Adolescent Literacy: What Teachers and Students Need and Want
It was a symposia which meant it was LONG, but with four presenters it flew by.
Nancy Steineke did an interactive activity with us that examined perspectives surrounding the issue "what is the difference between a terrorist and a martyr." Her focus was on the value of social interaction in learning.
Laura Robb emphasized the importance of "choice and access" when it comes to reading.
Jim Blasingame is coeditor of The ALAN Review, a journal devoted entirely to young adult literature and sponsored by NCTE. He also creates the Books for Adolescents pages of the Journal of Adult and Adolescent Literacy, sponsored by IRA. He did a series of book talks introducing us to a ton of adolescent books--this was one of my favorite parts. I fully intend to access his resources on his website. His powerpoint is available for download on his site.
Lastly, Jaime Adoff, author, spoke about realistic fiction and the books he's written. Jaime began with his story of how he became a writer which was a long roundabout journey that stemmed from "failure" as he described it. Adoff hails from notable author parents, Virginia Hamilton and Arnold Adoff and he never intended to write, but here he is. His frustration with his "failed" music career prompted him to write as a kind of therapy and what emerged was healing. Writing heals, and reading can too. He also read excerpts from several of his books. Jimi and Me, The Death of Jayson Porter, Names Will Never Hurt Me.