Day Three Sessions

Saturday Morning Keynote

7:45 am – 9:00 am

“Laugheracy: 5 Techniques of Humor Writing to Grow Student Voices and Encourage Critical Thinking”
Barry Lane, Author, Comedian, Musician, and Writing Expert

Humorous writing engages students, boosts critical thinking, and creates dynamic culture of voice and choice in the classroom. In this keynote, Barry will give you five practical ideas for creating  humor writing across the curriculum and teaching your students to be independent thinkers not afraid to speak the truth to power.

Saturday Sessions Round E

9:30 am – 10:45 am

47. “Well Spoken: Teaching All Students How to be Effective Speakers”
Erik Palmer, Author and Educational Consultant
Grades K-5

We cannot pretend to value student voice without teaching students how to use their oral voices effectively. Speaking is by far the number one language art. Teachers in all subject areas at all grade levels have students speaking in class. Technology showcases oral language in ways not imagined a generation ago—video and podcasting tools and FaceTime, for examples. State standards emphasize oral communication. Employers list verbal communication as a top skill needed. Speaking matters. Unfortunately, few of us have specific lessons for teaching speaking skills. We make students talk, but we don’t teach them how to talk well. You’ve probably noticed that most students do not speak very well. In this session, Erik introduces a practical, multiple-trait framework for teaching the skills involved in all effective oral communication. Proven successful strategies, lessons, and activities will be shared, enabling you to more purposefully teach students how to have effective voices in class and beyond.

49. “Learning in the Third Dimension”
Joanne Fish, Fontbonne University and Carla Rosene
Grades 1-8

In this presentation, Joanne and Carla will highlight using 3D pens for literacy instruction. Whether your students are in first grade or eighth grade, you can introduce writing and drawing in 3D to help students learn everything from decoding skills to critical thinking skills. For example, for young readers learning sight words, the student can use the 3D pen to build the words upwards. After using the pen, the student can then use the 3D words as a tactile tool for tracing the words. One example for older students is to use the 3D pen to create 3D images that allow them to express how they understand and visualize text. Because they can create in multiple colors, students can incorporate key details into their work. This session will focus on both elementary and middle school use of 3D creations. The use of 3D pens is theoretically sound and evidence-based, and the pens are safe for children to use after a simple instructional lesson.

51. “Creating Digital Breakout or Escape Room Games: Why and How”
Tori Grable, St. Joseph School District
Grades 3-12

BreakoutEDU games are an excellent way to enliven any classroom while providing background knowledge about a topic, reviewing concepts and/or skills, or even assessing students. Whether working independently, as part of a small group racing to beat others, or as a whole class, students are engaged as they actively try to solve a variety of clues related to a particular topic or content. Come to this session to explore opportunities for using digital Breakout games in your classroom and to learn how to make one of your own! (You don’t need a computer for each student to use Breakout games with your students. No particular device is required for a Breakout game, only access to the Internet.)

53. “Engaging Readers through Dystopian Literature”
Chelsea Brown and Chelsie Floyd, Ozark School District
Grades 6-10

Join Chelsea and Chelsie as they dive into the world of dystopian literature! Broken societies…anarchy…chaos…and more! You will learn how to use dystopian short stories and novels to help students make connections to the world around them. Follow Chelsea and Chelsie through their dystopian unit to see how they teach theme, how setting affects a story’s plot, tone/mood, and how to create strong characterization. Your students will join the ranks of Kurt Vonnegut, Ray Bradbury, and Neal Shusterman as they write a descriptive, engaging imagined narrative!

55. “Digital Conversations: Utilizing Technology to Engage All Students”
Colin Flynn and Melissa Schwab, School District of Washington
Grades 7-12

Most teachers love class discussions. And some students do, too. Unfortunately, too often these discussions center around students who eagerly contribute and gain confidence in their knowledge while many others remain disengaged and risk falling behind. The students doing the talking are learning and showing their learning, but what about the other students? How do we know they are learning? How can we help them to share their learning? By using a combination of paper and pencil and technology, teachers can engage all students in class discussion and monitor every student’s progress. Starting with a foundation of written conversations, Colin and Melissa combine partner and group writing and the see/think/wonder analysis framework with online tools like Padlet, Google Tools, Poll Everywhere, and random picker apps to engage all their students and to help them verify learning and representation across their classrooms.

57. “Sharing Stories: Reading and Research”
Andria Benmuvhar & Taylor Rose, Parkway School District
Grades 8-12

The ability to both share and listen to others’ stories is paramount in our world today. Andria and Taylor will highlight how students can participate in this exchange through book clubs, interviews, digital stories, and reflective writing. This session will feature student examples of digital stories created from interviews, as well as correspondence with authors in response to their books. It will give you the tools to assess a whole-class discussion about different books and the logistical basics for transforming an interview into a digital story that can be shared with others.

59. “Scaffolding Peer Review: Giving Students a Voice in the Revision Process”
Christy Goldsmith, University of Missouri-Columbia
Grades 9-College

“A teacher is too good a reader,” Peter Elbow (1998) reminds us, and because of teachers’ magical ability to fill in the blanks in student writing, peer revision is a necessary component of composition instruction at all levels. However, we also know that students often struggle to provide substantive feedback on their peers’ compositions, so the implementation of peer review can be challenging. In this session, Christy will focus on ways to scaffold peer review to avoid rigid worksheet-like peer revision models and encourage students to provide authentic feedback on their peers’ compositions. The bulk of the session will be spent in application as you work through three types of peer review strategies: Focused conversational comments, The Golden Line, and multiple editors/multiple jobs. Christy will explain the theory and practice of each strategy and then you will try them out on real student papers. The session will conclude with time for reflection and discussion about how to adapt the strategies for your own classroom.

48. “Resources and Ideas for Taking Your Guided Reading to the Next Level”
Sam Bommarito, Missouri ILA
Grades 1-4

In this session, Sam will begin by walking you through the basics of a Guided Reading Program. You will then explore ways to improve guided reading by teaching smarter, not harder. You will learn better ways to use your time, inspired in part by the content of Who’s Doing the Work by Burkins & Yaris. You will then explore word work, looking at resources to use for each of the three ways to teach phonics and ways to promote prosody (reading like a story teller). Rasinski’s Megabook of Fluency will be the primary source. You will also explore resources to use for teaching both decoding and comprehension strategies. Among the resources used will be Serravallo’s three books about strategies for dealing with complex texts. Finally, you will look at ways to write your way into reading,” lesson ideas for how to use writing to improve reading. Specifically, you will learn how using the “show, don’t tell” writing strategy can be used to improve inference skills.

50. “Teaching Argument through Relevant Topics of Study”
Kelli Westmoreland, Educational Consultant
Grades 3-8

With the power and ease of accessibility to thousands of Internet resources, teaching argument is essential. Validity, reliability, perspective, and authenticity must be key components of our literacy programs. In addition to previewing newer titles on topics such as activism, social justice, immigration, and climate change, Kelli will share various teaching strategies that can be applied to both ELA and social studies classes. You are welcome to bring a personal device to peruse through Internet resources that are teaching our children unintentionally on a regular basis.

52. “Poetry Matters: Especially in Content Areas”
Tamara Rhomberg, Education Consultant and Chris Smith, Maplewood-Richmond Heights School District
Grades 4-8

Reading and writing do not just occur in language arts blocks, but in content areas as well. The weaving together of reading across texts and using poetry as a flexible, literary tool to express students’ understanding makes poetry an excellent writing genre because it allows for process writing in brief assignments but yields positive effects towards student understanding of often complex content material. This session pairs instructional writing strategies with content area topics that all teachers can adapt to their own curriculum. Come be a content poet!

54. “Project LIT Community Book Club”
Lynn Hagen, Columbia Public Schools
Grades 6-12

In 2016, Nashville educator Jarred Amato started a student, faculty, community book club with the mission of ending book deserts in the Nashville area. As of the fall of 2018, Project LIT Community now has over 400 sites nationwide. Come and hear about Project LIT Battle, a Columbia-based site. You will learn about what Project LIT is, which books are featured this year, how to connect with authors, what impact Project LIT is having on students, and how to start your own Project LIT chapter.

56. “Going Gradeless in a Graded School: Empowering Student Voice in Assessment”
Bryan Gaskill, Marshall Public Schools
Grades 8-12

Are you ready for meaningful teacher and student conversations? In this session, Bryan will demonstrate how to remove the roadblocks of grading and empower students in evaluation of their learning and growth. Over the past three years, Bryan has facilitated a classroom that gives complete power to student voice in determining grades. Let’s move kids away from “What’s my grade?” and “Is there any extra credit?” towards mastery and proficiency of writing and reading. Stop grading and start having meaningful conversations!

58. “Creating Readers through Choice”
Amanda Collier, Buchanan County R-IV School District
Grades 9-12

Amanda has spent the past five years teaching “at risk” freshmen. By her third year with these students, she decided to implement what she refers to as “Sacred Reading Time.” This is time given each class period for students to read the book of their choice (15-20 minutes on a 90 minute block schedule and 10 mins on 48 minute class schedule). She is in year four of implementing this in the classroom, and in this presentation, she will discuss ways to build interest in books, even for the most reluctant reader. This is done through choice and getting to know students and what they are interested in. She uses techniques such as book speed dating, book trailers, and book recommendations to spark interest in her students. She uses different forms of assessment to hold students accountable with grades. The primary focus is how to get the right book in the right student’s hands.

60. “Breathe for Presence: Cultivating the Collaborative, Creative, and Conscientious Classroom”
Casey Daugherty, Republic R-III Schools
Grades K-12

For students to receive the full benefits of classroom instruction, teachers must embody wellness in their own lives. Casey (Breathe 4 Change Educator Wellness Champion and RYT 200 Yoga Instructor) will lead you through mindfulness strategies that help us show up as our best selves. The practices shared will also empower your students to focus their minds, connect with their bodies, regulate their emotions, express their creativity, form meaningful relationships, and experience calm and relaxation techniques. Casey will also incorporate into this session the mindful connections between literacy, creativity, and movement, putting you on a path where students and teachers learn, grow, and enhance their own well-being together. Ultimately, these practices assist to build collaborative classroom communities. No devices are required, and all writing materials will be provided. Be prepared for light, mindful movement.

Saturday Sessions Round F

11:00 am – 12:15 pm

61. “Force Field for Good: Nurturing Kinder Voices through Song and Story”
Barry Lane, Author, Musician, Educational Consultant
Grades K-6

Creating a culture of kindness involves more than memorizing an acronym or a list of rules. Kindness grows when children have time to reflect and make personal connections with literature and personal stories. This workshop, based on the Force Field for Good, shows you how to create kinder schools through reading and writing and singing.

63. “English Language Arts DESE Updates in Assessment and Curriculum”
Debbie Jameson and Lisa Scroggs, Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Grades 3-8

Moving ahead in the 2018-19 school year, what have we learned from the first round of English language arts assessments? In this session, you will get assessment information based on data and how that data reflects instruction in your classroom for better student performance.

65. “Building Confident Writers through Writing Conferences and Student-Centered Scoring Guides”
Alison Crane and Sofie Kondro, Reeds Spring School District
Grades 3-12

All too often, students lack writing confidence and dread completing writing assignments simply because they know their work will soon be returned to them covered in red ink, causing them to feel overwhelmed and defeated. Additionally, many scoring guides are not student friendly, contain too many criteria, and/or do not allow students to have a voice in which criteria will be assessed. By implementing writing conferences, small writing groups, and student-centered scoring guides, teachers can help reluctant and timid writers gain confidence and success, which ultimately allows opportunities for growth for all students. In this session, Alison and Sofie will focus on the logistics of writing conferences, as well as the process of co-constructing a scoring guide alongside your students. You will leave the session with several strategies that can be easily applied right away.

67. “Well Spoken: Teaching All Students How to be Effective Speakers”
Erik Palmer, Author and Educational Consultant
Grades 6-12

We cannot pretend to value student voice without teaching students how to use their oral voices effectively. Speaking is by far the number one language art. Teachers in all subject areas at all grade levels have students speaking in class. Technology showcases oral language in ways not imagined a generation ago—video and podcasting tools and FaceTime, for examples. State standards emphasize oral communication. Employers list verbal communication as a top skill needed. Speaking matters. Unfortunately, few of us have specific lessons for teaching speaking skills. We make students talk, but we don’t teach them how to talk well. You’ve probably noticed that most students do not speak very well. In this session, Erik introduces a practical, multiple-trait framework for teaching the skills involved in all effective oral communication. Proven successful strategies, lessons, and activities will be shared, enabling you to more purposefully teach students how to have effective voices in class and beyond. Note: this session is the secondary version of Session #47.

69. “One-Point Rubrics”
Riina Hirsch, St. Louis Goodwill Excel Center
Grades 6-College

Rubrics are both a blessing and a curse. In this session, Riina will explore the pros and cons of using a single-point rubric for student self-assessment and for teachers’ assessment of students. You will learn about single-point rubrics, and Riina will provide resources for implementing this strategy effectively in your classroom.

71. “I Can Be Your Hero, Baby”
Melanie Clark, Marshfield R-1 School District
Grades 7-12

What do your students have in common with Wolverine, Superman, Captain America, Odysseus, and Bilbo Baggins? They are ALL heroes! In this session, you will tap into a variety of meaningful resources (video, text, audio recordings) you can use to help your students find both the heroes around them and the heroes within themselves. And you’ll be able to do this while still meeting your reading, writing, and speaking goals. You’ll look at how we can use things like archetypes, CNN Heroes, Time’s People of the Year, Bonnie Tyler, short stories, and novels individually or together. Finally, as a group, you’ll practice what you’ve learned by creating your own handbook for heroes.

73. “A Classroom at Play: Engaging Students through Writing that is Imaginative”
William Kerns, Harris-Stowe State University
Grades 6-12

This session will explore strategies for promoting a love of writing through activities that are playful and intellectually vigorous. This session fosters an exploration of the following themes: ways that teachers can promote the development of composition skills through methods that are personally and culturally meaningful, and ways that a teacher can involve students in writing that fosters creativity as well as playfulness. Participants will explore strategies for creating writing workshops in the classroom. Participants will also explore strategies for connecting the sociocultural theory of writing to classroom instructional practices that are playful and creative.

62. “Picture Books to Access Social Issues”
Lindsey Mueller and Kerri Stith, Columbia Public Schools
Grades 1-5

Our classroom libraries are often windows into the world that allow our students to explore and investigate life around them. It is crucial as educators that we provide access to texts that challenge, expand, and affirm students’ understanding of the world. There is great power behind what a teacher chooses to include in their classroom library; one must choose wisely because you are helping shape students’ understanding of the world, their place in it, and how they can be agents of change. In this session, you will explore using current picture books in the classroom to help students make connections to social studies, issues, and justice and how to bring diversity to your classroom library that goes beyond pictures in a book.

64. “Engaging Students Using 3-Dimensional Graphic Organizers”
Libby Dierking and Kris Schuler, University of Central Missouri
Grades 3-12

Teachers are always looking for instructional strategies to meet the needs of all students. Three-dimensional graphic organizers are easy to use and are very engaging. They can be used independently or in interactive notebooks. Be prepared to learn a variety of graphic organizers that you can use with all content in this hands-on, fast-paced presentation!

66. “Adding Drama to the Writing Process”
Stephanie Regier, Southern Boone School District
Grades 4-9

How can the use of drama add engagement to the writing process? In this session, you will learn how to do so by creating a portion of a fictional narrative using theater as a gateway into writing. The session will be 3/4 drama/movement and 1/4 actual pencil-to-paper writing. You won’t even need to pull out your notebook until the very end! Toward the end of the workshop, there will be a debriefing session where you will discuss the “why” of this activity, and you will have a chance to share with others how you could incorporate this lesson and/or modify it to make it your own.

68. “Learner-Centered Curricula: One Reluctant Teacher’s Journey”
Lara Dieckmann, Harrisburg R-VIII School District
Grades 6-12

Through rigorous self-reflection and extensive professional development, Lara moved from traditional models of instruction to more learner-centered curricula in the last two years. Motivated in part by research on best practices, she was also inspired by the fact that conventional teaching does not work anymore, at least not in her classroom. Kids want and need something else. Whether it’s project-based learning and the incorporation of technology or universal design for learning and good, old fashioned inquiry, this formerly reluctant teacher has become downright enthusiastic about more student-centered methods of instruction and modes of learning. In this workshop, she will share the process by which she arrived at this juncture, and she will provide you some tools she has developed and in some cases co-constructed with her students. In the name of educational efficacy, she has learned to put her students first, and she hopes these techniques will help you do the same in your classroom.

70. “Blogging in School: Giving Students a Voice In- and Outside the Classroom”
Calli Larson, Cole Camp R-I School District
Grades 7-12

Why blog? That’s simple: to share your ideas & thoughts with others, to write about things that matter, to connect with others over topics you care about. Blogging in school allows students to not only share their thoughts and opinions (which we know they have) with others, but to do it in a safe environment. In this session, you will learn how easy it is to set up blogs in your classroom as well as how to adapt blogs to fit your needs. You will learn of multiple blogging engines you can use in your classroom, the technology you “really need” to do classroom blogs, and how to make your blogs more intricate with podcasts, vlogging, and so much more. Blogging does not have to be some over-done intricate project in your classroom, and Calli will show you how even her most tech-hating students have thrived since using blogs in the classroom.

72. “MO Gateway Award: Real Voice and Choice in Student Reading”
Nichole Ballard-Long, Rockwood School District and Jamie Becker, Wright City R-II School District
Grades 9-12

A beheaded queen, a Pearl Harbor survivor, a kidnapped 6 year old, a small-town guy looking to get out—just a few characters you’ll meet in this year’s Missouri Gateway nominees. Students have both voice and choice in selecting the Gateway Readers Award. Reader-selector students vote on books for the list, and student votes choose the winner. Come hear committee members present this year’s list of 15 titles and tech tools and projects for using these and other books in an ELA classroom.

74. “Pacing the Productive Struggle: A User Manual for Teaching Students to Think Out Loud”
Ashley McCrady, Southern Boone School District
Grades 10-12

Over the past year or so, Ashley found that her go-to Socratic-style questioning was more and more frequently creating a contentious environment that pitted her against her students. After one too many frustrating Q&As, she decided to remove her voice and amplify her students’ voices by giving them the opportunity to explore their thinking out loud in whole-class discussions. By beginning with a Harkness model discussion, they were able to jump into a whole-class discussion with only a few simple rules. The set-up created just the right amount of discomfort: a productive struggle was born. Students demanded a do-over with more rules. Thus began Ashley’s year of Socratic seminars. Teacher-produced questions, holistic grading, a visible discussion-tracking system, and an emphasis on extemporaneous speaking allowed students to focus on finding evidence and digging deeper into their ideas. Instead of being preoccupied with a list of norms, they practiced gathering useful evidence, stating complex ideas, politely challenging generalizations, and asking discerning questions. This presentation is a how-to course with an easy-to-implement “map” for trying out whole-class discussions in your room. You will have an opportunity to practice documenting a sample seminar and get practical pre-made materials to take back with you.

Elementary Post-Conference Session

1:45 pm – 4:30 pm

“Wackipedia: Putting Voice and Choice and Chuckles into Informational Writing”
Barry Lane, Author, Comedian, Musician, and Writing Expert
Grades K-6

Who says research reports and informational writing have to be dry and boring? Trade in the dump truck essay for something far more meaningful and fun–and exceed Standards in the process. Based on Barry’s best-selling non-fiction children’s book, 51 Wacky We-search Reports, this session will give you scores of ideas for transforming research writing assignments in your class. You will also learn that because humorists have to make people laugh, they have to explore a subject from more than one angle, be truthful and specific, and play with masks. For this reason, the best humor involves rigorous multi-dimensional and synthetic thinking. You will learn the basics of Wacky We-search and experiment with reports as you learn together how to help the world laugh about everything from mitochondria and Macedonia. Bring your notebook, pen, and funny bone!


Secondary Post-Conference Session

1:45 pm – 4:30 pm

“Winning Arguments: Teaching Students How to Argue, Persuade, and Use Evidence Well”
Erik Palmer, Author, Oral Communications Expert
Grades 6-12

Argument, persuasion, and evidence: valuable things for students to master if their voices are to have impact. Because they are common words, we believe that students know what we mean when we ask them to “analyze an argument and use evidence” or “write a persuasive essay with supporting evidence.” But students don’t know. They have heard the words, but familiarity is not the same as mastery. Unfortunately, the vast majority of teachers report being given no training about how to teach argument, persuasion, or evidence. Many of us also have only a general understanding, and the language we use changes from class to class and grade to grade. Claim, warrant, thesis, premise, conclusion, reason, position, belief, assertion, backing, facts, quote, proof, support…no wonder students struggle! In this session, Erik gives you a better way to help your students understand the terms as well as a step-by-step process for showing students how to build logical arguments enhanced with evidence and persuasive techniques.