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Professional Development Demonstrations

Reader’s Theatre

This demo addresses the impact of using Reader’s Theatre in the secondary classroom to build fluency, comprehension, and expression.

Appalachian Dialect: Respecting the Culture and Bridging the Gap

A demonstration that bridges the gap between the cultural significance and heritage of the Appalachian Language and the academic and corporate demands for Standard American Vernacular.

Improving Reading and Writing through Visualization 

A demonstration that focuses on the use of picture books with students of all ages to improve Reading and Writing.

The Importance of Journaling and Role Playing in the Social Studies Classroom

This demo shows specifically how a “hot topic,” such as the issue of slavery, can be taught through the use of journals and drama, which helps subject matter retention.

Remembering Events: Personal Narrative, Drama, and Digital Representation

This demo explores the possibilities for combining personal narrative, drama, and digital representation in order to motivate students to write.

Bridges, Lamps, and Stories: Connecting to History through Composition in the 21st Century Classroom

Suitable for middle school and high school, this 30 or 60 minute presentation focuses on using digital storytelling to explore our state’s past and the importance of our coal mining heritage.

Media Literacy: Advertising 

This 60-90 minute demonstration focuses on critical thinking and 21st century skills in the analysis of advertisements, particularly as a bridge to persuasive writing. Suitable for middle school-college.

Socratic Seminars: Evaluating Discussion Beyond Just Participation

Students can demonstrate their ability to read and respond through rich classroom discussion, but how can teachers evaluate discussion for content rather than just for participation? Socratic seminars using a “QTIPS” method of data collection provides students and teachers with a user-friendly, manageable way to evaluate the quality of reader response. The Socratic approach involves a shift from a text-based, teacher- centered approach to reading instruction to a more student-centered, constructivist approach.

Using Writing to Help Students Own Their Language

Often students learn that their language usage outside of school is wrong, even though it is the language that is closest to their sense of who they are as members of a family and community. This disconnect between home language use and school language convention makes many students feel they have to choose between one or the other rather than understand the value of both in different contexts. This presentation offers writing activities that teachers can use to help their students value all their language and dialect uses.

Bringing It All Together: A Unified Reading/Language Arts Curriculum

I’ve struggled with how to bring together reading, writing, grammar, and spelling into a unified curriculum rather than teaching each as a separate subject. Through my research, I found ways to make small steps towards a whole language approach in the classroom. The presentation focuses particularly on making grammar instruction more meaningful. 

Using 1:1 Computing to Implement Differentiation in the Classroom

I chose this topic because at the end of the school year, I was working with a team to write a grant for 1:1 computing in our school. We found out during the last week of SI that we got the grant, so I hope to share my research with my colleagues as we transition into this exciting change. Also, there is a great need for teachers to differentiate their lesson plans in order to reach all learners. My research provides a base to use technology as a means to assist multiple learning styles in every classroom.

Linking Literacy and Technology: Blogging as New Literacies

The goal of this project is to link literacy and technology in the classroom through journaling and response writing using a class contained blog site guided by prompts and supported by classroom instruction. After seeing disinterested students trying to quickly write poorly constructed journal responses so they can text, I tried to incorporate journaling and blogging as text.

Body Biographies: Art in the English Classroom.

Body biographies are visual and textual representations of characters from literature that allow students to engage in close reading, writing, and visual literacy while utilizing critical thinking skills and multiple intelligences. Traditionally, this is a group activity where students work together to create an accurate representation of a character from the literature being read in class and decorate it with symbols, quotes, and original text.

However, this activity is easily adaptable so that each student can create his or her own body biography. Body biographies connect with CSOs and can be used as a springboard for further writing activities such as found poems, Mirror, Mirror, creative stories, multi- genre works or descriptive essays.

Writing Across the Curriculum Opportunities (WAC-O) 

The purpose of this demonstration is to erase, or at least decrease, writing lesson stereotypes. I focused on writing to learn activities thus decreasing the assessment emphasis historically placed on grammar & mechanic correctness. It is OK to grade a paper on content! Actually, it is OK to not assess at all. Additionally, there are other writing opportunities than the five paragraph essay.

I Hate Teaching Research!: How can the research process be easier for students and less stressful for teachers?

The teaching demonstration focuses on teaching the research process to middle school students. The process is examined by means of individual components, prior knowledge needed, levels of thought necessary, and CSOs met in teaching students how to conduct research. Major problems of the process are identified and practical suggestions are given in order to make the research process easier and less stressful for middle school students and for their teachers.