Free Resources For New Teachers

Resources for new teachers. More »

Common Core Standards

Common Core Standards. More »

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

You can completely customize the featured slides from the theme theme options page. You can also easily hide the slider from certain part of your site like: categories, tags, archives etc. More »

New Teacher Resources

Resources for new teachers. More »


Shakespeare’s Birthday

Happy 451st Birthday, Will!

April 23rd is the day many celebrate the birth of William Shakespeare, one of the more widely read dramatists of all times.This year is his 451th!

Prepare your students to understand Elizabethan society a little better.

Have a go with your students and have them take a Humours Quiz  to determine their own basic personality traits, then see how they’d rate characters in the plays you have them study.  Teens in the US will have fun with this quiz written in British English by our colleagues at TeachIt in the UK.

I also include one my students’ favorite pictures of Shakespeare – with the earring which suggests how “hip” William Shakespeare still is today.  See Words and Phrases from Shakespeare.  

Also see SHAKESPEARE OUT LOUD AND IN COLOR.  Students get a kick out of trying the Lazy Sonnets.  Invite them to write a lazy sonnet about whatever text you happen to be studying now. See samples written about “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner“!

For the Bards’ birthday, you may want to create your own birthday sonnet, or invite your students to write an record one like this:


New Novel

white cover with namesOn Zion’s Hill

My first book of Historical Fiction is due for release June 20, 2015

Angie and Ken who have just completed their first year of college, are committed to earning their degrees without the distraction of dating, but when they meet on Zion’s Hill, at their church camp meeting that August of 1963, they experience a strong attraction. During that week of camp, each is torn.  They reflect on funny, frank and fanciful experiences of their youth that helped shaped them into the goal driven college students they are today. Should they listen to their hearts? Must they avoid one another to reach the goal of finishing college? Can they trust that it is God leading them to one another now? Funny, frank and fanciful experiences of their youth will influence their choices. By the end of the week, each must make a decision. What will it be? (Pre-order in Kindle or Print Copy)

Susan J. Osborn, the illustrator and I taught in California together for years and she collaborated with me to create the colored pencil cover design and pen and pen and ink graphics for the inside.  See her other work at Osborn Art.

POETRY Notebook – Product and Performance

Check ListPoetry Notebook


Looking for a way to engage students to create a POETRY-Notebook that showcases their learning about poetry and other English Language Arts skills and completing a product/performance assignment that reflects your instruction to meet COMMON CORE STANDARDS.  This poetry notebook assignment combines research, analysis based on strategies you’re teaching, such as Poetry T.I.M.E., and allows for student choice about a poet, poems they write as patterns and as original compositions, and those they choose to recite on celebration day!

I invite you to see in my books (on right) with strategies for teaching POETRY T.I.M.E..  Chapter 7 is “Taking T.I.M.E for Poetry” and Chapter 8 is “Versing Life Together” You’ll like this approach particularly because there is a timeline with due dates for sections of the assignment to be submitted for grading early, so you’ll not be overwhelmed with pounds of notebooks and hours of grading at the end of the unit. Missed the link? Here it is again: POETRY NOTEBOOK

Slides to Poetry TIME Introduction


Poetry Month – One Pager

Reading and WriringResources for Poetry Study

One-Pager with Links for Poetry Month

April is Poetry Month 2015

How are you going to celebrate in 2015?


“What you learn through reading and writing poetry will stay with you throughout your life,” Michelle Obama said in a statement about a national initiative to support the study of poetry. “It will spark your imagination and broaden your horizons and even help your performance in the classroom.”

Introduce POETRY MONTH  this year by sharing Billy Collin’s poem, “INTRODUCING POETRY” or by  reading Naoshi Koriyama’s  poem  an”Unfolding Budand showing a video clip of budding flowers to remind students that it sometimes takes T.I.M.E. for their understanding of a poem to blossom. Then, play the video once or twice again and invite students write their own poetic response to viewing these lovely flowers.  Your students may see the images as symbolic of relationships, historical or current events, characters in literature or people they know.  Consider writing along with the class and then share your poem with your students.  Click here for links to April is Poetry Month page on this site.

Poetry and the Common Core: Poetry Foundation Exemplars for All Grades

Here are websites suggested by other educators:

There also is a Digital Write-Able  It offers you a space online to write a poem that you can put in your pocket.

Tom Worthen Smithfield says, “There are thousands of free poetry lesson plans available at Poetic Power . The website allows you to select your grade range and desired category for teaching. This is a great resource for teaching students how to write and create poetry.”

Cynthia Roberson  recommends The NY Times Learning Network -Poetry Pairings - Pair a poem to NY Times News Article.  What a great way to teach poetry and non-fiction reading at the same time!

First Lady, Michelle Obama launched The National Student Poets program  created by the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities, of which the first lady is honorary chair, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services through a partnership with nonprofit group, the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers.

Even if you’ve never taught poetry before, teach high school or college, the resources here on this website and ideas in my books TEACHING MIDDLE SCHOOL LANGUAGE ARTS: Incorporating Twenty-First Century Literacies (2010) and TEACHING READING IN MIDDLE SCHOOLS: Common Core and More (2013) or TEACHING WRITING IN MIDDLE SCHOOL: Common Core and More (2013)can help you prepare your students to participate actively in local, state, and national program supporting student poets.  See particularly “Taking T.I.M.E. to Teach Poetry” and “Versing Life Together”.

Search the Language Arts Resources Tab where you’ll find ideas for poetry projects, poetry notebooks, patterning and performing poetry, writing meaty personal essays about poems, and also ways to grade students’ original poems.