- Real Writing, Real Revision: In order to create work that goes beyond the single-draft test essay, students need models and mentors in their writing lives. This comes in the form of mentor texts, connections with favorite authors, and most importantly, from the lead learner in the classroom - you! In this session, author/educator Kate Messner will share strategies for using mentor texts and connecting students with the authors whose books they love, and she invites teacher-writers to pick up their own pens or keyboards to experiment with tried-and-true author strategies for everything from brainstorming story ideas, to writing nonfiction leads, to revision. Join Kate for a day of learning and writing bravely!
- Remembering Why We Do What We Do: Taylor Mali has made a career out of saying things often “thought but ne’er so well expressed,” which is actually a popular definition of a poem. A veteran teacher who left the regular classroom in 2000, Mali has nevertheless continued to teach. He brings new ‘spires for your inspiration and new fires for your hearths, even if you can’t spell “education” without “cautioned.”
- It’s Not a Bandwagon, It’s a Freight Train: In this interactive BYOD [Bring Your Own Device] session, you will experience the blindingly fast freight train that is technology. Barri, having just completed Apple Academy training this summer, will guide you through the tangled web of digital literacy and what it means to engage today's digitally literate learners. With the help of her current student teachers, Barri will focus on apps and web-based tools that increase writing enthusiasm, participation, creation, and innovation. This session will address the role of technology as a supplement to, and not a replacement for, quality writing, as well as how to encourage students and teachers to not only consume on their devices, but produce as well.
- Metacognition: The Transformative Power of Reflective Thinking: Do you want to foster metacognition in your classroom? Do you need ideas to help students make this abstract concept visible and concrete? In this session, you will explore the intersection of research and practice to generate lessons that students will love. Tanny will walk you through the use of realia, images, sketches, and text to help your students understand what metacognition is and what it can do for them as readers and thinkers. Our students have brilliant thinking; let's help them reflect upon it and enable them to share it with the world!
- Making Content Count: Bringing Learning to Life: Engaging students to use writing within all content areas is an effective instructional strategy that can bring learning to life. Where does writing fit into your content instruction? In this session, Jane, Beth, and Allison will address how to take students to a deeper level in all curricular areas by incorporating writing. This workshop focuses on how student learning in the content areas can be enhanced through writing and technology integration. Come join the presenters and learn how to make your content count!
- Improv and Ink: Getting Students to Write More So You Can Teach Writing!: Do you know a student in grades 4-12 who refuses to write or doesn't write enough? When students don’t write long enough writing samples, it makes teaching writing or assessing content knowledge difficult, if not impossible. Further complicating this situation is the fact that the student's reluctance to write may be rooted in either social emotional or literacy deficits, and you often don’t know if either of these issues is present. So, how can you help students increase the length of their writing samples? Improv! Yes, improv, those [three- to five-] minute, spontaneous and sometimes hilarious games seen on stage or on television, can increase writing fluency. Improv takes students rapidly through a series of essential literacy skills, while simultaneously nurturing social-emotional skills that impact their ability to write. In this engaging, experiential session, you will learn how and why improv so effectively and efficiently increases writing fluency. Come to this session and experience the power and potential of improv as a classroom writing strategy.
- Teaching through Adversity: Facing Challenges and Making a Difference: Ron Clark will share his journey from teaching in a low-wealth rural area in North Carolina to the inner-city streets of Harlem in New York City. Along the way, Mr. Clark will share inspirational stories of how his students made outstanding growth in test scores, conducted projects that garnered worldwide attention, and were invited to the White House three separate years to be honored by the president. Mr. Clark was the 2000 Disney American Teacher of the Year, and he has been featured on the Rosie O'Donnell Show and also the Oprah Winfrey Show, where Oprah dubbed him her first "Phenomenal Man." Mr. Clark has written three books about his teaching practices, The Essential 55: An Award-Winning Educator’s Rules for Discovering the Successful Student in Every Child, The Excellent Eleven: An Award-Winning Teacher’s Guide to Raising Children Who Love to Learn, which outlines qualities and characteristics parents and teachers should have to instill success in their children and students, and The End of Molasses Classes: Getting Kids Unstuck, 101 Extraordinary Solutions for Parents and Teachers. This book offers the Ron Clark Academy's 101 innovative and classroom-tested ways for improving America's schools and leading our children to greatness.
- Six Word Story, Six Unique Shots: Enhancing Writing through Multimedia: Attend this session and explore an activity that brings the writing process to life with digital storytelling. A simple six-word story, created as a video with six unique camera shots, allows students of any grade level to tell a powerful visual story. In this presentation, Don will guide you through a unique project that addresses the fundamentals of media literacy, filmmaking, and the digital storytelling process.
- Using Technology Tools to Support the Reading Process: Bring your laptop or tablet to explore a variety of technological tools that can be used to facilitate the reading process. Using technology in instruction helps engage students as well as give them skills they will need in their 21st Century world beyond school. Tools you will explore in this session include websites intended to help a reader find the next great book, technology for recording reading done and your thinking about that, and digital tools that allow you to share your reading experiences with others. You will have the opportunity to try out each tool for yourself and to collaborate with colleagues to identify ways you might use each with your students to facilitate their independent reading.
I tried to choose a diverse set of courses that would support my teaching style, while at the same time challenging me to improve upon my weaknesses. I will be accompanied in some of the sessions by various colleagues of my fourth grade teaching partners, but I made choices based on my own preferences and needs and not based on whether I would be sitting next to people I know. I'm hopeful that I can come back with an overwhelming amount of information and ideas to use in the future.