The National Council of Teachers of English Annual Convention and the Council on English Leadership Convention begin this weekend (11/15-21) at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, and I am so delighted to have the opportunity to present with my fellow faculty member, Stephanie Pixley, at three separate sessions. We are able to present to other teachers because of the great support and training our Regional School District #6 (Administration and Board of Education) has given its teachers in the use of technology in classrooms to improve student learning and develop 21st Century skills.
Wamogo High School in Litchfield, Connecticut, is a 1:1 Bring Your Own Digital Device (BYOD) school for grades 9-12, and we are learning everyday how our students’ use of technology has helped us differentiate our instruction, increase our students’ independence, and allow us to provide authentic tasks for our students. Last year, we used netbooks in our English and Social Studies classes and found how successfully technology could be used in reading and writing workshops at every grade level. This year, those netbooks have been moved to grades 7 and 8 for their use, and the high school students either provide their own devices or rent one from the school’s technology department..
The first session we will be offering is devoted to Cormac McCarthy’s novel The Road. We will feature work that the students have completed in using Abraham Maslow’s “Hierarchy of Needs” as a way to analyze characters in this post-apocalyptic novel. We will be demonstrating how our students, “Explore the poetic language of survival in Cormac McCarthy’s The Road the potential of 21st century connectivity and collaboration, and the use of mysteries to enhance students’ critical thinking abilities as presenters share literature experiences in three high school classrooms.”
Navigating the Mind: The Road Meets Maslow’s Hierarchy
Time: Saturday 11/17 8:00 AM – 9:15 AM
Level: Secondary (9-12)
Topic of Interest: Literature
Location: Studio Room 6, Grand Arena, Main Floor by Grand Garden Arena, MGM Grand
The other two sessions will be offered to the Council on English Leadership:
You Ain’t Nothing but a Blog Hound
Monday 11/19 4-5:00 PM
D.3 Room 106
Description: You may already know that a blog platform offers students at all grade levels an opportunity to engage in an authentic writing experience in or outside the classroom. This workshop demonstrates the use of a blog platform for students to engage in thoughtful discussion on whole class or independent reading. This workshop will also feature how to organize, moderate, and assess both blog posts and comments on a variety of blog platforms. There will also be a focus on improving a student’s awareness of audience and purpose in a written response, and strategies will be provided so student comments are more sophisticated than a standard “I liked what you wrote.”
Writer’s Workshop Graduates to High Tech Literature Circles
Tuesday 11/20 10-11:00 AM
F.2 Room 106
Description: This session will feature strategies used in the teaching of writing at the middle and high school levels using a variety of 2.0 technologies, including blogs, wikis, and document sharing software. The emphasis will be on providing examples of differentiated student-centered activities that will develop independence in the writer’s transition from middle school to high school. High-tech writing provides opportunities for student accountability, group collaboration, and whole class communication
(NOTE: This session was presented this at Literacy for All Convention, 11/5 & 11/6 in Providence, RI)
We are looking forward to presenting and attending the wonderful selection of sessions over the next few days. This is certainly a wonderful opportunity for our own professional development and a chance for us to showcase our small but very forward thinking school district-Regional School District #6 !