Sunday, October 16, 2016

Secondary ELA Seasonal Blog Hop: Juggling ELA Shares Her Favorite Scary Story That She Teaches

This is my favorite time of the year. The leaves are changing color, I can wear my comfy sweaters and Halloween is just around the corner. Halloween is my favorite holiday and I like to celebrate it all month long. All of my students know that I have a bit of an obsession with Halloween.

I like to start off with a scary story unit and I end with my students writing their own scary stories. I have taught numerous scary stories over the years but here is a list of some of my favorites.

"The Monkey's Paw" by W.W. Jacobs

"The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson

"A Rose for Emily" by William Faulkner

"The Bad Babysitter" by R.L. Stine

I love to teach basically anything by Edgar Allan Poe, but my absolute favorite scary story to teach is "The Tell-Tale Heart" by Edgar Allan Poe.


There are many things that I love about "The Tell-Tale Heart." A lot of my students read below grade level and many of Poe's stories have archaic language in them. I find "The Tell-Tale Heart" to be more accessible than some of Poe's other tales. The story is fairly short so you can teach it in 2 or 3 class periods. I've successfully used this story in grades 9-12 but it can work with 7th or 8th grade classes that are advanced.

I find the plot of "The Tell-Tale Heart" to be absolutely terrifying. Can you imagine thinking that someone is your friend and your roommate (or boarder) and they're plotting your murder? Just thinking about it gives me the chills. One thing that I love to point out to my students is that in this story (and other Poe tales) the protagonist is an evil/crazy man. Most of my students think of the protagonist as the "good guy." When I teach multiple stories by Poe I like to compare and contrast his narrators.

In honor of my favorite holiday, I have teamed up with some other secondary ELA teachers from TpT to have both a blog hop and a two day sale. We all have 20% off on our Halloween products 10/16/16 and 10/17/16. Take advantage of these low prices to find items that will help you have a hauntingly good time in your ELA classes.


Check out everyone's blog and look at their sale items. I hope you have a wonderful holiday season.

I promise it won't be a year before I write another blog post :-)

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Juggling ELA's Spooktacular Giveaway



Halloween is my favorite time of the year. In my classroom I start by teaching stories by Edgar Allan Poe ("The Tell-Tale Heart" is my favorite) and I end with my students using my Halloween Short Story Starters Task Cards to create their own scary stories. Sometimes I'll use other short stories like "The Monkey's Paw" or "The Bad Babysitter" as well.

Last month I reached 1000 followers on my Facebook page and to celebrate I decided to have this giveaway. Some of the fabulous English teachers from TpT have volunteered to donate Fall or Halloween themed prizes for this giveaway.

There will be two winners. One winner will win a $25 gift card to TpT. The second winner will receive a bundle of ELA resources from 17 different TpT stores.

Prizes include:

Halloween ELA Bundle

Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado" Activity Pack

Text Analysis - Outside the Box Project

Short Stories - Writing Activities Bundle

Halloween Career Project

Short Story Choice Board No Prep Use With Any Story

The Tell-Tale Heart, Poe - Close Reading Unit, Halloween Appropriate

Halloween Grammar Worksheets

Halloween Writing for Teens: Choice Menu with 40 Prompts

Tell-Tale Heart (test; essay questions; detailed answer key)

Halloween Writing

"The Tell-Tale Heart" by Edgar Allan Poe Task Cards

Halloween Zombies Ate My Teacher! Creative & Narrative Writing Scenarios

R.A.C.E Writing Strategy Interactive Flip Book: For Teachers and Students

Halloween Bell Ringers: Text-Based Conventions Practice

Nonfiction Close Reading - September 11 Memorial Museum

Halloween Activities for Secondary ELA

If you have any questions let me know. Good luck and may the odds be ever in your favor.
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Monday, August 31, 2015

The Literary League's Back 2 School Giveaway

The Literary League, a group of exceptional secondary English Language Arts teachers, is hosting a Back to School Give-Away. Enter to win a choice of gift cards, middle school and high school ELA resource bundles, and shopping sprees to middle and high school ELA TPT stores.

By the time I grab my books and I give myself a look I'm at the corner just in time to see the bus fly by. It's alright’ cause I'm saved by The Literary League! That’s right, we are at it again! It’s one of the biggest back-to-school give-aways courtesy of some of your favorite ELA sellers. 

We’re teachers too, so we know that feeling of going back to school.  Cure those back to school blues by entering this HUGE give-away. Not only multiple prize packs, but also multiple winners!

The give-away will run Monday 8/31 to Monday 9/14. You’ll see some familiar and maybe even some new faces, so follow our stores and our social media accounts, and stay updated with what’s new! Winners will be announced Tuesday 9/15.


The Literary League, a group of exceptional secondary English Language Arts teachers, is hosting a Back to School Give-Away. Enter to win a choice of gift cards, middle school and high school ELA resource bundles, and shopping sprees to middle and high school ELA TPT stores.

Prize # 1: Gift Card of Choice
Win a $50 gift card to Teachers Pay Teachers, Amazon, Staples or Target.

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Prize #2: Middle School Resources
Win all of the resources listed below for your middle school ELA classroom.
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Prize #3: High School Resources
Win all of the resources listed below for your high school ELA classroom.
Close Reading: Guide Your Students Through the Process
Interactive Notebook Bundle
Rhetoric: The Art of Persuasion
Common Core Literature Bell Ringers for Secondary English
Found Poetry Packet
Introduction to Close Reading for Middle and High School - Model and Practice
Critical Thinking: What is Textual Analysis #2
Fiction and Nonfiction Test Passages
Short Story Starters Task Cards 


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Prize # 4: Middle School TpT Store Shopping Spree 
Win a $10 shopping spree to one of the TpT Stores listed below.
2 Peas and a Dog
The Creative Classroom
Literary Sherri
Mrs. Spangler in the Middle
Darlene Anne
Fisher Reyna Education
Brain Waves Instruction
Stacey Lloyd
James Whitaker's Sophist Thoughts
Created by MrHughes
ELA Everyday

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Prize #5: High School TpT Store Shopping Spree  
Win a $10 shopping spree to one of the TpT Stores listed below.
Room 213
The Daring English Teacher
Nouvelle
Making Meaning with Melissa
Linda Jennifer
Brynn Allison
Juggling ELA

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Sunday, August 2, 2015

They're Heeere! Are you Ready?


Where did July go? Before you know it another school year will be here. In fact I heard that some schools have already started. Monday, August 3rd and Tuesday, August 4th TpT is having a site wide sale. You will get 10% off when you checkout using the promo code BTS15. Many sellers are also having additional sales in their stores. I'm having 20% off of my entire store: Juggling ELA

The following is a list of amazing secondary ELA teachers who are participating in this sale. We call ourselves The Literary League. These men and women are some of the most creative teachers I've ever met. Check out their stores.

Danielle Knight (Study All Knight)
Darlene Anne- ELA Buffet
Mrs. Spangler in the Middle
Created by MrHughes
The Classroom Sparrow
The Daring English Teacher
ELA Everyday
Juggling ELA
Nouvelle
Literary Sherri
Making Meaning with Melissa
2 Peas and a Dog
Secondary Solutions-Simply Novel
Addie Williams
Linda Jennifer
Fisher Reyna Education
The Creative Classroom
Stacey Lloyd
Room 213
Brynn Allison
Open Classroom
Perfetto Writing Room
Secondary Sara
Tracee Orman
James Whitaker
The Superhero Teacher
Created for Learning
Brain Waves Instruction

I hope you have a wonderful school year.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Juggling ELA Goes Back To School

I have some new followers on this blog so I thought I'd give you guys a little bit of a background. My name is Tammy and I have 15 years of teaching experience. I have taught both middle school and high school in NYC. I have taught a variety of grade levels and various levels within each grade. For a few years I taught a speech elective (public speaking) and for about five years I taught a creative writing elective. Unfortunately the powers that be decided to do away with those electives to have more Regents prep classes (NY state exam). Most of my experience is on the high school level. I taught AP literature one year and I'm hoping to get that class again this year. This upcoming year will be my 3rd year as an adviser for an after school cooking program. I love to cook and I can basically make anything if I set my mind to it.

I love to read. That's part of the reason why I became an ELA teacher. I'll give anything a chance but I really enjoy reading horror novels. I have a hard time picking one book and saying that it's my favorite. I will say that my favorite author is Stephen King. I like most of his books. One of my favorite books to teach is Hamlet because even though it was written roughly 400 years ago I still think that kids today can relate to it. I try to put my students in Hamlet's shoes. I ask them if they've ever been mad at their parents (come on who hasn't?). Even though I teach in an urban setting I teach Shakespeare in a way that makes the kids think that this could be them. It takes a lot of time to teach Hamlet because we read it in class and for many of my students it's their first exposure to Shakespeare. I don't think that a student should graduate high school without having read at least one Shakespearean play.
The beginning of the year is always tough for teachers and students alike. If you've been in your school for a few years you might get some repeat students or siblings of students you've had in the past. I have a hard time with names in the beginning of the school year so I like to play a lot of ice breakers the first week or so. I have two FREE (who doesn't love free stuff?) products in my TpT store that are perfect for the first week of school. The first is Introduction of a Friend Mini Speech which can be used in a regular ELA classroom or in a public speaking class. I also have The First Week of School-Forms/Handouts which includes my classroom contract, a reading and writing survey and a getting to know you activity. Both of this items are forever freebies in my TpT store and they will be beneficial to teachers in many different grade levels. I hope everyone has a wonderful start to the school year.





Monday, July 13, 2015

English Teachers on TpT Come Together for American Author, Harper Lee


I've always loved reading. I have had a lifelong love affair with the written word. Whenever I read a new author and I like his/her book I look for other books that they've written. I remember when my 10th grade English teacher gave us the novel To Kill a Mockingbird to read as a class. I immediately fell in the love with the book and I was so disappointed when I found out that Harper Lee only had one novel. I've read it several times over the years and I've taught it once myself. I still think it's a classic and one of the best American novels. I even toyed with the idea of being a lawyer because I loved Atticus Finch so much.

A few months ago I saw an article online about a sequel by Harper Lee and I thought it was online gossip. I looked for more articles and I saw several on reputable sites so I got very excited. I have the book pre-ordered for my Nook and I can't wait to read it.

Several English teachers on TpT have decided to throw a collaborative sale. You can save up to 20% tomorrow 7/14/15 in honor of Harper Lee's new book Go Set a Watchman.




My entire store will be 20% off for one day only. Follow this link to my store: Juggling ELA

For a list of other stores participating in this one day sale please go to this link: Study All Knight's Blog
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