Authenticity as Method: Keeping it Real with Students

The curricula and methods of ELA can be powerful tools for reaching disempowered, disconnected students and motivating them to act, think, interact, and appreciate through the enchantments of language and story and expression. In a discussion format, a panel of early career, veteran, and preservice teachers share their approaches to cutting through the malaise and resistance often promoted by school environments to reconceive school as a space for humanistic, creative, and moral involvement.

The Larry Johannessen New Teacher Forum

This interactive discussion session will address fears, hopes, and strategies for success in teaching. Student teachers and teachers in their first few years of services are invited to talk about challenges and victories. Experienced teachers and others who care about the struggles of novice teachers are encouraged to attend and share their ideas.

This Speaks to Me

The task of nurturing the authentic voices of students within our classrooms can be one of the most important undertakings of teachers at all levels. Activities focusing on the listening, viewing, and reading interests of students can enhance their written and spoken communication skills as well as support social and emotional learning while encouraging the use of instructor provided analytical tools across various disciplines. The activity, “This Speaks To Me” allows students to share what they see, hear, and feel while developing writing, listening, and critical thinking skills. Finally, through practice and discussion participants can decide if “This Speaks To Me” can be a tool to use in their classrooms as well as how it might be adapted across age levels and abilities.

Communicate Extraordinarily with Tier 2 Vocabulary

The interactive workshop will provide participants with research and strategies to implement engaging and meaningful speaking and writing strategies using tier two or high level vocabulary. The purpose of embedding tier two vocabulary into the speaking literacy is to improve student communication skills, especially written communications. Based on research, students write how they talk, and do not advance their verbal vocabulary after third grade. With more exposure, especially to students form low-income families, students can gain a repertoire of specific words to used on a daily basis, where they can identify more words and its synonyms in literature, increasing comprehension and reading/writing stamina.

A Small Place in the U.S.

From rural Wisconsin to wherever you are, we can choose authentic texts that offer both a mirror and a window to our students and their experiences of place. In the resort town of Elkhart Lake, teachers read A Small Place by Jamaica Kincaid and connected the tourism industry there to students’ experiences. Attendees will explore resources and ideas to create a similar unit or lesson for their classes.

Culminating Activities to Provide Connections

Traditionally, students have demonstrated their understanding and analysis of a text or topic through tests and essays. However, have you seen other teachers’ social media posts about One Pagers or Hexagons and weren’t sure how to introduce them to students? Hexagons and One Pagers can be used for single texts, to connect multiple texts. to explore themes, and across the curriculum. This presentation will share the basics of each activity and then give participants time to practice each one.

From Voices on Paper to Voices in the Room

Get every student in your class writing and talking about complex, creative, personal and debatable topics. How? Transition from engaging journal prompts to various discourse strategies. Observe the positive difference these activities make in your classroom community and in their extended writing projects. Learn and practice these ideas in an interactive workshop and be inspired!

To Build a Story: Eleven Questions for Beginning Fiction Writers

How can you help your students write a good story from scratch? You offer them the basics of storytelling, one step at a time. With each step, you prompt them to build a story that is uniquely theirs. This workshop combines narrative theory with practical writing advice to help teachers help their students write an entertaining and emotionally resonant story.

Teaching Authentic Reading with Metacognitive Tools: The Double-Entry Research Log

Kayla Greenwell, MA will lead an interactive workshop utilizing the double-entry research log (DERL) while explaining the pedagogical theory and neuroscience behind the learning tool. The DERL is a reading tool based on the design of 1980s dialectic journals with updates based on recent developments in cognitive science. While applying cognitive science to the classroom is not new, the changes are usually broad. The DERL is meant to be a simple tool that teachers can incorporate into their classrooms immediately.

Let’s Talk Narrative

Personal narrative is often seen as an extra unit of writing because of the pressure on teachers to focus on informational and analytical writing. When we look at authentic writing, however, personal narrative is often blended with other genres. This session will focus on how writers often incorporate personal stories for the purpose of answering questions and feature lessons and activities from our upcoming book, Narrative as Navigation.