Session Information

Session Information

Writing Teachers Writing Workshop

Writing online for personal growth and professional development

We’re on the third generation of writing tools for the Web. Or the 33. It depends on who you ask. The tools for writing on the Web have never been easier to use or harder to master, but they all rely on basic writerly moves – an understanding of purpose, an awareness of audience, and an attention to detail that matters more and more as attention to detail is paid less and less.

In this workshop, we’ll explore how teachers write online for personal growth and professional development. We’ll talk about and help you unpack your reasons for writing online, and how you might get started.

Drawing on my twelve years of writing as a teacher, an educator, and a blogger, we’ll unpack what you might want to do as a writer today, how blogging can push inquiry both in your classroom and elsewhere, and how you can get started.

Bud Hunt (Bud the Teacher blogger) is a teacher-consultant with the Colorado State University Writing Project, an affiliate of the National Writing Project – a group working to improve the teaching of writing in schools via regular and meaningful professional development.

Keynote Address

“Raising Questions about Composing in the 21st Century: The Role(s) of Language, Materials, Practices, Knowledge, and Reflection”
Presenter: Kathleen Blake Yancey

Thursday, 5:15pm: Auditorium C

In this interactive keynote, we will pause to consider, and to articulate, current practices in composing, and in literacy more broadly construed. Some of our practices may not be changing: many writers like the feel of a pen, the landscape of a paper calendar. Other practices are paperless; some we participate in; others we may only be witnessing. Examples range from emailing, tweeting, and Facebooking to snapchatting, texting, bingewatching TV–and then posting about it. When, where, and how did we learn to engage in these practices? What are our purposes in using them? How do they shape our behaviors and perceptions, and how do we re-shape them? Are we competent at one of these practices, at some, or at all, and how do we know? Not least, what do these questions and their answers tell us about literacy, about writing, and about the learning and teaching of writing?

Concurrent Session Highlights

“Using Choice, Pop Culture, and Service Learning to Enhance Engagement”
Presenters: Dr. Nancy Kerns, Dr. Elizabeth Crews, and Dr. Mikki Galliher

Friday, 9:30am: Auditorium A

Our panel explores ways the Blue Mountain College English faculty have worked to enhance student engagement among freshmen writers. By increasing student choice and making assignments more personally meaningful through connections to student learning or popular culture, we have seen better student engagement and higher quality student outcomes than in our previous more “traditional” writing classrooms. Presentations will include discussions on the use of student choice to create a writing assignments, with specific focus on an assignment based on the Divergent YA literature series; the integration of comics, film, fantasy, myth, and political biographies to structure a hero-themed freshman composition course; and service learning centered writing assignments.

“Moving Beyond the ‘Grammar Grind’ to ‘Grammar in Style’”
Presenters: Dena Holley and Alice Myatt

Friday, 9:30am: Classroom 1

Teachers struggle with students’ grammar issues more each year, in every grade level. Frustrations when teaching upper level classes rise as more students write in texting language and broken English. This workshop helps to eliminate that problem while simultaneously teaching the higher levels of sentence structure and coherency of thought throughout students’ writing. Attendees will work together on proposed techniques as well as share their own ideas of how to overcome this growing challenge to students’ academic success.

Dena’s passions include reading, writing, teaching, singing, crocheting, and silently correcting the grammar of everyone who speaks to her. She graduated from The University of Mississippi with a B. A. in English Literature, and from the University of Phoenix with an M. A. in Teacher Leadership.

Alice is assistant professor and assistant chair of Writing and Rhetoric at UM

“Student Perspectives on Transitioning to College Writing”
Presenter: Arna Shines

Friday. 9:30am: Classroom 2

During the 2016 academic year, Professor Arna A. Shines had the privilege of teaching the same cohort of students for both semesters. Three of her former students– Angel Almora, Quinterrius Jackson, and Jamie Shines– share perspectives on transitioning to college writing–from high school to college and from remediation to freshman composition and beyond.

“Contribute to the 2018 HBCU Symposium: Sharing Our Pasts and Visions for Our Future”
Presenter: Kathy Griffin

Friday, 9:30am: Room TBA

Early 2018, Dr. David Green, Howard University, will be hosting the second Rhetoric and Composition HBCU Symposium: Remember Our Pasts. Re-enVisioning Our Future. With five HBCUs in Mississippi, we have been invited to share “our collective training and expertise as teachers of writing, language, rhetoric, and literacy . . . to think critically, historically, and with vision about our collective positions and goals within the larger Rhet-Comp community” (the CFP is due Oct. 20). Many of us may not be able to attend the symposium, but here – where instructors from high schools, community colleges, and HBCUs meet to discuss issues related to the teaching of writing in our communities- we have the opportunity to let our collective voices be heard.

“Bridging the Gap with Reflective Writing”
Presenter: Kathleen Blake Yancey

Friday, 10:30am: Auditorium A

This Friday morning plenary session will be an interactive workshop led by Kathleen Blake Yancey; it will invite attendees to discuss the value of reflective writing assignments that engage students in writing and fostering transfer of knowledge, to identify criteria useful for assessment of such assignments, and to develop a reflective writing assignment and/or a rubric for use in writing classrooms at all levels. The workshop will include time for groups to discuss strategies and ideas for using reflective writing in various disciplines.

“Transitioning Writers: A Community College Perspective”
Presenter: Renee Moore

Friday, 1:30pm: Auditorium A

The focus of this talk will be changing how we as writing instructors see our role and our students’ development as writers. Rather than our usual linear, hierarchical approach (always getting students “ready” for the next level up), Moore argues that we should see and reference the journey more like a horizontal spiral, seeing ourselves as guides and helpers along the way as our students progress (and sometimes regress) in their writing journeys.

“Forget Peer Review, Let’s Try Peer Tutoring: A Practical Model for Integrating Writing Center Pedagogy Into a Secondard Language Arts Classroom”
Presenter: Daniel White

Friday, 1:30pm: Auditorium B

Building a high school writing center from scratch is more than many are willing to take on especially since there might be little local support or regional evidence of the benefits of establishing a writing center. This session offers practical steps for reapplying time usually spent on peer review to integrating writing center approaches within a single class or across two paired classes. Attendees will leave with instructional materials for a cursory training of peer tutors and a lesson plan template for integrating this model. By the close, support for these changes will be linked to preparing students to transition to college.

“Borderlands: Teaching College Writing”
Presenter: Erin Boade

Friday, 2:30pm: Auditorium A

This presentation asks the question, “Should first-year students take first-year composition classes online?” In this interactive presentation, attendees will be invited to weigh in on the issue of face-to-face or online writing instruction. Boade draws on her experience as a first-year writing instructor who has taught students from Texas to New Jersey to Mississippi to online.

Erin (Ph.D UT-Austin) teaches various writing courses and cares about social justice issues.

“Back to Basics: Using Critical Reading to Explore Research Writing”
Presenter: Sarah Wilson

Friday, 2:30pm: Auditorium A

This presentation will investigate the critical reading lessons I use to teach synthesis to advanced composition students. I first use two or three published literature reviews to explore the larger structure(s) of a literature review. I then help students zoom into a body paragraph or two from each model, where we explore—with the help of highlighters—how the authors use topic sentences, transitions, signal phrases, APA style citations, and analysis within each paragraph to create synthesis. Because writing styles shift from source to source, we discuss how emphasis can fall on authors or ideas based on the appearance and use of signal phrases, how transitions help readers understand connections between ideas, and how analysis provides a sort of important glue for keeping track of understanding and knowledge.

Sarah is an Instructor of Rhetoric and Composition at the University of Mississippi.

“Writing to Ignite Science Standard Immersion”
Presenter: Leigh Eaton

Friday, 2:30pm: Auditorium B

Writing in a science class? No one has time for that! The truth is you are doing your students a disservice if you don’t. The activities you will be involved in during this totally interactive workshop will make it easy to integrate writing into your science lesson. You will be amazed at the vocabulary acquisition of students who are allowed to demonstrate their science understanding through writing. We all know the old cliche’ that science writing is either a research paper or a lab entry. It can be so much more. When students become able to communicate their findings in a intellectual, non-plageristic, fashion then they find a deeper understanding of the lessons you teach. Prepare to come away from this with a whole new understanding of writing in the science classroom as well as oodles of reproducible goodies.

Leigh is a public school teacher with thirteen years experience. She currently teaches fifth grade science and social studies at Dorsey Attendance Center in Itawamba County

“Facilitating Empathy in the Composition Classroom”
Presenters: Amber Nichols Buckley, Jenny Bucksbarg, Jenny Jackson, Colleen Thorndike, and Alison Hitch

Friday, 2:30pm: Classroom 1

Thinking critically and with empathy are not innate practices for students, but as teachers, we know that students have plenty of personal experiences that can both drive academic inquiry and extend that inquiry into writing outside of the classroom. This roundtable will offer multiple perspectives on how we as teachers incorporate activities and discussion about empathy to help students recognize and critically think about the world around them, especially people and things with which they are unfamiliar. We plan to share writing practices, assignments, and resources that aim to build empathy, promote inclusion, and inspire inquiry into social justice pursuits that align with the depth of experiences that these students already bring to the table.

Amber teaches in the DWR at the U of M and is interested in encouraging social activism through inquiry-based writing.
Jenny Bucksbarg teaches in the DWR at UM.
Colleen teaches in the DWR at UM.
Jenny Jackson teaches in the DWR at UM.
Alison teaches in the DWR at UM

“Making It Real: Students Using a Local Archive to Write on Issues that Matter”
Presenters: Tatiana Glushko, Kathi Griffin, and Shanna Smith

Friday, 2:30pm: Classroom 2

In this panel, three presenters will describe the open education resource (OER) course they developed for FY composition, the pedagogy that undergirds the course, and share their collaborative experience. In the course, they invite students in transition to college writing to participate in academic conversations on issues that matter to them, to their campus community, and to the larger local, national, and international communities. The course is designed to introduce students to ways of knowledge-making and habits of mind valued in academia, such as engaging in conversation, posing and responding to critical questions, analyzing, reflecting, and drawing connections among ideas. More importantly, they sought to develop a course that would reflect, in the words of Teresa M. Redd, a “spirit of empowerment” and the importance of writing to both historical and contemporary African American culture. They will share chapters and assignments they created for the course

Tatiana tutors, teaches writing, and trains writing tutors at Jackson State University.
Kathi is the director of the Richard Wright Center for Writing, Rhetoric, and Research at Jackson State University
Shanna is Assistant Professor of English, specializing in African American Lit, at Jackson State University.