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 August!

1. How to Make Your Own Classroom Decor Items

So, you want to decorate your classroom to fit that fun theme you had planned. But are store-bought materials just not cutting it? Why not make some yourself? At her YouTube channel, Jennuine Teaching shares her easy tutorial on making custom signs and labels to fit her needs. All you’ll need is PowerPoint and a printer!

2. Quick Guide Graphic for Students: Should I Use AI?

During the new school year, there’s no doubt that students will entertain the idea of using artificial intelligence to complete assignments, especially in the ELA classroom. This free printable poster provides a handy visual for helping students understand how and when to use AI tools wisely and responsibly.

3. The Benefits of Writing 12: Seeing Possibilities in Future Stories

For educator David Lee Finkle, getting students excited for writing is impossible without giving them creative freedom. If students can’t see the value of writing beyond getting grades, they’ll never fully engage with it. In this piece for Moving Writers, David explains how encouraging students to explore diverse possibilities through writing can lead to meaningful growth and give students a sense of purpose.

4. 10 Tips for Starting Independent Reading Strong

Making the decision to incorporate independent reading into your classroom can be both exciting and daunting. At her website, Miss G shares her favorite strategies that not only set the stage for successful independent reading but also create an environment in which students thrive as enthusiastic readers.

5. My Approach to Teaching Grammar in Middle School

Having grown up without formal grammar lessons, Brynn Allison felt intimidated by teaching grammar to her own students. But after seeing ingenious ways to combine grammar and writing studies, her mindset completely changed. Visit her blog to find six effective strategies she uses to mix grammar into her existing writing and reading lessons.