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ELA Planning Help! Right Now! For Free!

While most people spend August sipping sun tea and binge-watching Stranger Things, teachers spend it kicking off the new school year. So. Much. To. Do. We have to set up our classrooms on newly shined floors, decorate our boards, deploy our reading materials, get the printer and laminator dancing like a pair of tango champions. . . . If only there were free online lesson plans to teach student-centered writing!

There are.

If you complement your reading program with one of the writing handbooks from Thoughtful Learning, you have a free online Teacher’s Guide that gathers and organizes your resources, all in one place! Relieve a little stress. Find what you need. Seriously, this three-minute video is better than yoga for teachers in August:

That’s right! You have a plan for the year, with level-specific writing assignments, help teaching each page, free minilessons and additional activities—and, best of all, student-selected topics for authentic audiences. If you’d like to find out more about how the chapter-by-chapter lessons work in your Teacher’s Guide, check out this video.

Okay, you’re almost ready for that sun tea! You’ve seen how to foster student-centered writing and use SkillsBooks to teach grammar. You’ve discovered free, level-specific writing topics and student models as well as assessment models.

Hold up! Things suddenly got serious: Assessment! For nearly twenty years, it has driven the conversation in education. Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. Your Teacher’s Guide connects every page of the writing handbook to national standards (and LAFS, TEKS, and NE ELA). Just select your standards using this feature on every Teacher’s Guide page.

State Standards

You’ll also find all kinds of help in preparing for assessment. Your handbook teaches students how to succeed in answering narrative, explanatory, persuasive, and literary prompts, and how to score their best on tests. Watch this video to learn about many other free assessment supports:

So August is saved. There’s still plenty of work to do, but your own Teacher’s Guide can lighten the load. Check it out. Then check out these instructions for making sun tea. You’ve earned it!

Teacher Support:

Click to find out more about this resource.

Standards Correlations:

The State Standards provide a way to evaluate your students' performance.