Each month, we share five things we love as part of our Footnotes Newsletter. Take a look at some of our favorite English language arts resources, articles, podcasts, and more we found in April!

1. Meaningful Ways to End the School Year

With summer break quickly approaching, it’s time to start preparing for those last few weeks of school. And while there are the usual end-of-year responsibilities to tackle, such as final exams or projects, it’s important to make time for community building, especially as this hectic school year winds down. At her blog Reading and Writing Haven, Melissa outlines seven activities with an ELA focus that ask students to work together and reflect on the year’s events.

2. A Powerful Way to Help Kids (and Ourselves!) with Time Management

With their attention being pulled in so many directions, it’s no wonder students sometimes have trouble staying on top of their studies. But time management isn’t something that can be explicitly taught, as explained by Angela Watson in this episode of the Truth For Teachers podcast. Listen for advice on how you can reframe the conversation around productivity and encourage your students to build time management strategies that work for them.

3. Teaching Reading - Crunch Time Tips for Testing

Standardized test taking can be a nerve-wracking experience, especially when it comes to reading tests. For students who aren’t strong readers, just getting through the passages may be grueling enough, let alone answering the comprehension questions that follow. But this doesn’t have to be the case! In this post for the Secondary English Coffee Shop blog, teacher Samantha offers six realistic ways you can prepare your students for reading assessments in the weeks leading up to the test.

4. Blackout Poetry Roundup: Examples to Inspire

Have you heard about blackout poetry? This type of poetry involves taking found material, such as book pages or magazine articles, and crossing out sections of the text, leaving behind key words and phrases that form a poem when read together. Introducing blackout poetry in the classroom is a perfect way for students to explore language and express themselves. At Spark Creativity, Betsy Potash presents a collection of student-made blackout poems that can serve as models for your own class assignment.

5. The Enneagram Meets the ELA Classroom

The Enneagram is a type of personality test that evaluates a person’s worldview and its impact on emotions. While its accuracy, like any personality test, is up for debate, the Enneagram can be a fun resource to use in the literature classroom. In this post for Moving Writers, Abigail Lund explains how you and your students can use the Enneagram personality models to map out character development in the novels you teach.