The second semester is full of promise. By this point in the school year, I know my students. I know their strengths, their weaknesses, and even their quirky little habits. By this point in the school year, I’m in the groove, and I usually have a slightly different tone with each class because I know what works for each different class period. By this point in the year, I am better able to plan my instruction around my students’ needs and also challenge them to blossom into confident academics.
With that said, here’s a look at what I teach during the second semester of school.
By the time the second semester rolls around, I’m ready to hone in on my students’ writing skills. I recently published my Writing about Commentary unit as the first lesson in my Writing Spotlight series. In this unit, I focus on moving students from “This quote shows,” to writing more analytical commentary.
The second semester is also a time for more-in-depth research papers. With this unit, I walk my students step-by-step through the research process. From MLA Format to organizing evidence, this unit includes everything teachers, and students need for a successful research unit.
In public education, spring is synonymous for state testing. As an educator administering state testing in the classroom, I know I feel the pressure to produce high scores. However, I also don’t like traditional test prep. My Test Prep Escape Room Bundle includes three escape rooms specially designed for secondary ELA test prep: Listening Skills (a nonfiction escape room), Nonfiction Reading, and ELA Test Prep Vocabulary.
One of the best ways to help students write essays is to break down the process by paragraph. This comprehensive unit includes student handouts and reference sheets and editable PowerPoint presentations for direct instruction. With this unit, you will review each paragraph with students and also provides them with examples.
Colons and semicolons are tricky for students. This unit includes an editable PowerPoint for direct instruction as well as student materials. Between the doodle notes, assessments, and practice sheets, your students will get the hang of colons and semicolons.
As mentioned above, the second semester is when I work on improving my students’ writing. One way to do that is by focusing on writing in an active voice. This unit will guide your students through the process.
While I like to incorporate poetry into all of my units, I teach my big poetry unit in the second semester during National Poetry Month. This Analyzing Poetry unit includes students resources that utilize sticky notes for optimal engagement and analysis. Plus, the SWIFT acronym helps students understand poetry at a deeper level!
I love assigning controversial issue papers to my students. Not only do they get quite passionate about their subjects, but they learn how to use various appeals and strategies to argue effectively. This unit is part of my SMATRTePlans line of digital Google resources. With SMARTePlans, there is more freedom to adjust resources to your individual classroom needs.
One way to help students focus on the future is by incorporating career research into your curriculum. In this unit, students research potential future careers and take a look at how to get where they want to be.
I require my students to write most of the essays I assign in class in the third person. However, this can be a difficult task for my students. My Writing Spotlight: Writing in Third Person mini unit helps my students see why writing in the third person produces stronger papers, and it also gives them the tools they need.