The premise of the Gateway Writing Project is that when given time, teachers embrace learning from each other. This October day will be about just that...teachers learning with and from teachers. Join the energy of the day, and return to your classrooms powered up with new strategies, deeper thinking about teaching writing, and new friendships in the field.
The Gateway Writing Project has remarkable talent in its ranks. Each of the presenters is a highly successful Gateway Writing Project Teacher Consultant, ready to share what works with students. Sessions will have you writing in your Writer’s Notebooks (bring them!) and sharing your ideas and thinking with other bright teachers of writing across the region.
Angie Muse (Hazelwood) | Room 126
Exploring Craft: Introductions and Conclusions (3rd-College)
Does this sound familiar? We tell students what makes a good lead. We tell students how a lead fits into an introduction, and we tell them how to craft a conclusion that corresponds to the introduction. We do a lot of telling and expect students to write well as a result. What if we interrupt that pattern by having students explore qualities of the craft, and by telling us what makes an effective introduction and conclusion? In this session participants will experience two activities that can be modified or extended in a multitude of ways to create a class where students explore the craft of writing.
Dominic Geinosky Pioter, Diana Hammond, and Lisa Giljum Jansky | Room 222
(University City, Ritenour, and Parkway)
Playful Writing: Balancing Imagination with Craft (General)
2011 STUDY GROUP SESSION
Are you tired of stilted, predictable student writing? Using Mary Adler's concept of "focused freedom" from her book Writers at Play, these presenters will show how to increase imaginative play in all classroom writing by offering a balanced approach that teaches craft and technique while encouraging risk-taking and personal discovery. Participants will have an opportunity to reflect on how their current assignments can be revised to maximize student play, as well as leave with exciting, practical lessons to invigorate their own classrooms.
Tracy Brosch (Sunrise R-IX) | Room 72
Audience Matters: Publishing Beyond the Classroom Teacher (6th-12th)
In this session, participants will explore ways to help authenticate student writing. Better audiences create better writing. Sometimes a better audience is simply a broader audience. While at other times in our writing, we need a more specific audience for our piece. The presenter will address ways to fulfill both of these needs by introducing creative publishing options and by identifying places that publish student writing. Participants will leave with many ideas to help your students go public with their writing.
Nancy Popkin (Harris-Stowe State University) | Room 225
Beyond the Blackboard: Tiny Steps to Giant Strides (7th-College)
Upon realizing that her students were under-informed on current events, this presenter decided they should do a research paper on the uprisings in the Middle East and Northern Africa. While preparing the lesson plans, she discovered many visual and auditory resources on the Internet—podcasts, maps, videos of speeches, art, music, etc. which stimulated the students’ interest in their research topics. Participants in this session will have the opportunity to “visualize the drama” of real life events, and learn how to guide their own students in bringing research to life.
Colette Book (Affton) | Room 229
Reading Like a Writer: Finding and Using Mentor Texts (3rd -8th)
Are you having difficulty finding that perfect mentor text to help with a particular focus lesson? If so, come to this session where participants will have a chance to practice reading like a writer by examining a multitude of picture books, novels, and other print sources to find the nuggets to aid in reader's-writer's workshop.
Mary Kim Schreck (Educational Consultant) | Room 126
Divergent Thinking Tools to Strengthen the Writing Process (General)
If what one has to say isn’t worth saying in the first place, then all the editing, peer-collaborating, rewriting, polishing are, for the most part, wasted energy. The role of divergent thinking—mining for a myriad of ideas and choices before settling on one—is more important to the quality of good writing than is often acknowledged in most classrooms. This workshop will focus on broadening our thinking to incorporate techniques of creative thinking into 21st Century classrooms, where they belong!
Laura Gilliam, Caroline Hackmeyer, Tracy Brosch | Room 222
(Fort Zumwalt, University City, and Sunrise R-IX)
Is Quality Writing More Than the Sum of its Rubricized Parts? (General)
2011 STUDY GROUP SESSION
Rubrics are accepted across all levels and disciplines as a valuable assessment practice that makes teachers more objective and consistent. So, why question rubrics? Maja Wilson, in Rethinking Rubrics in Writing Assessment, argues that in the practice of boiling “a messy process down to 4-6 rows of nice, neat, organized little boxes, assessment is stripped of the complexity that breathes life into good writing.” In this session, participants will explore essential questions inspired by Wilson’s book. Using writing, discussion, and assessment of student work, participants will explore how quality writing is much more than the sum of its rubricized parts. Participants will leave with a deeper understanding of writing assessment and alternatives to traditional rubrics.
Barb Criner (St. Louis Public, Retired) | Room 229
Inspire Poetry Using Digital Cameras (K-8th)
Are you looking for a different approach to teaching poetry? Motivate your students with nature and digital photography. Participants will take a 10-minute nature walk on the UMSL campus and then use their digital cameras or the camera feature on their cell phone to take several nature pictures. Participants will then select a photo and use their observational skills to write a nature poem. (If you have some digital pictures you love, feel free to bring them to this session.)
Cathy Beck (Clayton, Retired) | Room 72
It Was a Dark and Stormy Night: YA Literature Today (6th-College)
Participants of this session will examine the relevancy and power of some of the most recent publications in Young Adult literature, particularly in light of the recent controversy about the genre’s dark and sometimes questionable themes. The presenter will discuss (and recommend) several provocative books, both fiction and nonfiction, that will be sure to pique your interest and the interest of your students.
Troy Kozak (Affton) | Room 225
Ethos, Pathos, and Logos: Using Rhetorical Appeals in Persuasive Writing (6th-12th)
In this session, participants will learn about an engaging, interactive way to guide students through the composing of a purposeful and effective rhetorical argument. The presenter will demonstrate how he uses famous speeches, both visual and textual, in order to teach the use and effect of rhetorical devices, advanced writing skills, and higher order thinking.
Tina Newberry (St. Louis Community College) | Room 72
What is College-Level Writing? (9th-College)
2011 STUDY GROUP SESSION
Ever wonder how differently high school and college teachers define "college-level writing"? After reading Sullivan, Tinberg, and Blau’s What Is College-Level Writing? Vol. 2, the study group explored this question. Presenters will share themes and insights from the book as well as present how high school and college teachers could work collaboratively to ensure high school students are ready for college-level writing. Participants will be encouraged to analyze the varying definitions of college-level writing, develop their own definition, and evaluate if any of the presenters' teaching improvements might also prove beneficial in their own teaching practices.
Becky Bubenik and Linda Gaither (Fort Zumwalt) | Room 225
Promoting Literacy in Science Class (6th-12th)
This session will describe the collaboration between the Science and Communication Arts departments at Fort Zumwalt North High, where a Communication Arts teacher implemented a literacy-based mini-lesson program in a freshman Science class. The goal was to help students apply the skills they learn in their Communication Arts classes to their other courses. This project evolved from concern over literacy standards in all core subjects in the new national common core. This is the first year of this trial, and the plan is to include strategies for summary writing during second semester. Participants will examine these teachers’ pilot program and learn how they can replicate this type of cross-curricular program in their own schools.
Heather Rodgers (St. Charles Community College) | Room 126
When Past and Present Students Collide: How to Use Former Students’ Writing to Teach Your Current Students (6th-College)
In this session, we will explore ways to use writing samples from past students to teach our current writing students. As students read and analyze student writing during guided lessons, they will begin to internalize the characteristics of strong and weak writing. For example, students will ask themselves, “What mistakes did these students make that I should avoid in my own writing? What could that student have done differently in her essay, and how can I make my own draft better? What does a student’s writing process look like, and how can I improve my own? What grade did this student receive on his paper, and why?” This session will include student examples, ideas for lesson plans, additional resources, and plenty of time for discussion.
Cathy Cartier and Cathy O’Brien (Affton) | Room 222
Funds of Knowledge (General)
Since all students, including ELLs, have an abundant knowledge that schools do not always know about or use to teach academic skills, teachers need to become familiar with students’ knowledge and skills. This session is a community-builder based on the research of Luis Moll, which will help teachers abandon a deficit view of their students and will in turn help students see themselves as thoughtful learners in “socially meaningful tasks.” Objectives of this session include: 1) helping teachers identify the positive contributions of all students, particularly ELLs, and 2) providing a strategy to help teachers create a classroom community that recognizes and utilizes students’ assets.
Barbara Hodges (Hazelwood, Retired) | Room 229
The Teacher as a Writer (General)
Teachers of writing must write themselves, but we often don’t take time from our busy lives to write. In this session, participants will learn and practice strategies that promote good writing. Time will then be given for participants to write and share. They will leave with a promising piece of writing as well as ideas to use in their classrooms.
*Buddy Offer: A TC may bring ONE “buddy” teacher with them for the reduced rate | $35
Contact Nancy Singer, Director of the Gateway Writing Project at (314) 516-5517