Morning Session (9-11AM)

Reading Power – A Practical Approach to Comprehension Instruction in the Elementary Grades.
Adrienne Gear/ Vancouver, BC
What is “comprehension instruction”? How can we ensure that our students do not develop into merely “decoders” but rather competent, confident “thinkers”? This interactive workshop will outline the key components of Reading Power and provide practical ideas for teaching students how to think while they read.

How do Story Vines Engage Students in Thoughtful Questioning about Text?
Marlene McKay/ U of A
This presentation highlights the benefits of using an old African storytelling tradition. Planning and presenting story vines help students develop ideas and language. As students read, reread, represent, and rehearse they also develop critical thinking, meaning-making, questioning, speaking, and listening skills.
Picture books, Drama, Music, Art and More: Writing With and Beyond Words
Kari-Lynn Winters/ UBC
Award-winning children’s author and teacher, Kari-Lynn Winters, will demonstrate how you can layer multimodal strategies and literature in the classroom in order to motivate student writers and strengthen their literacy practices.

Why Are Exemplars Your Best Resource To Improve Student Writing?
Graham Foster/ Calgary, AB
As it answers the question about why exemplars are your best resource to improve student writing, the session will demonstrate six imaginative and motivational ways to create exemplar lessons related to content, organization, vocabulary, sentence structure, usage and voice in writing.

Teaching Poetry Writing Across the Curriculum.
Shelley Stagg Peterson/ OISE/University of Toronto
Poetry provides a vibrant forum for thinking. As students play with words to create the poem, they also play with and learn new ideas and information. In this session, Shelly will introduce ideas for teaching writing and content knowledge through poetry.

Middle Level Mosaic Round Tables
Faye Brownlie
David Booth

Nicole Widdess
Marty McCririck
Carol Walters
Janna Reid
Karen Johnson
Daryl Stevens

This year’s conference includes this Middle Mosaic session. This session follows a popular model used at NCTE’s Annual Conferences. It combines the traditional general and breakout models. Participants will hear three featured speakers for 15 minutes each and then choose a round table speaker who will share classroom ideas.

Integrating Young Adult Literature in to Other Disciplines: What Books Work in Other Classes?
Crag Hill/ Washington State University
Anchored by his work with a Health teacher around Angela Johnson’s The First Part Last and other examples, Craig will help participants strategize how to integrate YA literature into other disciplines to enhance learning, brainstorming possible titles and educational benefits.

A Life beyond the Novel Study? In Inquiry Approach into Teaching High School English.
Marzena Michalowska/ SFU
This workshop will show practical and effective ways to animate teaching and learning by engaging readers and writers with inquiry. It will demonstrate how the traditional approach of ‘covering the curriculum’ can be reconceptualised to foster teaching that matters to all students.

Offering and Assessing Choice Without Creating a Monster
Teresa Watson/ Fort Simpson, NT
Teresa explores advantages and challenges of offering choice to her senior high ELA students in assignment content and presentation. Student examples illustrate how focusing on curricular outcomes facilitates equitable assessment of diverse assignments and provides more effective guidance for students.

Jazz Street Vancouver – Art as Vehicle for Hope
Mehjabeen Datoo/ Richmond, BC
Jeremy Hepner/ Teachers College Columbia University, New York
Building on the resources available on the Coastal Jazz and Blues website,, this curriculum package uses the stories and rhythms of jazz musicians to engage oral, musical, literary and historical texts. Students will ultimately develop their own performance text.

Lunch (11:30-12:45PM)

We are honoured to present a choice of lunch-time address to engage and inspire:

Reading Between the Lines: Helping Students Learn to Love Literature
Carol Jago /CA
Middle and high school texts often contain multiple layers of meaning, not all of which are immediately apparent to students. During her lunchtime presentation Carol will use poetry to demonstrate methods for helping students unlock meaning by focusing on vocabulary, style, structure, and author’s purpose. See Carole’s website here.


Witness performance poetry delivered with passion and agency: Get energized for your afternoon session with slam poet and performer extraordinaire, Shane Koyczan.  Read his biography and watcha video to get a taste of what you’ll experience.

Friday Afternoon (1:15-3:15PM)

Helping Students Develop Powerful Questions
Lori Druissi/ Burnaby, BC
Asking powerful questions is a sophisticated skill. This interactive session offers practical ideas for engaging students in oral language and critical thinking as they learn to ask meaningful questions in response to images and text across the curriculum.

Questions that Lead to Learning
Thompson Owens/ Winnipeg, MB
Using an assessment for learning framework, teachers will develop essential questions to help set clear targets, coaching questions to help students solve problems independently and key questions to promote reflection. The goal is students who act, think and see themselves as learners

Using Talk Structures to Stimulate Questioning, Inference-Making, Reflective Thinking and Ownership for Learning.
Susan Close/ New Westminster, BC
Tammy Renyard/ Cowichan, BC
Ingrid Fawcett/ Victoria, BC
Participants will learn thoughtful, research-proven ways to use structured-talk to stimulate and enhance questioning, develop imagery and inference-making skills, build reflective thinking, and kindle ownership for learning. Assessing questioning and aspects of oral language will be a feature of the session.

Strategies with Literature Circles
Kathy Panteleo/ Richmond, BC
In this workshop participants will learn how to use Literature Circles in their classroom, including how to motivate and evaluate student participation. Participants will have an opportunity to look at a wide range of novels and information articles while participating in discussion groups.

How Can We Help Students Become Effective Readers of Non-fiction?
Dave Leochko/ Winnipeg, MB
Tom Rossi/ Winnipeg, MB
What skills and knowledge about non-fiction do students need? How do we teach students to become effective readers of non-fiction? An interactive exploration of these questions will take place to provide answers for educators to take back to the classroom.
The Bell Never Rings: Creating an Asynchronous Learning Community.
Matt Rosati/ Maple Ridge, BC
How can technology help to create an online literacy-rich environment to extend classroom activities and culture? This session will focus on using technology to bring major aspects of literacy into the curriculum with free, easily-accessible Internet tools.

Secondary Matters Round Tables
Leyton Schnellert
Jill McClay
Carol Jago

Krista Ediger
Starleigh Grass
Millie Davis
Shelley Moore
Cindy Miller
June James

This year’s conference includes this Secondary Matters session. This session follows a popular model used at NCTE’s Annual Conferences. It combines the traditional general and breakout models. Participants will hear three featured speakers for 15 minutes each and then choose a round table speaker who will share classroom ideas.
What’s the Story?
Diane Tullson/ UBC
Explore the power of story with award-winning young adult author, Diane Tullson. Develop new tools to illuminate story for adolescent readers of all abilities, like screenplay, graphic novels, and creative non-fiction, as well as the best hi-lo fiction for teens.

Graphic Novel Roundtable
Celia Brownrigg/ Vancouver, BC
Susan Ma/ Vancouver, BC
Join us to explore the opportunities of teaching and learning with graphic novels. We hope to enrich curricular discussion through the sharing of experiences. Participants, whether having used graphic novels in the classroom or not (yet), are encouraged to participate in the discussion.


Get every new post on this blog delivered to your Inbox.

Join other followers: