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17 March 2006

Writing Instruction Technology Conference Apr. 1

The Jacksonville State University English Department is offering their annual Writing Instruction Technology Conference on Saturday, April 1 with registration from 8:00 to 9:00 a.m. in the Stone Center Theatre lobby. The keynote speaker, Carol Jago is both a noted teacher and author. Carol will be the keynote speaker for the morning session of the conference which begins at 9:00 a.m. and will also present the afternoon workshop. Her topic for the keynote will be "Cohesive Writing: Why Concept is not Enough."

Attendees will learn how to help students focus, organize, and develop ideas for analytical and persuasive essay writing. Carol will emphasize revision strategies and address such topics as thesis development, evidence analysis, peer editing pros and cons, and the demands writing places on students. Attendees will also leave with a plan for constructing a coherent writing assignment and ideas for handling the paper load.

Carol's afternoon workshop will demonstrate how to use the works of Sandra Cisneros to "integrate the language of literature into the study of rich and engaging text." The title of the workshop is "Sandra Cisneros in the Classroom."

In addition to the excellent speaker/workshop presenter for the conference, the conference offers the following lineup of first and second round concurrent sessions.

First Round Concurrent Sessions (10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.)
  • Session A. In the first round of concurrent sessions, Melissa Shields (NBCT), who teaches at Hokes Bluff Middle School, will present a session, "Who said English was Boring?" in which she will share integrative language arts activities that both teachers and students will enjoy.

  • Session B. Also in this round, Yevett Word, a teacher at Oxford High School, will present "The Zine Thing--Implementing a Semester Project to Promote Student Publication," focusing on the creation of Zines, writing projects that allow students to explore an interest or hobby with research and creativity through individuals, small group, and whole group assignments. These student publications work especially well with English Language Learners.

  • Session C. The final first round presenter will be Lorrie Cooper, who teaches at DeArmanville School. Her session, "BAM! Spice Up Your Students' Writing," will show attendees how to "kick it up a notch" on state writing assessments. Lorrie promises a session packed with ideas for teaching and reviewing the four modes of writing as well as book titles for use with reading/writing connections.

  • Session D. A third session in this round, "Geolit: A Creative Approach to Teaching Literature," involves the "application of graphic organizers, particularly geometric shapes, as a method to help students better understand a specific literary work, concept or theme." Participants will learn how to use graphic organizers in the language arts classroom. Valerie Rimpsey, an instructor at Jacksonville State University, will present this session.
Second Round Concurrent Sessions (11:45 a.m. - 12:45 a.m.)
  • Session A. Rebecca McDowell, who teachers at Huntsville High School, will present "Feast Your Ears," a session that uses the medieval banquet as the starting point for writing and speaking activities that entwine literature and history. Attendees will learn how to present a medieval banquet, using skits, stories, poems, and music.

  • Session B. The third session in Round II will be Dr. Andrea Porter's "Blogging for the Classroom." According to Dr. Porter, "In recent years, web logs (or "blogs" as they are popularly known) have started to change the way we think about the media, writing and what is considered 'public' and 'private' domain." Her session will introduce blogging, emphasizing practical classroom applications. No advance computer knowledge is required for the session.

  • Session C. Enithie Bradford-Hunter, a teacher at Tapp Middle School in Georgia, will present "Reaching and Teaching Minority Students." According to Enithie, "As our classrooms become more diverse, it is imperative that educators understand and are sensitive to cultural differences that influence student learning." Her session will address issues unique to minority populations and will show teachers' strategies for resolving these issues.

  • Session D. Also in that session will be a meeting for teachers who are interested in attending the JSU Writing Project Summer Institute. The session, led by Gloria Horton, Director, and Melissa Shields, Co-Director, will be "Everything You Need to Know about Becoming a JSU Writing Project Fellow."

  • Session E. John Hickman, also of Jacksonville State University, will present "Making Speech Relevant: A Model for Black History Month." Attendees will learn how to involve students in researching African American musicians and others to prepare presentations for their classmates. The assignment is adaptable to other occasions and leads to an increased sense of cultural literacy.

Those attending the afternoon workshop will have lunch on the eleventh floor of Houston Cole Library at 1:00 p.m. The workshop will last from 2:00 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. Registration Fees are as follows:
  • Conference only - $25.00 ($30 on-site)
  • Conference/Luncheon Workshop - $45.00 ($50 on-site)
Please make checks payable to JSU and include them with the following information:

Name _________________________________________________________________

Address _________________________________________________________________

School _________________________________________________________________

Address _________________________________________________________________

Please circle the workshops you plan to attend:

First Round:

Session A      Session B       Session C       Session D      

Second Round:

Session A      Session B       Session C       Session D      Session E

For information or registration materials, contact Gloria Horton, English Department, Ext. 5409, or send email to

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