A Sneak Peek

Are you attending the NCTE Annual Convention in November?  We hope you will join us for our session Saturday morning at 9:30.  Five of the six of us will be presenting together in a panel presentation. (Beth is unable to attend NCTE this year.)  Today, we are giving you a sneak peek at our presentation!

During the final months of 2013, the five of us collaborated during a Google Hangout to write the session proposal for NCTE.  We had a lot of different ideas around this year’s theme of “Story as a Landscape for Knowing”, but we knew we wanted a cohesive presentation with a common thread.  We spent some time talking about our love of story and the need to develop stronger storytelling skills through writing – not only among our students, but also among fellow teachers and parents.  Using our collective knowledge, we started listing ways we could spread a love of story in our school communities.  Our session was beginning to form: Tools to Build a Culture of Writing Through Story.

During our panel presentation, you will hear a short presentation from each of us. Anna will be presenting on “Going Digital: The Ancient Art of Storytelling in the 21st Century.”  Participants will have the chance to hear and experience several different digital tools which are effective at supporting storytelling, as well as learn how to provide scaffolds for using digital tools.  Anna has some really cool digital storytelling tools to share.

Betsy, our resident poet, will explore “Poetry: Finding Hidden Stories.”  Betsy is going to tap into the heart of story through poetry.  She will help you and your students find the hidden stories in poetry.  Along the way, Betsy will also share several digital tools that can be useful in exploring poetry in your classroom.  You will leave Betsy’s presentation eager to get back to your classroom.

My presentation will focus on “Sharing Our Stories: Hosting Family Writing Nights.”  Through personal anecdotes, I will share examples of successful family writing nights.  Participants will receive possible agendas, activities and tools to host their own events.  I will also explore the use of digital tools to encourage collaboration with families.

Tara will present “Creating Classroom Communities Through Student Blogs.”  She will share strategies to support students in meaningful, constructive collaboration through writing.  Tara has been successfully blogging with her own students, and her expertise and knowledge in this area will be appreciated.  Tara will share how she has used digital tools to increase collaboration among her students and to build a community of writers in her classroom.

Finally, Stacey’s presentation, “Cultivating a Reflective Practice and Building Community Through Teacher Blogging,” will focus on ways in which stories bind teachers together from the same building, within districts, and across the world.  Stacey will discuss how blogging and microbloggging are ways to connect teachers.  Stacey will share the ways blogs enable teachers to increase their professional networks, receive feedback, and consider next steps in their teaching.  She, too, will share some helpful digital blogging tools.  If you are not already a blogger, you will want to be after hearing Stacey speak.

Get your tool belts ready!  You will leave this session with long list of tools to carry back with you into your classroom, your school, and your community.  You will be inspired to spread the love of story to your students, their parents, and your colleagues.  We are looking forward to seeing you there!

NCTE Smore Flier