SLATE Report, March 2016

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SLATE report for Illinois Association of Teachers of English

March 5, 2016

(Student and faculty literacies made headlines since my last report to you in 10/15 in such large numbers that I include no citations here.  Anyone who wishes references – please write me at mjms@ntcource.com, and I will send you at least one relevant essay, article, tape.  Only one source is never sufficient, I know.

ALSO, the IATE Facebook page contains posts related to much that has been observed and written about.  A scroll through its back-posts provides a kind of history.)

Just in the week of March 1, 2016:

  1. Carolina teacher fired because of selfies on cellphone.
  2. Virginia’s state legislature near passage of requirement for trigger warnings of “sexual content” in school readings.
  3. of Missouri professor M. Click fired for treatment of photographer.
  4. Hawkins, ex-professor at Wheaton College, hired to do Race/Religion research at University of Virginia.

Now, more generally.

Student (K-16) newspapers and journals expect “something” each year, but the (1988) Hazelwood School District et al v. Kuhlmeir et al damped-down student journalistic speech.  There are signs of renewed student journalists’ activism: who controls this speech?

I think we need to realize that this is complicated.  One person’s priority may well intersect (alert – new buzz word!) with another’s – and both may be right in some regards.  I don’t believe it’s a matter of relativism (as some might have it), nor is it only a matter of race or gender or class or privilege (the new toxic word!).

Here’s what I call “a for-example.”  Google “Laura Kipnis” and spend 30 or 40 minutes, more if you’ve got it, reading the entries just on the first page.  Kipnis is a tenured professor at Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, and she writes for academics as well as the more general public.  Here’s a partial list of the speech issues that drive this story:  academic freedom; political correctness; right to privacy; competing “facts;” Title IX; sexual freedom; women who “lean in;” educational institutions’ procedures surrounding/addressing these issues – – these often seem at odds.  Add your own issue to my list after you read several of the accounts.

When the concept “social justice” emerged as a major topic among English teachers and professors (see the NCTE guidelines on its site), I believe everything seemed fairly straightforward.  That is no longer the case.  Our SLATE is fuller and more problematically interesting than it has been for decades.

Marilyn J. Hollman, Ph.D.
SLATE representative, Executive Board
Illinois Association of Teachers of English

 

 

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Executive Secretary Report, March 2016

[it-exchange-member-content membership_ids=”1296″]Executive Secretary’s Report and Bulletin Report
March 2016

As always we thank English Department leaders Professors Chris De Santis, chair, and our associate chair, Katherine Ellison And most of all, we thank Maegan Gaddis, who orders, arranges, and supports all our endeavors. My constant thanks go out to her for her devoted work with IATE. Again, ISU’s English Education director is now Lisa Thetard, former BHS English teacher.

The IATE Bulletin continues to thrive. Publication Unit assistant director, Holms Troelstrup, has settled in and is now at work on final touches for the Spring 2016 issue.  Julie Cheville, Professor in the English Department, will be taking over the editor’s task in 2017. She will shadow me this year as we move through the issues and then take the reins in Spring 2017. That issue is pretty much finished, so her first issue will be for Fall 2017, the Young Writers’ issue.

See my note in the Newsletter for my description of NCTE Affiliate activities. It was so exciting to see Illinois folk in Minneapolis in force and ISU’s own Doug Hesse speaking as Program Chair and future President (some of you may not know that Doug was at ISU for many years before moving to Denver. My deep thanks go to Betsy Kahn for her help and attention to the suggested guidelines for IATE future planning. She gave up her “free” time at NCTE to work on this document.

I continue to coordinate the judging for the NCTE-sponsored Norman Mailer awards for high school teachers’ fiction writing. Any volunteers to review the high school teachers’ fiction pieces, please let me and Carrie Stewart (Carrie Stewart <CStewart@NCTE.ORG>) know. We always need readers, and I thank those of you who are now a part of the team.

Membership numbers are on the back of this report.

Respectfully,

Janice Neuleib, Executive Secretary[/it-exchange-member-content]

Program for Spring Mini-Conference

Literacy for the 21st Century: Filling Gaps & Building Bridges

• Schedule •

Keynote

9:00–10:30: Creating a Culture of Literacy

  • Jeri Callaway – Freedom Writers

Session One

10:40 – 11:30:  Effective
Student-Led Writing Centers

  • Kim Kotty – Fenwick High School
  • Georgia SchulteGlenbard West High School

The writing center empowers students to take control over their own writing, to value their own ideas, and ultimately feel confident about their choices as a writer. This session will discuss best practices for planning, staffing and training student writing tutors and share how to use student-led writing centers to undergird the work of the classroom teacher.


10:40 – 11:30:  Teaching the Holocaust Through Literature

  • Jill Rembrant

This session will help language arts teachers help their students understand what historical events took place that led up to the deportation of Jews to the death camps and the Final Solution. Students will examine primary resources, including visual history testimony, art and diary entries in order to understand this difficult topic before they meet the victims of Nazi terror. In this way, they can begin to examine the concept of how choices made then and today  shape the world in which we live.


10:40 – 11:30:  We Are All Thinking Teachers

  • Lynnette Rotramel

Literacy in today’s digital world is more complicated than reading and writing. It requires making meaning of a myriad of messages. How do we move beyond covering content in order to develop critical thinking skills, cross curricular lines, and help our students make meaning of increasingly multimodal messages?  Memorization of information is no longer the goal of education. Literacy means making sense of the information that is at our fingertips. Feel confident to support the reading and thinking skills of your students in this interactive presentation designed to help you to teach reading strategies and prepare your students for 21st century literacy. Applicable for reading and content teachers in grades 4-12.


11:40 – 12:20 LUNCH


Session Two

12:40 – 1:30:  Many Voices, Many Truths: Building Bridges to the World, One Poem at a Time

  • Norman Boyer – Saint Xavier University

Poems from around the world are an ideal way of filling gaps in global awareness and building bridges with the world in our classrooms.  This presentation will introduce you to short, teachable Polish, Arabic, Persian, Latin American, Chinese, and Japanese poems.  They will be read in the original language by native-speaking friends and colleagues as recorded by the presenter. 


12:40 – 1:30:  Creating Epic Writing Rubrics

  • Callie Stanley
  • Mona Busch
  • Michele Amato
  • Casey Kennett
  • Hayley Hoffmeyer

In this interactive session, participants will focus on the qualities of an instructional writing rubric including research supported best practices with rubrics. This will include strategies for using a single rubric over an extended period of time and for multiple assignments, using a rubric instructionally rather than just in a summative way, using a rubric to guide conferencing with students, and using rubrics to support writing across all content areas. Participants will practice strategies for appropriate rubric use, create a multifunctional writing rubric to use with their students, and leave with other rubric resources that they can use in their teaching.


12:40 – 1:30:  Video Games in the English Classroom

  • Donna Binns – Eastern Illinois University

In this interactive session, participants will learn about reading and writing with video games.


Session Three

1:40– 2:30:  Connecting Literature to Life: Interdisciplinary Approaches in the English Classroom

  • Kim Kotty – Fenwick High School
  • Georgia SchulteGlenbard West High School

Though schools subjects are neatly stratified into discreet subjects, the world is not. This session will offer ideas for how to authentically make connections between the literature we teach and the modern world in which we live. It will discuss how to incorporate the media of our day to day lives– primarily advertising, television, and music– both as primary and parallel texts. 


1:40– 2:30:  Accept the Challenge

  • Deb Will – Zion Benton High School

Young adult literature has gained popularity, but selecting texts that can not only be read for enjoyment but also studied as literature can be difficult.  I present a selection of texts that have literary value and may be incorporated into English classrooms.  I include books both students and teachers will love!


1:40– 2:30                Analyzing and Writing Narratives

  • Mark Sujak – Morton East High School

Both the Common Core and the PARCC exam place importance on narrative skills that are often overlooked in the ELA classroom. This session will look at Common Core and PARCC aligned techniques to both analyze and write narrative fiction and non-fiction memoirs.


 

Session Four

2:40 – 3:30:  Read, Think, SPEAK: Using YA Literature in Nontraditional High School Disciplines

  • Gretchen Zaitzeff and Jeff Wollenweber – U-High

Learn how University High School has incorporated classic and award-winning YA literature in its Freshman Wellness and AP Calculus curriculums. Discuss the possibilities of collaborating with your school’s librarian and other colleagues to build cross-curricular support for improving literacy while meeting state learning standards. Brainstorm ways to embed literacy skills in STEM and other non-traditional courses.


2:40 – 3:30:  I Can Name that Theme in 6 Words (or Fewer)

  • Kristin Runyon – Charleston High School

I had an AHA! moment last year when I realized my students could name a thematic topic, such as appearance versus reality or the American dream, but they could not describe what we the readers were supposed to learn about that thematic topic (the life lesson). I will share with you two activities, the Literary 3×3 and the Six-Word Memoir, that require students to choose the most accurate words to concisely state a life lesson. I will also share a debate strategy, Thunderdome (yes, Mad Max style), in which the students have to support their choices.


2:40 – 3:30:  Teaching News Literacy in the English Classroom

  • Elizabeth Marino – News Literacy Project

News literacy teaches students how to sort fact from fiction and how to be responsible news consumers and creators.This session will give English teachers an overview of news literacy, practical tips on how to integrate news literacy into ELA middle and high school classrooms, and a variety of resources to begin using right away with students.

 

Literacy for the 21st Century Conference Program

Literacy for the 21st Century: Filling Gaps & Building Bridges

Schedule
 

Keynote

9:00 –10:30              Creating a Culture of Literacy

Jeri Callaway – Freedom Writers

 

Session One

10:40 – 11:30          Effective Student-Led Writing Centers

Kim Kotty – Fenwick High School

Georgia Schulte – Glenbard West High School

The writing center empowers students to take control over their own writing, to value their own ideas, and ultimately feel confident about their choices as a writer. This session will discuss best practices for planning, staffing and training student writing tutors and share how to use student-led writing centers to undergird the work of the classroom teacher.

 

10:40 – 11:30          Teaching the Holocaust Through Literature

Jill Rembrant

This session will help language arts teachers help their students understand what historical events took place that led up to the deportation of Jews to the death camps and the Final Solution. Students will examine primary resources, including visual history testimony, art and diary entries in order to understand this difficult topic before they meet the victims of Nazi terror. In this way, they can begin to examine the concept of how choices made then and today  shape the world in which we live.

 

10:40 – 11:30          We Are All Thinking Teachers

Lynnette Rotramel

Literacy in today’s digital world is more complicated than reading and writing. It requires making meaning of a myriad of messages. How do we move beyond covering content in order to develop critical thinking skills, cross curricular lines, and help our students make meaning of increasingly multimodal messages? Memorization of information is no longer the goal of education. Literacy means making sense of the information that is at our fingertips. Feel confident to support the reading and thinking skills of your students in this interactive presentation designed to help you to teach reading strategies and prepare your students for 21st century literacy. Applicable for reading and content teachers in grades 4-12.

11:40 – 12:20 LUNCH

Session Two

12:40 – 1:30             Many Voices, Many Truths: Building Bridges to the World, One Poem at a Time

Norman Boyer – Saint Xavier University

Poems from around the world are an ideal way of filling gaps in global awareness and building bridges with the world in our classrooms.  This presentation will introduce you to short, teachable Polish, Arabic, Persian, Latin American, Chinese, and Japanese poems.  They will be read in the original language by native-speaking friends and colleagues as recorded by the presenter. 

 

12:40 – 1:30             Creating Epic Writing Rubrics

Callie Stanley, Mona Busch, Michele Amato, Casey Kennett, Hayley Hoffmeyer

In this interactive session, participants will focus on the qualities of an instructional writing rubric including research supported best practices with rubrics. This will include strategies for using a single rubric over an extended period of time and for multiple assignments, using a rubric instructionally rather than just in a summative way, using a rubric to guide conferencing with students, and using rubrics to support writing across all content areas. Participants will practice strategies for appropriate rubric use, create a multifunctional writing rubric to use with their students, and leave with other rubric resources that they can use in their teaching.

 

12:40 – 1:30             Video Games in the English Classroom

Donna Binns – Eastern Illinois University

In this interactive session, participants will learn about reading and writing with video games.

 

Session Three

1:40– 2:30                Connecting Literature to Life: Interdisciplinary Approaches in the English Classroom

Kim Kotty – Fenwick High School

Georgia Schulte – Glenbard West High School

Though schools subjects are neatly stratified into discreet subjects, the world is not. This session will offer ideas for how to authentically make connections between the literature we teach and the modern world in which we live. It will discuss how to incorporate the media of our day to day lives– primarily advertising, television, and music– both as primary and parallel texts. 

 

Session Three, Cont’d

1:40– 2:30                Accept the Challenge

Deb Will – Zion Benton High School

Young adult literature has gained popularity, but selecting texts that can not only be read for enjoyment but also studied as literature can be difficult.  I present a selection of texts that have literary value and may be incorporated into English classrooms.  I include books both students and teachers will love!

1:40– 2:30                Analyzing and Writing Narratives

Mark Sujak – Morton East High School

Both the Common Core and the PARCC exam place importance on narrative skills that are often overlooked in the ELA classroom. This session will look at Common Core and PARCC aligned techniques to both analyze and write narrative fiction and non-fiction memoirs.

 

Session Four

2:40 – 3:30               Read, Think, SPEAK: Using YA Literature in Nontraditional High School Disciplines

Gretchen Zaitzeff and Jeff Wollenweber – U-High

Learn how University High School has incorporated classic and award-winning YA literature in its Freshman Wellness and AP Calculus curriculums. Discuss the possibilities of collaborating with your school’s librarian and other colleagues to build cross-curricular support for improving literacy while meeting state learning standards. Brainstorm ways to embed literacy skills in STEM and other non-traditional courses.

 

2:40 – 3:30               I Can Name that Theme in 6 Words (or Fewer)

Kristin Runyon – Charleston High School

I had an AHA! moment last year when I realized my students could name a thematic topic, such as appearance versus reality or the American dream, but they could not describe what we the readers were supposed to learn about that thematic topic (the life lesson). I will share with you two activities, the Literary 3×3 and the Six-Word Memoir, that require students to choose the most accurate words to concisely state a life lesson. I will also share a debate strategy, Thunderdome (yes, Mad Max style), in which the students have to support their choices.

 

2:40 – 3:30               Teaching News Literacy in the English Classroom

Elizabeth Marino – News Literacy Project

News literacy teaches students how to sort fact from fiction and how to be responsible news consumers and creators.This session will give English teachers an overview of news literacy, practical tips on how to integrate news literacy into ELA middle and high school classrooms, and a variety of resources to begin using right away with students.

Site Development Page

This page is restricted to Executive Board members.  If you are an Executive Board member, please log in, and join the conversation.

Post your ideas about improvements you’d like to see at the IATE site.

With this first post, I’d like to suggest making these enhancements in the short term:

  • Find a new theme.  The one we use now, “Canyon”–while basically clean, has tiny print, and, worst of all, the links hardly show up.  They become slightly greyed, and you really have to be on the lookout for them.
  • Find/design a new header logo.
  • Develop the Executive Member area.
  • Reduce the number of items in the header menu.
  • Improve the content:  Mark’s idea of IATE bloggers?