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NYCWP Teacher to Teacher Conference, 2013

New York City Writing Project

Saturday, April 27, 2013 from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM (PDT)

NYCWP Teacher to Teacher Conference, 2013

Registration Information

Registration Type Sales End Price Fee Quantity
Teacher-to-Teacher Conference Registration
Registration begins March 1st. Please contact MARIA.ROCCHI@lehman.cuny.edu with any questions.
Ended $45.00 $3.24

Share NYCWP Teacher to Teacher Conference, 2013

Event Details


Join us for the fifteenth annual

Teacher-to-Teacher Conference

April 27th at

Lehman College


$45 registration fee covers breakfast, lunch, and a packed day of
workshops, fellowship and learning.

Select from over 30 workshops offered by NYC classroom teachers.

Hands on, experiential sessions are guaranteed to provide relevant strategies that will inform your classroom practice.

This year's opening keynote speaker is Peter Elbow, Professor of English Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Peter's seminal texts, Writing Without Teachers, Writing With Power: Techniques for Mastering the Writing Process and numerous other books and articles have had a profound impact on generations of teachers, writers and our collective understanding of the teaching of writing. The afternoon keynote will be delivered by Katherine Schulten, lead editor of The New York Times Learning Network and longtime teacher consultant with the New York City Writing Project.

Download the flier and share with your  friends and colleagues!


8:30 – 9:20
Registration/Breakfast, East Dining Room, Lehman College Speech & Theater Building

9:30 – 11:00
Keynote: Peter Elbow, Lovinger Hall

11:15 – 12:30
First Workshop Set, Gillet Hall

12:45 – 1:30
Lunch/Tables, East Dining Room, Speech & Theater Building

1:40 – 3:10        
Second Workshop Set, Gillet Hall

3:15 – 4:00        
Keynote: Katherine Schulten, East Dining Room, Speech & Theater Building

Workshop Descriptions

Participants May Select One Morning Workshop from the Following List:

Taking Power Through Podcasts: Including Students in the Conversation about Immigration
Alie Stumpf, HS

  • What are the consequences of exclusion? Exploring the sensitive topic of U.S. immigration, students write and create podcasts, including them in the national discussion about American identity and acceptance. In this workshop, we will study student examples of podcast transcripts to explore the ways this genre helps students show the progression of their thought and analyze the evidence they chose to use, both very important skills in the Common Core Standards.

Interdisciplinary ELLoquence
Amos Margulies and Julia Carson, HS

  • Teachers will explore two interdisciplinary texts and follow the scaffolds from an essay-writing packet for outlining an analytical/argumentative essay using evidence from both texts. Materials in this packet challenge students to first verbally explain each of their central ideas to a peer before they write, providing two separate, formal opportunities during the planning phase to demonstrate their understanding. It allows teachers to tease out what students know versus what they are able to articulate in writing.

Invitation to Play: Playwriting Designed for the NON-Theatre Specialist
Ann Neary, HS/MS/ES

  • Who says learning and community building can’t be fun? Who thinks adherence to Common Core Standards can’t be playful? This interactive workshop has students up on their feet dancing and writing collaboratively all in the span of an hour! Using music and movement as an ice breaker, participants will partner with a classmate to write, edit and perform a one minute play based on a single common opening line. Let your students' imaginations take over. Multiple Common Core Learning Standards are addressed and, while created for writing and reading classes, this lesson can be tailored to work in Social Studies, Science and Math.

Using Native Language to Engage ELL Students
Bukola Awobamise, HS

  • English language learners often struggle in participating in language activities in the classroom. Research indicates that the native language can be an important tool for helping ELLs engage with language, gain confidence in their abilities, and develop linguistic skills. This workshop will focus on the challenges and rewards of integrating native language projects and activities in the classroom and look at a sample native language curriculum unit that was implemented in a 9th and 10th grade English classroom. Participants will review student work and lesson scaffolds and discuss the linguistic, academic, and cultural implications of engaging students in native language activities.

The Power of Choice: Read This! Say What?
Felisa Brunschwig, HS/MS

  • How do we help students see themselves as having a voice and a place in intellectual conversations? How do we help them to use evidence in these conversations and have the confidence to voice their own thoughts, opinions and questions?  In this workshop, we will explore a reading and note taking strategy that both allows for students to select their own text, then prepares them for a student-led discussion based on textual evidence. Students learn to advocate for their own reading needs, they gain tools to gather, comprehend and analyze evidence from a variety of texts, and they begin to find agency in intellectual conversations that deepen and push their thinking.  Together we will experience these reading and discussion strategies and analyze the resulting student work. 

What’s my motivation? A Student’s Role in Literature Circles
Kevin Marquez, HS

  • In this workshop we will explore the process and benefits of literature circles. We will look at two literature units for high school ELL students in which specific tasks engaged students in multi-layered discussions throughout the reading of a whole class novel and a group of short stories. Specifically designed tasks motivated students to generate discussions around literary elements, vocabulary, textual evidence and the larger thematic issues in the readings that connected to themselves and the real world. Participants in this workshop will experience a mini-literature circle themselves followed by discussion and reflection. Student work and adaptable graphic organizers will be shared. 

Alternative Assessment within Common Core Constraints
Christy Kingham and Timand Bates, HS/MS

  • Regardless of a school’s philosophy or the constraints of the standards, teachers can find ways to weave principles of alternative assessment into their curriculum. In this workshop, participants will engage in a brief Socratic discussion of assessment.  Then, through a rubric-writing workshop, we will focus on various principles of alternative assessment within the constraints of the Common Core.   After studying and discussing actual models, attendees will produce their own rubrics for a writing task in their classrooms. Teachers will walk away with fresh ideas about skill-based mastery over time, deadline flexibility, and a draft of ready-to-use rubric.

Teaming as Professional Development
Laura Schneider and Kristen Schaefer, HS

  • As teachers, we know that “one-size-fits-all” professional development does not always work; customizing professional development to meet the needs of new staff and veteran teachers is always a challenge. One way we work towards this differentiated professional development is by developing content teams and the instructional lead teachers who facilitate weekly professional development. This workshop will be interactive, guiding participants through the process of designing a plan for professional development with a small group of teachers to use for a group of 20 English teachers ranging from 1 to 10 years of experience.

Libre Tu Voi (Free Your Voice): A Student Zine Revolution
Lauren Packard, MS/ES

  • Zines can be used to spark social action, launch independent projects, study craft and convention, and explore many other ideas and issues in elementary and middle grade classrooms. These unique do-it-yourself magazines give students many opportunities to experiment and create, building authentic writing opportunities and distribution sharing possibilities. This workshop will be an example-filled introduction to zine writing in the classroom. Participants will look at a sample 5th grade mini-unit and begin thinking about how to adapt it for their own grade level/class/work, as well as engage in their own zine-making, and begin to brainstorm ways of sharing and creating a community for student zine distribution.

Teaching the Counterclaim
Lisa Denerstein, HS

  • In this hands-on workshop, participants will explore the interdependency between the counterclaim and the rebuttal as they develop arguments for or against marriage equality. Participants will examine three complex texts: The Declaration of Independence, the “I Have a Dream” speech by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the “Defense of Marriage Act,” in order to write a well-developed argument incorporating claim, counterclaim and rebuttal.

‘I don’t know how to say it, Miss’: Helping Students Find the Words—Supporting CCLS-Aligned Essays in Science and Across the Curriculum
Pamela Meyer, HS

  • Do your students have trouble getting started, struggle to organize their thoughts, fumble for the words to say what they know, and sometimes plagiarize to avoid these problems? How do we help students write well-organized and well-documented CCLS-aligned essays?   In this workshop, we will explore ways to combine engaging, hands-on activities and the study of mentor texts to help students learn to quote and cite sources, and use a graphic organizer designed to help them think through and produce relevant, accurate, and correctly documented paragraphs. Join us in examining student science papers produced using these methods and come away with inspiring techniques and artifacts for your own classroom.

Youth Voices: An Online Community for Students, Teachers and the CCLS
Paul Allison, Carla Cherry and Jim Nordlinger, HS/MS/ES

Find new ways to meet and exceed the Common Core Learning Standards using Youth Voices, the NYCWP’s social network for students. With the freedom and support we give students to use these skills in areas of deep interest, they develop expertise in:

  • Using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
  • Comprehending literary and informational texts.
  • Citing strong and through textual evidence.
  • Writing arguments to support claims.
  • Publishing multimedia products.

Please Don't Stop the Music: Creativity, Empathy, and Language Learning
Sarah Feehan, HS

  • How can music encourage students to take ownership of their language learning? When is mood or feeling more powerful than language? What learning can take place by playing with song lyrics in another language? How can music create empathy? Participants will explore these questions by interacting first-hand with music in Spanish. They will experience the mix of anxiety and excitement associated with language learning, and will discover ways to connect to a text that at first might seem distant or inaccessible. They will also have an opportunity to brainstorm how music might enhance learning in disciplines other than world languages. No prior knowledge of Spanish required.

Student-to-Student: Peer Tutoring for Reading Intervention
Seth Krufka and Rebeca Wolfe, MS

  • As part of a reading intervention in our 6th grade classrooms, we are harnessing kids’ need to interact with one another by training student tutors to lead guided reading sessions with one or two peers. Participants in this workshop will review tutor-training lessons and discuss how to best teach kids to become effective tutors.  Time permitting, participants will assume the role of student-tutor or -tutee. Our peer-tutoring model is far from finished, and the workshop will reflect its in-progress status. As much as kids should learn together, in this workshop, participants and presenters will learn together, too.

The Water Cycle: A Prezi Presentation
Michael Giovacchini, HS

  • PREZI is an online-based platform to produce creative and naturally flowing presentations. This open-ended format is an excellent medium for students to demonstrate understanding of the multiple connections and logical transitions of a topic with multiple relating processes. Designed for a population of 100% English Language Learners, The Water Cycle PREZI project melds literacy and technology while providing opportunities for students to collaborate on a creative project that includes researching, writing and systems thinking. The use of both computers and iPads connected through the cloud allows for a simultaneous connection between student work and teacher, making  real-time feedback effective and individualized instruction simpler.

Help I Can't Get my ELLS to speak!
Christopher Kelly, HS

  • If you have ever said this, then this is the workshop for you.  You will be given strategies that will help you to coax those words out of the mouths of your students in ways that will not traumatize them.  We will explore different methods that will help students to build confidence and let you hear their voices.  Strategies will aid in everything from asking questions to participating in discussions to using technology to help students do class presentations using a FREE, downloadable program.  This workshop will help you to make your ELLs into active class participants! 

Act, Write, Create, Repeat!
Miriam Kopelow, ES (or MS/HS)

  • Improv theater can be a part of the writing process! In this interactive session, participants will learn how to inspire creativity in their students and unleash the inner writers in their classrooms. Come ready to try new things, act, write, and discuss ways to apply these methods into your own classroom.The first segment introduces the participants to elements of the process by having them participate in it themselves. The last segment is designated for participants to discuss ways to pull these methods into their own classrooms and ways I can alter this for my own students.


Participants May Select One Afternoon Workshop from the Following List: 


Student Directed Inquiry: Celebrating Confusion and Following Wonderings
Noah Gordon, Andrew Rejan, HS

  • When high school students read texts that are rich in meaning and possibility, they may be filled with questions, confusion, and wonder. But not all students have the confidence and the skills to tune into this internal conversation. How can we help our students to linger over their questions, to celebrate their confusion, and to follow their wonderings? How can teachers develop academic communities that make authentic inquiry more accessible to students?

Critical Discussions—It’s Critical
Gabrielle Utting and Elizabeth Lambert, HS

  • Are you looking to innovate and improve conventional class discussion structures? Do you want to hear more student voices in discussion and shift the work of thinking from you to the students? In this workshop we will learn a variety of methods that initiate student discussion and improve their literacy skills, including: silent conversations, use of protocol in oral conversations, blogging and a new take on Socratic Seminar. We will also show how to teach students to use literary theory as a means to enhance discussion. By the end of the session, we hope that participants will create a homepage for their very own class blog. 

Read, Write, Grow! Engaging Struggling Writers through Participatory Publishing
Christina Zawerucha, HS

  • How can we engage and empower struggling writers to spearhead social change? Participatory Publishing is a five-step curriculum structure that incorporates reading, community action, publishing, and celebration to make higher-order concepts meaningful. Using the “Growing Experiences: Victory Garden” project as a case study, teachers will explore curriculum structures that empower English Language Learners (ELLs), Students with Interrupted Formal Education (SIFE), and Special Needs students to engage in high-order thinking skills while cultivating beginner-level literacy and numeracy. This multi-dimensional project incorporates high-level texts, participatory publishing and analytical essay writing. Teachers will come away with tools for structuring their own participatory publishing project. 

Beyond the Five-Paragraph Essay: What is College Writing Anyway?
Marcie Wolfe, HS/Col

  • This workshop will involve administrators and teacher-leaders in a close examination of writing assignments and course writing guidelines created by faculty involved in Lehman College’s Writing Across the Curriculum program. We will discuss the successes and dilemmas faced by college faculty who are committed to teaching writing-intensive courses, as well as the implications of this work for teachers’ classroom practice and for organizing school-wide professional development. 

Searching for Shakespeare's Rhythm; Bringing the Bard into our Bodies!
Nandini Naik, HS

  • Teachers are invited to engage with a Shakespeare sonnet in an organic and hands-on way. This workshop aims at befriending and demystifying the Bard, encouraging participants to see how human and indeed even funny he can be. We will work with iambic pentameter with the goal of imbibing his intended rhythm and identifying, thinking about and questioning the choices he makes. Participants will leave this workshop with ready-to-use activities that they can bring into the classrooms whether or not they decide to tackle the Bard directly. A comprehensive handout of the workshop will be available. Come laugh, play, share and learn! We welcome you to this workshop today!  

Bridging the Space from High School to College
JoAnna Bueckert-Chan, HS

  • How often do you catch yourself recounting, reminding or even admonishing your students: “When you get to college…” We often talk about getting students to college, but what happens once they are there? In NYC alone, 6 out of every 10 freshman entering CUNY must take remedial courses that cost money and time, without the benefit of earning credit. In this workshop, educators will practice various literacy strategies that can be used in high school classrooms while exploring the meanings of “college readiness”. Together participants will ask, “How can high school and college faculty create spaces together to dialogue about the bridge between high school and college?” 

Monsters, Ninjas, and Superheroes: Allowing a Writing World for your Boys
Marina Lombardo and Gisela Rivera, ES

  • Come and join us as we explore the academic world through the eyes of our reluctant and unconfident boy writers. Using ninjas, monsters and superheroes, we have developed strategies for transforming the interest level and engagement of our boy learners. This Common Core Standards-aligned curriculum engages elementary school boys as active participants and curious learners. This workshop will balance hands on experience, conversation and reflection. 

ICTs: Writing Tools in the Science Classroom
Marvin Cadornigara, HS/MS

  • This workshop provides a closer look at the use of information and communication tools (ICTs) in writing projects and laboratory reports in the Science classroom. Participants will examine how the use of ICTs in the Science classroom allowed 6th grade students to accomplish literary projects, summary reports and laboratory reports using various computer and Internet technologies. 

Readers' Theater: The Students' Cut
Melissa Krufka, HS/MS

  • As teachers, we often hesitate to let go and let students read freely because we are have trepidations about readers’ inexperience. However, we also struggle to find a way to make the individual act of reading more interactive and engaging. Readers’ theater is a way to balance between these two tensions. In this workshop, teachers will explore readers’ theater approaches that helps students become director as well as actor, developing skills in inference, dialogue analysis, citing textual evidence and analyzing point of view while continuing to work on fluency—not to mention self-confidence and engagement with the literature.

Relax Your Mind: Mixing Meditation with Literature
Sayeeda Carter, HS

  • Using Siddhartha, Hermann Hesse’s magical and classic novel, we will learn how to incorporate a beginner’s meditation sit into a literature class. We can learn to help students calm their energy and focus their mind through insight meditation. This workshop will help teachers encourage students to begin longing for a contemplative life that includes journaling, meditating and letting go. Participants will walk through an outline of an eight-week course of a meditation elective recently taught for 9-12th graders. Additionally, participants will experience a mini version of the course including a meditation sit. May you be happy, peaceful and free from suffering. Namaste. 

Are They Ready to Read? Supporting ELLs through Building Background Knowledge
Teresa Devore, MS/HS

  • How can we best prepare our rapidly increasing population of ELLs to succeed as readers? While vocabulary instruction, teaching reading comprehension strategies, and modeling are essential, one commonly overlooked component is the need for building adequate background knowledge. Participants will experience multimodal scaffolding techniques and strategies that engage and prepare intermediate-advanced ELLs to read a book. Participants will also look at examples of student work and discuss how they can use the strategies in their classrooms. 

Youth Voices: An Online Community for Students, Teachers and the CCLS
Paul Allison, Griffina Blake and Joan Stewart, ES/MS/HS

Find new ways to meet and exceed the Common Core Learning Standards using Youth Voices, the NYCWP’s social network for students. With the freedom and support we give students to use these skills in areas of deep interest, they develop expertise in: 

  • Using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
  • Comprehending literary and informational texts.
  • Citing strong and through textual evidence.
  • Writing arguments to support claims.
  • Publishing multimedia products
Beginning at the End
Lisa Schaffner, ES
  • A teacher’s life is a series of hellos and goodbyes. We build a community of learners in September and disassemble that community ten months later. I have developed ways that help the children in my class and myself reflect on the learning and experiences that have taken place over the school year. In this workshop we will look at strategies to help our students and ourselves say goodbye in meaningful ways that mark the significance of our time together. 
Say Something—Anything! How Low Stakes Writing Can Engage Writers and Create Community
Ronda Razak, HS
  • In this workshop, teachers will study samples of low stakes writing that were produced by students from an NYC DOE phase-out school. These students were quite demoralized by the closing of their school and low stakes writing helped engage students, improve moral, improve attendance and writing together helped us create a safe and vibrant community of learners. During this workshop, teachers will also produce and share their own writing and receive a list of intriguing journal prompts that were successfully used in my English class.

Building Students’ Understanding of Content Area Vocabulary: ELL Strategies that Work
Kristin Lawlor and Beth Lopez Nibberich, HS/MS

  • What kinds of vocabulary instruction engage students? How can we help English language learners to move beyond decontextualized definitions of unfamiliar words to synthesize their understanding of language, content, and concepts? These questions not only challenge teachers of ELLs, but all teachers across the curriculum. Join us for this workshop, in which participants will experience and reflect on three instructional activities that have supported our students’ comprehension and use of content area vocabulary. There will be opportunities to look at student work and for participants to share vocabulary strategies from their classroom practice. We encourage both ELL and content area teachers to join us. 
Creating and Teaching a Common Core Aligned Module – An Inquiry Process
Heidi Atlas and Melanie Hammer, HS/MS
  • In this session, the presenters will share their experience creating and teaching a Common Core aligned argument “module” using a template developed by the Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC). The LDC template is designed to support rich literacy instruction and “backwards mapping,” beginning with a final task and planning backwards to create a meaningful unit of study for students.  This work was done as part of the “Literacy in the Common Core” initiative sponsored by the National Writing Project.  The focus will be on the inquiry process surrounding the work, which fosters a unique collaboration between the module maker and a thinking partner.  Participants will engage in hands-on writing activities as well as reflect on their own module making plans.   

Empowering ELLs as Writers 
Alicia Manguso and Joanna Pettet, HS

  • This workshop will focus on empowering English Language Learners as writers through a creative writing activity where students develop their own “bucket lists.” Students are engaged by using protocols such as mapping, peer revision, instant publication and reflection. These activities help develop a sense of community and respect in the classroom and also give students confidence in themselves as writers. The workshop will showcase this assignment and include examples of student work. It will also focus on ways to apply this type of writing in content ESL classrooms such as ELA and Global History. Teachers will have the opportunity to see how this boost in confidence can inspire ELLs to write everything from Shakespeare to Global History. 

Have questions about NYCWP Teacher to Teacher Conference, 2013? Contact New York City Writing Project

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