List Headline Image
Updated by jessica-eades on Nov 28, 2016
39 items   1 followers   0 votes   13 views

PLN Resource Curation

A list of resources to develop, establish, and grow a personal learning community.


PLN Goal 1: Student Engagement

The items list below align with my first PLN goal which is to find new resources and develop new strategies to increase engagement and overcome student apathy.




Kahoot is a fun, interactive way to assess student learning. I love to use Kahoots for weekly recaps. Every Monday we begin our week with a Kahoot to review vocabulary, literary elements, and plot details. It's a great way to refresh the students' minds and to make sure we are all starting off on the same page. If the majority of my students miss a question, then I know that I need to review the material more and I can build reteach strategies into my lesson plans for the week. I will also toss in bonus questions about current world events (students do these in social studies but we push very hard to be cross curricular), especially if they relate to what we are studying somehow. This is easily one of my favorite parts of the week and it happens on a Monday so I think that's pretty awesome. We adhere to a pretty strict cell phone policy the rest of the week so I also think students really enjoy just getting to have their phones out and use them and as this becomes part of our routine, transitioning them from this to something non-cellphone related becomes easier and easier.


ClassCraft is an educators spin on World of Warcraft, the popular game franchise. Designed to increase student engagement, this new program is one that I am demoing for Mon County. The program is very similar to Class Dojo but is more suited to older students. I am in the very early stages of introducing ClassCraft to my freshmen classes but the enthusiasm is unmatched. It's different, exciting, and directly reflects their behavior in class. It also offers highly desirable positive incentives for going above and beyond in class.

article of the week

For increased student engagement, I absolutely love using Kelly Gallagher's Articles of the Week. They are current, they are interesting, and they are already formatted so that every week all I have to do is print out two or three of them and randomly distribute them to my students. They read, annotated, and respond to the questions. On each Friday, my students then are group randomly(as determined by the article they recieved) and discuss their readings and their responses. These almost function as mini Socratic seminars except that each student takes notes and puts a check next to each group members name each time they speak on topic. I circulate the room as a facilitator but they are driving the discussion. Then, when about ten minutes remain in class we report out our findings and have some time for whole group discussions.

Shakespeare Trivia and Quizzes

Shakespeare trivia quizzes in our Literature category. Over 2,950 Shakespeare trivia questions to answer! Play our quiz games to test your knowledge. How much do you know?




Remind, formerly Remind101, is a communication tool that helps teachers reach students and parents where they are.

Remind is an outstanding tool for communicating with students and their parents in a safe and effective manner. I love the simplicity of the design and the enthusiasm with which the students use it. There are many options to customize Remind. For example, you may enable two way communication or you can restrict communication to a one way, announcement style messages. I personally prefer to use the two way option so that students can ask me questions or for clarification. Remind offers a setting called "Office Hours" which means that students can only contact you between the hours you select (Mine are from 7am- 9pm). Remind also keeps a running log of the communication which is necessary to protect all parties. Hopefully you would never need it but just in case, it's good to know that it is there.

Gamequarium:  Figurative Language Games

Fun games with figurative language.

Reading Is Thinking

Because one of my goals centers on sharing ideas across a community of teachers, I am excited to share Reading is Thinking here. She offers such valuable ways to engage students in active reading which is a huge struggle at all levels.




Welcome to IXL's 11th grade language arts page. Practice language arts online with unlimited questions in 120 eleventh-grade language arts skills.

I started this program as a free trail and have loved everything it has to offer in regards to working with our CSOs. I'm working with our TIS now to see about getting a membership that the entire school can use. At it's simplest, you can set up games for students that are organized by content standard to assess learning for that particular standard. It would be great for WVGSA review and prep as well.

Debate Central

Debate Central is the largest FREE online collection of information targeted to high school debaters. Debate Central provides hundreds of links to relevant resources, background materials from leading scholars and access to advice from a diverse array of experts to help you prepare for competition.

Grammar Bytes!

Grammar Bytes! Grammar Instruction with Attitude. Includes detailed terms, interactive exercises, handouts, PowerPoint presentations, videos, and more!

Synonyms Thesaurus With Definitions and Antonyms is the web's best resource for English synonyms, antonyms, and definitions. helps you learn new words, play games that improve your vocabulary, and explore language.


National and International Schools Debate Outreach Initiative

The College Board

Get connected to your college. Find official college planning and preparation tools to help you succeed. Visit the College Board website - your inside source.


PLN Goal 2: Collaboration with other Educators

My second goal was to connect to educators from the global community in hopes of sharing and collaborating on cutting edge resources, materials, and instructional units.

Three Teachers Talk

Sharing insights and research-proven practices that advance all readers and writers via Readers and Writers Workshop. Choice, voice, and conferring matter.

Teaching Resources & Lesson Plans | Teachers Pay Teachers

The world's first and largest educational marketplace with more than two million original teacher-created resources available for use today.

I truly believe the best student learning happens when teachers are able to act as a community and share resources and ideas. Every teacher has strengths and weaknesses and by acknowledging this, we can work to support one another. It is so important to me and to the work I do with student teachers, that I make it clear that there is no shame is asking for help when it comes to the rigorous workload all teachers carry. I love that TPT embraces a global community and allows teachers to share their blood, sweat, and tears with other teachers who may be struggling to develop materials of their own. The quality of the resources on TPT is outstanding and as someone who is graphically challenged, when I can download charts and flip books to enhance my materials, I'm so excited to do it. While some resources do cost, TPT takes purchase orders so I can use my faculty senate money to purchase units and materials. I have also loved prepping materials to list on TPT of my own.

The National Writing Project

EDUCATORS PLAY A VITAL ROLE in leading sustained efforts to improve learning in schools and communities. NWP leaders study and share effective practices that enhance youth writing and learning, work collaboratively with other educators, design resources, and take on new roles in effecting positive change.

As a participant in the National Writing Project at West Virginia University, I feel that this organization has played such a pivotal role in my teaching experience. Learning, sharing, collaborating on new strategies, new challenges, and new pedagogical developments has strengthened my practice and helped me to develop a PLC beyond my own school which is the first step to developing my PLN. There's also just something to be said for the act of sitting down in a room full of a dozen or more educators and sharing our feelings about the experience of teaching. I have never left a NWP feeling the same. It always leads to feelings of empowerment and excitement to get back in the classroom and get to work.

Tips for Teaching Poetry

Tips for Teaching Poetry - In addition to participating in the Dear Poet project with students, here are a number of creative and inexpensive suggestions for bringing poetry into the classroom during April's National Poetry Month and throughout the year.  These tips were developed with the help of the Dodge Poetry Festival, the National Council of Teachers of English, and Teachers & Writers Collaborative.Preparation

Literary Terms

Review of key literary terms.


WELCOME TO PROMPTUARIUM! my little stockroom of goodies. For decades I have been hoarding prompts, story starters, quotes and seeds from various sources around the world  (and my own, of course). You will find them all here on this site, I have tried to break them down into categories to make things a little easier.…

I LOVE this blog. It is FULL of great ideas for story starters and bellringers, which we are required to use at my school. My students appreciate the diverse prompts and while it is necessary to screen the content before hand (some prompts might be a little too mature for a high school audience), most of the time they are perfect, well organized, and easy to find.

Use these free English teaching and learning resources for English, Literature, and ESL classes.

Use these free English teaching and learning resources for English, Literature, and ESL classes.Teaching Evidence-Based Argument - Free English learning and tea

Book Report Alternative: Book Blurbs - The Brown Bag Teacher

Brown Bag Teacher is another awesome blog full of strategies for increased student engagement. She also is always awesome about sharing great resources she has found which is extremely helpful!

Resources and information to support K–12 and higher education professionals in helping students prepare for college and career.

Because I teach ACT Prep I am often reminded of how important it is that students learn effective test taking strategies as well as relevant content to their success on the test. Sometimes English teachers move away from grammar instruction and focus more on reading skills and I think both are important. The Collage Board reminds us of what is on the test which is useful for crafting units of instruction.