Community in Action

How to add a zinger to the end of a novel unit that deals with hard topics. Go through the steps to create a discussion panel of experts. Your principal loves it, your school board loves it, and your students love it. This conversational piece is the type of activity that students will remember long after they have left your classroom and building behind them. It gives them a safe place to ask questions, make statements, and be heard while receiving wisdom, advice, and encouragement by community members who are experts in their fields.

Designing Assignments that Resist ChatGPT

After a brief overview of how ChatGPT works, we’ll talk about ways to design assignments that deter students from using AI generated texts. This is NOT a session on how to catch, police, or punish the use of AI, but to design more holistic and process-oriented tasks that ask students to do their own thinking.After a brief overview of how ChatGPT works, we’ll talk about ways to design assignments that deter students from using AI generated texts. This is NOT a session on how to catch, police, or punish the use of AI, but to design more holistic and process-oriented tasks that ask students to do their own thinking.

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.

Teaching Students about “Asians”

Representation of Asians in the West often follows the same script: model minorities, mother/daughter conflicts, and oppressive traditions. In this session, attendees will explore and workshop many different materials, ranging from entire units on media stereotypes to individual readings and assignments that can be plugged into existing units, that teach students how to problematize Orientalist assumptions that fuel Asian racism today.

What is “real,” anyway? Creating a new 12th-grade ELA course to align with college composition

The co-presenters, a high school and a community college English teacher, collaborated to create a new 12th-grade ELA course under the state’s Transitional Instruction Initiative. The new course more intentionally aligns with first-year college composition. They will share information about the course, their work together as colleagues at neighboring institutions, and how they’ve created a curriculum, along with engaging instructional techniques, to make college a more realistic and tangible option for students that identify themselves as needing extra support in the areas of reading and writing.

Neurodivergent: Walking the Walk of Authenticity

Authenticity requires a careful balance of the teacher’s executive presence (Hewlett, 2014) the requirements of subject area, the needs of the students, the students’ individual situations, both biological and environmental. Neurodivergence, on the part of the teacher, the students, or both, adds a bit of spice to the experience. This presentation/discussion will explore using teacher authenticity as an important element of relationship-building as a foundation for learning, maneuvering as a neurodivergent (autistic) teacher to support that authenticity, and modifying strategies to encourage success and accessibility for all in the neurodiverse classroom.

Producing Podcasts as an Alternative Assessment

This session will describe a summative assessment that used the genre of a “true crime” podcast with Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s Chronicle of a Death Foretold. Students modeled the journalistic style of the novel, used critical thinking and textual evidence to analyze characters, practiced the writing process through re-reading, drafting, and revision, and tapped into their own creativity and humor to increase their understanding of the novel. This session will explain the process of the podcast project, demonstrate the technology tools used, look at samples of the final product, and brainstorm other works of literature that might lend themselves to this engaging alternative to a test or essay.

Inquiry & Literacy: Using Authentic Problems and Real Student Conversations to Engage Students

We all want our students to be engaged; we want them to be seen, heard, valued AND captivated by the curriculum. However, as the year goes on, activities like bellringers, team-building exercises, and daily brain breaks become less effective and less engaging, and they don’t generate student excitement about the content of the class. What if it didn’t need to be that way? What if curriculum could be authentically engaging? The presenters will share a guaranteed and viable approach to curricular design that centers current, controversial questions; by putting questions that matter at the center of unit design, teachers are empowered to privilege student voice and meaning-making above student compliance.To make school authentic and exciting, we don’t need to ditch the standards or revamp the reading: we need to shift how we think about teaching and learning, including inquiry-based units, discussion modalities that can be applied to any unit, and strategies to enhance student reading, writing, and overall literacy.