An emerging body of research focuses on how learning driven by student curiosity is a key factor in academic success across disciplines. A classroom that sparks and builds on student curiosity paves the way for the hard work of inquiry that requires reading, writing, and disciplinary thinking. Curiosity and imagination are also key starting points for investigations that take students beyond the walls of the classroom. This process helps students develop their personal, academic and civic voices as they imagine and convey a better future.
Join us in examining how to validate and capitalize on curiosity to enrich classroom instruction and make learning more engaging and meaningful.
Date and Time
Registration & Fees
- Registration: $150
- Take advantage of early bird registration (before September 20, 2019): $125
- BAWP Teacher Consultants, email the office to get a 50% discount code.
- Continental breakfast and lunch included with registration.
.5 CEU Credits available to participants on day of conference (additional fee).
How to Register
Option 1: Register online with a credit card. (credit card fees included)
Option 2: Download the paper registration form: 2019 BAWP Forum Registration Form (pdf) and pay with either a check or a school purchase order.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
BAWP Forum: Schedule
8:30 am – 9:00 am: Registration & Check in
9:00 am – 9:15 am: Director’s Welcome
9:20 am – 9:50 am: Keynote – The Question’s the Thing
10:10 am – 11:40 pm: Session 1 Workshops
11:45 am – 12:30 pm: Lunch
12:45 pm – 1:20 pm: Student Panel
1:30 pm – 3:00 pm: Session 2 Workshops
3:00 pm – 4:00 pm: Conference reception
Welcome by Director of BAWP, Katherine Suyeyasu
9:00 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.
Keynote by Stanley Pesick
9:20 a.m. – 9:50 a.m.
The Question’s the Thing: How the ‘Fly-on-the-Wall’ Changed My Teaching
Session 1 Workshops
10:10 a.m. – 11:40 a.m.
Cognitive Crossover: Writing Habits of Minds in Science and Art
Children are natural scientists and artists. They engage with their world by observing, testing, interpreting, and communicating their understanding. This workshop will focus on examining five strategies (articulated by Dr. Julia Marshall) that artists and scientists utilize: depiction, metaphor, mimicry, reformatting, and projection, and explore how to integrate those strategies into writing about science and art.
Intended audience: Grades K-5, Science and Art
Maureen Sullivan has been a Spanish bilingual elementary educator for 20 years and a BAWP teacher consultant for 15 years. She currently works as a school librarian at Dolores Huerta Elementary School in San Francisco.
From Deconstruction to Construction: From Juicy Sentences to Student Writing
Voice and choice is critical to empowering students as mathematicians and writers. Creating the conditions for students to tackle the complex text of word problems and engage in writing is essential to developing their understanding and identity. In this workshop, we will discuss how “sentence unpacking” can provide students with ever more independent ways to comprehend word problems and communicate their understanding and ideas through writing.
Intended Audience: Grades K-5, English Language Arts and Math
Malia Tayabas-Kim is in her sixth year of teaching 2nd grade at Garfield Elementary in Oakland. She is a proud Oakland native and a product of the Oakland Unified School District. Malia serves as the Social Emotional Learning (SEL) lead at her school and has been a member of the Mills Teacher Scholar SEL inquiry group for the past five years. Coming from a family of educators and drawing on her love of teaching, Malia is devoted to giving back to her community.
Word Curious: An Introduction to Vocabulary Self-Selection Strategy
We all know that our students need to expand their vocabularies, but how can we do that without presenting them with dry lists of words which do not “live” outside of a classroom context? This workshop introduces Vocabulary Self-Selection Strategy (VSS), a highly-engaging instructional technique which taps into students’ natural desires to learn new and interesting words in the material they are already reading. Participants will create their own word list from shared texts and engage in follow-up activities that capitalize on student curiosity and generate energy for acquiring new vocabulary.
Intended audience: Grades 6-12, English
(This workshop is most applicable to secondary teachers who wish to systematically deepen their students’ understanding of vocabulary, but VSS is also highly adaptable to younger students.)
M. Clare LePell gave the keynote address at BAWP’s first Forum in October 2016. Clare is in her 33rd year at Castro Valley High School where she has taught English at all levels. She became a Teacher Consultant in 1993, and, in addition to regularly leading workshops, she teaches the BAWP summer course on secondary writing.
Sustaining Curiosity: Opportunities in Research Writing and Presentation
Research writing is challenging in its cognitive demands on students and its instructional demands on teachers. Yet, authentic student-driven inquiry is worthwhile and incredibly powerful, when it includes students in conversation with one another about their research. This workshop will focus on strategies for generating topics, structures for incorporating low-stakes writing and discussion as part of the process, and an exploration of presentation as an opportunity to build new knowledge.
Intended Audience: Grades 6-12, English and History
Hillary Walker has been teaching middle and high school humanities courses for 14 years. She currently teaches College Writing, AP English and Intensive Writing Support for high school students at Life Academy of Health and Bioscience in Oakland. She also coordinates the BAWP Weekend Workshop series.
Drawing on Multiple Resources of Knowledge
Finding ways to help students learn and solve authentic problems that affect their lives cultivates a positive identity and productive forms of agency. This workshop will explore equity-based mathematics strategies within a social justice lesson. Students have the opportunity to develop questions, construct arguments, and present conclusions orally and in written form.
Intended audience: Grades 8-12, Math
Karen Mayfield-Ingram is the Project Director of the Oakland Urban Teacher Residency Program and Program Coordinator for the Center for Equity and Excellence at the Lawrence Hall of Science. She has 15 years of teaching experience and is the co-author of Rethinking K-8 Mathematics Teaching: Equity-Based Practices to Strengthen Children’s Mathematics Learning and Identity. Her work focuses on math and equity professional development, teacher leadership, and parent involvement.
Talking Story: History as a Narrative Arc
Using inquiry to develop an historical lens provides students with an authentic and personal connection to the stories of the past. When history is approached as a narrative, the teacher and the students are forced to investigate deeply. Which individuals were given the roles of protagonists, antagonists? Why? How can we examine alternative storylines to rewrite particular narratives? This workshop will focus on inquiry strategies to develop students’ critical thinking, structures for using academic talk, and low stakes writing as part of a journey towards the writing of their own historical narrative.
Intended audience: Grades 8-12, Humanities
Heidi Avelina Smith has been teaching Spanish Language Arts and Social Studies in a San Francisco Middle School Spanish Immersion Program for 14 years. She has also worked with the Legion of Honor and the De Young museums on their teaching curriculums for permanent and rotating exhibitions. She is currently teaching 7th and 8th grade but has also taught 4-6th grade.
Asking The Critical Question
For over forty years, for their research papers, I’ve encouraged students to investigate one topic that fuels their curiosity, ignites their passion, and makes school more meaningful. I used to think this was the easy part. But it wasn’t. Something more difficult is finding a question about that topic that compels students to think critically. Students frequently default to questions which, even if they answer them, will produce a report of information. I want students to develop a critical question about their topic that will have no definitive answer, that engenders legitimate disagreement, one that will force students to evaluate their resources, question their own judgment, and face intellectual confusion. This, I hope, gets resolved in their writing.
Intended Audience: Grades 6-College, all disciplines
In theory, Laury Fischer retired after teaching for forty-two years, but yet finds himself still teaching a composition course called “Critical Thinking.” His career split into two main parts: teaching high schools in Fremont and then teaching the wide range of English courses at Diablo Valley College. In between, he was in charge of inservice programs for BAWP, serving as its co-director. At times, his professional development work has taken him to Greece, Japan, the Virgin Islands, as well as his most favorite place of all: Berkeley.
12:45 p.m. – 1:20 p.m.
More information coming soon.
Session 2 Workshops
1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Playing with Curiosity: Dramatic Play and Improv as Pre-Writing
Writing takes a certain amount of risk. We often develop our own response to risk as young children in imaginative play and that response tends to drive our willingness to express ourselves in writing. When we feel free and safe to express ourselves dramatically, we become open to the possibilities of great writing, too! In this workshop, we’ll spend a good part of our time playing – we’ll do some improv games, play with figurines, role play characters, and then write and see what happens!
Intended audience: Grades K-5, English Language Arts and Theatre
Siobhan Boylan has taught in elementary school for 14 years at public, private, and charter schools around the Bay Area. She currently teaches a K/1 loop at Grass Valley Charter School, an EL Mentor School (Expeditionary Learning). She has also taught BAWP’s Young Writers’ Camp in Shenzhen China the past three summers.
When Math Is About Noticing and Wondering
It is unfortunate that math instruction is commonly viewed as teachers modeling procedures and students practicing them. However, the true nature of mathematics is to notice patterns and wonder how to generalize them in new or novel contexts. This noticing and wondering allows for many opportunities to use writing as a reflection and discovery tool. This workshop will focus on a framework for facilitating student inquiry into key math concepts through reading and writing in collaborative groups.
Intended audience: Grades K-5, Math
Glenn Kenyon has been a bilingual educator for 30+ years in both elementary and middle school settings. He is currently an instructional coach in SFUSD with a particular focus on math teaching and learning as well as second language instruction for emerging bilingual students.
Playing Cards: A Hands-on Way to Engage in Historic Inquiry and Thinking with Timeline Cards
Often students look at a timeline as a bunch of dates and facts that they should memorize, or they might ignore it running in a textbook sidebar. This workshop introduces a way of using timeline cards to consider who develops a timeline, where does it start, and who decides what is in it. By laying out cards on a table about a specific event in history, students can see multiple causations and begin to ask questions that could lead to an inquiry project. In this workshop, teachers will consider two different timelines: The first asks, “Why did Rosa Parks refuse to give up her seat?” The second asks, “Why were Japanese Americans incarcerated during World War II?
Intended audience: Grades 4-8, History
Grace Morizawa is the Education Coordinator for the National Japanese American Historical Society. Previously she was an elementary school teacher in Oakland and principal of Lake Elementary School in San Pablo. Morizawa is a Sansei, third generation Japanese American. She has a BA in English from Pacific University, an MA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State, and a doctorate from the Leadership in Education and Equity Program at UC Berkeley.
Scientific Inquiry at the Intersection of Curiosity and Friere’s Problem-Posing Education
Although inquiry is at the root of science, too often in science classrooms inquiry is teacher centered, too abstract and broad, or removed from students’ actual experiences. This workshop will explore structures for eliciting and strengthening student questioning at the intersection of their own curiosity to understand the world and Paulo Freire’s problem-posing education. We will engage students in crafting investigable and researchable questions that are relevant to their lives and community.
Intended Audience: Grades 4-12, Science
Cassandra Chen, Oakland Unified teacher for 12 years at United for Success Academy, has taught 6-8 grade math and science. She is a teacher leader both within her district and as a Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) Early Implementer, and she works with the Lawrence Hall of Science’s East Bay Agency for Young Scientists to engage students in environmental justice through citizen science.
Language is the Currency of Learning
Mathematically proficient students use language effectively to communicate their reasoning, justify their conjectures, critique each other’s way of thinking, and argue from evidence. How do we support students as they develop such academic use of language? We will discuss principles of design for instruction that attend to mathematics and language development; routines that promote students’ curiosity and agency; a framework for understanding a language-rich, mathematically-powerful classroom; a theory of action which provides focus to the design of instruction.
Intended audience: Grades 6-12, Math and Language
Harold Asturias directs the Center for Mathematics Excellence and Equity at the Lawrence Hall of Science of the University of California, Berkeley. Over the past 20 years he has focused in the area of designing and implementing professional development and coaching K-12 mathematics teachers who teach English Learners.
Writing Inquiry Questions: A Critical Practice for the Mind and Heart
We often ask our students to answer the questions we write for them, but what if we asked them to write and respond to their own questions? In this workshop, we will discuss the importance of encouraging students to embrace their own curiosity and to guide them to write good questions. We will learn strategies to help them construct inquiry questions that drive their critical thinking and cultivate empathy, as they read and write across genres. We will reflect on our own practice by brainstorming and developing essential questions that guide our teaching and thus our students’ learning.
Intended Audience: Grades 6-College, English
Hannah Hohle completed her student teaching and masters program in Washington, DC, where she taught middle school English Language Arts at a public charter school. She currently teaches 10th and 11th grade literature in San Rafael.
Who Am I? Getting Curious About My Teacherly Motivations
This workshop offers educators a space for deep reflection on their practice. Often tasked with meeting learning outcomes and standards, little time is allowed for slowing down to develop a reflective practice. The aim of the reflection time given will be to create an authenticity statement for teacher practice. Attendees will be provided a framework for developing this statement with the overall aim of shifting our motivations towards increasing equitable access to whatever we are teaching in the classroom, particularly for minoritized students.
Intended audience: All levels, all disciplines
Adrienne D. Oliver, MFA, Ed.D., is a hip hop scholar and practitioner. She infuses her work with reflective practice developed in tandem with her hip hop research. Adrienne has been teaching college writing for 15 years. She believes that every student is capable of every task with the right motivation.