WTL Announces Volume Discounts…Bring Your Friends and Save!

Write to Learn is always a party, but you can make it even more of a party by attending with a group of your teaching friends.

Here’s the deal: If you sign up for the conference as a group of 5 or more from the same school or district, each person in the group will receive $20 off their full conference registration fee.  That’s 5 (or more) X $20, for a savings of $100 or more.

There are just a couple of qualifications:

  • As stated above, each person in the group must register for the full conference (Thursday through Saturday) in order to count.  Of the various options, the full conference fee is already your best value, and this deal makes it an even greater value.
  • All the people in the group must sign up at the same time.  This way, we know that you are a group and are wanting to take advantage of the deal.

That’s all there is to it.  So, if three or four people from your school were already planning to attend, reach out and get another person or two to add to the group and save big.  See you at the conference.

Willy Wood
Write to Learn Conference Coordinator

YA Author Laurie Halse Anderson Speaks Out About #MeToo and the Power of Voice

At this year’s Write to Learn Conference, many of our speakers will be addressing the conference theme of “Voice and Choice,” and no one is more qualified to do so than Laurie Halse Anderson, whose 1999 YA novel, Speak, about a teenage girl traumatized by rape, has achieved canonical status in English classrooms and high school libraries across the country.

Recently, with the #MeToo movement continuing to pick up steam, the level of awareness surrounding sexual assault has risen, and more and more English teachers and librarians are using YA literature to bring these issues out into the open for discussion. Recently, Julia Jacobs wrote an article about this topic in the New York Times, featuring Laurie Halse Anderson, as well as authors Kami Garcia, Amy Reed, and Isaberl Quintero. You can read the full article here.

Laurie, who was raped at the age of 13, has recently returned to the topic of sexual assault in her newest book, Shout, which is a raw, emotional, free verse memoir about her own rape. Shout is scheduled for release in March, 2019, shortly after Write to Learn.  You can read more about Shout here.

Willy Wood
Write to Learn Conference Coordinator

Jeff “The Write Guy” Anderson Presents a Keynote and Workshop at WTL 2019

Most language arts teachers know at least a little bit about Jeff Anderson, who will be presenting the after-lunch keynote address and a workshop on Friday, March 1 at Write to Learn.  Jeff is best known as a prolific author of professional books for language arts educators–especially in the areas of mechanics, editing, revising, and the use of mentor texts in teaching writing.  Some of his books–especially Everyday Editing (2007), 10 Things Every Writer Needs to Know (2011), and Revision Decisions (2014) have achieved almost canonical status among English teachers.

For those of you who haven’t had the privilege of reading Jeff’s books or hearing him speak, you might want to check out this short video of Jeff talking about some of the topics covered in 10 Things Every Writer Needs to Know–topics ranging from how to teach form without teaching formula to how to prepare students to do well on standardized writing tests without succumbing to the pressure to teach to the test.

And if you’re an elementary teacher, you definitely want to take a look at Jeff’s newest professional book, Patterns of Power: Inviting Young Writers into the Conventions of Language, Grades 1-5.  This massive book gives you everything you need to teach young writers how to not only use conventions correctly, but to use them as “special effects” to make their writing more interesting and powerful.

And that’s not all Jeff’s been up to.  In the past few years, he has branched out into writing humorous fiction for intermediate and middle grades kids.  He published his first fiction title, Zack Delacruz: Me and My Big Mouth, in 2015, then followed it up with a sequel, Zack Delacruz: Just My Luck, in 2016.  His most recent book in the series, Zack Delacruz: Upstaged, was published in 2018.  To get a sense of the tone and content of the series, check out this trailer for Zack Delacruz: Just My Luck.

So don’t delay.  Reserve your spot at this year’s conference to ensure that you don’t miss what Jeff has to say.  Just go to the Register page and sign up.  We’ll see you in February!

Willy Wood
Write to Learn Conference Coordinator

Meet 2015 National Teacher of the Year (and Write to Learn Keynoter) Shanna Peeples

At Write to Learn, we like to kick things off with a bang, and boy, do we have a speaker this year who will provide a huge emotional bang to kick off our day on Friday, March 1: Shanna Peeples!

Shanna will share her story with you in her powerful keynote address, “Storytelling as a Political Act.”  And what a story it is–from her humble beginnings in an oil town in the middle of the Texas panhandle to newspaper reporter to Texas Teacher of the Year to National Teacher of the Year in 2015 to Harvard Graduate School.  Along the way, you’ll learn how and why she got into teaching, you’ll hear about some of her struggles and successes as first a middle school teacher and then a high school English teacher, and you’ll pick up many ideas for effective lessons along the way.

We sometimes throw around the term “a teacher’s teacher,” but with Shanna, the term really applies.  She has faced some of the biggest challenges a teacher can face–large class sizes, high levels of student poverty, and the low levels of self-confidence students often have in these conditions–and she has found ways to help her students rise above those challenges and learn to contribute their own unique voices to the conversations in their community and beyond.

But you don’t have to wait till March to start learning from Shanna.  To get a little taste of what Shanna’s all about, check out the article, “The Questions Kids Carry” on her website, or even better, if you have 30 free minutes, listen to Episode #88 of Brian Sztabnik’s Talks With Teachers podcast, where he interviews Shanna.  Believe me, it’s a great investment of 30 minutes.

Willy Wood
Write to Learn Conference Coordinator

Registration for the 2019 Write to Learn Conference is Open!

The holidays are always a time to celebrate.  We have Thanksgiving in late November, and then we have Christmas in late December.  But let’s not forget your other reason to celebrate this time of year…the opening of registration for Write to Learn!

That’s right, registration for the 2019 Write to Learn Conference is now open, and whether you look at it as a late blessing to be thankful for or an early Christmas present, we hope you enjoy what we have in store for you this year.

You can take a look at the bios for this year’s main speakers on the Featured Speakers page, you can see the descriptions of this year’s full-day workshops on the Thursday sessions page, or you can check out all the amazing breakout sessions on the Friday and Saturday pages. And once you’re done browsing, hop on over to the Register page to get signed up.

We have a great conference in store for you this year, and we hope you’re as excited about coming as we are about bringing it to you.

We’ll see you in late February and early March!

Willy Wood
Write to Learn Conference Coordinator