Category Archives: The Movement

VOTE on NCTE Resolutions!

During the Annual Business Meeting held at NCTE’s 2016 Convention in November, members approved the following resolutions:

  • Resolution on Contemporary Discourse and the English Language Arts Classroom
  • Resolution on Legislation to Protect the Rights of Student Journalists
  • Resolution Opposing High-Stakes Teacher Candidate Performance Assessments

The entire membership now has the opportunity to review the resolutions and the right to approve or disapprove them. If the membership votes to ratify these resolutions, they will become official NCTE positions. NCTE refers to and uses its many position statements to guide its policy and advocacy efforts with federal and state legislatures and agencies. NCTE’s position statements represent the voices of its members, reflect its values, and declare to the world what it believes.

NCTE is therefore asking each of its members to take a few minutes to vote. We rely on your experience as a literacy educator to help set the policy that will benefit all members and their students.

Members have been sent emails outlining the background, resolved statements, and brief pro and con summaries for each resolution. Members vote for just the resolutions; the background and pro and con summaries are informational. NCTE members who have not yet voted will receive another email on Sunday, February 12, with a link that will take them to the texts and voting buttons.

Thank you for sharing your opinion and helping us ensure that our resolutions reflect the sentiments of thousands of Council members.

CCCC 2017: Cultivating Capacity, Creating Change

This post is written by CCCC Associate Chair Carolyn Calhoon-Dillahunt. 

2017 cccc logoIt’s hard to believe it’s already been a year since I developed the call for the 68th Annual Convention of the Conference on College Composition and Communication. I started with a concept—“cultivate”—and a vision of using the convention space to engage as a conference in working exchanges.

In the time between, over 1,900 proposals were submitted and later peer reviewed by a smart, thoughtful, and generous group of Stage I and Stage II reviewers. Using the reviewers’ feedback and scores—and capitalizing on the amount of space available in Portland’s beautiful Oregon Convention Center—I selected nearly 700 concurrent sessions, roundtables, poster sessions, and workshops for the program. Then, through summer and fall, the complex work of scheduling began, adding Special Interest Groups (SIGs), Standing Group–sponsored sessions, committee meetings, and other activities into the mix.

An innovation for CCCC 2017 is featured “Cultivate” programming. I have introduced two new types of highly interactive sessions: Cultivate sessions and Think Tank sessions. Two or three such sessions are showcased in each time block throughout the convention. These facilitated sessions, selected from over 85 member-generated proposals received in a fall secondary call, are designed to provide space for members to “cultivate capacity” and “create change” around organizational, professional, or disciplinary issues or concerns. I urge attendees to participate in one—or several!

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This year’s Action Hub, a large open space in the Pre-Function E area, near the exhibit hall, enables attendees to participate in organized activities, peruse various informational displays, or simply meet at open tables to talk and work together. See the app or the program for more specific details.

Conventiongoers also have the opportunity to “Cs the Day,” attend SIG and Caucus meetings, engage with the Computer Connection and Digital Pedagogy Posters, play in the Gaming Lounge, visit the exhibit hall, celebrate colleagues’ achievements at the Awards Recognition Reception, and much more!

Needless to say, with more than 50 Cultivate or Think Tank sessions, concurrent sessions, roundtables, and peer-reviewed poster sessions from which to select in every session time slot and a wide array of other activities taking place before, after, and during the regular convention schedule each day, the hardest part of negotiating CCCC 2017 for many of you will be choosing from among the many high-interest options happening at the same time.

jose-antonio-vargasAnd that’s not all! To maintain the convention energy from beginning to end, I’ve planned a full day of activities for Saturday as well. Saturday’s General Session will feature keynote speaker Jose Antonio Vargas, a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist, filmmaker, and media entrepreneur whose work centers on the changing American identity and US immigration reform. Vargas’s work embodies “cultivating capacity, creating change” through writing and digital media. After Saturday’s concurrent sessions, which feature topics related to high school–college connections, library partnerships, writing/literacy pedagogy, and two-year colleges, a selection of free, half-day postconvention workshops will be available to all convention registrants. Also, in an effort to bring CCCC to a broader audience, including area high school teachers and adjunct and contingent faculty, special Saturday-only convention rates of $85 will be offered.

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Few spaces are more generative and regenerative than conferences; they are sites of possibility and productivity. And what better place than Portland, the city that embodies the notion of environmental sustainability, to work together to find answers about how to sustain ourselves? I invite you to CCCC 2017, March 15–18, 2017, and look forward to the opportunity not only to learn together and enjoy some camaraderie, but also to build our capacity, individually and collectively, to address the issues we face and to create conditions for change, in higher education and beyond.

Carolyn Calhoon-Dillahunt, CCCC Associate Chair, is the program chair for CCCC 2017 in Portland, Oregon. She teaches English at Yakima Valley College in Washington state. Carolyn can be contacted at ccalhoon@yvcc.edu or cccc2017programchair@gmail.com

Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

KingDr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was born January 15, 1929. Following in his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps, he was ordained as a minister in 1948. Dr. King became one of the most important leaders of the civil rights movement in the U.S., advocating a nonviolent approach to fighting for equal rights. He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. Dr. King was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 4, 1968. As we recognize his birthday, here are some activities based on his works.

Listen to a recording of Martin Luther King’s I Have a Dream speech and discuss the meaning of his words. This I Have a Dream lesson plan includes numerous discussion questions that can help guide class exploration of the speech.

Once students understand this speech, ask them how they would convey Dr. King’s vision and character without using words. To get started, look at these photographs of Dr. King and historical events in which he was involved. What messages are these photographs communicating?

Using the photographs as a model, have students work in groups or as a class to create a mural that depicts their understanding of Dr. King’s vision of peace. The Art and Activism unit from Tolerance.org includes lessons on planning, creating, and sharing murals that you can use to get your own class mural underway. Once the project is complete, display murals throughout your school to honor Dr. King.

How do you plan to make this holiday “a day ON, not a day off?”

Goal Setting

goal-setting-headerAt the start of the new year, many people name their resolutions. What if we worked with students to set goals for the new calendar year? Here are some resources from NCTE and ReadWriteThink.org that may help.

Create a partnership with families by structuring student reflection and family response through daily and weekly student self-assessment as described in the lesson plan “Involving Students and Families in Ongoing Reflection and Assessment“.

Giving students more of a role in determining their learning goals is an important aspect of curriculum that educators continue to strive for as we move forward. Based on classroom research, “Teaching and Learning about Student Goal Setting in a Fifth-Grade Classroom” gives practical, well grounded suggestions for making it happen.

Engaging Students through Authentic and Effective Literacy Instruction” provides examples of how to invite students into their own literacy learning by setting goals and listening to their input. This, in turn, helps students learn at a deeper level and they are more likely to retain what they learn.

“Over the past few years, I have discovered that methodical goal-setting and routine reflection exercises can result in the most exciting and rewarding moments in
the classroom,” teacher Marisa Harford describes in “Beginning with the Students: Ownership through Reflection and Goal-Setting“.

How do you set goals with your students? Have a wonderful 2017!

 

 

Spending Time with Family

its-my-familyThe holiday season is here, which usually means spending time with family. Listen in to this podcast episode as host Emily Manning discusses some heartwarming books about families. If you are spending time with family over winter break, in person or virtually, work together on these activities:

Create a Game: Playing board games or card games can be a fun activity, so why not make your own?

Play Bingo! Work together, create a bingo board that can be played while walking around town, going to the zoo or a museum, or traveling on a vacation.

Write Letters to Friends and FamilyInvite young adults to write letters to classmates, postcards from travels, and e-mails to family and friends.

Recording Family Stories: Teens can take part in the process of building family histories by recording the stories, or memoirs, of family members.

Creating Family TimelinesChildren can interview family members and make an illustrated timeline of the most important family events and memories.

See you in 2017!