2019 Speaker Bios & Sessions
Chad Everett is a literacy coach at Horn Lake Middle School in Mississippi. When he isn’t teaching or coaching basketball, he writes about teaching and life at imaginelit.com.
To Know and Be Known: Examining Representation and Pushing Beyond “Diverse” Booklists
It is in the transaction (Rosenblatt, 1986) between the reader and the text that a text’s diversity is realized. In this workshop, participants will learn how to step beyond thinking of texts in the binary of diverse or non-diverse; instead, participants will critically examine the texts we place in our schools and the way identity acts as a lens for reading. Participants will leave equipped to begin or to continue the journey of ensuring all students’ lives are authentically represented on our shelves and in our curriculum.
Frank has been an elementary classroom teacher, a literacy specialist, an educational consultant, and a professor literacy education and children’s literature for the past thirty years. During that time, Frank has published ten professional development books with Heinemann, Scholastic, and Teachers College Press. In addition to his academic publishing, Frank has written and illustrated seven children’s picturebooks, featuring the Looking Closely series with Kids Can Press.
During his tenure as an educator, Frank has garnered numerous awards, including the Distinguished Professor of Children’s Literature from the ILA, Faculty Teaching Awards at both UNLV and ASU, and the Bank Street Best Book Award and the Teachers Choice Award for the Looking Closely books.
In keeping with his goal to be a modern day Renaissance Man, Frank is an avid traveler and reader, a singer and guitar player on the local music scene in Phoenix, a published nature photographer, and a certified sommelier.
Building Capacity for Literacy Instruction
This workshop presentation will take a global look at the resources, skills, and professional development structures that support effective literacy education and teaching in a school wide setting. This workshop will focus on building capacity for quality literacy instruction both in and across elementary and middle school classrooms.
Steven Alvarez is assistant professor of English and Coordinator of the First-Year Writing Program at St. John's University. He specializes in literacy studies and bilingual education with a focus on Mexican immigrant communities. Dr. Alvarez teaches courses ranging from autobiographical writing, ethnographic methods, visual rhetoric, and “taco literacy,” a course exploring the foodways of Mexican immigrants in the United States. He is the author of Brokering Tareas: Mexican Immigrant Families Translanguaging Homework Literacies (State University of New York Press, 2017) and Community Literacies en Confianza: Learning From Bilingual After-School Programs (National Council of Teachers of English, 2017).
Confidence in Community Literacies: Bilingual Writers Reading the World
Communities across the nation long for partnerships with schools that empower students, families, and neighborhoods with effective educational practices and relationships. K-12 English language arts teachers can expand their knowledge of the literacy practices of English language learning students when they engage with their students’ communities in meaningful ways. In this workshop, join Steven Alvarez, author of Community Literacies en Confianza: Learning from Bilingual After-School Programs (National Council of Teachers of English, 2017), in considering how the strengths of after-school community programs—connecting with language-minoritized communities in ways that build relationships of trust, or confianza, between parents, extended families, and caring adults in neighborhoods—can inform our practices as teachers of English language learners.
Taco Literacy and Mexican Foodways
Dr. Steven Alvarez is an activist, educator, and scholar who has successfully combined his passion for college education with meaningful interventions in the community. He has presented in many universities throughout the United States and has recently received attention in several national media outlets for his pedagogical initiative “taco literacy,” which attempts to locate culture in quotidian food artifacts that we have discounted as culturally inconsequential. In this workshop, Dr. Alvarez will provide practical strategies for thinking about everyday cultural expressions, such as food production and consumption, as bridges to establish meaningful dialogues and exchanges with our students and the community.
FRIDAY LUNCHEON: Carol Boston Weatherford
Books by New York Times best-selling author Carole Boston Weatherford have received the Caldecott Honor, Coretta Scott King Award, NAACP Image Award, Boston Globe/Horn Book Honor, Flora Steiglitz Straus Award, Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, Arnold Adoff Poetry Award, Jefferson Cup from the Virginia Library Association, Charlotte Zolotow Award from the Cooperative Children's Book Center, and Carter G. Woodson Award from National Council for the Social Studies. Her 50-plus titles include Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom; Birmingham, 1963; You Can Fly: The Tuskegee Airmen; Freedom in Congo Square; Becoming Billie Holiday; Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement; and her latest releases The Legendary Miss Lena Horne, Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library, In Your Hands, and How Sweet the Sound: The Story of Amazing Grace. A Baltimore native, she teaches at Fayetteville State University.
Jason Reynolds is a New York Times bestselling author, a Newbery Award Honoree, a Printz Award Honoree, National Book Award Honoree, a Kirkus Award winner, a two time Walter Dean Myers Award winner, an NAACP Image Award Winner, and the recipient of multiple Coretta Scott King honors. The American Booksellers Association’s 2017 spokesperson for Indies First, his many books include When I Was the Greatest, Boy in the Black Suit, All American Boys (cowritten with Brendan Kiely), As Brave as You, For Every One, the Track series (Ghost, Patina, Sunny, and Lu), and Long Way Down, which received both a Newbery Honor and a Printz Honor. He lives in Washington, DC. You can find his ramblings at JasonWritesBooks.com.
Franki Sibberson, President of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), is a fifth-grade teacher in Dublin, Ohio, where she taught for over 30 years. She has co-authored several books including Beyond Leveled Books (Stenhouse), Still Learning to Read (Stenhouse) Day-to-Day Assessment in the Reading Workshop (Scholastic), and Digital Reading: What’s Essential (NCTE). Franki is a regular contributor to Choice Literacy and she blogs with Mary Lee Hahn at a Year of Reading.
Beyond Leveled Books (Grades 2-6)
If we are committed to creating classrooms that grow lifelong readers, every reader needs to find joy and purpose in reading. This is not possible when we rely too heavily on levels. In this workshop, Franki will discuss the limitations of levels and the importance of looking beyond level when creating classroom libraries, conferring with students, and planning for instruction. Lists of books that Franki has used with her students will be shared.
Jimmy Santiago Baca
Jimmy Santiago Baca, prolific author and social activist, was featured on Bill Moyer’s Language of Life series and is the author of 18 books, including A Place to Stand, winner of the International Prize, and Martin & Meditations on the South Valley, winner of the American Book Award, Working in the Dark, winner of the Southwest Book Award. He served as the writer and executive producer of Blood In/Blood Out, a Hollywood Pictures feature that has gained a cult-status following of millions globally. His book Healing Earthquakes was an honoree of Phi Beta Kappa Society and was also the recipient of a Pushcart Prize, the Hispanic Heritage Award for Literature, and the Cornelius P. Turner Award, which honors GED graduates who have made “outstanding contributions” in areas such as education, justice, and social welfare. He was honored with the Humanitarian Award, Albuquerque, and has held many Chairs of Distinction, including the Endowed Hulbert Chair, Colorado College, and the Wallace Stevens Chair, Yale, and the Berkeley Regents Chair. He was also a Barnes and Noble Discover Author. After writing a Mexican Roots series for HBO, he established his non-profit, Cedar Tree, Inc., and produced two documentaries, Lost Voices and Moving the River Back Home. This organization continues to grow and assist communities through its bookmobile that supplies free books to libraries and schools on reservations, barrios, poor inner-city educational centers and sends interns to assist teachers in rural communities deprived or neglected and lacking educational resources. For his work teaching thousands of adults and kids to read and write, the University of New Mexico awarded him an honorary Ph.D. In October 2018, PBS featured a documentary on his development as a poet. While continuing to write, he facilitates writing workshops worldwide, visiting dozens of prisons, youthful offender facilities, and alternative schools for at-risk youth annually, in many countries.
The Courage to Make Yourself Count
Believing in oneself one can make a difference to the national cultural discussion–– be it education, prison reform, social bigotry, systematic racism. By utilizing our educational experience and infusing it with our passionate commitment and conviction, it can change our world for the better.
Sneed B. Collard III and Jeff Anderson
Sneed B. Collard III graduated with honors in marine biology from U.C. Berkeley and earned a masters degree from U.C. Santa Barbara. He has written more than eighty award-winning nonfiction books for young people including Animal Dads, Shep—Our Most Loyal Dog, Woodpeckers, and Catching Air: Taking the Leap with Gliding Animals. He is also the author of seven acclaimed novels including Double Eagle, Dog Sense, and the Slate Stephens Mysteries series. His recent science title, Hopping Ahead of Climate Change—Snowshoe Hares, Science, and Survival was an NSTA/CBC Outstanding Science Book for Children and a finalist for the AAAS/Subaru/Science Books & Film Prize for Excellence in Science Books. In 2006, Sneed was awarded the prestigious Washington Post Children’s Book Guild Nonfiction Award for his body of work. Recently, Sneed has expanded into adult writing with his professional text Teaching Nonfiction Revision (Heinemann, 2017, co-authored by Vicki Spandel) and memoir, Warblers and Woodpeckers: A Father-Son Big Year of Birding (Mountaineers Books, 2018). In addition to his prodigous writing career, Sneed is a popular presenter, giving both keynotes and workshops at more than one hundred state, regional, and national professional conferences.
Author Jeff Anderson spends his days writing and sharing strategies from his books Patterns of Power: Inviting Young Writers into the Conventions of Language, Mechanically Inclined, Everyday Editing, 10 Things Every Writer Needs to Know, and Revision Decisions with teachers across the US. His new joy is talking to students about his humorous middle grade fiction series: Zack Delacruz: Me and My Big Mouth and Zack Delacruz: Just My Luck. Book 3, Zack Delacruz: Upstaged, is slated for release in the Fall of 2018. The Iowa State Reading Association chose Patterns of Power for their statewide book study in 2019. In Fall 2019, look for Whitney and Jeff’s Patterns of Power Plus with 50+ all new lessons for each grade level 1-5. Also on the horizon is Patterns of Power: Inviting Adolescent Writers into the Conventions of Language, Grades 6-9.
Real Revision BBQ: Serving Up Tools that Make Words Sizzle
Come prepared to write as award-winning author Sneed B. Collard III serves up revision techniques that deliver mouth-watering strategies for teaching revision. Focusing on paragraph revision as the heart of student work, Sneed will discuss both how to prepare for successful revision in the classroom and introduce a three-step recipe for helping students create writing that informs, delights, and satisfies. To do so, he will draw from his and Vicki Spandel’s acclaimed professional book, Teaching Nonfiction Revision (Heinemann, 2017), and his thirty-five years writing beloved nonfiction titles such as Animal Dads, Shep—Our Most Loyal Dog, Teeth, and Fire Birds—Valuing Natural Wildfires and Burned Forests.
Kylene Beers and Robert Probst
Kylene Beers and Bob Probst are the co-authors of the best-selling books Signposts for Young Readers: Notice and Note Strategies for Students Grades K-5; Disrupting Thinking: Why How We Read Matters; Notice and Note and Reading Nonfiction as well as other popular titles including When Kids Can’t Read/What Teachers Can Do (written by Kylene), Response and Analysis (authored by Bob), and Adolescent Literacy: Turning Promise into Practice (co-edited by both with Linda Rief). Their most recent book is Disrupting Thinking: Why How We Read Matters.
Kylene began her teaching career in middle school in the Houston area and Bob began his in junior high and high school in the Baltimore area. Both have taught at the university level, Bob at Georgia State University and Kylene at the University of Houston. Both have also served on national literacy committees, written extensively for national journals, and received national awards for their work.
Throughout their careers, they have worked tirelessly to help connect children and teens to literacy. While their focus has been working with struggling readers, they also help teachers who work with English language learners, gifted students, and special education students. Highly popular speakers and consultants throughout the US and Canada, Kylene is a past president of the National Council of Teachers of English, and Bob is a former member of the NCTE Commission on Reading.
Getting our Least Engaged Readers Engaged with Fiction and Nonfiction
Comprehension improves when readers are engaged with the text they are reading. So, in this session we share several strategies designed to strengthen the students’ engagement with texts and with one another as they discuss their readings. These strategies encourage readers to be both more responsive and responsible in dealing with both fiction and nonfiction. We’ll
Named Poet Laureate of the State of Texas in 2015, Dr. Carmen Tafolla is an award-winning poet and children’s author, storyteller, performance artist, motivational speaker, scholar, and university professor. The author of more than 30 books and a Professor of Transformative Children’s Literature at UT San Antonio, she holds a Ph.D. in Bilingual Education from the University of Texas and a B.A., M.A., and a Doctorate Honoris Causa in Humane Letters from Austin College. Tafolla’s work appears internationally in high school and university textbooks, newspapers, journals, magazines, elementary school Big Books, posters on city buses and is engraved on sidewalks and museum walls. Chosen in 2012 as the first Poet Laureate of the City of San Antonio, Tafolla and her work have received numerous awards, including the prestigious Americas Award, presented to her at the Library of Congress in 2010, five International Latino Book Awards, two Tomas Rivera Book Awards, two ALA Notable Books, the Art of Peace Award, a Junior Library Guild Selection, the Tejas Star Listing, the Texas 2X2 Award , and the Top Ten Books for Babies. Tafolla has been recognized by the National Association of Chicana and Chicano Studies for work which “gives voice to the peoples and cultures of this land.”