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2009 Distinguished Service Award

Congratulations to Anna J. Small Roseboro, the California Association of Teachers of English 2009 Distinguished Service Award winner. In our profession, so much is required in order to be everything our students deserve. The demands are great; this is no career for the uncommitted. Teaching well takes diligence, knowledge, passion, energy, flexibility, and skill. More »

Books written by Anna

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New Teacher Resources

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Patterns for Thoughtful Conversations

Thinking - Clip ArtSentence Stems Stimulate Thinking, Talking and Writing

One way to prepare our students to have more thoughtful conversations and to write more insightful compositions is to share with them sentence stems using the language we expect to see in their writing.

Enhance THINK, PAIR, SHARE time by encouraging students to incorporate into their conversation the jargon and specific terminology unique to your discipline.

For example, as students discuss stories, novels and drama, use literary terms related to those genres.  As students talk about controversial essays, use the language of argumentation; as students discuss history, science or math add that language.  The more they hear and use this higher order vocabulary, the more they’ll understand the content and concepts, and fewer students will be thwarted when they see content specific language on those standardized assessments most will face in their career and college lives.

Here are links to handouts to get you started.

Computers - TwoTalking and Writing about Reading

Talking and Writing about Writing

Talking and Writing About Math

Talking and Writing about Social Studies/History

Talking and Writing in Math and ScienceDiscussion-Group

Talking and Writing like a Professional 

 

After several weeks or a whole semester of modeling and student practicing, how about taking this concept a step farther.  Invite students to monitor the talking and writing of their peers.  You could adapt from this link a list of signal words students should listen for and look for in their own talking and writing and that of their peers.

Interdisciplinary - Cross CurricularTalking and Writing Signal Words

Digging Deeper while Remaining Courteous

Please share with colleagues across the content areas.

Cross Curricular Resources

Computer Cartoon

Interdisciplinary - Cross CurricularUpdate Your List of Lesson Planning Web Resources


Please take a few minutes to explore these resources recommended by Rebecca Muller.

Note some of the sites designed primarily for elementary school may contain just the right resources to assist your below grade-level students in understanding a concept.  The visuals may be particularly helpful with students new to English as a language for acquiring new information.

As always, check them out before sharing with your students. Enjoy!

 

ReadWriteThink Lesson Plans

http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/lesson-plans/

Discovery Education | Classroom Resources
http://www.discoveryeducation.com/teachers/

A Kid\'s Guide to Forest Fires
http://www.treeremoval.com/kids-guide-to-forest-fires/

KidZone: Worksheets for Children
http://www.kidzone.ws/

And, here is the link to our growing resource bank. We hope you’ll find this useful as well! :)
Fun Educational Lesson Plans, Activities and Printables
http://educatorlabs.org/resources/listing-category/fun-educational-lesson-plans-activities-and-printables/

Fun Facts & Trivia for Kids
http://kids.niehs.nih.gov/games/jokes/trivia.htm

Fun Car Facts: Simple Machines in Automobiles
https://www.kanetix.ca/simple-machines-in-cars

Free K-12 Lesson Plans
https://uclass.org/

Calculators for Kids: Teach Children Math with These Free Calculation Tools
http://www.mortgagecalculator.org/helpful-advice/calculators-for-kids.php

Remember 9/11 While Teaching ELA

Reading and Viewing, Writing and Talking About 9/11

9-11 Honoring Our Heroes

Here’s link to resources to use as you stay on track teaching ELA skills while honoring those men and women who stepped in to assist those in need and the civilian and military leaders who work so hard to maintain domestic and international balance to reduce likelihood of a repeat of 9/11/01.

Of course, be sensitive to students who may have personal connections to these events due to family, culture, nationality or religion.  Teacher thoughtfulness can make a difference in the success of these lessons.

 

 

Parents: Communicating and Conferences


Open Communication Key

to Classroom Success

Plan now to stay in touch with parents about what’s going on in your class.  Keeping them informed will make it easier to talk with them during conferences automatically scheduled by your school or requested by you or by the parent.  You’ll have a common language to begin conversations.  Let them know  your general syllabus along with grading guidelines, but weekly assignment sheets must supersede the printed syllabus because you will be adjusting assignments based on formative assessments indicating student learning.

RESPONDING TO E-MAIL

It is vital to guard your personal time.  Let parents know that you only will be responding to email during specific hours.

Two Computers - Animated

 Keep to those hours and parents/guardians more likely will honor that time and not expect responses all day every day.  I’d recommend  a specific time during the school day, and then sending no responses to parents after 7 p.m.  This does not mean you cannot read and write responses. But since email is  time stamped, recipients can tell when email is sent and therefore can assume you’re willing to communicate anytime.

CONFERENCES

Whenever possible avoid meeting with parents in the absence of the student.  There are two benefits.  First, the student will see that the adults in his/her  educational life are working together for his/her benefit.  Second, the parents are likely to be more respectful of you with their child present.

CONFERENCE SCHEDULED BY SCHOOL

Prepare for conference with complete records and artifacts of the student’s work.  Even if you’ve been posting grades on line, have print-out of student record and sample of student’s work. (Technology may not work that day.)  Invite the student to lead the conference by articulating what has been taught/learned so far and then showing the parent his/her work.  Invite parent’s questions.  Allow student to answer first.  Then, ask “What can we do to help you, the student maintain or improve your learning by the end of the school year?” Listen.  Agree as often as integrity allows. Stand and end conference, with thanks for parent’s interest. Thank student, too.

CONFERENCE REQUESTED BY PARENT

A valuable lesson I learned early in my career is to listen first, then speak.  Parents generally wait until they are very upset before making an appointment to talk with the teacher.  They have lots on their minds are are not likely to listen until they’ve had their say.  Let them.  It’s surprising what you learn during a tirade.  If the child Parent Conference
is present, the language may be curbed, but still enter the conference ready to hear what’s on the parent’s mind.  Then, invite the student to have his/her say.  Next, ask the parent “And what do you want me to do?”  Turn to the student and ask, “Does this sound fair?” Generally, insisting that the student be present makes for more productive, successful conferences for all involved.

DIFFICULT CONFERENCES

When you believe the conference will be difficult, do not hesitate to invite your department chair or administrator to sit in.  It is not a sign of weakness to ask for help.  It is part of their job to assure that you are safe, that parents are heard, and that students learn.  If neither superior member of the faculty or staff can attend, invite a colleague to join you.  Sometimes an observer  will notice and hear something that will help you improve relations and better teach the students you are assigned to teach this school year.

By all means, continue communicating regularly, but on your terms as much as possible.  You’re a professional and as such have earned the right to be respected, heard, and supported.  Guard your time, include students, and ask for help when needed.

 

Recent Review of Reading Book

TeachingReading_PBKA “must have” for Middle School LA teachers!

By Jocko on August 21, 20141>

Format: Kindle Edition

Roseboro’s done it again. I thought her first book “Teaching Middle School Language Arts” should be on every teacher’s bookshelf. Well, this one should be right beside it. With every page I read, I find myself underlining and circling and adding tabs so I can share all of the practical ideas with teachers still in the classroom. Ms. Roseboro has activities that I am sure will bring classrooms to life and life to classrooms. Somehow, she has incorporated the latest technologies with the never-old fundamentals. Bravo! Jock Mackenzie, retired principal, Program Coordinator, Reading College, Red Deer, Alberta, Canada