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, videos, and more we found in January!

1. My Lesson Plan Ran Short

It happens: You’re wrapping up a great class session, when you look at the clock and realize you still have ten minutes left. Next time you face this situation, consider choosing an activity from this big list of ideas, as brainstormed by Lauralee Moss. Visit her blog Language Arts Classroom to see them all.

2. Book Recommendations (ft. Books I Read in 2021)

Are you in search of new books that’ll keep students hooked from page one? In this video, Texas-based ELA teacher AmberLynn reviews some of her favorite books she read in 2021, many of which would make great additions to your classroom library.

3. 5 New Ways to Engage Your Students in the New Year

The second half of the school year is here, and with that comes the challenge of keeping students’ heads in the game until spring break. These teaching prompts from The Daring English Teacher can help you keep students focused and add some variety to their studies whenever attention spans start to fade.

4. Writing as Therapy for Teachers and Students

Burnout, for both teachers and students, continues to be a very real and serious problem. One of the ways educator Jeremy Hyler channels his stress is through writing. At MiddleWeb, Jeremy explains how he uses writing in the classroom to help his students and himself decompress.

5. 6 Tips and Practices I Use to Develop Independent Writers (Even in First Grade!)

In this article for We Are Teachers, first grade teacher Valerie Ruckes shares six key ways she was able to transform her classroom into a nurturing environment for writers. Although the strategies in this article are intended for elementary grades, they can be adapted to writers of any age.