Two Proposals for NCTE Conference: November 2016

It’s conference proposal time for the National Council of Teachers of English and I have waited until the eleventh hour (literally 12:59 PST) to complete two proposals. This conference will  be held in Atlanta, Georgia in November 2016.

2016 ac logo

Here are the short explanations that I am submitting this year…I hope one gets picked!

Get Your Game App On for Teacher PD

Why should students be the only ones who have the opportunity to play games in class? Game
application programs are just as powerful an instructional tool for teachers as they are for their students, because game apps can deliver professional development content to educators in an engaging and challenging way.

 ProjecTILE- a community interactive Scrabble Adventure

This presentation will demonstrate the steps taken to plan and tomdesign a middle school’s Family Game Night that focused on the crossroads of math and literacy skills using the “crosswords” found in a life-sized Scrabble board installed in the school.


Students Choose to Share What They Read with Parents

The data created by the “How I Feel About Reading” survey (based on Kelly Gallagher-Readicide) has given teachers a snapshot of their students’ reading habits at the beginning of the school year. Some of the most interesting statistics generated by the teams of middle school students (grades 7 & 8) who took the survey are the selection students chose in response to the question on how they are sharing their reading:

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On this particular team of 7th graders, and also on every other team, students indicated that sharing what they read is primarily done with their friends…. and with their parents.

I had anticipated students would choose friends, but the choice of parents highlights yet one more important connection within families.

There is a wealth of research on the role of parents in preparing students to read from when they are infants. Now, this anecdotal survey  given to over 800 in early September indicates that they will continue to rely on their parents as partners in their adolescent reading experiences.

So, parents, if all you hear when you ask “So, what’s new?” is the response, “nothing,” then maybe you should be asking, “So, what are you reading?”

The survey suggests they are looking to share!

Day #95 Online Professional Date-velopment

I entered the blogosphere in July 2011 with my blog Used Books in Class .Over these past three years, I have developed Internet relationships with other bloggers. I link my posts to social media. I name drop those I “follow” and I have kept up with their blogs, all  from a digital distance…that is, until tonight.
Tonight I travelled to NYC with my friend Catherine to meet up with other education bloggers, to meet them in person, a sort of group online date. We were upgrading from from online to the professional development dinner. No, we were going to a professional date-velopment dinner.
There were seven of us:

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[twitter handles:@ flynn_catherine  @tara_smith5 @franmcveigh @Teachcmb56 -me @jarhartz  @rscalateach @VickiVintonTMAP
I am happy to report that the online professional date-velopment works.

Our physical meeting was also indicative of the most recent kind of change in educational professional development that has been brought about by  social media. We were meeting in person the people we had been online professional date-veloping for years.
First, we looked at faces, matching those with the avatars on blogs or Twitter we knew so well. Yes, that was Fran; Vicki looked like Vicki; Tara had a new haircut; that must be Ryan…the only guy at the table.
But we still knew each other. I could hear for real the voices of these bloggers/Tweeters I had heard only in my head; our conversations not limited to comment sections or 140 characters. We sat at a table at Isabella’s on the Upper West Side with delicious food in our stomachs; our four hour discussion was food for our educational souls. We facilitated a very civil group discussion for seven that covered the the current issues in education. We talked about students, texts, curriculum, evaluation, teacher training, and professional development.
Words like “trust” and “messy” kept resurfacing in our discussion, both words indicative of the changes all of us are experiencing.
Teaching can be an isolating experience, so our online relationships were the inevitable creation of our mutual need to connect with like-minded people.

Meeting in person only confirmed what we already knew…ours is a great professional date-velopment.