Tag Archives: conference

Celebrating Literacy for Change: NACTE 2017


This past weekend I attended NEATE’s 2017 Conference –  New England Association of Teachers of English. President of NEATE, Lynn Leschke, states that “this year’s conference reminds us of the power of words to effect change  . . . [and] as educators help our students live better in their world and prepare them to make it a better place.”

There were an abundance of workshops over the course of the two days that addressed all aspects of literacy and teaching English.

The first workshop I attended was “Graphic Novels: the Unicorn of Literary Instruction” presented by Assistant Professor of English Studies at Fitchburg State University, Katharine Covino. The workshop highlighted a handful of new and noteworthy graphic novels and using them in conjunction with classical texts such as Frankenstein, The Highway Man, and Alice in Wonderland.

Daniella King, a high school teacher and Ph.D. candidate at UConn along with high school teacher Arianna Drossopoulos presented “Creating an Understanding of an Unfamiliar Culture (Islam) Through Adolescent Literature.” This workshop featured Islamic and Muslim protagonists in YA Literature and activities to go along with the texts to promote a better understanding of this rich culture and society as a whole.

Author Elly Swartz presented alongside Humanities teacher, Jimmy Sapia to address teaching empathy, courage, forgiveness, and gratitude with Young Adult Literature and picture books. Mr. Sapia participates in the #180BookADay Challenge, reading a picture book to his sixth grade students every day to teach lessons that build character and offer a lens in which to view history.

Tapping into the debate about teaching grammar, Nilda Irizarry, presented “Making a Difference with Grammar.” Grammar is an essential tool for creating powerful writers and oral expression, enabling writers to create mood, add impact, and engage readers. Powerful instruction of grammar teaches not only the knowledge and identification of language and sentence structure, but also how to use language and structure with intention and purpose.

There were many more workshops than these that I have highlighted. As a teacher, I am always looking for new ideas, insight, and to extend the conversations about teaching and supporting students so they are successful. Both national, regional, and local conferences are opportunities for all teachers to hone their craft.

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Summer Plans: #140edu Conference

Where will you be on August 2nd and 3rd? I will be speaking at the #140edu conference in New York City held at the 92ns Street Y. If you are not familiar with the #140 conferences, here is what you need to know: 140 Characters Conference started back in 2009 by Jeff Pulver with the idea of sharing (in real time) the effects of twitter on business and the world. The most recent #140 Conference held June 15 and 16th in New York City included speakers NBC Today’s Show host, Ann Curry, Adam Ostrow, editor in chief of Mashable, Mayor of Newark NJ, Cory Booker, Andy Carvin of NPR, and Craig Newmark, founder of Craig’s List to name a few. Each speaker gets ten minutes to talk, connect, inspire and share with the audience. You can watch the speakers from the June conference online.

This summer Jeff Pulver has partnered with Chris Lehmann, principal of Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia to organize a conference in New York City that addresses the state of education NOW. Topics to include the current effects of technology on education and student learning from Facebook to Twitter. Both Chris and Jeff are bringing amazing people together talk about all aspects of education from classroom practice to politics. For the complete schedule of all speakers and to register see the attached links.

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