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Postconvention Workshops

Workshop Topics

Topics for the 2014 Convention will be chosen in April.

Workshops are held each year on the Monday and Tuesday following Convention.

2013 Member Fee: $140
2013 Nonmember Fee: $165
2013 Student Fee:  $85

NOTE:  Workshop fees are subject to change.

2013 Workshops

W.01  Using Music to Teach English, from A to Jay-Z (M-S)
This one-day workshop features several trusted teachers, authors, and teacher educators to lead demonstration lessons about teaching 6-12 English with music, popular and otherwise. Participants will experience a series of lessons that position music in the English classroom for different purposes, addressing CCSS, critical, and cultural goals. Music builds authentic, rigorous, and relevant inroads to the teaching of English and by considering music in teaching and learning, especially in view of the Common Core Standards, this symposium provides teachers with classroom-tested methods that represent innovative and effective approaches to teaching English. 

Drawing on the work of Marsh (2011), Morrell (2004), Hagood, Alvermann, and Heron-Hruby, (2010) and Lamont Hill (2009), the workshop provides a framework to help professionals understand and use four models available when incorporating popular music into the ELA classroom: the utilitarian, cultural capitol, critical, and recontextualized models.  This framework will serve as the major organizing structure in the day-long workshop, as attendees participate and experience all four models. Each presenter/author/teacher will offer a technique, approach, and/or lesson that can be taken back to the classroom and used immediately.

Christian Goering, University of Arkansas
Lindy Johnson, University of Georgia

Willy Wood, Missouri Write to Learn
William Sewell, University of Central Missouri

W.02  Asset-Based Pedagogies: Critical and Culturally Sustaining Activities to Engage All Students (M-S-C)
This workshop opens with a brief introduction to critical, culturally sustaining, asset based pedagogies (Paris 2012, Kinloch 2011, Kirkland 2010, Morrell 2007 and 2004, Winn 2010a and b, Cushman 2011). Participants then engage in three whole group activities. These are designed to surface, in engaging, risk-free ways how privilege works to sustain itself in society, how language attitudes shape our reactions to students, and how difficult learning school-based English ELA conventions can be.  After a short break, participants return to rotate through five workshop stations. At each they will engage in several specific activities that scaffold to culturally sustaining reading and writing assignments, as well as one station dedicated to exploring self-reflective writing necessary to sustain critical pedagogies. Takeaways will include materials and lesson plans, bibliographies for further reading, and a methodology for teacher reflection.


Reinventing Our Work with the Common Core and Reading (M-S-C)
This workshop will explore how to leverage our current fiction techniques to support the move to informational texts as well as literacy across the content areas in general. We will also explore ways to look at text complexity and its implications for our practice. A team of teachers—members of the New England Association of Teachers of English—working at the middle-, high-school, and college levels, will present approaches based on their work in classrooms and conferences. Throughout the day, the workshop will be interactive, and participants will leave with “shovel-ready” strategies and materials for working with the Common Core and reading, and for promoting text-based class discussions.

Cathy Sosnowski, Language Arts Coordinator, Newtown, CT, will show us approaches for working with the Common Core in her presentation “Works in Translation: How Endure, Evolve, Excel in a time of Change?” Garth McKinney, Language Arts Coordinator, Merrimack (NH) Middle School, will show us ways to relate the CC to power standards, essential questions, big ideas, formative and self-assessment, and creativity. Prof. Elizabeth Fenton, University of VT, will give a short presentation on the history of close reading, which will be followed by three concurrent break-out presentations: (1) Garth McKinney, middle school, orienting CC standards to reading; (2) Ed Darling, HS Teacher, So. Burlington, VT: close reading in high school; and (3) Elizabeth Fenton, close reading in college.

Chair:  Ed Darling, South Burlington High School, South Burlington, VT
Assistant Chair:  Cathy Sosnowski, Newtown High School, Sandy Hook, CT 
Consultants:  Prof. Elizabeth Fenton, University of Vermont, Burlington and Garth McKinney, Merrimack Middle School, Merrimack, NH

 W.04  Transforming English Language Arts with Interconnecting Technologies (M-S-C-TE)
Sponsored by the Assembly on Computers (ACE)
Through hands-on instruction, participants will have the opportunity to gain familiarity with iMovie on an iPhone or iPad (Note: Bring Your Own Device) as well as applications for web page and graphic design, podcasting, tweeting and more. Special focus will be on linking these technologies with classroom practice.

Chair:  Ewa, McGrail, Georgia State University

J. Patrick McGrail, Jacksonville State University
Judy Arzt, University of Saint Joseph
Lee Skallerup Bessette, Morehead State University
Michael Day, Northern Illinois University
Rozlyn Linder, Douglas County School District, Georgia
Nicole Papaioannou, Montclair State University
William Torgerson, St. John's University
Trent M. Kays, University of Minnesota
Ty Hollett, Christian Ehret, Vanderbilt University
Kathy Garland, Florida State University
Kevin Powell, Georgia State University

Inspiring Talk: Putting Student Voices at the Core of English (M-S-C-TE)
Twenty first century life confronts students with unprecedented demands to develop higher-level literacy skills and a widening array of literate practices. And social media provides them with multiple opportunities to engage in larger conversations—the newspapers, blogs, and videos they access invite them to leave comments.  Students live in a society that invites them to talk, to participate, and to share opinions.  Unfortunately, the classroom is often not the place where students have a chance to engage in high-quality interaction with peers and more knowledgeable others.  This workshop for middle and high school teachers will give you ways to change the dynamics in your classroom, by giving your students the powerful and necessary skill of talking to learn, of talking to generate new knowledge, of talking to further their own and others’ understanding of literature, of current events, and of our society’s concerns.  It’s an exciting time to be an English teacher because never has the careful harnessing and directing of students’ responses to curricula, the teacher, and each other been more important to ensuring students’ success in a participatory society. Come join us for a day dedicated to making student talk matter.

A team of presenters including middle and high school English teachers, college-based English instructors, and English teacher educators will lead participants to explore and mobilize a variety of research-based dialogic tools: activities, heuristics, guides, or other mechanisms that inspire talking-to-learn. Throughout the hands-on day of activities, you will plan for lessons and units, practice working with dialogic tools while working with the Common Core and other standards, and collaboratively reflect on that work. You will leave the workshop with a collection of tools and materials for facilitating student learning talk in your own classroom (including a free Handbook of Dialogic Tools), workshopped plans for implementing their ideas, rationales for making high-quality learning talk top priority, and a framework for creating learning partnerships with other teachers.  You will also be enrolled in a raffle for free books about supporting learning talk in the classroom.

Dr. Mary M. Juzwik, Dr. Samantha Caughlan, Michigan State University
Dr. Anne Heintz, Phoenix, AZ
Dr. Carlin Borsheim-Black, Central Michigan University
Lucia Elden, Mid Michigan Community College
Kathy Morcom, Lake Fenton Middle School
David Adams, Farwell High School, Farwell MI

Intensive Journalistic Writing: (Re)Inventing the Ways You Approach Reading and Writing in AP English Composition and Journalism Classes (M-S-TE)
Sponsored by the Assembly of Advisers of Student Publications/Journalism Education Association (AASP/JEA)
Traditional rhetorical modes can be used in nontraditional ways to encourage student writing, research, reading and vocabulary development. Using the journalistic approach to writing with immersion into a varied collection of mainly non-fiction literary samples from many different times, countries and cultures, students find relevance in and inspiration for their work.

IJW is designed to offer students the best of both worlds: writing programs which teach the clear, concise style of the journalist and reading programs which demand higher-level thinking skills and analysis of literature.  Students write about their world, applying the techniques learned in models. Attend to experience how to implement such a curriculum in your school.

Teaching and Learning Argumentative Writing: Moving Beyond Structure to Substance (S)
This workshop address a critical Common Core standard, the teaching of argumentative writing.  Many teachers would like to incorporate argumentative writing into their classrooms and do so in ways that go beyond teaching just structure.  This interactive workshop addresses those needs.  The activities are designed not only to help teachers’ practical instructions of argumentative writing but also to help them understand argument as a way of thinking complexly about literature and other topics.  Topics include shifting from structure to substance, using narrative as “home base,” talk to text (using classroom talk to enhance argumentative writing), crafting warrants, and “advanced techniques” from experienced writing teachers. 

The workshop includes keynote talks situating argumentation as diverse tools for thinking deeply about academic topics, hands-on-activities for organizing the teaching of argumentative writing, instructional models from experienced teachers, and other classroom-based strategies for implementing argumentative writing as an inquiry tool.

The workshop is targeted to teachers and teacher educators focused on language arts in the middle school and high school grade levels.  Participants will receive handouts, ideas for their classrooms, anchor essays to consider, a bibliography for further study, and an invitation to join an online network for continued growth and supportive connections.

Chair:  Allison Wynhoff Olsen, Montana State University
Associate Chair:  Amy Bradley, The Ohio State University

George Newell, David Bloome, The Ohio State University
Thomas Newkirk, University New Hampshire

Brent Goff, SangHee Ryu, Jennifer VanDerHeide, Larkin Weyand, The Ohio State University
Kim Leddy, Mosaic Program
Chris Moore, Andrea Vescelius, Olentangy Orange High School

Grammar Instruction, Sentence Construction: Making the Link (G)
Sponsored by the Assembly for the Teaching of English Grammar
This day-long workshop will consist of four presentations, all of which offer alternatives to the ineffective, shallow "workbooking" of grammar. We will model, explain, and engage participants in the kind of grammar instruction that draws from intuitive linguistic knowledge and is centered right in the heart of the writing process.

Chair:  Amy Benjamin
Associate Chair:  Sharon Saylors
Presenters:  Geoff Layton, Don Stewart

Design It! Create It! Perform It!: Reimagining and Enriching Literacy Learning (G)
This lively “out of your seat” experience will introduce you to The ArtsLiteracy Project’s Performance Cycle, developed over the past decade by teams of educators and teaching artists from Brown University’s ArtsLiteracy Project. This clear, flexible framework for curriculum design and classroom literacy development incorporates multiliteracies, combining print texts—both literary and informational—with a range of other symbol systems and art forms.  It invites participants to comprehend, create, and share with others in response to an initial Essential Question. Assessable throughout, it results in memorable performances of understanding.

During this “on your feet” workshop, the project’s founders, current directors, and authors of A Reason to Read: Linking Literacy and the Arts (Harvard Education Press, 2012) will “pull back the curtain” to share both the theory and research behind the program design and offer concrete, detailed examples of ways the approach has been applied across the grade span.  Participants will leave with an extensive handbook of activities that can be applied in a variety of settings and cover any time period from one class period to one semester.   

Chair:  Eileen Landay, Brown University; Faculty Director,  ArtsLiteracy Project, Portland, ME 
Associate Chair:  Len Newman, Greene School, West Greenwich,  RI

John Holdridge, ArtsLiteracy  Project, Portland, ME
Steve Kidd, The Sandra  Feinstein Gamm Theater, Pawtucket, RI

Perspectives for a Diverse America: A K-12 Literacy-Based Anti-Bias Curriculum (G)
You don’t have to choose between rigor and relevance!  Perspectives for a Diverse America is Teaching Tolerance’s newly launched K-12 literacy-based anti-bias curriculum.  This free online curriculum connects the rigor of the Common Core English Language Arts and Literacy standards to multicultural content and culturally responsive pedagogy.  The Perspectives framework empowers teachers with quality materials that meet the needs of their diverse students and the expectations in the Common Core.  Teachers can design and differentiate their own instruction by choosing from our collection of meaningful and complex texts, standards-based literacy strategies, and authentic performance tasks. 

Participants will learn about the pedagogical approach and various instructional components of the Perspectives curriculum, including how it achieves key instructional shifts in the Common Core and addresses the goals of anti-bias education through the unique perspectives of identity, diversity, justice and action.  Session leaders will demonstrate how to navigate the Perspectives’ online environment, train participants in how to implement the curriculum, and facilitate time for individual or group practice and planning.  Participants are asked to bring a laptop or tablet.

Supporting Children's Search for Meaning: Children's Literature in Multi Modal Ways (E-M)
Sponsored by the Whole Language Umbrella (WLU)
Life is a search for meaning. This session will focus firstly, upon the issue of meaning making and secondly, the important role of children’s literature within the curriculum.   The development of deep meanings involves learners taking time to process their experiences,   to talk, write, draw, create three dimensional models, to dance, to create music, to think, and gather more information. Children’s literature is both a direct experience of books and literature, and, a source of vicarious life experiences; thus it has the potential to nourish and challenge children’s meanings.

In the world beyond the classroom, real world artists (painters, dancers, musician and other meaning makers) express themselves, and clarify their meanings through their particular art forms. This workshop will focus on ways we can have children experience children’s literature so that it challenges their current meanings, shapes new understandings, and enriches their lives. We will consider whether it is possible for children to respond musically to a literature book and in so doing, develop new insights,  or how  visual representation  of a non-rhyming poem, might  deepen a child’s  interpretation. Consideration will be given to the creation of classrooms which are cognitive playgrounds (Langer, J.A. 2011) and which allow students to experiment with a wide variety of meaning making systems. Participants will experience the joy  of using multi modal ways of thinking,  the value of developing meaning centered  literacy programs, and the riches available when children’s literature plays  a central role  in the classroom program.

Leadership Team:
Lorraine Wilson, Education Consultant (self –employed)
Rick Meyer, WLU President, University of New Mexico
Prisca Martens, Towson University
Dr. Brian Cambourne, University of Wollongong

Lorraine Wilson, Education Consultant (self –employed), “Developing Deep Understandings of Teasing and Bullying”
Dr. Brian Cambourne, University of Wollongong, “Reframing Education as Meaning-Making”
Jerome C. Harste, Indiana University, “What the Arts Afford the Would-be Maker”
Rick Meyer, University of New Mexico, “(Re)Inventing Poetry for the Making of Meaning: Identity, Intertextuality and Multimodal Possibilities”
Prisca and Ray Martens, Towson University, “Reading Picture Storybooks Multimodally”                                               
Penny Silvers, Dominican University, “From Inquiry to Social Action: Constructing Meaning with Multimodal Texts in Primary Grades”
Chuck Jurich, University of New Mexico, “Responding to Children’s Literature through Sound Design”

By Land, Air or Sea: Border Crossing Experiences In Literacy Conversations (E, TE)
Sponsored by Children’s Literature Assembly (CLA)
The unstable global economy, wars, and political unrest trigger increasing immigrant, refugee and border crossing populations. Yet teachers, responsible for their students’ acclimation to school, can find this problematic as they are unaware of the cultural mores of their diverse students. As teachers come to know their students, however, they learn to better meet their needs and provide a welcoming environment for them. Nevertheless, as anti-immigrant sentiments have escalated, often targeting particular immigrant groups, educators acknowledge that negative sentiments toward students cannot be ignored. School is the main space where many students come in contact with their immigrant peers. Literature, highlighting the experiences of immigrant groups and incorporated within the larger curriculum, may be their most practical and least combative introduction to issues of immigration. Through literature, readers explore lands and cultural mores that they might not otherwise experience. Culturally responsive teachers who are willing to make a difference, who are determined that every child who enters their classroom doors will have equal access to a positive learning environment, can make the difference in their immigrant students’ lives. Creating space for discussions about immigrant experiences in the children’s literature class is a positive step in the right direction. Book choice matters, and quality children’s books can enhance the teaching and learning about issues of immigration.

This workshop brings together authors and illustrators of books who write about immigrants, refugees and their border crossing experiences. Especially pertinent to classroom teachers who teach Refugees and other immigrant students, but informative for all teachers, participants will have the opportunity to hear the stories of award-winning authors, editors, and illustrators as they talk about the creation of their books and the issues they consider in depicting global experiences of immigrant children. 

Francisco X. Stork, Inspiring Students through Children’s and Adolescent Literature (Sponsored by Scholastic) 
Don Gallo, Experiences of Teen Border Crossers (Sponsored by Candlewick) 
Duncan Tonatiuh, Border Crossing Representations through Picture Books (Sponsored by Abrams) 
Maria Padian, Refugee Culture: Finding a Comfortable Space in the New Homeland (Sponsored by Random House) 
Warren St. John, A New Beginning: One Person Can Make a Difference (Sponsored by Random House)

Tina Proulx, On the Frontline: Experiences of Refugees and Border Crossers (Middle School Teacher) 
Anne McQuade, On the Frontline: Extending the Conversation through Children’s Literature (Middle School Teacher)

W.14  Celebrating Great Books for Young Adults: ALAN Turns 40 (M-S)

Sponsored by the Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of NCTE (ALAN)
Come and share in the celebration as ALAN celebrates its 40th year of highlighting YA literature, its authors, publishers, editors, and the educators who share these books with teens. Dozens of authors and educators will present sessions and panels on the incredible variety and diversity of YA literature. From the opening keynote by Newbery winner, Jack Gantos to Chris Crutcher's second day keynote, to  the final panel on nonfiction, ALAN workshop attendees will discover the rich history and the bright future of YA literature. Each attendee receives a box filled with YA books and will have opportunities to get books autographed by the speakers. Join us as we celebrate our birthday. We promise lots of terrific sessions and maybe even some cake!

NOTE:  Register early as the ALAN workshop fills up quickly and is limited to 500. 



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