Break Out Sessions

DrewTEACH Winter Conference 2019

Breakout Sessions


Teaching Demonstrations

Presented by Drew Writing Project and Digital Literacies Collaborative Teacher Consultants


Listen Up! Student-Centered Learning at the Heart of the Classroom

Heather M. Moscat, Dover High School, NJ Middle/High School

Providing a framework for a student-centered classroom, this workshop includes student-driven strategies for collaborative group making and assessment/evaluation while focusing on the cross-curricular and societal skills of self-monitoring and reflection.


Connected Explorations: Engaging Students in Conversations About Equity & Advocacy      

 Ivelisse Brannon, Central Park East High School, NYC Middle/High School

In this workshop, participants will learn how students from three NYC schools connected  through technology in an exploration of social justice issues that affect their families, their communities, and the nation as a whole.  Students conducted independent research to expand their understanding of the problems, the stakeholders, and the potential solutions. They then used web tools to discuss and debate the issues and collaboratively create presentations for an interscholastic social justice fair. See student samples and leave this workshop with a unit plan.              


Structured Nonfiction Writing

Jennifer Duran, School District of the Chathams Elementary

Analyzing nonfiction text structures can help students not only understand what to expect when reading informational text but also what to expect when writing informational text. During this demonstration, teachers will explore ways to use the five nonfiction text structures to teach students to organize their research and informational writing.  Teachers will take away organizational tools and templates that can help them support their students as they develop an understanding of how to write structured nonfiction pieces.


Using Storyboards to Create Flexible Writers Elementary/Middle

Nancy Vitalone-Raccaro, PhD, Associate Professor, Drew University Teacher Education

Storyboarding, or picture writing, is the origin of all written languages, used by ancient cultures before text evolved, and can serve as a natural bridge to writing text.  Learn to use a technique that combines children’s love of drawing with their storytelling in order to help students create irresistible content.



Teaching Mindfulness through Freewriting

Courtney Flowers, Warren Hills Middle School, NJ Middle/High School

How to foster a mindful writing classroom & create “flow” through authentic writing practices. Activities & concepts include “Free Writer” workshop, mini Writing Marathons, and teaching presence.


Multimodal Dimensions of Children’s Literature

Susan Luft, PhD, Scarsdale Public School District, NY Elementary/Middle

As the narrative structures, visual images, and design features offered in elementary, middle-grade, and young adult literature grow more complex, educators need to foster new approaches for helping readers navigate these changes.Participants will spend time reading and analyzing the narrative structures, visual images, and design features offered in graphic novels in order to foster new strategies and approaches for helping young readers navigate and understand them.


Igniting Inquiry by reading with a Questioning Stance

Jill Stedronsky, William Anin Middle School, NJ General

Rather than reading articles, novels, websites or viewing videos with set teacher questions to answer, allow your students to use a questioning stance, so they may critically engage with any text or source. This workshop will share research-based practices that invite students to engage in critical thinking and reading.  


Close Reading Grow Up and Out into Content Classrooms

Carol Baker, Ed.D, Retired NJ Administrator General

The workshop will provide teachers with an explanation of and structure for close reading which can be applied to various content areas as well as language arts. Participants will engage in close reading and have the opportunity to adapt strategies to suit the unique needs of their content and classroom in order to provide all students with access to the curriculum.


Resource Presentations

Presented by Drew Faculty and Staff


Escape Room for Equity

Jenna Corraro and Nicole Pinto-Creazzo, Drew IT General

Classroom equity has become a pertinent topic in our society, but it poses challenges to the expectations of the 21st century classroom. Funding may be hard to come by, budgets are decreased each passing year, a multitude of learning platforms are being pushed but have absorbent costs. How do we accomplish classroom equity and digital skills without budgets like Beyonce? Join this workshop to challenge your brain and work your way through our equity “escape room,” using cost-efficient technology, innovative concepts and strategy ideas, with some reflective exercises. Creative ingenuity is free!


From Mindfulness Practice to Digital Mindfulness General

Erin Sheehan, Caspersen School of Graduate Studies Adjunct Faculty

This one-hour, interactive session will be comprised of three main portions: the theory and

practice of mindfulness practice, mindfulness implementations in educational settings with

supportive research, and the emerging field of digital mindfulness.


LGBTQ+ Inclusive Classrooms and Pedagogy

Dr. Brandie Waid, Assistant Professor, Teacher Education General

Discussions of K-12 LGBTQ+ students are often focused on the bullying and harassment experienced by LGBTQ+ individuals. While such conversations are essential, it is equally important to highlight the ways in which teachers can create LGBTQ+ inclusive classrooms and practice LGBTQ+ inclusive pedagogy. To that end, this workshop aims to help teachers explore assumptions and barriers that may prevent them from creating a truly inclusive space, as well as strategies for overcoming those barriers and moving toward LGBTQ+ inclusive classrooms and pedagogy. This is an interactive workshop that relies heavily on input from participants.


Teaching Historical Thinking Through Archival Media

Dr. Jeremy Blatter, Assistant Professor, Media and Communications Middle/High

This presentation will explore a variety of approaches to incorporating archival media (e.g. historical newsreels, educational film, commercials, radio and television) into curriculum to cultivate historical (and critical) thinking skills and improve media literacy.