Day Two Sessions

Friday General Session Keynote
7:45am – 9:00am

“Perils or Promises: Education in the Age of Smart Machines”
Yong Zhao, Renowned Educator and Educational Futurist

The world needs competent, creative, and entrepreneurial talents to take advantage of the opportunities brought about by new technology and globalization. But schools are constantly pushed to produce homogenous, compliant, and employee-minded test-takers as a result of the traditional education paradigm. In this forward-looking keynote, Zhao proposes a new educational paradigm needed for the new world.


Friday Sessions Round B
9:15 am – 10:30 am

5. “Craft in Pictures: Identifying Illustrative Craft Moves in Picture Books”
Erin Baker and Karen Marquart, Trainers, Missouri Reading Initiative
Grades Pre-K-1

We know all about the craft moves writers make when crafting a line of text, but are you aware of the craft moves illustrators make when painting a scene? In this session, you will explore how illustrators make the reader feel and interpret more than just the words of the text. You will learn to identify the moves and purposeful decisions illustrators make when creating pictures to support and enhance a text—moves that you can start teaching to your young writers on Monday. You will never read a picture book the same way again. (Bring a few of your favorite picture books with you so you are ready for Monday.)

7. “Picture Books, Big Books: Big Boost as Mentor Texts for Young Writers”
Betty Porter Walls, Harris Stowe State University
Grades K-3

Illustrative, engaging, research-based, informative, and fun, this interactive session with Betty and her favorite big, picture books will immerse you in a unique learning experience designed to enhance classroom writing instruction. Big books of various genres to showcase and model various writing traits—ideas, organization, conventions, word choice—for development of students’ writing skills will be featured. You will receive a resource guide of practical and comprehensive strategies to complement reading and writing workshops across the curriculum. Come for visual stimulation and information and leave with everything you need to start using big books as mentor texts in your classroom.

9. “Taking the Pain Out of the Revision Process”
Tamara Rhomberg, Educational Consultant
Grades 3-6

Would you like to have an answer for when your students say, “I’m done!”? Revision is the answer, but revision is often confused or blended with editing, which results in student frustration rather than writing improvement. In this session, Tamara will demonstrate specific revision strategies using small sections of student work in which she identifies a writing skill, models the revision strategy, and shows how to guide and encourage students to apply the strategy independently.

11. “Nonfiction Notebooks”
Colleen Appel, Missouri State University
Grades 4-8

Come and discover how a writer’s notebook (or folder) can be used to explore possibilities for nonfiction writing before committing to a draft. In this session, Colleen brings the ideas of notebook aficionados Aimee Buckner and Georgia Heard to life. Buckner declares that nonfiction notebooks allow students to “move from writing according to the teacher’s vision to writing according to their own vision.” Using a nonfiction notebook allows the writer to keep track of all attempts. Student writers can then pick and choose what to put in the first draft, substantially decreasing the amount of necessary revision. Bonus: you’ll get tips on making all of your journals look like works of art!

13. “Putting the FUN in Funding: Teaching Argument Writing with Grants”
Elisabeth Alkier and Landi Quinlin, St. Joseph School District
Grades 6-12

Teachers and students are often full of great ideas for new school projects. Unfortunately, school budgets don’t always have room for new clubs, classroom activities, or field trips. Why not use one of the most untapped resources that your school has to provide—your student writers? In this workshop, Elisabeth and Landi will show you how to use grant writing to engage students in relevant and informed argument writing. Learn how students can look at self-selected areas of need within their schools, discover a grant that could fill that need, and write a proposal that can actually be sent in by their schools, all while workshopping a draft of your own grant for your classroom.

15. “Grow Creative Brains with Gateway Readers Award Books”
Shannon Grieshaber, Ft. Zumwalt School District, and Stacey Conrad, Palmyra
Grades 9-12

In her blog, Donalyn Miller tells us that reading is a “creative act that requires feeding to flourish and bloom.” Let this year’s Gateway Readers Award book selections provide the nourishment to foster that creativity in your students. The Gateway Readers Award, sponsored by the Missouri Association of School Librarians, features the top fifteen books published for teen readers each year. Shannon and Stacey promise enthusiastic book talks for the 2017-2018 nominees and engaging ways you can collaborate with your librarian to get your students reading and growing their creative brains.

17. “Educating Creative and Entrepreneurial Students”
Yong Zhao, Renowned Educator and Educational Futurist
Grades K-12

As a follow up to his keynote, Dr. Zhao will discuss the details of his triad model of education to prepare global, creative, and entrepreneurial talents that include personalized curriculum/educational experience, product-oriented learning, and the globe as the campus. He will also present examples of this model in action from schools in different countries.

6. “Awesome and Amazing: An Autobiographical Adventure”
Melinda Hammerschmidt, Rebecca Crowder, Dea Borneman, and Kathy Gibson, Missouri State University
Grades K-3

Writing becomes a meaningful and active process for little ones when the writing is about an important person: themselves! Come and see how you can integrate writing, reading, art, and movement in this multi-age creative unit as first and third grade students learn to write, create, and present their autobiographies. In this project, teachers introduce and teach beginning research skills and strategies that students then apply to writing their own amazing stories. Students’ work includes art as they illustrate their books and music as they create music to enhance their digital stories. Seesaw is used to create an online portfolio of their stories and record their presentation videos for posterity. You will learn how to set up your own Seesaw accounts and how to use some of its exciting features. Student work samples will be available to view.

8. “Just Turn It! Turn It! Ju-u-st Turn Metacognitive Comprehension Strategies”
Kathy Heitmeyer, Trainer, Missouri Reading Initiative
Grades 2-5

Get creative by TURNING reading instruction into writing opportunities! Every day, educators in grades 2-5 teach essential reading skills like (1) text structure and organization, (2) weaving meaning through metacognitive comprehension strategies, and (3) story elements. Teachers know that reading supports writing and writing supports reading. Yet, reading and writing instruction are usually planned separately and taught with unrelated focuses, resulting in a failure to weave clear connections between these essential, related language processes. JUST JOIN Kathy (and two other Missouri Reading Initiative Trainers—see sessions 20 and 35) to learn teaching strategies for all three important literacy categories, as discussed in Lester Laminack’s book, Writers ARE Readers. These three workshops, together, will take key reading insights and TURN them into a pathway toward a more thorough understanding of writing. Kathy’s focus in this session will be metacognitive comprehension strategies.

10. “Connecting Readers: The Power of Written Conversations”
Sarah Valter, Lindbergh School District
Grades 3-12

As teachers, we know that both writing about reading and engaging in dialogue about books are essential to our students’ comprehension and their development of a love for reading. Written conversations unite discussion and written reading response by giving students the opportunity to connect with other readers through authentic written dialogue. In this session, Sarah will explain the background behind written conversations, provide strategies for implementing them in your classroom, and share examples of ways to use technology to enhance these discussions. You will engage in your own written conversations within this session to experience firsthand the power of written dialogue!

12. “Reading, Talking, and Thinking Together: Nurturing Creativity and Curiosity Before We Read”
Casey Daugherty, Republic R-III Schools
Grades 4-12

What strategies do you use when you dive into reading? What does creativity and curiosity have to do with building skilled readers? How might you fully engage students with texts before they even know what they are reading? In this session, Casey will lead you through concrete structures to draw inferences, connect to background knowledge, visualize images, determine what’s important, and summarize information, all as anticipation of upcoming articles, chapters, novels, or any other types of reading you might do in your classroom. These activities will help students layer thinking and work productively toward classroom-driving questions, coding texts, and making meaning within context. PBL or inquiry-based classrooms will highly benefit from the structures practiced in this session.

14. “Walk in My Shoes: Building a Community to Handle the Difficult Conversations”
Bryan Gaskill, Marshall Public Schools
Grades 8-12

In this session, Bryan will demonstrate a clear philosophy to engage students in a process that nurtures empathy and builds community so they can influence creative change in their communities. Bryan will introduce a structure and actively engage you in the process of writing and speaking about the difficult questions our students and communities are facing. Through anonymous writing, students can begin conversations that promote civic engagement, self-discovery, ethical reasoning, and reflection. As one of Bryan’s students said, “We are talking about the things people don’t talk about, and that’s good.”

16. “Success in Teaching Writing to EL Students with Limited or Interrupted Formal Education (SLIFE)”
Diane Mora, Kansas City Public Schools
Grades 9-12

Every student has a story to tell. SLIFE students have some of the most compelling life stories. Using student artifacts and video from the classroom, Diane will demonstrate methods for effectively developing and supporting the writing skills of students who have recently arrived to U.S. schools and are also learning to master the English language.

18. “Finding the ‘You’ in Your Work”
Nikki Giovanni, Poet, Author, Professor
Grades 6-College

In this breakout session, Nikki helps us realize that we are our own first readers. We have to relax and read something every day—not write something every day. We learn how to judge, appreciate, and learn from our own writing.

Friday After Lunch Keynote
11:45 am – 1:00 pm

“We Write to Enlight”
Nikki Giovanni, Award-Winning Poet, Author, Professor

Of her Friday afternoon keynote session, Nikki writes, “We use art to build the foundation of our imagination, and our imagination builds our science.  It’s easy to forget that philosophy created math, not the other way around.  It’s even easier to forget that a fiction writer put his finger on almost the exact spot where we would send our first rocket into space.  Jules Verne had never visited the United States, yet his love of the unknown and his embrace of possibility showed us where to go and how to go bravely.  I am a fan of Black youngsters committing to Space because we came from ancestors who traveled from the known to the unknown without a language common either to each other or those who had captured us.  They had to find a way to communicate.  Music came first, but poetry clearly came second.  Poems allowed us to transfer information and give comfort.  Poems are darting back and forth to tell us that we are wonderful and that one day we will be free.  The power of storytelling gives all of us hope that tomorrow will be a better day.  The power of song tells us the God we serve is able.  We study and create poetry to learn from our past and to build for our future.  Art nurtures the creative spirit.  Art fosters diversity.  Art shows us a new way.”


Friday Sessions Round C
1:30 pm – 2:45 pm

19. “Interactive Writing: Building Essential Literacy Skills in a Kindergarten Intervention”
Sarah Johnson, Mehlville School District
Grades K-1

In this session, Sarah will focus on the use of interactive writing in a Kindergarten literacy intervention. Interactive writing is a collaboration between teacher and children in which they compose, construct, and revise text together. Through sharing the pen, children learn the essential print concepts that lay the foundation for successful beginning reading and writing.

21. “Multimodal Poetry Mash-Up: Nurturing Creative Composition in a 3D World”
Nick Kremer, Columbia Public Schools
Grades 4-12

Pablo Picasso famously quipped that good artists copy; great artists steal. This mantra of mash-up culture is typically applied to music, movies, and video games. But what happens when we invite students to appropriate language in similar fashion, taking some of the greatest lines ever written and repurposing them in exciting, multimodal ways? Bring a few of your favorite poems and find out as you reconsider what creative composition looks and sounds like in our digital modern world!

23. “Reading Images: Strategies to Analyze Information in Diverse Media”
Michael Salinger and Sara Holbrook, Writing Experts, Authors, Award-Winning Performance Poets
Grades 5-12

Sara and Michael will lead you through a series of writing clinics from their Corwin teacher resource High Impact Writing Clinics that will analyze visual images in order to produce summary text deducing setting, content, character and theme. This session will be engaging, practical, and fun.

25. “Making Curriculum Pop: Fun with Fiction”
Ryan and Pam Goble, Educational Consultants and Authors
Grades 6-12

Literature circles have long been a hallmark of successful language arts classrooms. This presentation builds on the rich tradition of literature circles through the use of interdisciplinary Learning Experience Organizers (LEOs) designed for student collaboration and discovery. Attend this session and engage in a research-based active learning experience where you will experience innovative ways to explore non-print texts (film, audio, graphs, cartoons, etc.) with your students. Ryan and Pam will also share tips and tools for developing deeply multimodal classroom practices that put student engagement at the center of energetic teaching practices.

27. “Call It Nonfiction, Maybe: Blending Genre in Expository Writing”
Cathy Cartier and Anna Whitehead, Affton 101 School District
Grades 9-12

Writing assignments need to tap into students’ interests and into relevant world issues. These assignments also need to teach students informational writing skills they will need for post-secondary life. But often the writing that results from typical assignments does not look like the writing we find in books and magazines. Authors do not strictly adhere to the conventions of one genre; rather, they demonstrate the value of narrative and creativity in their informational texts. How can we be sure that students’ writing will reflect the way writers in all disciplines market their ideas? Our state’s new standards suggest that when engaged in the writing process, students should self-select and blend previously learned narrative, expository, and argumentative writing techniques during the writing process. In this presentation, Cathy and Anna will showcase ways we can instruct our students in a creative approach that will help them blend genre to enhance the facts they’ve gathered and make sense of the conclusions they’ve drawn.

29. “Save the Cat! Goes to the Classroom: Using Story Structure in Film to Inspire Creative Writing and Better Reading”
Cory Milles, Parkway School District
Grades 9-12

Students speak the language of the movies. It’s such a large presence in their lives that by understanding the way films are structured, we can help them write with more direction, enthusiasm, and purpose. Using principles and elements from the number-one bestselling Save the Cat! book series on screenwriting, teacher and young adult author Cory Milles will show you how to use the story structure found in movies to give students a better grasp and focus in their writing, also demonstrating how it can aid students who struggle with reading comprehension. Studying stories by using a structure that is both familiar and deep will enable students to gain confidence in their abilities as readers and writers. In this session, you will analyze a variety of film clips, identify important elements in story structure, and learn ways to incorporate the strategies you find in your own classroom instruction.

31. “Thinking Like Socrates: Teaching Students to Ask Their Own Questions At Every Level”
Shanna Peeples, Amarillo, Texas School District, 2015 National Teacher of the Year
Grades K-12

Research shows that the fastest way to engage your brain is to ask a question. Shanna Peeples, the 2015 National Teacher of the Year, bases this session on her work with students in elementary, middle, and high school classrooms. You can use the resulting questions to design an inquiry classroom where students design their own learning experiences through the use of expository writing, structured discussions, multimedia, and action research projects. When students begin practicing with their own questions, it’s easier for them to generate questions in any of the content areas to help them engage with the subject and build their understanding.

20. “Just Turn It! Turn It! Ju-u-st Turn Story Elements!”
Linda Joe Baker, Trainer, Missouri Reading Initiative
Grades 2-5

Get creative by TURNING reading instruction into writing opportunities! Every day, educators in grades 2-5 teach essential reading skills like (1) text structure and organization, (2) weaving meaning through metacognitive comprehension strategies, and (3) story elements. Teachers know that reading supports writing and writing supports reading. Yet, reading and writing instruction are usually planned separately and taught with unrelated focuses, resulting in a failure to weave clear connections between these essential, related language processes. JUST JOIN Linda Joe (and two other Missouri Reading Initiative Trainers—see sessions 8 and 35) to learn teaching strategies for all three important literacy categories, as discussed in Lester Laminack’s book, Writers ARE Readers. These three workshops, together, will take key reading insights and TURN them into a pathway toward a more thorough understanding of writing. Linda Joe’s focus in this session will be story elements.

22. “Build a Better Writer’s Workshop: Tools to Take Your Teaching to the Next Level”
Steve Peha, Educational Consultant and Author
Grades 4-12

Believe it or not, writer’s workshop is now fifty years old. Many of us use it, and we all want to use it better. We all see the potential, but the practices don’t always lead to breakthroughs. Steve has used writer’s workshop for twenty years, and it gets better the more he learns about it—and there’s always more to learn! What most of us look for in our work is greater leverage on the toughest problems: conferencing, modeling our own writing, informational modes (especially argumentation), grammar and punctuation, managing choice, improving motivation, and incorporating tech in ways that help kids become better writers, not just better typists. In this presentation, you’ll get what you need to build a better writer’s workshop in your classroom by tackling the hard problems, the problems we all run into after we’ve started using it—the problems that keep us from taking our work, and that of our students, to the next level. All participants will receive copies of Steve’s new book Writer’s Workshop: What Do I Do Next?

24. “Make Mythology Your Muse”
Zachary Hamby, Ava R-I Schools, and Rachel Hamby, Mountain Grove High School
Grades 6-12

While there are many reasons to study mythology—vocabulary building, classical allusions, storytelling—mythology is most effective when it stimulates creativity and critical thinking. So make mythology your muse! Use the creativity of myths to inspire imagination in your students’ work. At the same time, allow them to examine real-life questions in an exciting and significant way. In this session, Zach and Rachel will feature a variety of creative, myth-related project ideas. You will leave with resources to teach your own mythology unit incorporating poetry, prose, discussion, vocabulary, art, film, and reader’s theater script-stories. Zach is a high school English teacher, the author of both the Mythology for Teens and the Reaching Olympus textbook series, and the creator of the website

26. “Right to Write: Teaching Resiliency through Writing”
Michelle McClaine, Kansas City, Kansas School District
Grades 6-12

Do your students appear to be hopeless, struggling to connect in school? Are they disengaged, constantly disrupting their own learning and that of their classmates? In this session, Michelle explores contemporary strategies that create an environment where students are encouraged to establish, through the use of writing, power and authority over their own learning. You will walk away with a greater understanding of how to use writing to teach resiliency, as well as multiple innovative reading and writing activities that encourage students to reflect and connect with difficult text and times. Michelle will share sample projects, assignments, and student work that demonstrates the power of using writing to withstand.

28. “Infusing Creativity in Classic Texts”
Shannon Kelley and Emily Pagano, Ft. Zumwalt School District
Grades 9-12

Romeo and Juliet. The Scarlet Letter. Lord of the Flies. Macbeth. The Crucible. All texts that ELA high school teachers eagerly look forward to introducing to their students each year. The problem is, these same texts are ones that students often find outdated and challenging. In this presentation, Shannon and Emily will offer strategies for infusing creativity into these classic texts to empower your students to find current connections to their own lives and our world within their pages. This presentation will detail ways to structure your classroom with student-led conversations about texts, ways to pair film and current nonfiction texts to connect with students, and ways to allow students to explore their own voices as writers as they analyze characters and author’s purpose.

30. “Rookie Teacher Question and Answer Roundtable Discussion”
Christine Warren, Southeast Missouri State University, and Jennifer Ivy, Fredericktown R-I School District
Grades 9-12, New and Early Career Teachers

In this question and answer session, Chris, a veteran teacher, and Jennifer, a first year teacher, will answer and discuss any questions early career teachers want to ask; discipline, assessment, organizational tips, handling the grading load, parent relationships—no teaching topic is (probably) taboo. Chris and Jennifer will strive to encourage and help early career teachers and teacher candidates to see how to nurture the creative spirits of their students.

32. “#WhyIWrite”
Millie Davis, National Council of Teachers of English
Grades K-College

Teachers are no strangers to writing, especially when it comes to their students and writing. But as teachers, we might not write ourselves as often as we’d like. This session is your opportunity to write what you want, simply for the pleasure of writing, to discover what flows out of your pen or typing fingers, to nurture your spirit, to share, to learn what listeners think, and to hear applause. In addition, in this session you’ll learn what NCTE learned during its National Day on Writing, through posts on its #WhyIWrite website and through its monthly podcast on writing, about how and why thousands of people everywhere write every day.

Friday Sessions Round D
3:15 pm – 4:30 pm

33. “Fun with Figurative Language”
Michael Salinger and Sara Holbrook, Writing Experts, Authors, Award-Winning Performance Poets
Grades K-4

Feelings made visual, similes, and butterflies for primary poets. Sara and Michael share strategies to help primary students write with objective details while implementing painless pre-writing, drafting and revision. More fun than a barrel of first graders.

35. “Just Turn It! Turn It! Ju-u-st Turn Text Structure and Organization”
Scott Courtois, Trainer, Missouri Reading Initiative
Grades 2-5

Get creative by TURNING reading instruction into writing opportunities! Every day, educators in grades 2-5 teach essential reading skills like (1) text structure and organization, (2) weaving meaning through metacognitive comprehension strategies, and (3) story elements. Teachers know that reading supports writing and writing supports reading. Yet, reading and writing instruction are usually planned separately and taught with unrelated focuses, resulting in a failure to weave clear connections between these essential, related language processes. JUST JOIN Scott (and two other Missouri Reading Initiative Trainers—see sessions 8 and 20) to learn teaching strategies for all three important literacy categories, as discussed in Lester Laminack’s book, Writers ARE Readers. These three workshops, together, will take key reading insights and TURN them into a pathway to a more thorough understanding of writing. Scott’s focus in this session will be text structure and organization.

37. “Improv for All: Motivate, Engage, and Deepen Learning in Diverse and Inclusive Classrooms”
Mary DeMichele, Educational Consultant, Academic Play
Grades 4-12

Looking for a way to reach and motivate your students that is not time intensive? Teachers are expected to reach all of their students, who may have different backgrounds, educational needs, and/or learning preferences. With content to teach and essential learning skills to develop, finding a way to motivate and engage each and every student is a challenge. Improv can help! Yes, those 3-5 minute games you may have seen on TV or stage can increase the motivation and engagement of your students and deepen their understanding of content. Improv’s power lies in its unique frames and structures. Improv’s ability to accomplish such a formidable task is not because it’s fun or funny. That’s only a small part of why improv is effective and efficient at reaching and reengaging even the most marginalized of students. With its ability to motivate and engage students of diverse educational needs, learning modalities, and backgrounds, improv is an invaluable classroom tool. Come to this session and experience the power and potential of improv as a classroom strategy. Discover how and why it engages and motivates, and explore how you might use it in your classroom with your content.

39. “Making Non-Fiction Pop: Collaborative Inquiry & Climate Change”
Ryan and Pam Goble, Educational Consultants and Authors
Grades 6-12

Building on the tradition of literature circles, Ryan and Pam use Learning Experience Organizers (LEOs) to explore multimodal texts around the most pressing issue of our time: global climate change. In this session, you will engage in a research-based active learning experience where you experience innovative ways to explore print and non-print texts (film, podcasts, cartoons, etc.) with your students. Non-fiction and fiction “climate change in the classroom” resource lists will be provided! What you learn in this session can be applied to any important topic to make it pop!

41. “Wordplaygrounds: Playing with Language to Generate Ideas”
Dana Martin, Archie R-V School District, and Kim Chism Jasper, Educational Consultant
Grades 7-12

When faced with an assignment and that blank page or computer screen, students so often freeze. How can we help them find the creative spark they need to get started? By taking them to the playground—the wordplayground (taken from the book Wordplaygrounds by John S. O’Connor). In the wordplayground, they are free to play with language, have fun, and generate ideas. Drawing on their many years of working with middle and high school students, Kim and Dana will share some of the invention techniques and assignments that move students out of their comfort zones and onto the page. You’ll do some playing of your own in this session, and you’ll leave with ideas for your students and for your own writing. Come play with Dana and Kim!

43. “Artistic Argument: Using Documentary to Teach Rhetoric”
Jaimie O’Connor and Dona Coleman, Ft. Zumwalt School District
Grades 9-12

Theodore Bikel calls documentaries “films [that] do battle for our very soul.” What better way to foster creativity than to incorporate this passionate art form with reading and writing of original argument? In this session, Jaimie and Dona will discuss the importance of current events and causes in our everyday lives and how we form argument around these passions. Study of contemporary topics, critical reading of nonfiction texts, including documentary, creation of film, and incorporation of different forms of writing combine to create a unique unit plan that can also be divided into usable activities in order to accommodate a variety of learners. Teaching rhetoric becomes modern and engaging in this dynamic session.

45. “Engaging High School Readers”
Anne Farmer and Michelle Fulton, Ft. Osage Schools
Grades 11-12

This session will show you how you can successfully incorporate independent reading into your current curriculum. Come find out how Penny Kittle’s research and classroom activities can change your students’ reading habits. Learn how Anne and Michelle teach students to set individual reading rates and weekly goals as well as how they differentiate their instruction by helping students select books and set their own goals based on reading rates. The research indicates that independent reading improves scores on standardized tests and increases reading stamina. According to a 2009 study done by the University of Sussex, reading reduces stress by 68%. Giving students an opportunity to read independently increases engagement and provides an authentic pathway to improving academic performance, as well as nurturing empathy and creativity. It’s a win-win scenario. This is a hands-on session with access (including digital) to reading logs and monitoring documents, conferencing documents, reading ladders, and more.

34. Using Technology to Support and Enhance Reading and Writing Workshop”
Sam Bommarito, MSC-IRA, Co-Editor, Missouri Reader
Grades 1-5

This session will focus on how technology can be effectively used in a workshop setting. Conferencing is the heart of the workshop process. Sam currently practices what he describes as cyber conferencing in an after school program. Included in this is the ability to send students messages that include both text and audio. All of this is done within a secure, commercially available program and Google docs/Google drive. Students can reach messages from a cyber conference from both home and school. Home messages can be heard by parents, who on occasion have changed how they coached their children as a result. In addition to specific examples from students, the session will culminate with you doing a live cyber conference with volunteer children!

36. “Resource-Based Learning: Your Ticket to Differentiation”
Kelli Westmoreland, Booksource
Grades 3-8

Resource-based learning (RBL) provides a comprehensive platform for curriculum development. It tackles the new challenges of 21st Century literacies by going beyond speaking, reading, writing, and listening. Integrating digital literacies encourages students to think critically and evaluate information presented through multiple modalities via the millions of resources found on the Internet. Resource-based learning (RBL) offers students individualization based on student diversity, ability, and interests. Resources such as digital text, video, and audio provide the multiliteracies needed for future learning and offer success for students in a way that prepackaged curriculum cannot. In this session, Kelli will share the research supporting RBL and practical ideas for integrating media resources into a student-centered learning environment.

38. “Writing Workshop: Planting the Seeds for Endless Story Ideas”
Barri Bumgarner, Westminster College
Grades 5-College

Running this session like a workshop, Barri will inspire you to generate ideas for writing as a model for how it can be done interactively in the classroom. Barri will use mentor texts, digital tools, and various strategies to show you how to run a writing workshop with innovation and interaction.

40. “Using Podcasts to Enhance ELA Instruction”
Blake Thorne, Savannah R-3 School District
Grades 7-12

In this session, Blake will give basic information about podcasts and describe how they can be used to enhance instruction in the ELA classroom. He will explain how providing students with professionally created audio texts exposes them to high level writing in an accessible format. Indeed, research has shown that students can listen at a more advanced level than they can read. Blake will also point out that the vast number of podcasts being created makes it possible for teachers to find pieces on almost any topic, including ones being discussed in class or that align with students’ interests. Finally, he will provide a basic guide to helping students create their own audio texts and outline the benefits of such assignments.

42. “NaNoWhatMo? A 9th Grade Adventure in Novel Writing”
Riina Hirsch and Christopher Pearson, Ritenour School District
Grades 8-10

Riina and Christopher are conducting a grand experiment: to find out what happens when we use NaNoWriMo’s (National Novel Writing Month) program as a vehicle for writing instruction. In this presentation, they will chronicle their experiences so far with an emphasis on pros and cons, lessons learned, and effective technology integration. They will model the process they’ve used and share some of the results so far. You will learn various strategies for effective assessment and revision and even do a little writing to experience the creativity required by this program.

44. “But Is It Literature?”
Christy Goldsmith, University of Missouri-Columbia
Grades 9-12

Lin Manuel-Miranda—writer and composer of Hamilton, the hip hop musical about one of our most our notorious Founding Fathers—once said, “In the best works of fiction, there’s no mustache-twirling villain. I try to write shows where even the bad guy’s got his reasons.” This conception of hero and villain is blurred in his show, just as it’s blurred in real life, which leads us to ask the question: Is Hamilton literature? And if it isn’t, how do we define literature? In this session, you will create a compilation of literary attributes and apply them to media-rich 21st century works. The focus of study will be Hamilton, “A Piece of the Wall” (a Twitter essay written by Teju Cole), and Reading Lolita in Tehran (a memoir written by an Iranian professor of literature). Throughout your analysis, you’ll compare these modern works to established works of the literary canon to see just what the difference may—or may not—be.

46. “Writing as Leadership: Finding Your Voice and Creating Change”
Shanna Peeples, Amarillo, Texas School District, 2015 National Teacher of the Year
Grades K-12

Even though we’re steeped in our students’ writing, how often do we use our own writing to help us with not only our teaching, but our leadership challenges? Writer and teacher Natalie Goldberg, in her seminal book Writing Down The Bones, says: “If you go deep enough in writing, it will take you everyplace…[and practicing it is] a way to penetrate your life and staying sane.” In this session, 2015 National Teacher of the Year Shanna Peeples encourages you to discover your strengths through writing and then use those strengths to innovate, create, and generate transformation.

Winners’ Ceremony for 2017 Scholastic Writing Awards Contest
4:45 pm – 5:45 pm

Each year, the Missouri Writing Projects Network scores student entries in the Scholastic Writing Awards Contest, then hosts the winners and their parents and/or teachers at a reception in their honor here at Write to Learn.  Everyone is welcome to stop by and applaud these exceptional young writers.



Friday Evening Keynote (Optional Fee)
7 pm – 8 pm

“Home is Where Your Books Are”
E. Lockhart, Award-Winning Young Adult Author

Are you looking for new ways to get your students writing creatively?  Come to this keynote session and learn how writers’ relationships to their homes can be used as a source of creative inspiration and material.  Best-selling YA author E. Lockhart will share personal details from her childhood and childhood reading, ranging from board books to horror comics, from middle grades to YA literature, and tips for how to turn such personal material into writing.