The staff development sessions I have presented at state and national conferences, local schools, area school districts and parent groups represent "best practices" in academic, personal, creative, business and technical writing instruction. Most of the workshops will include The Writer's Voice: Lessons in Composition as a resource. 1. Read Like a Writer: Write Like a Reader This workshop explores the reading/writing connection and provides specific strategies and lessons that engage students in pre-reading, during reading and post-reading and writing activities that encourage student self-reflection and self-evaluation. The objectives include: helping educators understand college and career ready expectations, increasing reading/writing proficiency and improving performance on SAT, ACT and AP tests, and creating life long readers and writers.
2. THE WRITER'S VOICE: Who? What? Where? When? How? Why? This session provides an overview of the organization, lesson cycle and models used in the book, the Writer's Voice: Lessons in Composition. Participants will "work through" several specific, writing strategies contained in the book so they understand how to "model" them for students in their classrooms. 3. Portfolios: The Pathway to Progress The words, “This year, we will use portfolios,” invite frustration in ELA classrooms because portfolios cause schools to rethink their use of time, instruction and assessment. Today’s workshop will answer frequently asked questions, provide ideas for organizing, maintaining and evaluating portfolios, and discuss examples of “real world” implications of e-portfolios. 4. RAP: Rubrics Assess Progress In this workshop, teachers will learn to design assignments and rubrics that involve students in evaluating their own progress and process find ways to handle the paper load. 5. Alternative Assessments: Portfolios Assess Kids' Strengths Learn how portfolios improve students' writing, performance on standardized tests, and help teachers manage the process of grading students' compositions. Participants will learn how to create independent writers who evaluate their own progress as writers and learn how to work in environments that require both leadership and teamwork. 6. Using WTLAC (Writing to Learn Across the Curriculum) To Go Beyond the STAARs. A series of 2-3 hour workshops will help administrators and teachers develop and implement WTLAC across the curriculum. Workshops include; designing relevant writing lessons, ways to add technical writing to all courses, tips for technology use, presentation guidelines, assessment techniques and strategies for improving performance on state and national writing examinations. 7. Beowulf to "Texting": Grammar in the Digital Age Texting/instant messages/Facebook comments and emails require concise, precise word choice and focused ideas. (BTW) so does the STAAR test. Workshop participants will discover “kid- friendly” lessons that help students edit, “write tight” and still “show not tell” through correct and efficient use of (OMG) concrete nouns and action verbs . 8. Inspiration: Chocolate--the Sweet Way to Use Rhetorical Strategies In this workshop, participants will learn to help students move from concrete to abstract thinking. They will define and learn to use 11 rhetorical strategies to help students plan essays and develop paragraphs. The workshop also includes a review of Texas Career and College Readiness Standards (CCRS). 9. Research: It's Not Just Google Teach students how to face the realities of research in the real world. This session will provide ways to help students evaluate web sites, generate questions, cite sources and avoid plagiarism. Teachers will learn "shortcuts" and creative ways to assess research skills.10. Developing a Thesis: APUSH/APLAC "Free Response" essays This mini-workshop shows AP students how to form a thesis, organize an essay and support important ideas in the "free response" sections of AP History and Language tests.
11. On Your Mark! Get Ready! Get Set! Go to College! Students and parents will discover the differences between the ACT and the SAT tests, how to write a college admissions essay, and ways to choose the "right" college for the "right" reasons. 12. Parents Writing Seminar A review of the latest standardized test data indicates that many students struggle with writing. This workshop/discussion shows parents how they can help prepare their youngsters to meet the challenges of writing for college and career readiness, write college admissions essays and prepare for SAT and ACT writing tests. 13. English Meets Journalism: Put Sizzle in Student Writing When teachers include journalistic techniques they can help student writers choose their words carefully. Repeated, empty, general and vague words can take up space in a blog, email, online article-and in an essay-and "turn off" readers. 14. Oh, the Places You'll Go-With Books for Babies Young mothers will discover ways to help their babies become readers even before they can turn pages. Family interviews and a "fact sheet" shows how all children can become "language experts" by participating in activities in home/preschool that involve literacy. 15. Using Poetry to Build Skills and Bridge Gaps Discover ways to use poetry to teach language and grammar skills and how poems can reach across barriers to motivate and inspire student writers. Writing and revising original poems and reviewing a "Poetic Bill of Writes" will help teachers spread "Contagious Creativity" throughout the school.
16. Finding a Poem for Your Pocket Young writers love to find surprises, especially when reading and writing poetry. Help them explore where to find poems, what to do with them and how to read and write their own. 17. "O, Teacher, My Teacher: How to Create a Live Poets' Society" Poetry's universal language can motivate "at risk" students and inspire reluctant writers. Teachers will learn ways to use poetry in "small bites," to teach language and grammar skills. Participants will learn how to evaluate and publish student poetry. 18. "The Three Ps: Prose, Poetry and Profits" Learn how the editors of AQUILAE STILUS, an award winning student publication, use teamwork, mission statements, goal setting and other business methods to create an art/literature anthology that contains the "voices" of a community of student writers. Topics will include staff selection and training, solicitation and preparation of manuscripts, marketing, and advertising. 19. Reading the Movies: Dances with Wolves Teach students how to "read the movies." Discover how the themes of identity, heroism, ecology and cultural conflicts in an Oscar winning film can apply to ethnically diverse classrooms. A thematic unit, lesson plans, discussion guides, writing assignments and a bibliography will be provided. 20. Reading and the Three Cs: Curiosity, Collaboration, Comprehension Teachers will understand why they should teach reading skills in high school classrooms, develop strategies that motivate students to become involved in their own learning, learn ways to use graphic organizers to interact with informative text and move beyond "assign and tell" lesson plans. 21. Reading's CORE: Connection, Ownership, Response, Extension This week long workshop focuses on several areas of developing literate students: reading Above, Between and Beyond the Lines, developing vocabulary, media literacy, using technology to motivate reading and assessing literacy.
22. Reading in the Content Areas Does reading for information differ from reading for pleasure? Yes, but when students learn interactive strategies that help them during pre-reading, reading and post reading activities to identify main ideas, make generalizations and use context clues it can seem like fun! 23. Goal Setting: The SMART Way Learn how educational goals evolve from mission statements, guiding principles and values and how they cascade down to individuals in schools and businesses. 24. The English Language: Out to Conquer the World This workshop, designed for international business partners, and first presented for a TOASTMASTERS, Inc. group explores the global dominion of English, its use in business, problems with "mutilated metaphors, problems in the U.S. with illiteracy, and the future of our language.
25. Writing Winning Grants Review general criteria for writing grants and evaluate sample grant responses. Learn how to avoid the pitfalls that often "sink the ship" of strong ideas and help grant readers understand the importance of your project so they make it happen.
26. Evaluating Textbooks for Adoption Explore some of the criteria of an effective textbook, the qualifications of the editors and consultants, and learn how to use criteria to make decisions that will impact students in your classrooms for possibly ten years.
27. Team Building and Leadership for ELA Teachers Teacher leaders can transform the culture and affect student achievement. This workshop will define leadership, and present ways to assemble teams, navigate challenges effecting change, build learning communities and improve teacher effectiveness.