Thursday, November 15, 2:30–4:15 p.m.
Arrive and register by noon Thursday to attend one of these pre-convention sessions…included with your registration fees!
T.01 Communicate and Connect: Writing in a Networked World
Presenter: Will Richardson
The ability to easily publish to the Internet has opened up all sorts of new possibilities for teachers to help students enhance their writing skills and become more effective communicators. In the age of the Read/Write Web, every reader can truly be a writer as well. Weblogs, wikis, and Twitter and other social tools provide wide and diverse audiences from around the world for feedback and response. But they also require a more “connective writing” approach, one that focuses on building conversations, communities and networks.
T.02 Teaching: The Questions We Ask and The Answers We Find
Presenters: Jim Burke, Penny Kittle, Kelly Gallagher
1. Reading Like Writers
The Common Core Standards ask middle and high school students to read texts of increasing complexity, yet mine are often below grade level readers. I need to increase the volume and the complexity of their independent reading while also teaching them to analyze and imitate the smart moves writers make. This presentation will focus on the importance of leading students to read like writers in their choice books, in our mentor texts, and within their own drafts to determine how best to meet the needs of readers.
2. Write Like Them: Using Models to Improve Writing
This session focuses on the teaching of writing through the use of models and mentor texts. With teachers under enormous testing pressures, writing is struggling to find its place in the curriculum. This session will show participants that it is possible to teach writing in powerful ways that engage all students. It will also emphasize the importance of writing alongside your students as a means of creating a culture in which students take risks as they learn how to improve their writing.
3. Talking About Writing: Improving Reading and Writing Through Effective Discussion
This session will examine ways to use in-class and online discussion to improve reading comprehension and writing abilities. Research consistently shows classroom discussion is one of the most effective means of improving engagement and comprehension but many teachers struggle to find ways to incorporate such strategies or the time to make room for such discussions. As classroom instruction becomes increasingly focused on academic discourse and analytical reading and writing, it is all the more important to help students "enter the conversation" as readers and writers.
T.03 Building Reading Communities Online and Off
Presenters: Donalyn Miller, Sara Kajder, Teri Lesesne, Franki Sibberson
Join these powerhouse teachers and experts in a discussion of how we engage and ignite students’ excitement for reading by utilizing all the tools at our disposal (digital and traditional) as we read and learn (and have fun) together.
This session brings together bold ideas, bold speakers, and offers practical and real strategies and models for working with the readers in our classrooms. We are teaching in a time where what it means to read, how we access, select and hold onto texts, and the strategies we use for constructing and sharing our making meaning have been dramatically impacted and enabled by newer literacies and technologies. Some of these shifts have quickly and immediately moved into our classrooms, and others require more examination and questioning--asking us to continually reexamine our pedagogies (and practices as readers) of texts that can be produced and consumed in an instant. We will discuss ways of rethinking and “connecting” our readers workshops, cultivating digital libraries, ways of using e-readers and mobile tools in our classrooms, tools for annotating and sharing texts, and a variety dynamic and interactive multimodal tools which are changing how we teach and work alongside student readers. The emphasis will not be on tools but on the literacy practices that they open. Our goal will be to model the process of evaluation and learning we undergo as teachers and readers considering new media and texts, share what we are learning alongside our students, and engage session participants in a real and authentic conversation about what we understand and do as teachers of readers in a digital age. Another point of continued emphasis across all four speakers will be that new literacies and practices with digital texts do not replace the print-centered texts and practices in which our work as English teachers is steeped. Instead, we explore ways that both work together within our classrooms, recognizing a range of readers, reading practices, texts, and possibilities. During the session, each teacher-expert will speak for approximately 20 minutes while the attendees participate in an interactive “backchannel” discussion utilizing (and modeling) twitter, google moderator, and additional tools which will be developed and disseminated between now and November (given the rate of continual change across read-write web). As such we will engage with some of the very practices that we will be discussing as power-packed for our student readers. The team will then come together to discuss questions that emerge during the back-channel and during this face-to-face Q&A.
T.04 Literature Lover’s Lament: Learning To Love Non-Fiction. Connecting Real-World Texts to the Common Core Standards
Presenters: Deborah Appleman, Carol Jago, Carol Olson
The Common Core State Standards require an increased focus on literary nonfiction. Yet most ELA teachers relay on fiction when they teach skills of reading and interpretation. Three experienced teachers will offer a range of texts and activities designed to help incorporate nonfiction texts for students of all ability levels.
Reading Visual and “non-literary texts”: Connecting to the Common Core Standards.
Carol Jago will demonstrate how to help students build interpretive confidence through the use of fine art and photography. “Close readings” of paintings by Jean-Michel Basquiat and David Hockney and the iconic photos of Lewis Hine provide students with an entry point as well as background knowledge for reading the complex informational texts described in the CCSS. Along with developing their analytical muscles, the process invites integration of the arts into the curriculum.
Igniting Passion about Non-Fiction
Deborah Appleman will offer a variety of non-fiction texts with rich interpretive and pedagogical possibilities. Through interactive exercises, she will demonstrate how the tools of reading and interpreting literary texts can be fruitfully applied to non-fiction in ways that honor the intent of the Common Core standards and students’ literacy needs.
Helping Secondary English Learners to Write Analytical Essays about Theme in Literary Non-fiction
In this presentation Carol Booth Olson will focus on the Common Core anchor standards on theme, provide strategies (including video clips) to help students differentiate between a topic and a theme, articulate a theme statement, and write analytical essays about a non-fiction account of the Haiti earthquake by acclaimed journalist Leonard Pitts. Results from a research project involving preparing over 2000 middle school English learners to meet the Common Core standards will be shared.
Each presenter will provide opportunities for session attendees to participate in activities and discussion. In addition to sharing pedagogical approaches that will be fruitful to students of all ability levels, the presenters will also address the ways in which non-fiction can enhance the literate lives of all of our students.