Home » BAWP Forum: December 1, 2018

BAWP Forum: December 1, 2018

Thank you to those who attended the 2018 BAWP Forum and made it such a success. Come back soon for information on the 2019 BAWP Forum.


  • What do we mean when we talk about critical thinking and reasoning?
  • What does critical thinking and reasoning in a search for understanding look and sound like within different disciplines?
  • How can we help students identify and critique fallacious reasoning?
  • How can a focus on critical reading, writing, and reasoning increase student engagement in all aspects of instruction?
  • How can we support students’ thoughtful engagement in the world beyond the classroom?

Come join veteran educators in exploring the key role that critical thinking and reasoning plays in refining students’ reading, writing, and discussion.

Date and Time

December 1, 2018
8:30 am – 3:00 pm
University of California, Berkeley Graduate School of Education
2121 Berkeley Way
Berkeley, CA 94720-1670

Registration Fees

  • Registration: $150
    • Take advantage of early bird registration (before November 3, 2018): $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)
Groups of 3 or more teachers from one school get a 20% discount! Email the bawp office (bawp@berkeley.edu) with questions on school discounts or registration.
Requests for cancellations must be made in writing (bawp@berkeley.edu). Those made before 11:59 pm on November 25, 2018 will be reimbursed minus a $50 cancellation fee.
Any requests received after November 25, 2018 do not qualify for a reimbursement.

How to Register

We are excited to offer an online payment option for our BAWP Forum. Please email bawp@berkeley.edu with any questions.

Option 1: Register Online with a credit card.

Option 2: Download the paper registration form: 2018 Fall Forum Registration Form (pdf) and pay with either a check or a school purchase order.

BAWP Forum: Schedule

8:30 – 9:15: Registration & Check in
9:15 – 9:30: Director’s Welcome
9:30 – 10:00: Keynote – framing the issue and challenges
10:10 – 11:40: Session 1 Workshops
11:45 – 12:30: Lunch
12:45 – 1:20: Student Panel
1:30 – 3:00 : Session 2 Workshops

Welcome by Director of BAWP, Katherine Suyeyasu
9:15 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Screen Shot 2018-09-04 at 3.41.51 PMKeynote by Aijeron Simmons 

Deepening Student Dialogue with Criticality and Compassion

9:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Session 1 Workshops
10:10 a.m. – 11:40 a.m.


Who Do You Trust?  Evaluating Credibility Across a Spectrum

Screen Shot 2018-08-07 at 12.24.37 PMOur students, like ourselves, are inundated with news every second of every day.  Social media is the old game of telephone, and messages are getting garbled with each repost and retweet.  How do we know who to trust? How do we help our students to evaluate information before trusting it and passing it on?  In this workshop, participants will examine a variety of sources, sort them on a credibility spectrum and discuss credibility criteria.  With practice ourselves, we can better arm our students with tools to discern the overflow of information and equip them with strategies to choose strong evidence to support their own arguments.

Intended audience: This workshop is for middle school and high school teachers.

Chalida Anusasananan is the teacher librarian at Everett Middle School in SFUSD.  She has just returned from sabbatical in Chiang Mai, Thailand where she had an amazing time!

Using Empathy to Connect to Complex Texts

Screen Shot 2018-08-07 at 12.27.32 PMThis workshop uncovers ways for students to connect with complex characters, themes, and stories using experiential activities to increase empathetic connections between students and our greater community. Participants will engage with Harper Lee’s, To Kill A Mockingbird, to unpack and critically analyze intersectional themes of justice, morality, and racism.  

Intended audience: ELA and History teachers; Middle to High school students

Joya Brandon (ISI 2018) is the English Language Arts teacher in the Social Justice Academy at San Leandro High School. Joya has shared her use of liberation pedagogy with educators from the Bay Area and Washington D.C. Joya is also a founding fellow member of the Black Teacher Project and a design catalyst with The Teacher’s Guild.

The Teenage Brain at Work: Examining Critical Thinking in Writing

Screen Shot 2018-08-07 at 12.29.11 PMIn this workshop, participants will identify and assess components of critical thinking in writing.  This will be done by developing a common definition for critical thinking and examining student work samples through the content unit of the teen brain. Through this unit, participants will experience the importance of the relationship between reading and writing to determine the reasoning in an argument.

Intended audience: The intended audience for this workshop is high school teachers grades 9-12.

Caprice Carattini was an educator for 30 years, teaching every grade level before recently retiring from Hayward USD. Her experience included bilingual teaching in grades 1-6, and English in secondary grades. As a reading specialist, literacy coach, and English Language Specialist, she supported teachers in various situations.  When not contributing to BAWP leadership, she is enjoying “summer every day.”

Mind Mapping: Cultivating a Critical Lens to Empathetically Confront Cognitive Dissonance

Screen Shot 2018-08-07 at 12.31.41 PMThis workshop will introduce participants to Brett D. Jones’ MUSIC model of Mind Mapping, which is a critical thinking tool rooted in academically rigorous empathy and collective consciousness. Mind Mapping will be presented as a prewriting activity that will be coupled with the psychology of Lev Vygotsky and philosophy of Frantz Fanon. The goal of this workshop is to provide a strategy that helps students grapple with real world issues within the classroom so young people can more effectively confront mental discomfort outside of it.

Intended audience: This workshop can be useful to educators from any grade level.

Mark Ali was the BAWP Forum Keynote speaker in 2017, and recently awarded the Presido Trust Inspiring Teacher of the Year for his work with young men of color. He is currently in his 20th year of education, teaching English Language Arts in Hayward Unified School District, and is also an adjunct professor at Chabot College.

Replacing the Scaffold with a Ladder: The Ladder of Abstraction and its Applications for ELs

Screen Shot 2018-08-07 at 12.35.01 PM.pngThe Ladder of Abstraction is a tool for students to experiment with abstract and concrete language in order to more fully develop their ideas in writing and in discussion. This workshop will introduce teachers to what exactly this “ladder” is, and how it can be used to encourage student independence and gradual removal of teacher language support. Teachers will engage in activities that illustrate how The Ladder of Abstraction can be applied in the classroom for revision, peer review, and literary analysis.

Intended audience: This workshop is for middle school and high school teachers.

Before moving to the Bay Area in 2014, Molly Davidow worked in Washington D.C. public schools, where she taught Secondary English and served as Department Chair. She then taught English Language Development at Cambridge International Preparatory School in San Francisco. Working at an international school afforded her the opportunity to teach and lead teacher professional development in Shanghai. Molly returned to China with the BAWP team, joining them for the Summer Young Writers’ Program in Nansha. B.A. English and Textual Studies, Syracuse University, 2009. M.A. English; concentration in the Teaching of Writing and Literature, George Mason University, 2013.

Hella Boring: A Workshop & Conversation About Reading Practices

Screen Shot 2018-08-07 at 1.54.53 PMAs experienced readers, how do we remember what it was like to learn the skill and confidence needed to become critical readers? Inspired by West Eds Reading Apprenticeship program and my own practice teaching basic skills writing, this will be an interactive workshop in which we engage in our own reading practice as a way to unpack and understand opportunities to help students engaging in their own critical and self-reflective reading practices.

Intended audience: The information in this workshop is most applicable to high school English and Social Studies teachers, but could easily be adapted for use in middle school classrooms.

Tomas Moniz teaches writing at Berkeley City College and has presented at various writing conferences. He also edited Rad Dad, Rad Families and most recently Collaboration/Colaboracion, a kids book.  He’s the recipient of the SF Literary Arts Foundation’s 2016 Award and was awarded the 2018 SPACE Ryder Farm residency in NY. He has stuff on the internet but loves penpals: PO Box 3555, Berkeley CA 94703. He promises to write back.

Mirror, Mirror On My Page: Think, Write, Reflect, Repeat (Canceled)

How do we engage young students in complex thinking through inquiry about the Tule Lake Segregation center? (Canceled)

“I Wish I’d Been There” – Student Voice and Argumentative Writing in the Humanities Classroom (Canceled)

Student Panel 
12:45 p.m. – 1:20 p.m.

More information coming soon.

Session 2 Workshops
1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Point/Counter Point: Taking on Logical Fallacies in the Secondary Classroom

Screen Shot 2018-08-07 at 1.27.11 PMWith emphasis on writing and analyzing effective arguments in these days and times, teachers often feel stretched to help students effectively defend or refute perspectives using valid and convincing reasoning. Even with the most earnest of arguments, students may find themselves trapped in a mindset of argumentation that is influenced by a kind of deceptive logic that others, including media and advertising, use persuasively and pervasively. This workshop suggests practices that build a counter mindset for identifying fallacious argumentation. Lessons are not one-shot, but build over time to cultivate higher reasoning.

Intended audience: This workshop is most applicable to high school and middle school English and Social Studies teachers.

Rebekah Caplan taught high school ELA for 20 years, then served as ELA Coordinator for the Oakland Public Schools. She served as Secondary Literacy Consultant for the National Center on Education and the Economy, and now serves as Associate Director for Professional Development for BAWP.

Argument is Everywhere

Screen Shot 2018-08-07 at 1.28.45 PMArguments surround us: tweets, songs, food packaging, classroom design. When we call attention to arguments in students’ daily lives, they notice people and organizations making claims and taking positions on issues that affect their lives. This workshop explores how we can engage students with argument practice in multiple genres, locate arguments in daily life, and practice argumentation skills through oral practice.

Intended audience: Grades 4-12, all subject areas

Amy Stauffer is an instructional coach in the Oakland Unified School District. Amy taught in San Diego and Honduras before coming to Oakland in 2006. She has been in Oakland ever since teaching and supporting middle school humanities. Amy believes there is great power in teacher collaboration.

Response Workout: Improving Our Students’ Peer Response Muscles

Screen Shot 2018-08-07 at 12.33.02 PMWe know the value of strong peer response in the writing process, but we often need to do more to help our students develop and hone their feedback skills.  This workshop will help teachers identify opportunities in their teaching practice to train students to become constructive peer responders. Using Peter Elbow’s ideas of observe, appreciate, question, and suggest, teachers will learn to build and model effective peer response protocols which allow students to help one another to improve their drafts before “publishing” their work.

Intended audience: This workshop is most applicable to high school teachers, particularly in English and Social Studies, but the ideas are adaptable for 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 leading workshops periodically, she has taught the BAWP summer course on secondary writing.

Civil Rights Movement and The Problem We All Live With

Screen Shot 2018-08-07 at 1.35.30 PM.pngThe presentation spotlights school desegregation from various perspectives, and examines changes and continuities reflecting on how racism and segregation continue to impact schools. We will share the experience of the Little Rock Nine and probe how laws today enforce racial disparities in education. This workshop will use interactive exercises to give participants a teaching toolkit on the effects of racism and segregation.

Intended audience: Middle and high school teachers of English and Social Studies who favor cross-disciplinary writing instruction and infuse social justice debates in their classrooms.

Carla Williams-Namboodiri (ISI 2010) has been teaching Social Studies and English for 12 years at Oakland Unified. She now serves as Humanities specialist teacher in the Home and Hospital Program. She is a co-coordinator for the Professional Collaboration Network of BAWP.

Moving Arguments Forward

sharon.curtThis workshop explores using texts to create more nuanced arguments.  It showcases some ideas from Joseph Harris’s Rewriting and the recently NWP-created College, Career, and Community Writers Program (C3WP). Universally, teachers want to see writing that demonstrates critical thinking about the world and the texts that students read.  However, we often struggle to de-mystify for our students the “moves” writers make to produce strong arguments. Participants will gain an understanding of some of those specific moves in this workshop.

Intended audience: This workshop is most applicable to middle and high school English and social studies teachers.  Entry level college composition teachers would also benefit. 

Sharon Pollack has been teaching for 18 years and has experience at all grade levels 7th though community college. She currently teaches 11th Grade English at Healdsburg High School. A Writing Project TC since 2012, she’s  been a part of the BAWP ISI Lead Team for the past two years.

Curt Douglas is a National Board Certified teacher and instructional coach. He taught high school English for ten years in West Contra Costa Unified and now works with middle school students and teachers in Oakland Unified.

Did You See the News?: Considering Credibility, Content and Consequences of Journalism 

Screen Shot 2017-08-18 at 12.20.38 PMIf journalism contributes to the way we see our world(s), how do we support students to develop a critical lens for analyzing the news they encounter?  This workshop focuses on evaluating credibility, posing questions for research, and considering consequences of media (in)attention and integrity. Teachers will be introduced to tools that facilitate discussion, research and writing, using news coverage of Hurricane Maria as a case study.

Intended audience: This workshop is most relevant for high school teachers across content areas, but may also be of interest to middle school teachers who cover current events.  

Hillary Walker has been teaching middle and high school humanities courses for thirteen years.  She currently teaches College Writing, AP English and Intensive Writing Support for high schoolers at Life Academy of Health and Bioscience in Oakland. She also coordinates the BAWP Weekend Workshop series.

Texts In Conversation: Using Inquiry to Guide Analysis

Screen Shot 2018-08-07 at 1.57.59 PMStudents often encounter a disconnect between the questions they have about the world and the questions they write about in class. As a result, they may produce essays that lack significance. In this workshop, we will explore approaches that allow students to use their own questions to guide their writing. By building upon their curiosity about how texts illuminate one another, we can support them in reading carefully and crafting meaningful arguments.

Intended audience: This workshop is most applicable to high school and college teachers. 

Marisa Traylor is the co-director of BAWP. She teaches composition and critical thinking at Chabot College. Previously, she taught high school English in Hayward and Oakland.


Public Traces, Private Histories: Writing about the past (Canceled)

Making the Most of Mentor Texts: Wide Reading for Growing Writers (Canceled)