Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Conversations in Literature
Conversations in Literature — Workshop

Individual Program

1. Responding
as Readers

2. Envisioning

3. Stepping In

4. Moving Through

5. Rethinking

6. Objectifying
the Text

7. The Stances
in Action

8. Returning to the

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Helpful Hints for Site Leaders

Site leaders will receive a workshop guide when they register with the Annenberg Channel. A PDF of the guide is also available on this site. All of the information you need for conducting a workshop is included in the guide, but some items are summarized here.

Note: if you are taking this workshop alone, you are your own site leader.

Workshop Components

The workshop consists of activities carried out with your colleagues on-site (Workshop Sessions) and those to do on your own (Between Sessions).

Weekly workshop sessions may be scheduled around live broadcasts, in which case you will want to begin at least 30 minutes before the scheduled broadcast. You may prefer to pre-record the programs on videocassette and schedule the sessions at a time that is more convenient for all participants. Sessions work best when scheduled for a minimum of two hours.

Each session consists of three parts:

Getting Ready
In preparation for watching the program, you will engage in approximately 30 minutes of discussion and activity.

Watch the Workshop Video
Then you will watch the 60-minute video program. Within each program, there will be opportunities to pause the tape for discussion. If you are watching a real-time broadcast, participants may consider the questions posed while viewing the program, and discuss them later.

Going Further
Wrap up the workshop with an additional 30 minutes of discussion and activity.

Readings, exercises, and activities follow-up on ideas from the workshop or prepare participants for the next one. Homework assignments include extensions called Classroom Connections that help participants put practices into use.

Successful Workshop Sessions

These guidelines will help you conduct successful workshop sessions, particularly the Getting Ready and Going Forward segments. These 30-minute, pre- and post-video group discussions will help participants better understand the video programs and enhance the workshop experience. Getting Ready prepares participants for what to focus on during the video programs and Going Further provides the opportunity to analyze and reflect on what they saw.

Designate Responsibilities
Each week, someone should be responsible for facilitating the workshop sessions. This may be the registered "site leader" or another volunteer, or you may choose to divide and rotate duties among several participants. For the purposes of these instructions, we will refer to the site leader as facilitating the sessions.

Prepare for the Session and Bring the Necessary Materials
The site leader should review the entire session in the workshop guide prior to arriving for the session, as well as reviewing the materials needed for that session. The site leader will be responsible for bringing enough materials for the participants. If you are viewing the video programs on videocassette, the site leader should consider previewing them to help him or her recognize the suggested "pause points."

Before the First Session
You may want to photocopy the guide for all participants so they may follow along, refer back to ideas covered in the session, or have their homework assignments handy. Or, you may direct them to this workshop Web site to print the guide themselves. Either way, you will want participants to have the guide prior to the first session, so they will come prepared. Be sure participants know:
  • they should bring a journal and a pen to each workshop session, including the first;
  • there are suggested reading assignments prior to the first session; and
  • it would be helpful if they were to review the first session in the guide prior to arriving.
Keep an Eye on the Time
We have suggested the amount of time you should spend on each question or activity. While these times are merely guidelines, you should keep an eye on the clock, particularly if you are watching a live broadcast. You may want to set a kitchen timer before you begin Getting Ready to ensure that you won't miss the beginning of the video. If you are watching the workshops on videotape, you will have more flexibility if your discussions run longer.

Record Your Discussions
We recommend that someone take notes during each discussion, or even better, that you tape-record the discussions. The notes or audiotapes can serve as make-up materials in case anyone misses a workshop.

Share Your Discussions on the Web
The workshop sessions serve as a starting point to share and think about the workshop ideas. Encourage participants to continue their discussions with participants from other sites on Channel-TalkLitConversations on this Web site.


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