Literacy Builders 2011 Summer Workshop

August 11, 2011
Literacy Builders Start September Strong Summer Workshop Series
August 1 – 4, 2011
Hampton Inn
Commack, New York

The professional development summer institute explored approaches, teaching structures, and provided field tested mini lessons to optimize literacy growth and development. Conference participants included K-8 classroom teachers, reading specialists, special educators, administrators, and graduate students.

On the last day of the institute, I presented a 90-minute hands-on workshop Write A Play! The Bridge to Stronger, Better Writing. The workshop challenged participants to Imagine possibilities, Integrate applications into their curriculum, and Implement what they’ve learned to encourage sustainability. Utilizing an ice-breaker exercise What’s In A Name? from Young Playwrights Inc.’s Write A Play! Curriculum Guide, participants created a character: five-year-old Danielle Determined. She loved to wear a magenta pink boa, her mother’s black patent leather heels, and a matching handbag with a lollipop inside. She wants to be a movie star and is quite adamant about fulfilling this aspiration. A deconstruction of the exercise revealed how names can be evocative and that the choices a writer makes can tell us something about a character. We also explored practical applications of how the exercise would meet writing and reading literacy standards.

Literacy Builders Executive Director Kim Yaris felt the workshop was “outstanding . . . and the perfect note on which to end [the institute].” She implemented her new knowledge with her sons, ages ten and eight, and her eight-year-old nephew over the weekend. “We had a blast,” she said, “I think you’ve helped launch a new family tradition.” Truly Inspirational!

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