Since most of us are finishing up our year or just starting our summer, I wanted to share with you something you can do NOW to begin preparing for your secondary ELA class next fall!
One of the MOST important and time-consuming aspects of teaching reading at the secondary level is, well, all that READING! Most of you already know that I'm not a cover-the-entire-anthology kinda girl - so just how do I select the best literature and short stories to teach the dozens of concepts I've got to cover?
If I had time, I'd buy dozens of giant anthologies and read them all front to back, sticky-noting those pages all-up! But.. ain't nobody got time for that!
So, here's what I do...
I go on Amazon and search for "literature anthology audio CD" or the like. I look for all kinds of textbooks that are close to the grade I teach - since I teach 6th, I'll buy anything for 5th-8th grades. Here are the most recent ones I've ordered:
For around $30 you'll get hours of stories to listen to! Then, I rip them into iTunes, add them to a playlist by the name of the audio CD, and then add them to my iPhone. Now, when I'm in the car, in the tub, washing the dishes, laundry, or anything like that, I'll listen to a story. Sometimes they're so stupid I don't even finish them. Other times, I'll have to stop whatever mundane task I'm working on to jot down notes! The thing about this is - it doesn't require 100% of your attention. If your mind wanders, fine. If you miss something, fine. But overall, your'e going to find some GREAT stories that you're really excited about sharing with your students. Find a story that you want to use? I've never had a problem finding a story, as the majority of them are available online. Now, you're not stuck to that anthology, and you've got a load of stories in your mind to pull from when you need them!
You can also check out my pacing charts that are available free to find many of the short stories that I've selected thanks to my anthology-listening habit!
Be sure to check out these great tips from other secondary ELA sellers.