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What the Tech Series – Saturday, February 22nd!

Join us for What the Tech is Going On?, the third event in a unique technology series for K-12 teachers, hosted by the Bay Area Writing Project in partnership with UC Berkeley. Upcoming sessions will be held on March 15th and April 19th.  All sessions  focus on deepening writing instruction through the use of technology in order to meet Common Core writing standards.

COST $20 cash or check to “UC Regents”
LOCATION University of California Berkeley – Tolman Hall- Rooms 2319 and 2326
SCHEDULE     9:00 to 9:30 Coffee and pastries
9:30 to 11:00 Breakout sessions (A and B)

Space is limited. Sign up now at

Saturday, February 22nd!

Session A: Geeking Out with Wikis

Invite students to engage in relevant current debates by geeking out on a three dimensional collaborative project. Using a wiki, students share and broaden their concept of “precious knowledge” by exploring a current controversial issue, posting analytical and argumentative written responses, and designing unique artistic creations. The wiki platform allows students to go in multiple directions as well as to include video, art, and other media into their project. The presenter will provide an overview of the collaborative assignment and share sample student posts. Participants will try out the basic functions of Wikispaces, learn effective strategies to design their own wiki, and share troubleshooting tips. The workshop is appropriate for upper elementary to college.
Kristin LandKristin Land loves to teach reading, writing and critical thinking at Chabot Community College in Hayward. Her work is heavily influenced by The Puente Project, a program in which she has taught for the past 13 years at the secondary and college level. She is a strong advocate for Teacher Inquiry/Research which she first discovered while earning her Masters Degree in Education through the MUSE program at UC Berkeley. She is the current co-director of BAWP’s Invitational Summer Institute.

Session B: Vivid Word Choice: Leave the Thesaurus Back in the Triassic Period

What free online resources can support students in selecting the “right word” or revising word choice so that it is precise as well as academic? We’ll investigate tools, including concordances, select online dictionaries, and a vocabulary profiler that draws from the Academic Word List, to boost word choice accuracy, variety, and sophistication without compromising voice or clarity. We’ll discuss effective ways to teach complex lexical skills to our students and convince them to leave behind the thesaurus method of revising!
Michelle Baptiste 2Michelle Baptiste has a B.A. in English with an Education concentration from Carleton College and a Masters degree in English as a Second Language from University of Hawai’i at Manoa. She has taught writing to multilingual students at the University of Hawai’i, as well as to Navajo (Dine) teachers on the Navajo Nation through Northern Arizona University. She is a returned Peace Corps volunteer and loves to interact with people from diverse cultures. Since 2002 she has taught full time in the College Writing Programs at UC Berkeley as a multilingual student writer specialist.

What the Tech Spring Workshops Flyer

BAWP TC’s published in California English (Feb 2014)

Two BAWP TC’s are featured in the most recent edition of California English.  Carrie Holmberg (1999)  has an article entitled “iPads as Talking Sticks in the Teacher Preparation Context.”  Carrie is currently a supervisor of pre-service teachers at San Jose State University. And Betina Hsieh, one of our former Co-Directors, wrote “From Skepticism and Utilization to Contribution and Growth: Shifting Perspectives on Technology among English Credential Candidates” for the same issue.

Jan 25, 2014 – FREE Saturday Seminar – Transitioning to Meaningful Assessments

Saturday Seminar Logo

The Bay Area Mathematics Project, The Bay Area Science Project, and The Bay Area Writing Project are pleased to present:

Saturday Seminar: Transitioning to Meaningful Assessments
Join colleagues across grade levels, subject areas and school districts as we learn to design and refine formative assessments and use the results to target our instruction. How can we equip students with the language and skills they need to meet Common Core Standards and demonstrate their understanding? How can we work together at our schools and in our districts to make sense of what students produce and use their work to inform our teaching? This morning will be devoted to using the Cycle of Inquiry to improve instruction and performance.

FREE and OPEN to all Bay Area Teachers

Where: Albany Middle School
1259 Brighton Avenue
Albany, CA 94706
Google Map

When: January 25, 2014
8:45 am – 12:45 pm
Keynote begins promptly at 9:00 am
Light refreshments: Coffee, tea, and bagels


8:45 am – 9:00 am – Register, Network, and Sip Coffee

9:00 am – 10:15 am Keynote Presentation

Comparing Writers to Themselves: Some Thoughts on Formative Assessment

Students’ written work provides what might be the ideal opportunity to guide further instruction, but assessing writing, even as a formative assessment, is hard. The arrival of Common Core Standards and imminent Next Generation Assessments has done nothing to make this easier, yet these reform efforts have increased the calls for formative assessment. These calls are supported by a growing body of research on the power of formative assessment (Andrade & Cizek, 2010; Hattie, 2008; Ruiz-Primo & Furtak, 2007; Black & Williams, 1998; Fuchs & Fuchs 1986).

This interactive presentation will engage us in a variety of formative assessment practices and seek to generate some principles of practice for assessments that truly inform instruction. And if we are lucky, just maybe make assessing writing, if not easy, at least less hard.

Keynote Presenter: Tim Dewar

Tim Dewar is the Director of the South Coast Writing Project at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he teaches undergrads, credential candidates, and graduate students, drawing on his experience as a secondary English language arts teacher, research, and, most importantly, the expertise of writing project teachers. He is particularly interested in how teachers come to frame the challenges they encounter in student work and craft an identity that makes for a sustainable career in education. That and the latest things his daughters have written or read.

10:30 am – 11:30 am – Keynote Follow-up and Discussion

Comparing Writers to Themselves: Some Thoughts on Formative Assessment

This workshop will present opportunities for further dialogue with the keynote presenter. We will continue to think about formative assessment and discuss our varied successes (and maybe a few failures) with assessment that feeds instruction and student learning. We will grapple with the realities of numerous students, limited time, and the desire to have something resembling balance in our lives.

Presented by: Tim Dewar

11:40 am – 12:40 pm – Workshops


Formative Assessment in Math Class

Grades K-12

Research shows that teaching is more effective when it adapts in real time to the needs of students, which it can only do if the teacher has access to those needs (Black & Wiliam, 1998). In this workshop, we will survey the research and available resources and practice some formative assessment ourselves.

Presented by: Lew Douglas, Bay Area Mathematics Project (BAMP)


Science Writing Task: Teaching Evidence Supported Argumentation Through Science

Grades K-6
The presenters will discuss the cross-curricular collaboration between literacy and science specialists in creating an authentic, Common Core State Standards-aligned performance-based argumentative writing assessment for grades 3-5 in Oakland Unified School District. The presentation will include models of the task and discussion of the design, rubric creation, and scoring processes.

Presented by: Michael Ray and Elizabeth Woodward, OUSD


Promoting Excellence on New Assessments

Grades K-12

How can we prepare students across grades and disciplines to perform at high levels on new assessments? We will demystify what is required by unpacking test items and addressing instructional gaps.

Presented by: Dr. Lanette Jimerson, 9th Grade English Teacher, Academic Research and Program Manager at Stanford University, and Faculty Member at UC Berkeley

Please share this message with teachers at your school who may not have received this information

For more information or for questions please email or call Carolyn Billingsley at (cbillingsley@berkeley.edu) or (510) 642-7154