Day One Sessions

Thursday Full-Day Workshops Round A

9:00 am – 3:30 pm

1.  “’They Hate to Write!’”
Sherry Norfolk, Award-Winning Storyteller, Author, and Teaching Artist
Grades K-3

Storytelling provides arts-integrated teaching strategies that engage those learners whose teachers say, “They hate to write!” When storytelling enters the classroom, these same students confound their teachers by not only writing, but by performing their stories–often demanding to do it again! As one teacher reported, “Students who dislike writing with a passion were now passionately involved in the storytelling process!” In this session, you will explore options for engagement, representation, and expression that can be emulated and/or expanded upon in daily practice, providing on-ramps for learning that motivate writing and improve student achievement in English/Language Arts and across the curriculum.

 2.  “Great Writing Made Simple”
Gretchen Bernabei, Author and Educational Consultant
Grades 3-8

In this session, you will learn streamlined, concrete, fun steps for the writing process: you’ll make a quick list, write kernel essays, and add touches of writer’s craft using be-da-bing and other icons. You’ll also borrow text structures from surprising sources in activities that will bring out the powerful writer in ALL of your students. Join award-winning writing teacher Gretchen Bernabei for this strategy-packed session and watch your students’ writing soar in the second half of this school year.


3. “Graphic Novel Creation”
Gareth Hinds, Author of Acclaimed Graphic Novels Based on Classic Literary Works
Grades 6-12

Attend this session and learn about the terminology, tools, principles, and processes Gareth Hinds uses to create graphic novels based on the classics, then load up your toolbox for teaching your students to make their own comics and graphic novels. You’ll get hands-on with some comic creation exercises, complete with writing prompts, brainstorming, designing characters and settings, scripting, and then drawing and editing a very simple rough sketch of a comic story. The level of drawing required is no more than you would ask of your students, and Gareth will share helpful drawing tips you can pass along to your class, as well as tricks to stimulate creative problem solving. Also, if you’re having any trouble justifying using comics in your classroom, Gareth will share talking points you can use to build your case.


4. “Rural Writers and Thinkers: Every Day, Every Place, and Everyone”
Keri Franklin, Missouri State University; Christian Goering, University of Arkansas; and Ellen Shelton, University of Mississippi
Grades 6-12

In this session, you will learn easy-to-implement strategies that frame the rural landscape as a place to explore student identity through writing. In a unique combination of writing, sharing of expertise, and advocacy, this team of teacher leaders provides time for you to write, share obstacles and expertise, and learn strategies to develop rural writers and thinkers where they are—through every-day writing, in every place, and with everyone. This session will give you strategies to see the potential in students’ writing, develop next steps for them, and to lift the quality of their work. Come to this session to take away writing ideas, network with fellow rural teachers, share expertise, and focus on your community and students. This session will leave you celebrating the challenges and the opportunities of rural teaching.

Keri, Chris, Ellen, and their colleagues are educational consultants, teachers, university faculty, and directors of National Writing Projects who work in the Ozarks, Delta, Appalachia, and the Low Country of South Carolina. With over a decade of collaboration, this team has a shared vision to support opportunities for rural students, teachers, and schools.