Content Area Literacy Conference

Content area reading and writing is the focus of this conference. It is designed for every teacher interested in improving student performance in content area literacy. The Write for Texas grant advocates incorporating reading and writing strategies into all core content instruction to ensure student learning and retention in every subject area.

The afternoon will include five subject-specific breakout sessions.

July 20 | 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

ESC Region 12


Session #91873

All participants will receive a FREE copy of Vocabulary at the Center written by conference keynote speaker Amy Benjamin.

Conference Schedule

9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Keynote: Vocabulary at the Center

Understanding and using academic vocabulary is at the core of success in school and, in many ways, the workplace as well. Yet, many teachers are still using outdated and ineffective methods. This presentation will delve into the “4E’s” of explicit and implicit vocabulary instruction: Exposure, Exploration, Engagement, and Energy.

Amy will demonstrate how the principles of natural language acquisition, word stories, visuals, and engagement in interesting word-learning activities resulting in durable, meaningful vocabulary growth in all subject areas.

12 -1:30 p.m. Lunch

1:30 - 4 p.m. Break Out Sessions

Breakout Sessions

SCIENCE: Walk Like a Mathematician Through the Solar System-Journaling your Adventures!

Presenter: Jeanine Wolf

Using augmented reality as your guide, come walk through the solar system. Learn how to create the model by using proportional reasoning to scale the planets. Journal about your adventures along the way!

MATH: Yes, Literacy is Alive in the Secondary Math Classroom!

Presenter: Andi Parr

What words should be in the ‘Dead Word Cemetery’ of your classroom? How do you actively engage students in math vocabulary? What is a genre, and what is it doing in my math classroom? Come learn the answers to these questions and more as we delve into Developing Literate Mathematicians by Wendy Hoffer.

ELAR: Focus on Academic Writing

Presenter: Amy Benjamin

This session will give teachers practical, classroom-ready strategies for helping students generate, formulate and revise their writing. Topics include: 1. Two simple pre-writing strategies 2. Sentence Frames 3. Trouble-Shooting; solving common grammatical pitfalls such as sentence fragments, punctuation errors, confusing word pairs (homophones), and inappropriate voice and diction. Participants will receive a copy of Amy’s book Content Writing to Support Classroom Instruction.

SOCIAL STUDIES: Literacy Strategies in the Social Studies Classroom

Presenter: Karen McDonald

Explore or instruct? Choose wisely! In this workshop learn to determine how to build literacy in the social studies classroom through direct teach, stations, journaling, vocabulary acquisition, and analyzing complex primary and secondary source documents that teach students about bias, point of view and frame of reference.

DIGITAL INNOVATION: Using Genius Hour to Teach Research

Presenter: Andi McNair

What if your students could learn based on their passions? What if they could learn research skills by exploring their own interests and applying other standards as well? This session will share the role that research plays in Genius Hour and how teachers can use students’ interests and passions to give students an opportunity to engage in meaningful learning experiences.

Keynote: Amy Benjamin

Amy Benjamin is a nationally-recognized consultant specializing in improving student performance through literacy in all subject areas. Amy has given workshops, courses, and keynotes throughout the United States and Canada. She is a member of the professional development network of the National Council of Teachers of English.

Amy is an advisor to major educational publishers including Holt McDougal, McGraw Hill, and the College Board.

This conference is presented for free using funds provided by the Write for Texas grant. Write for Texas is a partnership among the Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk (MCPER), Texas Education Agency (TEA), and the Institute for Public School Initiatives (IPSI). With funding from the TEA, the Meadows Center at UT Austin provides research-based online materials and coaching support for effective writing instruction. The IPSI team supports Write for Texas events throughout the year.