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Lecture [clear filter]
Friday, October 12

11:00am EDT

Building Enthusiasm for Writing and Analysis through Argument
Argument is a vital skill for students to learn, not only within the classroom, but for life, in general. However, it is often difficult spark within them a true desire to engage in the process. One tried and true way of doing this is through formal debate, specifically the Lincoln-Douglas model. From creating debate topics to conducting the debates themselves, this session teaches everything that is necessary to begin using Lincoln-Douglas debate within your classroom.

Learning Outcomes: Participants will leave this session with a thorough understanding of Lincoln-Douglas debate and how it can be effectively implemented within any classroom. The lesson provides an explanation of the structure of debate, methods for formulating debate topics, instructions for assisting students in creating effective presentations, and directions for conducting the debates themselves.

Session Process: The session begins with research-based reasons as to why debate is so effective in regard to teaching writing and analysis. Then, participants will learn the process of Lincoln-Douglas debate by engaging in the process themselves. After viewing the music video "This is America" by Childish Gambino, participants will be asked to choose a topic (or resolution) related to the contents of the video. With that topic, they will themselves create a debate constructive speech, questions for cross-examination, and rebuttals. By actually engaging in this process, participants will have a thorough understanding of how to use it within the classroom.

avatar for Crystal Gage

Crystal Gage

Advanced Placement/Dual Enrollment English Teacher, Winchester Public Schools
I have 8 years of experience in the secondary English classroom, having taught a variety of academic levels from grades 6-12.  I currently teach AP English Language and Composition at John Handley High School in Winchester, VA.

Friday October 12, 2018 11:00am - 11:50am EDT
Salon C 2801 Hershberger Road, Roanoke, VA 24017

2:00pm EDT

Digital Internships: Research from a Three Year Partnership
Opportunities to experience online teaching are necessary for teacher candidates, and over half of P-12 schools use one-to-one devices; yet, there is a dearth of research on online experiential education in teacher education programs. This interactive presentation will share findings from 5-semesters of a digital internship in a teacher education program. I will focus on the reflections of undergraduate teacher candidates and a 7th-grade cooperating teacher. The sample included the cooperating teacher and undergraduate teacher candidates (n=165). Two main purposes guided this research: to understand how a 7th grade social studies teacher motivates students using a DI, and to understand teacher candidates’ perceptions of this instruction. I will share how I worked with an undergraduate student to deductively analyze data from the cooperating teacher’s unit plans, participant interviews, candidate reflections, and learning management documents. Motivational themes of success and interest dominated the codes for both research questions. Findings suggest that the cooperating teacher and the teacher candidates focused on supporting students in being successful through specific feedback, timely communication, adjusting communication based on audience, backward design in planning, and rubrics. Relevant to both higher education and P-12 practitioners, experiential learning via a DI is one way to enhance learning units. I will leave time at the end of the session for questions, and I will provide a graphic organizer for participants to consider how they may use this partnership in their classroom.

avatar for Jenny Martin

Jenny Martin

Assistant Professor of Education, Bridgewater College
I teach Introduction to Education and Educational Psychology, and supervise the student teaching experience at Bridgewater College. I am licensed to teach English in Virginia, grades 9-12 and I began my teaching career in Rockingham County.

Friday October 12, 2018 2:00pm - 2:50pm EDT
Salon F 2801 Hershberger Road, Roanoke, VA 24017

2:00pm EDT

Getting Past Chaos: Using Iterative Lit Circles to Energize Reading and Make the Teacher’s Job Easier Too
You've seen the research. You also have a gut-belief that the way to save reading in our culture is to incorporate more book choices into secondary school classrooms.  But the logistics of independent reading and lit circles can be so crazy! The answer?  More. Most research on inquiry-based or project-based learning emphasizes the importance of iteration, and choice-based reading is no exception. Set up your reading workshop to capture other students' enthusiasm (which is gold) and to pump that energy back into the classroom.  Use student book reviews to guide subsequent choices and create the momentum for the next round of lit circles or independent reading. This workshop shows you how to use analog methods and/or our digital resources. 

Rationale: Perhaps the most fundamental and natural form of personalized and inquiry-based learning is an independent reading program that emphasizes choice, quantity, reiteration, public writing, and peer to peer interaction. But we seldom incorporate such programs because they feel too crazy to most teachers. This presentation introduces a methodology to help organize and energize lit circles or other kinds of reading workshop. The presentation addresses these specific challenges associated with choice-based reading:
This workshop addresses these specific challenges associated with choice-based reading:
1. Finding appropriate books when you haven't read them all
2. Keeping track of who's read what
3. How can you recommend the right book for every kid?
4. Assessments that don't kill the teacher


Julia Franks

Teacher and Founder of Loose Canon, The Lovett School
Julia Franks is a multi-award winning novelist (juliafranks.com), veteran educator, and advocate for reading choice in the classroom. She founded the social reading application loosecanon.com, a purpose-driven company created to help teachers incorporate personalized reading while... Read More →

Friday October 12, 2018 2:00pm - 2:50pm EDT
Salon C 2801 Hershberger Road, Roanoke, VA 24017

3:00pm EDT

Not Your Momma's English Class: Fostering a Culture and Love of Literacy
As English teachers, we want to do it all: promote student growth and academic achievement, close the gap, individualize instruction, and promote a love of reading. Too often though, those goals feel overwhelming and mutually exclusive. In response, we continue digging in to literacy instruction the exact same way our teachers did, and the exact same way their teachers did- textbook anthologies, whole-class texts, and worksheet after worksheet. 

But what if there really was a way to do it all? What if you could foster a love of reading in students while promoting other academic goals? Learn about how to implement research based practices in your classroom, and most of all, get students excited about reading! This session will provide an overview of academic research about independent reading and the need for the change in pedagogy. In addition, this session will offer modeled practices for connecting readers with texts through digital surveys, book talks, and book tastings. Resources will also be provided so that teachers feel confident about monitoring students' reading skills and comprehension in this individualized approach to the English classroom (one-on-one reading conferences, writing about reading, etc.).


Danielle Fowler

Teacher- 7th Grade, Forest Middle School- Bedford County Schools
I am an English teacher in Bedford, VA. This is my sixth year teaching. I have taught in suburban, urban, and rural schools, including high school, middle school, and alternative school.

Friday October 12, 2018 3:00pm - 3:50pm EDT
Salon B 2801 Hershberger Road, Roanoke, VA 24017

4:00pm EDT

Never Too Old for a Makeover
The objective of this session is to show the relevance of the classics in today's society and ways to engage modern day students.  We have taken six classic pieces of literature and illustrated the relevance and high interest level.  We will provide practical activities and connections for each text.  Any middle or high school teacher should be able to take these ideas and apply any or all strands of Standards of Learning.  We will use electronic and hands on materials.  Participants will leave our session with a renewed appreciation for classic literature and its relevance to today, as well as practical ideas to immediately implement within their classrooms.  


Donna Ogle

English Teacher, Carroll County High School
I have a Master's Degree in English from Radford University and teach at Carroll County High School.

Sonya Redd

English Teacher, Carroll County High School
I have been teaching high school English for 18 years.  I have a Master's Degree in English from Radford University and teach at Carroll County High School.

Friday October 12, 2018 4:00pm - 4:50pm EDT
Salon B 2801 Hershberger Road, Roanoke, VA 24017
Saturday, October 13

1:00pm EDT

The Efficacy of Personal Literature: How English Teachers Can Save Our Troubled Boys and Girls
The objective of this session is to make participants aware of the powerful impact the right book can have on a survivor of traumatic events. In the first part of this session I will tell the story of my own childhood trauma and tell how librarians and teachers spoke into my life with appropriate book recommendations.  In the second part I will demonstrate how teachers can build bridges to trouble students who incite conflict in the classroom and use that bridge to offer good reading selections. I will then challenge participants to discuss books that helped them survive childhood incidents.  Together we will build a resource for teachers and counselors so that teachers and counselors can get the right books into the hands of students struggling with trauma.


Author, Rhino the Bully

Author, 8th Grade Teacher, Rockingham County Public Schools
A Career Switcher and Author, Myron Brubaker makes his home in Rockingham County, Virginia. He currently teaches 8th grade science and leads an after-school conservation club. His passion is reaching broken and traumatized teens and his new book, Rhino the Bully, will serve as a great... Read More →

Saturday October 13, 2018 1:00pm - 1:50pm EDT
Salon C 2801 Hershberger Road, Roanoke, VA 24017

1:00pm EDT

The Monomyth Framework

It’s no surprise that in the age of standardized testing, standardized curriculum, and standardized instruction, students no longer see themselves in their education. Learning has been broken down and atomized in to bite sized bits that can be easily collected, quantified, and politicized. In a system that says results matter more than learning, we shouldn’t be surprised that students no longer excited to learn. 

We’ve forgotten why we learn in the first place: to better understand ourselves and our world, to find and cultivate our passions, to connect with each other, and most simply of all, because it's fun. There’s no shortage of philosophies, methods, tools, and tech at teacher’s disposal to combat the travails of modern education, but what’s missing is a clear, coherent framework to organize when, where, and how to use them. More importantly, it’s a framework that teachers can use regardless of content, level, or cultural context. It’s as universal as the human experience.

The Monomyth Framework is built around Joseph Campbell's Monomyth. Essentially, it's a thematic distillation of best practice pedagogy that provides a sequence and structure to a variety of current best practice methods. At its core, is the Mythic Question: a relatable, engaging question about the human experience that will inform the texts the students read, conversations they engage in, and information they explore over the course of the year.

It’s our hope that our framework will serve as the campfire we gather around to share our experiences—experiences that remind us that though our stories are unique, we are all the same.


-Introduce teachers to our thematic framework 
-Provide them with documents to start utilizing our framework in their own classroom
-Build a community of engaged participants who want to share how they've used, adapted, and innovated our framework so we can all build a better tool together long after our session has ended.


Part 1: Introduction to the Framework- My colleague and I will run through our framework with the group. (Time: 30 minutes) 

Part 2: Q&A- My colleague and I will field an general questions, thoughts, or comments about the framework. (Time: 15-20 minutes)

Part 3: Workshop- Educators break up in to grade level groups and see how they can use our framework to either structure their entire year or a single unit using our methodology. My colleague and I will walk around and facilitate learning. 

(If time allows, we would repeat the small group work/large group discussion process)

Intended Audiences: Secondary English Teachers

Resources we use: 
-Prezi Presentation of our Framework
-Hard copies of the "Unit at a Glance" graphic organizer
-Hard copies of "Year at a Glance"  graphic organizer

All attendees will have access to both hard and digital copies of our materials for use in their own classrooms as well as access to our planned website/community where they can connect to other teachers around Virginia (and beyond) to discuss their experiences with the framework.


Trevor Aleo

Teacher, Charles J. Colgan High School
Trevor Aleo is an English teacher in the D.C. suburbs. He received his Master of Arts in Teaching from James Madison University in 2014. He has a passion for innovative teaching practices, finding the intersection between pop-culture and pedagogy, and incessantly asking his kids... Read More →

Clare Gillespie

Teacher, Charles J. Colgan High School
Clare Gillespie is an educator in the DC Suburbs who has a passion for teaching, connecting, and innovating. Her high energy style and vivacious personality helps bring the content to life for both her students and colleagues.

Saturday October 13, 2018 1:00pm - 1:50pm EDT
Salon F 2801 Hershberger Road, Roanoke, VA 24017

2:00pm EDT

Complicating the Canon: Discovering and Developing Student Voice through Living Poets
Historically, teenagers are the rebels, the revolutionaries, and the spark to change the status quo and injustices in society, yet their voices are being lost in the standardization of learning, lack of diverse texts, and limited avenues in school for self expression. When classroom instruction is limited to a one-size-fits-all approach with a limited curriculum, individual student voices are no longer heard and valued. Teaching contemporary poets to today’s students not only exposes them to a myriad of different voices and current issues but also gives them the courage to find and use their voices as agents of change in society.

The #teachlivingpoets hashtag has blossomed on Twitter, but it is more than a hashtag; it’s a movement of teachers to get modern poetry in the hands of today’s students. Teaching living poets allows students to traverse a richer landscape of diverse identities and experiences through the lens of poetry. Students can then use their identities and experiences to give voice to their own stories and narratives with modern poems being the mentor texts and modern poets serving as the mentors for writing and activism.

Teaching modern poetry can be intimidating for even the most experienced teachers. The presenter will share classroom lessons and ideas which foster an appreciation of poetry as art as well as how poetry can create raise awareness on issues of equity, justice, and humanity in general. The focus of these lessons cover a variety of ideas from reading comprehension, literary analysis, connecting modern poetry to canon and nonfiction, and finding personal voice using modern poems as mentor texts. Special attention will also be given to the benefits of teaching a contemporary poetry collection as a whole with lessons and instructional resources.

Digital tools and social media enhance the learning experience with modern poetry in the classroom. This session will cover the best practices on how to find and connect with poets online and in person. The presenter will share how using social media such as Twitter and Instagram has not only connected students to poets but poets to students creating a platform for an ongoing academic relationship and sharing of ideas. Skype also enriches classroom lessons and student experience giving students the opportunity to talk with poets about their poems, writing process, and contemporary issues, and teachers will be walked through the process of planning and preparing for a Skype call with a poet.

Finally, the panel will share how students can document and share their perspectives on contemporary poetry through blogging and using tools such as Flipgrid. Evidence will be shared from a blog share with students from across the nation where they post about poetry, read other students posts about poetry, and offer thoughtful comment. Gaining perspective from students nationwide has allowed students to move beyond their classroom and geographic area, and the exchange has provided students an avenue to voice their opinions and ideas.

Today’s society can be a confusing time and place for students, but modern poetry bridges the gap and helps put into words what students are feeling but may not be able to express. Teachers need to #teachlivingpoets.

avatar for Adrian Nester

Adrian Nester

English Teacher, Tunstall High School
Adrian Nester is an Advanced Placement and Inclusion secondary English teacher in Pittsylvania County with 18 years teaching experience. She is excited to share the shifts in her own classroom towards choice reading and complicating the canon. Adrian will represent Virginia on the... Read More →

Saturday October 13, 2018 2:00pm - 2:30pm EDT
Salon F 2801 Hershberger Road, Roanoke, VA 24017

2:00pm EDT

Creative Writing Instruction within the ESL Classroom
This session discusses research completed in 2018 observing the effects of specialized creative writing instruction on written expression development in Newcomer middle-school students learning English as a second language. Methodology, researcher tools, and specific lesson plans (with samples of student work and photographs) will be presented alongside qualitative and statistical conclusions; the study yielded statistically significant results with a p-value of 0.001156. The session will close with a discussion of the implications of the research and possibilities for implementing similar methods in ESL and Newcomer classrooms, with the overall goal of making English acquisition both easier and more exciting for middle school students.


Renée Flory

Student Researcher, Massanutten Regional Governor's School
Renée Flory is a student researcher interested in exploring how elements of creative writing can be implemented within educational curricula beyond the English classroom. She plans to major in creative writing and is pursuing the publication of both research and fiction writing... Read More →

Saturday October 13, 2018 2:00pm - 2:50pm EDT
Salon A 2801 Hershberger Road, Roanoke, VA 24017

2:00pm EDT

Project LIT Community: Empowering Readers and Leaders in Schools and Communities
This session will introduce teachers to the Project LIT Community, a grassroots literacy movement that is sweeping through middle schools and high school across the nation, and describe the process of starting a Project LIT chapter at a high school. Participants will learn about the movement, its aims, and ways in which they can not only start Project LIT chapters in their own schools but also be supported in those endeavors. The session will be primarily lecture with a question and answer period; however, given a longer presentation time, there could be a chance for more interactive and audience participation by letting them experience what an actual Project LIT Book Club session is like, including discussion and trivia. The intended audience for this presentation is middle school and high school teachers, librarians, and administrators. Strands addressed include Young Adult Literature and Multicultural Literature. Presenters will project a prepared presentation to accompany their session. Participants will gain an introduction to or greater understanding of the Project LIT Community and learn ways to start their own chapter—including fundraising and service opportunities as well as strategies to run book clubs—and support students as they grow as readers and leaders.


Lisa Newman

English Teacher; Lead Teacher, Blacksburg High School
Lisa Newman is in her 23rd year of teaching. She graduated from Radford University with a BS in English and Secondary Education. She teaches at Blacksburg High School. A passionate social justice educator, she is the Department Lead Teacher, sponsors the Black Awareness Club, leads... Read More →
avatar for Josh Thompson

Josh Thompson

English Teacher, Blacksburg High School
A passionate antiracist and social justice educator, I teach English at Blacksburg High School where I strive to make my classroom a more equitable, inclusive space for liberation.

Saturday October 13, 2018 2:00pm - 2:50pm EDT
Salon B 2801 Hershberger Road, Roanoke, VA 24017

3:00pm EDT

Gaming: The System
It's a fact that games are prevalent in our students' lives. Consumers spend a massive $23.5 billion each year on video games. Why? Everyone enjoys the thrill of competition and that drive to improve. Gamers are motivated to spend hours of time trying to master that challenging level, defeat that powerful boss, or get three stars on that tricky puzzle. This session will dive into the idea of bringing that motivation into the classroom. Through gamification, teachers have the ability to completely change the way many students think about learning. By focusing on techniques used in games to motivate players, we can engage students on a level that is familiar and encourage them to challenge themselves while building a sense of community and understanding.

To encourage teachers to adapt their current teaching styles and lessons to include game elements that will increase student engagement and knowledge retention.

This session will include a discussion of The Eight Core Drivers of Motivation developed by Yu-kai Chou along with hands on demonstrations of game elements that can be implemented into any subject area.

Attendees will be able to see and play with some of the game elements that I use in my classroom (ex: Dice, Jenga, Basketball, Crocodile Dentist, and various board games). They will be able to ask questions and develop ideas for how they can implement these game elements into their classroom while I discuss the theories, research, and challenges behind gamification.

This session would primarily address pedagogical ideas that could be used in any subject area, though it will use examples from my own English classes.

Intended Audience:
This session would be useful to nearly all teachers since most students enjoy playing games and engagement is something that all teachers should want to increase. It will be most applicable for middle and high school teachers though.


Rodney Ray

English Teacher, Blacksburg High School
A fifth year English teacher and avid player of games who has smashed his two worlds together to gamify his 9th grade English class.

Saturday October 13, 2018 3:00pm - 3:50pm EDT
Salon C 2801 Hershberger Road, Roanoke, VA 24017

3:00pm EDT

The Rhetoric of Moral Panic- Framing the News for Analysis
Students today are bombarded with media messages that include news, not so newsworthy news, and moral outrage disguised as news.  Using the framework painted on the walls of the Salem Witch Museum about how moral panic creates or reinforces the status quo, students can begin to analyze how messages shape our understanding of the news we hear both in mass media and in their real lives.


Terri Penick

English 8 Teacher, Gloucester County Public Schools
I am an eighth grade English teacher who tries to use her love of history to help students analyze and make real-life connections to what they see, hear, and read.

Saturday October 13, 2018 3:00pm - 3:50pm EDT
Salon A 2801 Hershberger Road, Roanoke, VA 24017

4:00pm EDT

Going Beyond the Core Curriculum
With heightened concerns regarding mental health in our society, many teachers are searching for ways to help our students (and ourselves!) find balance and develop healthy approaches to managing stress and anxiety. Over the past several years, I have reflected on a number of my own practices and have developed routines and activities that all work towards establishing a safe, welcoming classroom environment where students can develop and practice strategies for managing stress while also working on their reading, writing, and speaking skills. 
By incorporating supplemental day-of-the-week activities such as “Mindful Monday,” “Museday Tuesday,” and “Free Reading Friday” into the class routine, teachers can reflect even more on their practices and actually do more with seemingly less. We want to help students develop both a reading and a writing life, but we must also recognize that students need to be in a healthy place mentally and emotionally before they can focus on the skills we’re teaching. These 15-20 minute supplemental activities integrated in the classroom routine emphasize student choice, mindfulness, and reflection, while also promoting students’ well-being and confidence as well as classroom community. At the same time, they provide low-stakes opportunities for students to practice and strengthen skills.
I will provide research, strategies for implementation, and resources for teachers to use in their schools.Teachers will have the opportunity to reflect and consider their own variations on the routines and activities shared. Time will be provided for exploration and planning. Participants will leave the session with activities they can incorporate in their classrooms immediately as well as possibilities for making connections to current texts and concepts of study.  
The session is intended for high school ELA teachers of all levels. Participants should bring their laptops or other devices so they can explore resources, plan, and collaborate.


Jennifer Fulton

HS English teacher and Department Chair, Robinson Secondary School, FCPS
Jennifer Fulton serves as high school English Department Chair and teaches IB English Literature 1 and English 12 Honors at Robinson Secondary School in Fairfax, Virginia. She earned her B.A. in English and Secondary Education from Mary Washington and her M.A. in English Literature... Read More →

Saturday October 13, 2018 4:00pm - 4:50pm EDT
Salon A 2801 Hershberger Road, Roanoke, VA 24017