The start of a new school year or new semester is the perfect time to establish new classroom learning routines! Whether it be a bell-ringer routine for the middle school ELA or high school English classroom or a new vocabulary program you are looking to implement for the entire school year, students thrive with steady routines.
Here is a look at three classroom routines you’ll want to implement in your secondary ELA classroom this year.
1. Daily Vocabulary Practice
Students acquire vocabulary best with routine and consistency. Long gone are the days of super long vocabulary lists that students have to master on their own. Instead, a much more practical approach to teaching vocabulary is to focus on a small list each week and spend a quick amount of time each day on those words.
Both my Academic Vocabulary and my Latin Root Word Vocabulary units include both the print and digital versions of the materials. These vocabulary units are ideal for the secondary ELA classroom, and they implement a daily approach to incorporating vocabulary instruction into the classroom. If you can spare just 5-10 minutes a day, these vocabulary units will be your new favorite classroom routines.
2. Sentence Combining Practice to Build Strong Writers
One of the best ways to help students become stronger writers is to practice writing in the classroom each and every single day. That is where my Sentence Combining Bell-Ringers come into play. This bell-ringer unit includes enough sentence combining practice for the entire school year.
Once students learn about how to combine sentences, they will work on a quick, daily practice as they combine a series of short, simple sentences into compound and complex sentences. Each time they complete the sentence combining, students will be actively thinking about writing and syntax.
What’s really fun about sentence combining is that I also have holiday-themed packs available for Halloween and Valentine’s Day!
3. Daily Writing Responses
If sentence combining isn’t quite your jam, or if you’d like to incorporate some writing responses into your secondary ELA classroom routine, many of my bell ringers ask students to read a quote, think about it, and respond to the prompt. I have many writing response bell ringers to choose from including Growth Mindset Bell Ringers, Leadership Bell Ringers, and Classroom Community Bell Ringers.
When I include these in my classroom, I provide my students with about five minutes to write their responses, and then we spend another five minutes in class sharing our responses with one another.
I hope these year-long secondary ELA academic routines help you add some consistency to your classroom.