Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Workshop 2: Making Writing Meaningful

Workshop 2 demonstrates how teachers use authentic sources and topics to prompt students to write about things that matter to them, subjects that relate to their lives, relationships, and communities. The topic may be the students themselves—their feelings, emotions, reactions—or it may involve outside forces that have an impact on their lives.

Six teachers appear in the video: Jenny Beasley, a sixth-grade teacher from Somerset, Kentucky; Vivian Johnson, an eighth-grade teacher from Elizabethton, Tennessee; Mary Cathryn Ricker, a seventh-grade teacher from St. Paul, Minnesota; and three California educators: seventh-grade teacher Allen Teng and eighth-grade teacher Gloria Hamilton, both from Los Angeles, and Damond Moodie, who teaches seventh grade in Oakland.

The teachers use a variety of subjects and approaches to help their students connect to writing: current events, popular music, literature, community issues, social interactions, self-exploration. In addition to classroom segments that explore these approaches, the video also features teacher discussions about student engagement and excerpts from an interview with Linda Rief, the author of Seeking Diversity: Language Arts With Adolescents.

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