The University of Massachusetts Amherst

WMWP Spring Symposium

Thursday, March 28, 2019 - 4:00pm to 8:30pm

Westfield State University

The theme for this year's symposium is Instruments in a Common Band: Voice, Identity, and Respectful Dialogue.

Registration fee (including afternoon snacks and light supper: $30. Full-time undergraduate students: $20. To register, click here.

4:00  Registration and refreshments
4:30  Session 1
5:45  Dinner and discussion
6:30  Session 2
7:45  Dessert and closing keynote with Dr. Sophia Sarigianides

Sophia Sarigianides is Associate Professor and Coordinator of Secondary English at Westfield State University. She studies the effects of constructs of adolescence in teacher thinking and in representations of "young adults" in young adult literature, as well as the role of race in English teaching. Recent research includes an ongoing examination of white teachers' efforts at anti-racist pedagogy in middle and high school teaching. Before coming to Westfield State University, Dr. Sarigianides taught graduate English Education courses at Teachers College, Columbia University. Prior to her work in New York City, she taught secondary English at the middle and high school levels for ten years.


Session 1 Workshops:

Beyond the Single Story: Exploring Multiple Texts Using Collaborative Inquiry to Tackle Complex Topics (Susan Biggs and Samantha Briggs) 
Letting students grapple together with multiple texts about complex topics allows them to see beyond the single story, to see how collaborative inquiry can take them beyond an "us vs. them" mentality, and can forge a sense of community even when we don't agree. In this workshop, participants will work together to explore complex texts as a way to consider possible strategies to implement in their own classrooms. 

Erecting a Digital Portfolio Structure in Google Apps (Tom Fanning, Nicole Godard, Kevin McKenna) 
Our team will guide you through hands-on construction of the elements of a digital portfolio in Google Apps. We'll create an artifact archive and a website for publishing reflections. Participants will compose and post authentic presentations for group feedback. Along the way, we'll drop in some portfolio theory to establish why it aligns with the ELA (and other) Frameworks. 

Session 2 Workshops:

Student Experience as Text: Music and Poetry Synchronized (MAPS) (Matthew King and Zevey Steinitz) 
The M.A.P.S. program at PVPA is a cross-cultural artistic exchange program in which students source their life experiences to write poetry, trade texts with students from another school, set the poems to original music, and perform for one another. In doing this, they have their own stories reflected back to them in new ways. This workshop explores how teachers can orchestrate cross-group artistic collaborations to enhance literacy and arts instruction. 

Do it ... Now? Re-examining Exploratory Writing Practices for Students with Disabilities in the Language Arts Classroom (Danielle Seltzer) 
This workshop pushes educators to go beyond the sentence starter and reflect on ways to help students with disabilities develop writing with voice, creativity, and power. We will explore strategies to help students build 
on-demand complex thinking skills while strengthening meta-cognitive skills related to learning and exercising imagination and creativity. This workshop is ideal for educators who work with students with disabilities in middle and high schools or for educators who wish to think more deeply about how we, as humans, semi-consciously approach the drafting process. 

Putting Magic into Words: Voice and Dialogue (erin feldman) 
This workshop is designed to deepen our individual and collective experiences as writers. To explore the phenomenon of our personal voice in writing, and the notion generally, we will practice specific literary device work via prompts from Write from the Heart, by Leslea Newman and The Practice of Poetry, edited by Robin Behn & Chase Twichell. Today's writing practice is meant as a tool for challenging and transforming our personal writing, and then, by extension, our teaching practice. 

Check out the full flier here.