Professional Resources for Middle School Instructors

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  • 0:01 What Are Resources?
  • 0:33 Classroom Resources
  • 2:17 Online Resources
  • 3:01 PDF & Unit Plans
  • 4:05 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Angela Janovsky

Angela has taught middle and high school English, Business English and Speech for nine years. She has a bachelor's degree in psychology and has earned her teaching license.

Without materials and tools, teaching would be nearly impossible in the classroom. This lesson outlines some professional resources available to middle school language arts teachers.

What Are Resources?

Can you imagine teaching without materials? Most teachers rely on resources and tools in order to help students learn. From an educational perspective, professional resources can be defined as any materials, tools, or other assets used in the classroom to promote effective learning.

For a language arts classroom, there are resources with content geared toward the learning objectives centered on reading, writing, vocabulary, and grammar. Let's look specifically at some of the professional tools available to language arts teachers.

Classroom Resources

Some of the most useful resources for teachers are the materials already in the classroom. For instance, most current language arts textbooks, which are informational books designed for studying a specific branch of knowledge, often have units already mapped out to fit a state's particular educational standards. No longer do textbooks merely have comprehension questions at the end of a reading. Nowadays they include ideas for differentiation, group work, cross-curricular activities, and much more. In addition, textbooks usually come with handouts, quizzes, and tests for different units. Lastly, many will have a CD or access to an online site that has other activities or digital resources to use in the classroom. Be sure to explore all that your textbooks have to offer.

Besides literature textbooks, most language arts classrooms also supply writing textbooks. These will have clear units with writing practice to help students learn the process of writing a longer paper. Most students who come into middle school have never written any type of paper longer than a few paragraphs. These textbooks often give a step-by-step process for writing a long essay that is very useful in the classroom. Even if the textbook is too general, you can always use it to gain ideas and modify activities according to your students' particular needs.

Lastly, a language arts classroom will also provide vocabulary and spelling workbooks as resources. A huge part of middle school curriculum is expanding a student's vocabulary and using context clues to define unfamiliar words. These workbooks have different word lists and also many different activities to practice vocabulary skills. Even if you decide not to use the provided word lists, you can use the workbooks to give you ideas for incorporating your own vocabulary words into the classroom.

Online Resources

In addition to the provided materials in the classroom, there are numerous educational online resources, which can include any websites or software available online. For instance, a website called has many resources available. Teachers can use this site to help create handouts and lesson plans. In addition, the website you are using now,, also has many resources on a wide variety of topics.

Some other websites that provide professional resources for teachers include,,, and These are just some of the online resources available to help teachers plan and execute lessons.

PDF and Unit Plans

In addition to online sites that allow you to create your own or use other teachers' resources, there are also pre-made PDF files and unit plans on the web. These are especially useful for language arts teachers, who often teach a whole unit on one novel. For many novels there are full lesson plans, including standards, introduction and background information, instructional lessons, independent lessons, writing prompts, projects, and even quizzes, tests, and grading rubrics. One website that provides many of these downloadable files of unit plans is

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