You are invited to the 2017 WCTE Annual Convention

WHEN: Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017 (afternoon workshop)   Friday, Oct. 13, 2017 (all-day convention)

WHERE:  UW-M School of Continuing Education Conference Center in Milwaukee
7th Floor of the historic Plankinton Building at 161 Wisconsin Ave. Suite 6000

HOTEL ROOMS: A limited block of rooms has been reserved at the Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Milwaukee Downtown. To receive the group rate of $89 for either a king-sized bed or two queen-sized beds, you must reserve a room by October 2, 2017. To make a reservation call: direct 414-224-8400 or toll free Marriott 1-877-699-1495
or follow this link. Identify yourself as WCTE 2017 State Convention Group.

DETAILS: Here’s what you can look forward to:

Thursday pre-convention workshop special starts at 12:30 p.m. and goes to 4 p.m. Pre-registration is required. Here’s what you can expect:

Rock your students’ world and change them as readers, writers, and citizens.

This workshop is designed to expose you and your students to eye-opening contemporary writing from cultures throughout the globe. Visit “novel” places and unpack interactive learning resources and lesson plans that bring home cultural backdrops of books, poems, short stories, memoirs, and essays set in locales around the world.
Participants will discover ways to incorporate cultural and geography artifacts and photographs to:

  • illuminate American and world literature in the classroom
  • reflect the cultural, ethnic, and linguistic diversity of your students
  • teach writing, including analytical essays and creative responses
  • provide practice in close reading
  • evoke the five senses and build background knowledge
  • foster meaningful cross-cultural understandings
  • inspire a lifelong interest in literature
  • provide a literary lens for understanding global news events

Friday convention starts with check-in, late registration and exhibits at 7:15 a.m.  The first of five breakout sessions will begin at 8:30 a.m. Coffee, juice, fruit and pastry will be available from 7:30 – 9:00 a.m.

The rest of the day will include the mid-morning keynote, a buffet luncheon and the annual WCTE meeting to which everyone is invited.   WCTE convention schedule for 2017.

About Sandra Kowalczyk:       

For many years, Sandra Kowalczyk has devoted herself to impacting students’ literacy in unique ways. She has received world-wide recognition for sharing artifacts from other countries with students while infusing ethnically diverse and global literature into her classroom.

She has studied, researched and travelled to over 60 countries, searching for new and innovative ways to improve literacy in the United States.

Her teaching approach brings literature to life by incorporating visual arts, music, technology and readers’ theater into the classroom. Using reading lists as boarding passes, Sandra’s students travel to far-off places.

Reading journals have been re-envisioned as passports and students enjoy a departure lounge that incorporates pre-flight magazines and international newspapers.

In addition, Sandra teaches literacy intervention classes for at-risk students and has started a highly-successful before-school program called “Breakfast with Books” which targets varying reading levels by involving students in differentiated literacy activities.

Worldwide, Sandra has won many teaching awards for promoting global literacy and has been recognized as one of America’s best. She was Wisconsin Teacher of the Year, NCTE Educator of the Year, and a Global Teacher Prize finalist.

As a 2015 Global Teacher Prize finalist, Sandra attended the Global Education and Skills Forum, in Dubai, U.A.E. She worked as part of a team in the initial stages of a “literacy toolkit” to be shared globally. The literacy team is comprised of 18 literacy educators from around the world who are/were Global Teacher Finalists. There are only three from the U.S. on the team: our keynote speaker, Sandra Kowalczyk, Nancie Atwell (author of the best-selling book, In the Middle), and Erin Gruwell (author of Freedom Writers).

Concurrent sessions (not in order)

Co-teaching in a High School Classroom
By Vanessa Sieg
Participants will learn strategies and methods for collaborating with a co-teaching along with designing lesson plans and classroom activities. Navigating the waters of sharing a classroom with another teacher can be terrifying, but through our experiences and examples, we can help alleviate those fears.

Smarter Not Harder: Save Time Assessing and Providing Feedback on Student Writing with Doctopus and Goobric
By Kate Cronk
Every teacher of literacy struggles with the overwhelming amount of time spent assessing student writing and providing adequate feedback. Most teachers don’t know that two simple Google add-ons can solve this problem for good. In this session, a middle school language arts teacher will share how to use Doctopus and Goobric most effectively. The session will cover how these add-ons organize assessment information, how these add-ons allow for a digital, clickable rubric, and how audio feedback can be used effortlessly in the process. You’ll leave this session with tangible ways to save time spent assessing writing that can be used immediately.

Collaboration with Calkins: Making the Most of the Writing Units of Study by Leaning on Each Other
By Kate Cronk, Kristen Golden, Robin Stein, Patty Widlarz
Lucy Calkin’s Writing Units of Study have revolutionized the way many districts are teaching writing, but the changes can be time consuming and overwhelming. The solution? Each other! Knowing our colleagues are our best resources, a team of seventh grade language arts teachers worked together to implement, plan, and assess in ways that save time, better meet student needs, and result in consistency at their grade level. This session will provide specific examples of how collaboration can work with Calkins including: suggestions on how to share the planning load, strategies for dividing mini-lessons, step-by-step instructions for shuffling students to meet their individual needs, and ideas on how to make the most of combined publishing parties.

Self-Reported Grading in a Traditional Grading System
By Kate Cronk and Dan Piotrowski
“You’ve heard of Hattie and you’ve looked at his list of teaching strategies with high effect sizes, but you might have scratched your head about the number one: self-reported grading. What does it mean? What does it look like? And how can it be used to assess reading? Can it be done in a traditional grading system? A seventh grade language arts teacher took on these questions. Through professional reading, discussions with colleagues, and careful planning, she was able to implement forms of self-reported grading in middle school language arts classrooms. This session aims to share her successes, failures, and provide a forum for all to better understand how to implement this incredibly effective teaching strategy. Specific information to be covered in this session includes the following: a definition of self-reported grading, a rationale for attempting to tackle this system, how it could work in a traditional grading system, and how to address student, parent, administration, and fellow colleague concerns.Though this session will provide specific examples for how self-reported grading can look in middle school language arts classrooms, all grade levels can gain insight and ideas to take and implement immediately in their classrooms.

Travel the World: Global Literature and Google Technology
By Jackie England
In this session, attendees will be given full access to a thematic reading unit that allows students to explore different perspectives of people from all over the world. Jackie will present curriculum materials that reflect best practices in analyzing text and new ways to integrate technology into the classroom. All materials will be ready made for attendees to take back and immediately use in their own classrooms.

Becoming World Speakers: Forensic Speech, Debate, and Theatre Activities
By Adam J. Jacobi
Interscholastic forensic contests give students an outlet to explore social issues through researching and writing speeches, compiling and performing literature, preparing and arguing debates, and performing and producing one-act plays. This session will explore how schools can build a successful program to engage students academically past the school day.

Poetry Unveiled
By Dan and Becky Hansen
Less guessing, more accessing! Poetry is one of the most difficult topics for English teachers to address. This session will walk teachers through a simple yet elegant methodology for teaching poetry to all levels of students. It will help inspire them and their students to enjoy this art form more fully and understand it more deeply.

Empower with Poetry
By Melissa Fiamoncini
Empower writers through poetry as a genre. Poetry workshop engages all writers and opens new doors of opportunity within immersion and collaboration. Leave knowing how to empower with poetry tomorrow in class.

Using Autocrat to Make Sense of Google Form Responses
By Jessica Brogley
Do you ever have kids take quizzes in Google Forms? Do you ever wish you could give feedback? Jessica will show you how to use the Ad-on “Autocrat” to give kids meaningful feedback even when they fill out Google Forms!

Wisconsin Academic Decathlon–every Wisconsin high school should have a team!
By Janelle Bailey
I know of NO BETTER program in Wisconsin for teaching high school students the value of team competition (and in academics, no less!) but also helping them to improve their study skills, their interpersonal skills, their writing skills, and introduce them to potentially brand new content, including a novel (the actual topic changes each year).

Visual Literacy: The Arts in ELA
By Dr. Nicholle Schuelke
Developing skills in visual literacy arguably augments a person’s ability to interpret his or her world by providing additional modes of making meaning. Teachers can build upon the skills students need to read and write by teaching students to read and view all texts critically—not just traditional print texts. This session discusses integration of visual literacy for the 21st century skills and an assessment of Common Core standards related to ELA.

Reading Aloud to Older Students: Benefits and Tips
By Lisa Hollihan Allen
Do you have 6th-12th graders who have never enjoyed a book? You have the power to change that. Lure them to the world of literacy by reading aloud to them. Research supports that it can improve fluency, writing, vocabulary and can transfer to success in other classes all while building community.

Shakespeare in the Classroom
By David Daniel
David Daniel, a veteran teaching artist from American Players Theatre, with over 20 years of experience, leads teachers in proven, effective, and fun exercises in teaching Shakespeare.

Old Dog, New Tricks: How to transition a traditional classroom to Google Classroom
By Heidi Edwards
This section will address how to reduce paper, grade online, and use other aspects of classroom for educators who are new to the format. It is not an expert session, it will be hands-on ideas for how I have utilized this technology in my classroom to facilitate learning in a one-to-one classroom.

How to Facilitate Difficult Discussions in the Classroom
By Heidi Edwards and Elizabeth Logan-Hay
This session will be for strategies for facilitating discussions regarding race, culture, gender, politics, and other difficult topics in the English/Language Arts Classroom. Elizabeth and Heidi taught together for 8 years and for 1 year in a co-teaching classroom. They have navigated difficult conversations together and have tips and advice for those engaging in meaningful but difficult discussions. This session will provide strategies, resources, and questions and answers regarding the topic.

Creating a Classroom for All Learners
By Kelsey Del Ponte
Want to learn more about differentiation? Scaffolding? Accommodations? Team-teachers Kelsey Del Ponte and Brian Hirtz will reveal secrets to creating a successful classroom for all types of learners. Learn about goal setting, modifying, co-teaching, and other insights from this pair of teachers. Attendees will leave with ideas, electronic documents, and answers to questions about differentiating for all students.

Colorful Student-Led Discussions
By Shai Klima
I would like to share the 4-color questioning techniques that I teach students for Socratic circle and small group discussion. Students create text-based questions of different styles, then use these to discuss the text and create meaning of the text. Students also evaluate their own progress and the discussion format as a whole, both during and after the discussion.

Best Practices in Technology: The SAMR Model
By Mona Zignego, Kelly Thompson, Dawn Randall, Kristen Braatz
In this age of increasing technology schools wonder, how teachers can use technology to create an environment rich in language and participation? The SAMR model provides a guiding framework when using technology in the classroom while considering technological, pedagogical, and management issues. Through the consideration of substitution, augmentation, modification, and redefinition, authentic literacy activities are able to be constructed and successfully implemented using the SAMR model.

Critical Reading Strategies for Wandering Minds
By Vicki Bott
My presentation builds on scientific knowledge that recognizes that 50% of the time we are “reading,” our minds are wandering. I’ll describe how I help students recognize these moments, interrupt them, and choose strategies to regain and retain focused, critical reading.

I Kissed Grading Goodbye
By Amanda Sweet
During this session I will discuss how I limit the grading and grades I give to students and how I have focused on the writing process and conferencing to give feedback. I have become more of a mentor to my students and less of the teacher during writing time.

The Magic of Student/Instructor Relationships
By Dolores Greenawalt and Megan Mattson
Having successful post-secondary student/instructor relationships ensure students have the building blocks to help them regardless of their background, especially race, class and economics. This support system is vital to creating a learning environment in which a student can feel safe and successful.

ADDITIONAL CONVENTION REGISTRATION INFORMATION can be found in the latest issue of the WCTE Update, starting on page 4.


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