MAMARONECK, N.Y. – The story of how Mamaroneck High School's ninth-grade English curriculum has been revised to dramatically increase students’ range and volume of independent reading and incorporate the one-to-one iPad initiative was selected as the basis for a presentation at the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Conference in Washington, D.C.
Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Annie Ward, high school Principal Elizabeth Clain, English Department Chair Margaret Groninger and English teachers Elena Elmoznino, Waldina Pineda and Juliana Zalon presented a panel discussion/workshop titled “One English department's odyssey to transform ninth grade through reading and writing workshop and iPads.” “Our panel shared with conference attendees from around the country how we put research into practice and reimagined the way ninth-grade English looks in our school,” Clain said. “The focus on the workshop model in the ninth-grade with an emphasis on mentor texts was a big change. This model is student-centered and rich with choice and opportunity. Communication between administration and teachers was key, as was the flow of support and resources among all of us. The investment and positive energy of all fueled this engine of change.” The teachers shared how they used the timely publication of Penny Kittle’s "Book Love" as their guide and provided examples of their practices and materials. They also made their materials available for participants. “We modeled book talks, showed how we keep records of our one-to-one conferring, and shared several units that integrate independent reading, whole class texts and rich writer’s workshop that are Common Core aligned as well as engaging to students,” Groninger said. “Additionally, we shared how several of the programs integral to our practice such as Good Reads, Google Docs, Confer and Overdrive help us use technology to integrate independent reading and writer’s workshop and build social energy around reading and writing.”
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