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2015 Workshops

Workshop Registration
(before November 11, 2015)

Thursday Workshops, W.01 to W.05
Member Fee: $140
Nonmember Fee: $165
Student Fee:  $85

ALAN Workshop, W.07
Member Fee: $190
Nonmember Fee: $215
Student Fee:  $100

CEL Convention, W.08
NCTE + CEL Member Fee: $180
NCTE Member Only Fee: $205
Nonmember of NCTE or CEL:  $255

Convention workshops offer attendees multiple opportunities for intensive learning experiences through group discussions, hands-on projects, and/or lesson creation. Workshops are an excellent way to deepen your knowledge in subject areas that are critical to you! Enrollment is limited and workshops fill quickly, so register early to ensure your seat!


Preconvention Workshops
Thursday, November 19
Noon to 4:00 p.m.

W.01 | Exploring New and Old Apps That Support Responsibility, Creativity, and the Arts of Language!

Through hands-on instruction, participants will have the opportunity to explore technologies and applications such as iMovie and Windows Movie Maker, Mindmeister,, maker-based craft Internet tools, and iPhone/iPad camera editors in support of student creativity, artistic responsibility, and the arts of language. The workshop features student work, lesson plans, and online teacher resources.

In line with the "Responsibility, Creativity, and the Arts of Language" theme of the conference, this technology workshop will show the participants how technology can be used in the language arts class as an instructional tool and a learning activity to support students' 21st century literacy. Participants will learn how to give students practice with new media composition; how to create a digital argument using types of evidence such as infographics, links, and images; how to reappropriate notebooks and return to them a sense of interest-driven, creative freedom through the application of paper circuitry (LED stickers, copper tape and watch batteries that turn the ordinary page into an illumination of text, drawings and ideas); or how to apply quantitative literary analysis and data visualization techniques to extend and deepen the study of literature in secondary classrooms across disciplines.

Workshop leaders, drawn from both K-12 and post-secondary faculty and doctoral students, will incorporate hands-on activities, group discussions, and instruction to familiarize participants with newer generation of digital story creation technologies and applications. Following a practical engagement with a new technology application, participants will have ample time to ask additional questions about incorporating each application into their classroom and schools.

Presenters: Molly Adams, Lou Buran, David Cole, Kathy Garland, Jeremy Hyler, Tom Liam Lynch, Ewa McGrail, J. Patrick McGrail, Paul Oh, Rikki Roccanti, and Allen Webb


W.02 | Concept-Based Curriculum Unit—Voices from the American Edge: Perspective

Imagine walking the reading high wire with your students across four to eight full-length novels you may never have read or heard of before! Imagine teaching on the learning edge as you plunge joyfully with your students into the literary depths of their chosen marginalized American authors.

Six years ago for our junior English concept-based curriculum unit "Voices from the American Edge: Perspective," we developed the Inquiry-to-Action project now fondly called the Edge Project, an eight week period of research, concept-oriented reading (Guthrie et al), argument, and writing. Students form teams (Harvey/Daniels) based on their choice of three American authors who represent a somehow marginalized group. After immersing themselves in their authors' texts, lives, times, and critical reception, each student writes an essay that argues a unique slant on the team's marginalized authors. The project culminates in each team's publication of an anthology that is mailed with a formal cover letter to an audience that needs to hear what they and their authors have to say.      

We wanted to develop students who wouldn't accept a limited world, who valued diversity, who were idea creators, who could make their voices heard...and become citizens who could fully participate in society, a society of ethnic/cultural, physical, sexual/affectional, and linguistic differences.   

Attendees will become "students" and use the various media of language arts to construct a personal world of interaction with team peers and edge authors and go public just as our students do in this project: we hope attendees will be inspired to move joyfully to the "edge" along with their students to open their perspectives and influence the thinking and actions of others.

Presenters: Catharine Erhardt-Clohessy, Margaret Hartshorn, and Andrew Tremaglio


W.03 | Dr. Nobody’s No-Holds-Barred Genre Studies and Activity Theory Throwdown: How to Create a Writing Researcher

Participants will learn about a pedagogical approach called “Creating Writing Researchers” that incorporates both genre studies and activity theory. This approach can enhance genre studies or WAW pedagogies, and is also useful for K–12 instructors working to develop researched writing assignment to align with the Common Core State Standards. Handouts, examples, and tutorials will be provided.

This workshop focuses on sharing different pedagogical strategies for incorporating both genre studies and cultural-historical activity theory frameworks into different learning settings.

The theoretical frameworks for thinking about literate activity offered by genre studies and Cultural-Historical activity theory have already made their way into our writing pedagogies. Writing-about-Writing programs and Genre Studies programs have become much more common in the last decade in college and university settings (e.g., Wardle and Downs' Writing about Writing and the Norton Field Guide to Writing by Bullock and Goggin). In addition, the focus on multiple genres of writing, integral to the new Common Core State Standards, has dramatically increased the conversation about and among K-12 teachers in the last several years, including efforts to teach students to think like researchers -- asking them to provide evidence to show what they have learned and how they have learned it.

The specific pedagogical approach of this workshop is called "Creating Writing Researchers," which differs from genre studies and WAW approaches in that it focuses on the development of a "writing research identity" that, when incorporated by writers, can dramatically alter that writer's engagement with writing in diverse situations.

One critical problem with Cultural-Historical Activity Theory (for examples, see work by Paul Prior, Charles Bazerman, and Kevin Roozen), is that the complications introduced into the writer/researchers field-of-vision by these theories can seemingly create chaos in classroom situations where teachers can already feel overwhelmed by the need to try to teach "everything about writing" in very limited times and spaces. This is true for both college and university instructors and K-12 instructors. In this workshop, we'll focus on how a "citizen writing research" approach can provide a center-point for these complex investigations, helping both students and teachers to think about writing in complex ways, while at the same time, increasing their practical ability to compose in diverse situations.

Presenters: Emily Johnston, Deb Riggert-Keiffer, and Joyce Walker


W.04 | Diversity in Children's Literature: One Year Later

"We need the representation, but we also need white kids to read about us, to recognize us and not push us off into the other ... not to think of us as exotic or being so very different." Ellen Oh (BookCon panel).

A milestone for US public schools occurred in 2014 in that it is the first time a majority of students will come from minority groups (according to NCES, 49.7 percent of students are white, compared to 50.3 percent of students who identify as black, Hispanic, Asian or another nonwhite ethnicity). A grassroots campaign was created to address the lack of diverse, non-majority narratives in children's literature and to the ideal that embracing diversity will lead to acceptance, empathy, and ultimately equality. Diverse books include, but are not limited to, LGBTQIA, people of color, gender diversity, people with disabilities, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities. The mission of the campaign is to promote or amplify diversification efforts and increase visibility for diverse books and authors, with a goal of empowering a wide range of readers in the process.

This workshop will continue and extend the conversation to how classroom teachers may incorporate diverse children's literature into their teaching in meaningful and informative ways. Publishers, authors, illustrators and editors will share their stories of how they publish, create, share and teach diverse fiction and nonfiction.

The session will start with three presentations by authors Stacey Lee, Duncan Tonatiuh, and Sharon Draper. These presentations will be followed by a panel of authors/illustrators of diverse books moderated by Stacey Lee. The panel will be followed by a presentation from Tim Federle.

Presenters: Matt de la Peña, Sharon Draper, Shane Evans, Melanie Koss, Denise Johnson, Varian Johnson, Duncan Tonatiuh, and Salina Yoon, Tim Federle, and Cece Bell

Sponsored by the Children's Literature Assembly 


W.05 | Learning from the NCTE Assessment Story Project: Using Alternative Assessments to Promote Students’ Learning

In early 2015, NCTE conducted the Assessment Story Project, an open-ended survey in which teachers talked about how assessment impacts their teaching lives and their students’ learning lives. In this hands-on workshop for K–16 educators, participants will take stock of what they know about and do with assessment and then engage in classroom-based assessment practices supporting learning. The session will conclude with participants thinking about how they can take these practices back home to support student learning—and to demonstrate that students are learning.

Presenters: Kathryn Mitchell Pierce, Lisa Scherff, and Kathleen Blake Yancey


Other Workshops and Events


ALAN Workshop
Monday, November 23, and Tuesday, November 24
W.07 | Viva La Reading Revolution!

Sponsored by the Assembly on Literature of Adolescents of NCTE (ALAN)

Attend the ALAN Workshop to meet colleagues from across the country, pick up complimentary copies of some of the best and most popular young adult titles, and learn from and meet a host of young adult authors!

The theme for this year’s workshop is “Viva La Reading Revolution!” In a time when educational reform and mandates are pushing pleasure reading out of classrooms and the emphasis on test scores has companies selling “quick fix” programs to boost reading achievement, we here at ALAN still know that the best formula for turning kids into successful readers is to give them a caring, professional adult who knows good books, time to read, choice, and access to a variety of titles. This shouldn't be considered revolutionary, but unfortunately in this day and age, it is.


CEL Annual Convention
Sunday, November 22, to Tuesday, November 24
W.08 | A Leader's Legacy

Sponsored by the Conference on English Leadership (CEL)

What is our legacy going to be? Join us for the CEL Annual Convention in Minneapolis where we will chart the course by considering our legacy and the possibilities of how we influence through our leadership. Through self-reflection, we are able to think about our craft, consider the decisions that we make, and be aware of how those actions can impact people around us. Keynote speakers include Carol Jago, Jeff Wilhelm, Penny Kittle, Harvey “Smokey” Daniels, and Sara Ahmed. Carney Gray and Michelle Schwantes of Poetry Alive! will also perform!

View the complete program online and the program at a glance!


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