I Live For Challenges Like This

I found out yesterday I will be teaching a multi-grade level Language Arts Resource Room this fall. I will have a dozen 6th, 7th, and 8th graders for 84 minutes a day 1st and 2nd period. And as this is the first year of this class, I have to come up with the curriculum and materials!

Here are 10 of my first 100 thoughts:

  1. I still get to teach my own class!
  2. YIKES!
  3. The first class of the day? This could be good…or bad.
  4. How do I fill 84 minutes?
  5. How do I teach 3 grade levels at the same time?
  6. How will 8th graders and 6th graders get along?
  7. I’ve never taught 7th grade!
  8. There are so many possibilities!
  9. Where do I start?
  10. I can’t wait to start figuring it out!

I will admit, I spent 30 minutes grumbling/stressing/freaking to Admiral Bodee on the phone (he reminded me I like challenges like this) and then another hour grumbling/stressing/freaking to Captain Algebra who is on vacation.

Then I painted my nails, took a drive to the pharmacy, cleared my head, took a deep breath, and I got down to business.

My first goal was to find a series of printable resources that could be used as bell ringer or transition activities. I am not a huge fan of worksheets, but with 84 minutes I know I will need to break class up with group work, independent work, and whole class activities.

I plan to use the things I found in a variety of ways. For example, I like to take worksheet content and put one question per page on a SMART Notebook file. Then students use dry erase boards to show their work. No paper and pencil needed.

Here are the jewels I found this afternoon all on one related site:

English for Everyone – This website has almost 40 categories with tons of free printable worksheets. With answers! There are beginning, intermediate, and some advanced levels.

English Maven – This specific site takes about half of the above categories and includes interactive activities that could be used on individual computers or the SMARTBoard. Some are exactly the same as the worksheets in terms of questions. Some are different. You do not have to register to use it.

ReadTheory – The link will take you to the BETA page with a big “Coming Soon” at the top. At the bottom is a link to the current webpage for reading comprehension resources. There are three levels (Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced) and all of the stories can be completed online or printed out. It includes short stories at all three levels and informational selections for the beginning levels. It just did a spot check, but it looks like there is audio for all the stories through the low-intermediate level as well.

My next mission: To find a novel that none of them have read in previous years that is appropriate. I’m thinking around a 4th grade reading level???

Do you teach a multi-grade level class?

Do you have any great online resources for Language Arts?

Can you recommend any novels?

7 responses

  1. You have some great ideas on here, and I want to thank you for sharing them. I have been teaching special education for 9 years, but the last 3 I have been in all ICS classes. Tying to get back into having my own class this year has been a little overwhelming. Your ideas and materials are terrific and I definitely plan on using some of them. Thanks again.

    1. Thank you for visiting! Please come back often and let me know how things are going.

  2. Wow! How exciting (and terrifying)! I am not sure on the level, but I recently read The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things by Carolyn Mackler. It took me about an afternoon to get through it. I enjoyed it–but it does have some serious topics.

  3. I am sure you will do great :).

    I don’t completely understand the grade system here so I can’t exactly recommend books…what ages are the kids? L

    1. Thank you! I will be teaching 6th-8th but as 11-14 year olds they are reading at about 2nd-4th grade level (so like 7-9 year olds).

      1. Could they read books like George Orwell’s Animal farm? I read it at 11 or 12.

      2. Not familiar with it??? I will check it out. Thanks!

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