answer a few questions and then are given instructions and examples to guide them in naming chemical compounds. BONUS: It looks like Pac-Man!


Sara_store logoSecondary Sara: essay

Essay Writing Mega Bundle: This HUGE bundle of essay writing materials includes 4 full units, 6 separate writing lessons, and 3 additional tools for the writing process: brainstorming, collecting text evidence, and revision. This timesaver is 144 pages (or 7 weeks) of materials for middle school or early high school, especially for any class in need of foundational basics or review.


square logoMrs. E Teaches Math: Ms E. Teaches Math

Geometry Stations Maze Activity Bundle: In a “stations maze”, each station has one multiple-choice question. The answer to each station directs students to the next station they should visit. The students keep track of the order that they visit the stations and I only check the order of the stations.

Stations mazes are great because they get students up and moving around the room. They also encourage students to check their work carefully since an incorrect answer will eventually send them back to a problem they have already solved. Successfully completing the maze requires students to slow down and check their work.


blog buttonTerri Lester, Strawberry Shake: Bees

Life Sciene & ELA Non-Fiction Reading and INB Activities: BEES for CCSS and NGSS: This package includes activities for an interdisciplinary approach to science and ELA that’s all about BEES.

Included you’ll find a selection of FIVE differentiated non-fiction reading passages and creative activities for students.

I use these cross-curricular materials with my 9th and 10th grade students, and select from the differentiated materials for my
Special Ed students. Many of the pages would be even appropriate
for strong middle school students.


And don’t forget to check out the post on Back to School resources!

Teachers Pay Teachers Back to School Sale: Product Round Up, Part 1

sale72090Teachers Pay Teachers is having a Back to School Sale August 4-5th!  So, we’ve rounded up some of our best Back to School Products.

profile pic2Tara, Science in the Cityfirst day activity

Intro/ First Day Activity- Find Someone Who: This is a great first day activity. It is a chance for your students to get to know each other, and you a bit, and you to watch them interact. It is easily adapted to many different grade levels. They have to find someone who has each of the characteristics in the boxes. They have to record the other person’s name in the box. Then (depending on time), they can choose one box to share with the class.

I modify these each year to discuss things that will come up during the year, or are related to class topics, and therefore it gives a platform to talk about what the class is about too.

This document is in a .doc format so that you can modify it to fit your needs in your class.

OC_BEACH_TEACHER_revised_finalKimberly, OC Beach Teacher:BTSHighFive

Back to School Tips, Freebies and Lesson Links:Enjoy this back to school freebie as you “high five” a new school year. I’ve provided ten tips from my successful years of teaching in the secondary English classroom. Additionally, I’ve included several back to school handouts to help you start the year off right. These include a plan book template, student information sheet, and icebreaker activity. You will also find links to helpful lessons from my store.Whether you’re a beginning teacher or an experienced teacher looking for new ideas, I hope that you will benefit from this free product. Good luck on your return to school!


new logo blogJackie, Room 213:Slide1

Research Project: Cell Phones in Class: Cell phones are not going anywhere–but do they belong in your classroom? This product offers a double whammy: you can teach your students research skills while they look at the pros and cons of using their e-devices in class. Then, you will work together to develop a fair terms of use–let them help you create the rules after they have looked at and discussed the issue.


CDickson Profile PicClair, High School English on a Shoestring Budget:Wanted Poster Thumb

Wanted Poster: A fun project for students.  They can be wanted for good or bad reasons (like best artists or worst singer.)  A different sort of “get to know you” project.  Also includes a version that works with a literary character.


LanguageArtsClassroomLauralee,The Language Arts Classroom:fave

‘My Favorite’ Back to School Writing Activity: This is a great Back To School activity where students write about their “favorites.” Students get to choose what they write about, as long as they are writing about their favorite something, such as food, book, restaurant, sport, color, etc. Narrowing the topic to a “favorite” but allowing the students to choose the favorite perfectly balances the need for structure and personalization.

I normally complete a booklet with students to introduce myself and build the classroom spirit.

SPbuttonSpanish Plans:classroommemes

Classroom Memes: Going over boring classroom rules, procedures, and expectations? Insert some humor into your lesson with this hilarious teacher memes! Grab your students attention right away!


Mrs. Brosseau's BinderMichelle Brosseau, Mrs. Brosseau’s Binder:Academic Conversation Cover Bundle

Academic Conversations Bundle: Kids are so shy at the start of the year! Get them talking (on task) with the Academic Conversations bundle. The posters, place-mats and flip-book provide response starters and questioning prompts for your students. They’ll be able to build better relationships and conversation skills from Day One!


Sara_store logoSecondary Sara: bookofthemonth

Book of the Month: Independent Reading for Middle School: This “Book of the Month” system is a great way to immediately start reading routines in your school year; simple logs and charts track progress for you and the students to give some guidance without killing a book from too much work. (I also have a high school version of this product!)


Check back Sunday to see the All Year resources we’ve rounded up!