Room 370 at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, TX
**Stop by our booth, #124, anytime during the conference!**
Come hear Amber speak about 1.) highlighting the importance of writing becoming an integral aspect of every classroom, 2.) examining the most important components of a writing-focused school culture, 3.) providing tips and techniques to demonstrate how every teacher can become a writing teacher, and 4.) showing what is possible through sharing success stories and student samples.
1.) The Importance of Writing
Since no skill is as important or as complex as writing, it is critical that students are given opportunities to learn writing skills, hone strong writing habits, and develop a love of writing. Plus, with Common Core’s declaration that every teacher is a literacy teacher, it is every educator’s job to teach the steps, structures, and styles of writing. Participants will experience a paradigm shift as we answer the questions “Why writing? Why right now?”
2.) The Components of a Writing-focused School Culture
Creating a school culture focused on writing is essential to cultivating student writers who can think about what they write and write about what they think.
Meaningful writing can happen any day in any subject. Writing is not just “an ELA thing,” and every student can be empowered to be a great writer by having their skills honed and their voice heard. Participants will realize how at any moment in any class, there is something relevant to write about. They will see that from preK-12th grade, every student’s ideas and perspectives are worthy of being shared and will see the value in moving from a mindset of tacitly asking “What can I assign for writing?” to excitedly encouraging “OOH! Let’s write about that!”
With this new approach to writing, teachers will understand why high writing expectations must be consistently maintained in every grade level and across every department. Participants will learn ways to continually challenge students to grow as writers by choosing more sophisticated words and more vivid phrasing.
3.) Tips, Tricks, and Techniques for Every Teacher
A. Writing has structures and processes
Participants will explore why structure is powerful in writing by examining what structure looks like across portions of the developmental spectrum of writing. In addition, we will examine elements of the processes that teach students how to plan, organize, and refine their writing. Through analysis of modeling aspects of writing, participants will understand how to gradually increase writer’s independence in the writing process to ensure that every time students write it is worth their time to compose it and teacher’s time to read it.
B. The focus of writing instruction must be on quality before quantity.
The myth that length equals quality will be disproved as participants explore how word choice, sentence structure, and phrase arrangement are more integral to elevating the sophistication of writing.
C. Harness the power of resources
Knowing that nothing is more intimidating than a blank sheet of paper and the directions “Write,” we will preview what happens when students have rich resources that remind them of the steps, structures, and styles of writing; stretch their thinking; and help them find just the right phrasing.
4.) See What’s Possible: Success Stories and Data
When the school-wide writing focus is embraced, the results are tremendous. From looking at samples throughout a school year to see what growth looks like for individual students to examining school data, participants will feel inspired that a focus on writing will lead to impressive gains and create life-long writers.