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A Sessions (8:45 10:15)

Rethinking and Reclaiming
Saturday, October 18, 2014
Bartlett Hall Lobby, UMass Amherst
Register Online at (please indicate session preferences)
WMWPs Best Practices in the Teaching of Writing Fall Conference
Keynote address by Anne Marie Osheyack, 2014 Massachusetts Teacher of the Year
8:30 Coffee & Registration
8:45 Workshop sessions A & B
12:00 Lunch: Keynote by Anne Marie Osheyack
1:45 Workshop session C
3:00 Closing & 6 PDP certifcate pickup
$50 registration fee
(Includes lunch)
The Western Massachusetts Writing Project has a proud tradition of featuring selected workshops by its newest
Summer Institute class and veteran teacher consultants at its annual Best Practices conference. This years pro-
gram includes 8 morning workshops, followed by a luncheon featuring keynote speaker Anne Marie Osheyack,
2014 Massachusetts Teacher of the Year. Four additional workshops will be held in the afternoon. Participants
will earn six PDPs with an option of earning four additional PDPs by completing a follow-up activity.
A1. How Can Internet Memes Be Used in the Class-
Using internet memes, a static basis for a form of viral
digital media, is a low-stakes way for students to use a
format to further elicit analysis about literature, especially
poetry. Teachers and students can use worksheets with
popular memes, such as Doge Meme and Aint Nobody
Got Time For That, to connect to Emily Dickinsons
poem Im Nobody which speaks to the idea of fame
and viral media. Students can use a meme format sheet
to create their own memes based on their analysis of the
poem and then write and share why they chose the memes
they chose to speak about fame. This activity could be
used for almost any type of literature for any subject in
any grade. Memes have static formats, but the language of
memes is always changing, which allows for new ways of
using and appropriating memes for different grade levels.
Jacqueline Desmarais teaches 7th grade ELA at Powder
Mill Middle School in Southwick, MA.
A2. Courageous Conversations at the Intersection
of Culture, Equity, Language, and Identity: English
Language Learners and Social Justice
This interactive and refective workshop provides partici-
pants with the opportunity to explore vocabulary as a place
for cultural, language, and identity issues. Educators will
experience the importance of identifying and addressing
these issues in the classroom to better support English
language development and content comprehension.
Participants will create an action plan to select a familiar
classroom text that can be analyzed and taught through a
social justice lens. Designing instruction or any type of
work to teach or talk about social justice issues should be
intentional, relevant, and accessible. It is a framework to
engage not only teachers and students, but everyone, in
courageous conversations.
Maria Cahillane is a Teacher-in-Residence at Westfeld
State University. Andrew Habana-Hafner is an assistant
professor at Westfeld State University. Floris Wilma Ortiz
is an assistant professor at Westfeld State University.
A3. Step Up to the Mic: Inspiring Students to Write
with Voice
With a focus on grades 8-12, this workshop aims to:
1) defne the elusive quality of voice in concrete terms,
2) demonstrate methods to analyze voice in writing, and
3) explore the benefts of low stakes writing assignments
to help students fnd their voices and enjoy the process.
Through close reading of work by student writers and
famous authors, we will analyze the techniques used to
create voice, then apply those methods in writing of our
own. We will take a work of low stakes writing and work
on refning it by applying these same methods.
Nicole Crosby teaches 9th and 11th grade English at
SABIS International Charter School in Springfeld, MA.
Christopher Rea teaches ELA at Ludlow High School in
Ludlow, MA.
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A4. District Determined Measures: What? How? and
This presentation examines the Massachusetts initiative
of District Determined Measures (DDM) from three
different perspectives. The following questions will be
addressed: What might the creation of an English DDM
look like? How can teachers use DDM data to inform
classroom instruction? How do DDMs affect an educa-
tors evaluation?
Kate Morneau is an assistant principal at Fausey Elemen-
tary School in West Springfeld. Tom Fanning has retired
from teaching middle school technology in the Amherst
Public Schools. Chris Tolpa is the ELA supervisor for the
Westfeld Public Schools.
B Sessions (10:30 12:00)
B1. Literacy Leadership Institute Reunion
For 2014 LLI participants only.
B2. Teaching for Social Justice: What Does it Mean
and How Do You Do it?
This session will provide participants with an understand-
ing of what it means to teach for social justice and real
world examples of how it is being done in schools in the
area. Participants will have the opportunity to refect on
their own teaching practice and consider what it means to
teach for social justice in their own classrooms, schools,
and communities.
Dani OBrien is a Doctoral Student at UMass Amhersts
College of Education. Kelly Norris teaches English at
Minnechaug Regional High School.
B3. Writing in Science (And Tech Tools to Make it
Easier and More Fun)
Clear writing takes clear thinking, and by helping students
develop their writing skills, they will become better com-
municators and critical thinkers. In this interactive work-
shop we will share a variety of strategies for writing in
science and discuss how to adapt these strategies to your
classroom, using both low-tech and high-tech tools. You
will leave with writing strategies you can use right away.
Hollington Lee is a science teacher at Ludlow High School.

B4. Tips and Tricks for Improving Student Research
Often teachers hit road blocks with students when it comes
to research projects. Students may lack the skills needed
to create research questions, fnd search terms, or even
know where to begin their research. In this workshop,
teachers will review sample lesson plans, decipher what
they expect students to fnd when researching, and re-
write individual lesson plans to guide students to deeper
understanding and more precise research.
M. Allegra DAmbruoso is a library teacher at the High
School of Commerce in Springfeld, MA.
C Sessions (1:45 3:00)
C1. 2014 Summer Institute Reunion
For 2014 SI alums only.
C2. Assessing Student Knowledge, Skills, and Motiva-
tion: A Universal Design Model
In this workshop, we will explore why and how the Uni-
versal Design for Learning model defnes assessment as
a process of gathering information about what students
know and can do. We will explore why it is important when
we write lesson plans to distinguish the goal(s) from the
means in order to accurately assess student knowledge
and skills. You will practice how to write a lesson plan
that broadens the means to a goal in order to accommo-
date learner variability, and therefore, remove barriers
to accurately measure what students know and can do.
Momodou Sarr is a Special Education teacher at Amherst
Regional High School and a Teacher Consultant with the
Western Massachusetts Writing Project.
C3. Outcome-based Curriculum Planning
For students to be truly college and career ready, they
should possess the intellectual curiosity and problem-
solving ability that comes from an outcome-based curricu-
lum. This workshop will demonstrate how Understanding
by Design (UbD), the curriculum plan designed by Grant
Wiggins and Jay McTighe, uses essential questions and
performance assessments to drive the skills work of a unit,
to increase student engagement, and to achieve deeper
Diana Roy is the Director of Curriculum for the Ludlow
Public Schools. She is also a Teacher Consultant with the
Western Massachusetts Writing Project.
C4. Hacking Your Notebook/Paper Circuitry
What if that bright idea inside your writing notebook could
literally be illuminated? Thats the concept behind paper
circuitry, which turns your notebook pages into circuits.
Paper circuitry is part of an effort by the National Writ-
ing Project and its partners to reclaim notebooks as a
space for innovative thoughts and tinkering for writing,
science, math, and more. With copper conductive tape,
watch batteries, and sticker LED lights, participants in
this session will create a simple paper circuitry project
that will surely light up their Best Practices day. Sign
up early: only twelve spots available!
Kevin Hodgson is a sixth grade teacher at the William E.
Norris Elementary School in Southampton, Massachusetts,
and the technology liaison with the Western Massachusetts
Writing Project.