Art as entryways and escape routes

In today’s educational landscape, it is essential for students to have meaningful opportunities to engage in humanizing and antiracist pedagogy. Art can serve as both an entryway and an escape route to help students understand and challenge oppression. As texts, art can reveal our reality, highlight the difficulties of marginalized groups, and provide a space for antiracist discourse and action. In our classrooms, the examination and creation of art as story and justice allows students to confront the realities of racism and other oppressive forces in our everyday lives and challenge themselves and others to think critically about the ways in which it manifests in our society. Art can act as an entryway to ignite dialogue, inspire voice, build community and foster collective action. Additionally, it can also be used as an escape route to explore and express the complexities of racism and its implications, as well as a means to escape oppressive structures. . In this session ELA teachers will learn how to use art in ten ways in our antiracist ELA classrooms.

AP Language: High Stakes + Low Stress = Remarkable Success

In an attempt to bolster enrollment and lower stress for both students and teachers, we have designed an AP Language and Composition class using a writing workshop model empowering students to explore topics that matter to them. Our AP Language and Composition pass rate exceeds 95%, and our enrollment in the course continues to grow each year. The course is designed to help students analyze everything from social media posts to peer-reviewed academic journals in an authentic, yet rigorous manner. Students complete nearly all work within the class period which helps to minimize student stress while maximizing time for in-class conferencing with the teacher. This session will focus on sharing ideas and strategies to help high achieving students who are often extremely busy and stressed find joy in researching, analyzing, and writing about issues they care about.

Going “Gradeless”: Equitable Assessment Strategies for the Reading and Writing Classroom

Going “gradeless” is becoming a popular approach as educators work to provide more equitable and authentic assessment and feedback that support all students. This presentation shares the experiences of a collection of middle school, high school, and college teachers who implemented various approaches to equitable grading, including going gradeless/pointless (Guskey, 2015; Zerwin, 2020), ungrading (Blum, 2020), and labor-based grading (Inoue, 2019a). In this presentation, we will share our findings and experiences with an emphasis on gradeless assessment practices for writing and reading instruction.

Featured Author Session: Celebrating the Victories

This workshop is designed to help you and students find all the large and small ways writing can help not only change your life but your students’ lives along with some DOs and DON’Ts on how to properly engage students of color.

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.

Sharing the Reader’s Journey: Facilitating Book Club  Podcasts

As choice reading continues to ensure that students of all abilities find enjoyment in reading, teachers incorporating choice reading into their curricula may seek ways to encourage student voice in discussions. This presentation will offer an idea to be applied for ongoing book club units or end-of-semester assessment. Students reading choice books trace their personal reactions to their reading to determine theme or genre-based connections with peer readers. They then apply podcast knowledge gained through class listening experiences to construct and record discussions of their reading journeys using the podcasting app Anchor.

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.

Building Authentic Collaboration: Our Experiences as Dual-Enrollment Instructor and Embedded Librarian

Human Resources expert Tim Baker, in his 2019 text on performance and development strategies, theorizes 5 “pillars of authentic conversation” that allow colleagues to effectively collaborate and to “keep it real” in their working relationships. By identifying authentic approaches to task-focused conversations and people-focused conversations, Baker lays out a plan for co-workers in any environment to strategize, carry out their plans, address unhelpful behavior, build trust and appreciation, and move into the future. Faced with teaching dual-enrollment speech and composition classes in area high schools, the session presenters (a community college instructor and librarian) discuss their experiences as they formulated a strategy for collaborative teaching. They describe the Embedded Librarian role as it exists at their school and how their approaches to these shared courses have evolved along the way. Weaving in Baker’s terms and definitions of authentic conversation, the presenters share what worked and what didn’t in their collaborative teaching. The session also offers assessment data from when two of the dual-enrollment courses taught by the presenters were offered by high schools without a media center or librarian in their buildings.