Workshop DescriptionThis workshop emphasized a variety of analytical, close reading strategies appropriate for middle school students with the goal of fostering greater student independence and proficiency with poetry, prose and non-fiction, as well as preparing them do more analytical, more insightful, and more substantial inquiry in high school. Additionally, the course placed considerable emphasis upon the reading-writing connection, asking students to read as writers and write as readers.
- Bridging the fiction – non-fiction divide
- Exploring style, syntax, voice and word choice, through mimics of quality sentences and longer pieces of prose
- Utilizing strategies that shift the “brain work” to the students to build confidence and independence with text and with writing
- Utilizing quality professional models as foundation for student writing, toward student adoption of “mature” elements in their own writing
- Constructing quality, targeted rubrics for student writing
- Broadening the approach to syntax within the middle school classroom to help students refine voice and style in the context of their own writing
- Integrating student-led literary and style discussions into the middle school classroom as a means of increasing both student understanding and higher level thinking, as well as assessing these skills
- Equipping students with strategies to facilitate independent analysis of poetry and fiction, as well as pinning down that pesky tone
- Building and maintaining a working vertical team and examining how middle school Pre-AP aligns with the high school program and the exam
Since 2001, Christian Cicoria has taught at Saint Mary’s Hall in San Antonio, Texas. Prior to his arrival in San Antonio, Christian taught sophomores and juniors in Corpus Christi, Texas. For the past nine years, he has led Pre-AP English sessions at one, two-day and week-long workshops in Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico. Additionally, he has worked with several school districts in Texas focusing on curriculum alignment, strategy-based instruction and vertical teams to increase classroom rigor while also equipping students for success. For the past five years, he has served as an instructor for the Independent School Association of the Southwest’s annual Beginning Teacher Institute .
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