Tuesday, April 8, 2008

April update

Hello fellow NCTE members!

As we gear up for the final push of the last five weeks of the semester everyone is busily trying to tie up loose ends. I have a few loose ends of my own to share:

Last meeting Casey and I went over what we found to be the best and most educational of the many seminars we attended at the Colorado Language Arts Society Regional Conference. It was a great weekend at the Inverness Hotel March 7-9, even if we did not hear from Niki Giovanni or Gene Luen Yang.

The highlights for me were the many sessions on using Film and Graphic Novels in the classroom. We heard from Jessica Keigan and Kim Brady from Horizon High School in Thornton, CO on Film Literacy in the Integrated Classroom - the phenomenal handout from this session alone is an entire unit plan including, among many other useful instructional plans, feature film reading activities for:

Kingdom of Heaven
Melinda and Melinda
Cinderella Man
Bend it Like Beckham

Casey shared tips and strategies from a session on How to Save Time Grading and Change Lives - given by David Cohara, Wendi Johnson, and Benjamin Reed from Standley Lake High School, discussing the benefits of using the MicroConference and the E-Conference with twenty-first century students in our rapid society. Tips included details on how to:

Assess and Prioritize,
Make comments - not corrections,
Discuss the writing,
and how to use shortcuts to streamline the grading process.

Our next meeting tomorrow night in Eddy 8 from 7-8 pm we will discuss the t-shirt options for our club this semester, and we will have a drawing for a teacher-iffic prize, before we hear from this week's guest speaker: Nola McMillen from Bennett Elementary will share hints and advice for teaching Second Language Acquisition in the Language Arts class.

We hope to see you all there!