Building Great Writers
First, my motto is to engage, simplify and excite. Let me be frank. As much as we want to think so, most middle school students do not like to write, especially structured essays; therefore, creating exciting and engaging writing lessons, which simplifies the process, is always my first task. I have turned the parts of an introduction into a silly acronym-Give The Toddler The Cookie (Grabber, Transitional Sentence, TAG, Thesis Statement and Concluding Sentence). The acronym for the body paragraph is TALES-Topic Sentence, Add an example/Claim, Lift a line/Cite a line from the text, Elaborate and Sum it up. I have my students repeat and practice this over and over until it is engrained in their mind, and crazy enough, they can recall it very easily!
I have been teaching middle school English for 15 years in an affluent district on Long Island, New York. I absolutely love, love, love teaching, and it is definitely my calling. I love sharing my lessons, ideas and products on Teachers Pay Teachers, and I know teachers appreciate when they can find materials that really work in classroom.