NJCTE Spring Conference Schedule

pasted image 0The New Jersey Council of Teachers of English and Ridgewood High School


Doorways to Teaching in a Digital World

March 30, 2019

8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.


Schedule in Brief:

8:15 – 8:45 a.m.   Registration and Continental Breakfast – Exhibits/Publishers

8:45 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.     Welcome by Dr. Tom Gorman, Principal RHS

9:00 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.     Introduction to Georgia Hunter by Lisa Wiater, Holocaust Studies

9:15 a.m -10:00 a.m.     Georgia Hunter and Researching and Writing the critically acclaimed We Were the Lucky Ones

10:00 a.m.-  10:30 a.m. Booking Signing – Exhibits/Publishers

10:35 a.m. – 11:20 a.m. Session I (Session descriptions to follow.)

11:25 a.m. – 12:10 p.m. Session II (Session descriptions to follow.)

12:15 p.m. –  1:00 p.m. Session III (Session descriptions to follow.)

1:00 p.m.  – 1:30 p.m.   Lunch Service and Exhibits/Publishers

1:30 p.m. –  2:00 p.m. Presentation of the Becker Award to Ibi Zoboi, National Book Award Finalist for American Street

2:00 p.m. –  2:45 p.m. Keynote Afternoon Address  Ibi Zoboi on Writing American Street, Pride and Black Enough

2:45 p.m.   Book Signing

2:45 p.m.  – 3:15 p.m.     Presentation of Teacher Awards and Closing Remarks


Workshops and Presentations:

Session I:       10:35 a.m. to 11:20 a.m.

Learning Commons                                                        General-Professional

Dr. Lauren Zucker and Dr. Emily Hodge, Co-Editors for the 2020 New Jersey English Journal          

Title: Reflecting on Your Practice: Write for the New Jersey English Journal

Have you taught a great lesson, and want to tell others about it? Would you like to reflect about your teaching, develop your voice as a writer, and connect with a community of practitioners? Join our workshop session about writing for NJCTE’s flagship publication, New Jersey English Journal. First-time writers welcome!


Kathryn Nieves                                                                            Rm. 244. M-S

Title: Bringing Blended Learning into the ELA Classroom

Description: In this session, the different types of blended learning will be discussed and step-by-step integration strategies will be covered. Different technology tools and software will be demonstrated. Participants will discuss potential obstacles and solutions and will receive time to begin planning their own blended learning instruction for the classroom.


Molly Winter                                                                                  Rm. 236 E

TItle: Elementary-Qs: Strategies for Scaffolding Document Based Questions

Description:  DBQs provide a fantastic framework for an inquiry approach to teaching in the content areas while developing literacy skills. Participants will leave with the tools needed to implement a DBQ with their own students as well as a classroom-ready Elementary Mini-Q  unit and a free trial account to DBQ Online.


Jason Toncic                                                                                     Rm. 248 M-S

Title: How-to: Mobilize Your Students’ Open-ended Responses Beyond Summary

Description: Do students respond better to reading comprehension questions in collaborative, synchronous online spaces?  You: IDK! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ This presentation compares students’ traditional answers to those from a classroom-based, online chat.


Ashley Rillo and Luke Dolby                                                           Rm. 240  M-S

Title: Word Soup

Description:  The leap from chalk to Chrome compels teachers to explore new methods that orient students toward mindful communication. We advocate “think precisely, write concisely.”“Word Soup” challenges the obsession with word count and the fallacy that “more is more.” Instead, each student determines: “What exactly am I trying to say?”


Matt Cheplic                                                            Rm. 239 S

Title: Video Essays: A Multimedia Writing Unit

Description:  Video essays are a hybrid of the narrative essay and film. This presentation will take you through the components of writing and filming that has students consider language in relation to image with an emphasis on editing that wholy invests students from idea to final product.


Carlin O’Hagan and  Amy Brooks                                             Rm. 234 M-S

TItle:  The Color Guard Strategy

Description: The Color Card strategy provides discussion prompts in the form of a card game. Through this low-stakes competition, the Color Cards strategy encourages productive peer collaboration, creates more interesting and detailed conversations, and gives students responsibility for their own learning, all while posing a healthy challenge in a safe environment. This strategy supports differentiated learning, serving as a scaffold for independent text analysis.


Maheen Ahmad and Arturo Rodriguez                                        Rm. 233    M-S

Title: Purposeful Platforms: Using EdTech Tools to Boost Student Engagement

Description: As teachers, we feel a constant push to incorporate technology in the classroom. But which “tools” provide the best approach to address student needs? In this session, we will present a variety of EdTech tools that help students understand, critique, and engage with the content in meaningful ways.



Session II: 11:25 a.m. to 12:10 p.m.

Learning Commons                                                                                  General-M-S

Dale Russakoff, veteran Washington Post Journalist and author of The Prize, will discuss Education and the role that Journalism can play in fostering critical thinking with Ridgewood teachers Luke Dolby and Dan Luts, who are former broadcast news and social media journalists.  

Title:  Giving Students Voice: Social Justice, Journalism and Truth

A discussion by journalists and teachers  on the role that journalism can play in education by giving students voice to advocate for social justice and truth on the issues that matter.

Moderator: Patricia Hans                                                                 


George Salazar                                                                                                Rm. 244 E-M-S

Title:  Creating a Gamified Literature Classroom

Description:  Gamification is an exciting new body of research regarding student engagement.  Using the Classcraft platform, this presentation will model how gamified learning can be applied in traditionally non-gaming environments like a literature classroom, and how to develop learning units with an organic structure of goals,  feedback, and rewards.


Michelle Wittle                                                                                               Rm. 240 M-S

Title:  A House Made of YouTube and Ted Talks: Navigating Through the Digital Texts of the 21st Century

Description: The way we define a text has changed. In this hands-on workshop, teachers will use the graphic organizer called the Text X-Ray to weed through different informational texts from  Ted-Talks to Facebook and Instagram posts to distinguish between truth and non-truths and identify bias.


Heather Esposito and Allison Kreisler                                                        Rm. 239 S

TItle: Student Voice and Digital Literacy Action Research

Description:  Student voices should be the loudest when we talk about the future of literacy in the ELA classroom.  This presentation highlights an action research project showcasing student-preferred digital platforms, strategies for literacy instruction in high school, the data to support the findings, testimonies from students and the outcomes of the student-selected strategies.


Johnette Halpin and Jeanne McVerry                                                         Rm. 234 M-S

Title: Google Extensions and the Reading-Writing Connection

Description: Johnette will show you how to use a team of extensions for Google Chrome to give your students timely, meaningful feedback. Attendees will leave the session being able to use Goodrich, Doctopus, Checkmark. and Draftback together.

Jeanne will demonstrate how student learning can increase exponentially while providing maximum insight into the student’s cognition and maximum support for students in inclusion classes.


Donna Zepeda and Valerie Matteisch                                                       Rm. 236 M-S

Title: Tech Tools for Authentic Instruction and

Description: Learn how to use technology to create authentic instruction, personalized inquiry based learning  and lessons that foster critical thinking in engaging ways. Sample lessons and assignments will be provided to demonstrate how digital learning can increase reading, writing, speaking and listening skills.


Jennifer Persson                                                                                           Rm. 248 M-S

Title: It’s Still a Celluloid World

Description: Participants will learn about the relationship between teaching film and literature and how film analysis can enhance student’s reading comprehension. Analyzing film elements such as lighting, camera placement, and sound helps students develop their media literacy, which can enable them to consume media with a more critical eye.


Session III: 12:15 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Learning Commons                                                                                    M-Secondary

TItle: Writing Narrative in High School through Virtual Author Visits

Nora Raleigh Baskin, author of the acclaimed, Nine Ten, and Educator Oona Abrams will show teachers how to leverage technology and organize in- school field trips with an author to study the craft of writing both fiction and nonfiction narratives.


Eileen D’Elia and Jennifer Landa                                                       Rm. 248- General

Title: The Balancing Act – Using Mindfulness in a Technology Driven World

Description: Even though technology is a great resource, with increased use of it, there is greater need for human connection, kinetic activities, and mindfulness. This workshop will explore quick and easy mindful practices that can revolutionize your  classroom, your relationships with your students and how you teach.


Nicole Warchol                                                                                      Rm. 244- M-S

Title:  From Reading to Writing with Historical Fiction: Bringing Your Students Full Circle

Description: Author Gae Polisner proposed that the best way for students to develop empathy was to not just read historical fiction but to write it. Join Nicole Warchol and learn how her students transitioned from reading historical fiction to using online databases in order to research and compose their own historical fiction vignettes.   


Vanessa Kabash                                                                                   Rm. 240- M

Title:  Letting the Horse Out of the Barn: From Small Tech Steps to a Meaningful Gallop

Description: Infusing technology into instruction can be intimidating, even paralyzing. How do we open those barn doors? Explore how small tech steps transformed an “old” Animal Farm unit into a new, evolving experience for engaging with texts, contexts, and others, and for applying what we learn to our digital lives.  


Joseph Pizzo                                                                                        Rm. 234-M-S

Title:  ELA 2.0: Blending Fun with the Fundamentals

Description:  Participants will engage in various hands-on activities to create and share original writing in the areas of poetry, persuasion, personal reflection, and more. Find ways to tap into the natural curiosity of students within a framework that demands trust and adherence to personal dignity. Motivating students through the process of energizing writing topics by “setting the write tone” will engage all participants. Strategies to address State standards will also be addressed, along with ways to inspire student writers to be engaged.


Audrey Fisch                                                                                     Rm. 236-S

Title:  An Experiential Lesson in Fake News: Trump, J.K. Rowling, and Confirmation Bias

Description: Like many educators, I am working to address fake news in my teaching. This session engages participants in an interactive lesson that illustrates ours and our students’ vulnerability to manipulation. The session also offers concrete strategies for analyzing sources and basic fact-checking moves.


Nimisha Patel and Nicole Mancini                                              Rm. 239- M-S

Title:  Flipgrid and Social Learning and Looking for that Hole in the Wall

Description: Flipgrid will energize your classroom discussion as you learn about online platforms, while Sugata Mitra’s famous “Hole in the Wall” experiment will teach you how to help students organize their learning.  The focus of this joint workshop, which will end with data and tested classroom activities sharing, is to give you a shopping bag filled with innovative ways to teach and help students learn.

NJCTE Spring Conference Schedule

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