Senior English Seminar Academy
August 2-3, 2012
James Madison University

August 2, 2012

Festival Conference Center
Morning Session
This session will be an interactive overview of the Senior English Seminar with opportunities to get to know one another and our experiences in teaching and literacy. Ellen Womble, Sara Brandt, and Katie Ford will share their experiences in teaching the Senior English Seminar last year and their plans for the future of the course.
General Session:
Literacy Engagement, Classroom Talk, and College and Career Preparedness
Living a meaningful life after high school certainly requires skills and knowledge about literacy. However, if students never figure out the hard stuff about reading and writing in a context they find personally compelling, it is unlikely that they will understand how literacy can be a tool for changing their lives or the lives of others in substantial ways, much less how to read and write productively in college and the workplace. In this session, we will examine the concept of reading engagement, explore the conditions necessary for fostering it, and consider the positive consequences of engagement, including student-initiated conversation that leads to social, intellectual, and moral change.
Alumni Session:
Alumni Reflections and Sharing Expertise
All alumni will participate in a round table discussion of what they have learned about engaging students in critical thinking and preparing for college. Participants will analyze and discuss the Virginia College and Career Readiness Expectations and identify effective classroom application.
Book Talk by lunch group
General Session:
English Language Variation
In this workshop, I model ways that knowledge about African-American and Southern English combined with multiculturally responsive pedagogy can help both educators and students to be empowered in English classrooms. I demonstrate strategies that educators use to address systematic variation in speaking, reading, and writing. Through an examination of Dwayne Betts' A Question of Freedom and classroom materials designed by Rappahannock High School educator G. Cleveland Winfield III, I employ a social justice framework designed to help students use their own voices and literacies to empower their learning.
Alumni Session
Reading, conversation, and learning with and from peers in, out, and across classrooms
Although “independent reading” is commonly associated with engagement, engaged reading is strongly social. This session will explore the links between reading and conversation, and in particular, how we can use engagement to get students to rely on each other to solve reading problems, to dig deeper, and to develop relationships. This session will include many real classroom examples from a community of engaged 8th grade readers, highlighting the potential of students as they enter high school and, consequently, how we can raise the bar once they arrive.
Principal Thoughts
Closing and Preview
Hotel Q&A

August 3, 2012

Sign In
Table Talk
Shared Decision Making: Strategies to Increase Student Ownership
This session will guide teachers through a process of engaging students in making decisions and implementing strategies to increase students’ sense of ownership in their learning. Designing assignments, scheduling due dates, and assessing products are traditionally the domain of the teachers, but when students see themselves in this process, they will have a greater understanding of what and why they are doing. Students need to be able to connect their own growth and learning to the assignments and projects they are doing in class. Participants need to bring their copy of Remix to this session.
Concurrent Sessions
Alumni Session
Applying the Virginia CCREs
Alumni will continue to analyze Virginia College and Career Readiness Expecations and classroom application to prepare presentations for all participants and publish findings on the English Senior Seminar Website.
General Session Choice A
Using Sociolinguisitic Insight When Speaking and Writing for Specific Audiences
In this workshop, I model interactive exercises designed to help students maintain their authentic speaking and writing voices while empowering them to be able to accommodate to specific audiences. Participants will be writing and talking throughout the workshop! I will also give a preview of my forthcoming book, “We Do Language”: English Language Variation in the Secondary English Classroom and detail ways that you can participate in the book project.

General Session Choice B
Authentic Argument: A Framework for Contextually Relevant Writing


Sharing of the teacher and student friendly CCRPE
The Senior English Seminar Alumni teachers will share with all participants their analysis, interpretation, and application of the Virginia College and Career Readiness Expectations.
How to Incorporate Capstone and CCRE into an Existing Class
By giving students more choice in their reading, guiding them to think and discuss that reading, and allowing them time to collaborate with classmates, you can turn the focus of your class from the teacher's presentation to the students' engagement and accomplish all the College and Career Readiness Initiatives.
Lunch and Lessons Learned from Alumni
Concurrent Sessions (3 options)
Researching Student-Generated Questions in a College Library
Using tools available online and at most public universities learn how to take the questions generated by your students and complete academic, college-level research. Participants will be given hands-on experience with introducing articles and are encouraged to bring computers or other electronic devices in order to fully engage in the process.
Strategies for Using Argument to Prepare Students for College Writing
Analysis in Action: From Text to Life
We analyze constantly in our daily lives: words, sounds, images, situations, emotions, etc. In this session, we will take a close look at how analysis works and how to make our students more aware and more skilled at consuming and producing ‘text’ and viewing the world around them with a critical eye. You will have the opportunity to interact with student work and practice modeling analysis in action.
Questions and Answer Session
Closing Words