Sorry, I've been posting on this forum for a little while, but most of it has been non-specific, woe-is-me, feeling sorry for myself, etc. Now, I'm actually trying to ask specific questions that will hopefully get me clearer more specific responses. Okay, I've student taught and worked as an ESL teacher and regular "teacher" at a youth center, but I'm still confused about how to plan lessons when there is no set structure, such as a weekly pacing guide, already provided. I did take a look at the district website, and I feel like I can do better at planning than I was doing at the beginning of the year, but I'm still often caught short. I think part of my problem is that it is ELA, and I just do not know how to teach writing. To me, writing is just something you do. It's related to reading and it's required to do well in almost any subject in the upper grades. I guess a lot of people don't look at it like that, but I need structure when I plan my lessons. I need to know what model I'm following---until recently I naively thought the gradual release model was the only model of instruction, and that might explain some of why I was having so much trouble. Unless I'm doing this wrong, some ELA concepts just won't fit into that model. Teaching grammar and vocabulary are easy, but the kids won't sit through a 60 minute vocabulary lesson. Sorry if it seems odd for me to be having this much trouble with something that is supposedly simple, but English and foreign language were my best subjects, and, to me, learning English / Language Arts takes very little work. I have trouble relating to my students who struggle, and I don't know how to translate the teaching strategies I've learned into something that will fit the ELA classroom.