9:15-10:30:Lifting the Chill in the Writing Classroom.
In recent years the writing classroom has become more academic and less student-centered. Real choice in writing has become an endangered species. I’ll talk about how teachers can bring back the spark and sizzle to the writing classroom. This session will springboard off my book Joy Write: Cultivating High-Impact Low-Stakes Writing (Heinemann).
11:00-12:00 How Mentor Texts Lift Student Writing
Young writers need vision to get an idea of what good writing looks and feels and sounds like. The writing in a classroom can only be as strong as the literature that surrounds, supports, and buoys it up. This session will build on my book Mentor Author, Mentor Texts (Heinemann). It will include a short writing exercise.
12:00-1:00 Luncheon and Awards
1:00-2:00 Engaging Boy Writers
Empirical and anecdotal evidence shows that boys struggle in writing classrooms. Why is this so? What specific challenges (such as handwriting) handicap boys? How can we widen the circle and make the writing classroom a place where boys can find their stride as writers? Ralph is the author of Boy Writers: Reclaiming Their Voices.
2:00-2:45 Using Photography to Teach Writing
The world is becoming more visual. Students author their lives not with notebooks and pens but through the photos they take on their cellphones. The lexicon of photography (angle, focus, background, zoom) provides a language that is concrete and familiar to students, and one that will make it easier for us to explain the craft of writing. Ralph’s newest professional book is Focus Lessons: How Photography Can Illuminate the Teaching of Writing (Heinemann). Register on the Spring Conference page.
Chris has been a middle-school teacher; a high-school teacher; a literacy coach; and a Senior Staff Developer with the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project at Columbia University. Now, as Founding Director of the The Educator Collaborative, he is working to innovate the ways educators learn in-person and online, providing opportunities for teachers, coaches, and administrators to share their expertise so students can hold their brightest futures.
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