The Manitoba Association of Teachers of English

Rethinking Literacies in the Digital Age

Keynote Speaker (Cosponsored by NCTE)
Dr. Kristen Hawley Turner (Drew University, New Jersey) &
Featured Workshop Facilitator
Brenda Augusta (Early-Middle Years Specialist)

M.T.S. Professional Development Day Conference
Friday October 20, 2017 Nelson McIntyre Collegiate, 188 St. Mary’s Road, Winnipeg, MB


Keynote: Dr. Kristen Hawley Turner
9:00 – 10:00 a.m.

Health Break
10:00 – 10:30 a.m.

Morning A Sessions – 1 hour
(Marked A1-A11)
10:30 – 11:30 a.m.

Lunch – On your Own
11:30 a.m. –  1:00 p.m.
There are several restaurants within walking distance of Nelson McIntyre Collegiate. A list of nearby restaurants is posted on the MATE website.

Afternoon B Sessions – 2 hours
(Marked B1 – B5)
1:00 – 3:00 p.m.

Afternoon C Sessions – 1 hour
(Marked C1 – C5)
1:00 – 2:00 p.m.

Health Break
2:00 – 2:15 p.m.

Afternoon D Sessions – 1 hour
(Marked D1 – D5)
2:15 – 3:15 p.m.

Publisher/Exhibitor display in gymnasium
8:00 a.m. – 2:15 p.m.


NCTE Cosponsored Keynote Speaker:  Kristen Hawley Turner, Ph.D.

Dr.Kristen Hawley Turner

 “What have you got to go on?” The Importance of Evidence in the Digital Age

Kristen Hawley Turner, PhD, is an associate professor and director of teacher education in the Caspersen School of Graduate Studies at Drew University in New Jersey.  Her research focuses on the intersections between technology and literacy, and she works with teachers across content areas to implement effective literacy instruction and to incorporate technology in meaningful ways.  Turner is author of several journal articles and book chapters dealing with adolescent digitalk, technology and teacher education, and writing instruction, and she regularly provides professional development workshops related to literacy instruction for teachers.  She is the co-author of Connected Reading: Teaching Adolescent Readers in a Digital World and Argument in the Real World: Teaching Students to Read and Write Digital Texts. A former high school teacher of English and social studies, she is the founder and director of the Digital Literacies Collaborative, a professional network for teachers in the tri-state area, and a Teacher Consultant for the National Writing Project.  She can be found on Twitter @teachKHT and she blogs about being a working mother of twins at

Morning A Sessions (1 hour) 10:30-11:30

A1 –  Follow-up to the Keynote (General)

In her follow-up session Dr. Kristen Hawley Turner will have an opportunity to delve a little deeper into her areas of expertise related to the teaching of reading, writing, and the logic/structure of argument (based on Stephen Toulmin’s model) applied to the digital age.

Dr. Kristen Hawley Turner is an associate professor and director of teacher education at Drew University and the founder and director of the Digital Literacies Collaborative.

A2 –  MATE Sponsored Featured Speaker: Brenda Augusta
           Making Writing Instruction Work . . . Painlessly and Joyfully (EY/MY)

If we want engaged, enthusiastic writers who understand what quality writing looks like, then we must plan with the end in mind. In this practical, interactive session we will explore the creation of authentic learning destinations and the use of gradual release of responsibility both to teach writing and to involve students in the assessment process.

Brenda Augusta, educator, consultant, mentor, author, and presenter draws on her deep understanding of assessment and literacy, as well as on her considerable skill as a facilitator, to support educators and to foster a positive impact on student learning.
* Please note: Brenda’s session will continue in the afternoon (B – 1). For the complete workshop experience, it is recommended that participants attend both sessions.

A3 –  Digital Dangers and Delights: Is Technology Destroying Language or Enhancing It?   

Based on current research, five top dangers that destroy language and five top delights that improve language are presented. This session shows how balance is important and how one can teach ELA using today’s research while navigating the ever-changing waters of the digital age.

Dr. Karen E. Smith, Associate Professor, Faculty of Education, University of Manitoba.
Digital-literacies researcher and co-editor of Classmate.

A4 – Digital Storytelling, Poetry, and Painting in the Writing Classroom (MY/SY)

Writers are always looking for new ways to tell everyday experiences. What new strategies can we implement in the classroom to engage students today? In this workshop you will have an opportunity to participate in strategies that use digital media in storytelling and poetry.

Dr. Helen Lepp Friesen teaches Academic Writing Multidisciplinary, Advanced Editing, and Representations of Indigeneity at the University of Winnipeg in the Department of Rhetoric, Writing, and Communications.

A5 – Art, Poetry, and Narrative in English Language Arts: Encouraging Creative and Critical Thinking through Transcultural Literacies (MY/SY)

This presentation/workshop will demonstrate the way art, music, poetry, and narrative can uplift, inspire, and inform our understanding of important social justice themes: planetary sustainability, mental health awareness, human rights and gender equity, and building cultures of peace and inclusion. How can art serve as a force to inspire and mobilize social justice awareness? As an educator, how can I encourage my students to think more critically and creativity through visual media and the power of personal narratives? How can students work in both self-directed and collaborative ways to build healthier and more sustainable communities of peace? What can we learn from the art, music, the world of nature, and the writing of others?  Resources that include lessons, art work, and other texts will be provided to all participants.

Dr. Karen Magro is a professor of English Language Arts and Applied Psychology at the University of Winnipeg. She has taught both nationally and internationally. Most recently, she has been studying creative approaches to adult learning in Finland and in Canada. Her teaching, writing, and research interests are in transcultural literacies, newcomer education, creativity, social justice, emotional intelligence, and transformative educational leadership.

A6 – Telling Your Story: A Memoir-writing Workshop (SY)

Personal stories are the core of who we are as individuals and communities. This workshop takes you through one man’s humble attempt at a framework for guiding senior high students through the process of writing personal stories.

Dennis Maione is a writer, teacher, and speaker. Dennis believes that personal stories are the foundation of life and community.

A7 – Building a Classroom Library on the Cheap: A Winnipeg Guide (General)

More middle and high school teachers are starting to build classroom libraries of high-interest books to encourage students to read. Unfortunately, books are expensive, and the task of building a great classroom library can seem daunting, especially when schools and divisions aren’t providing unlimited funds. Which books will students like to read? Where can a teacher get these books at bargain prices? What can teachers do to encourage students to develop an interest in books and reading? Elizabeth will share her book-buying secrets and tell you when and where to get the best deals on books in Winnipeg – even where to buy brand-new books for a fraction of the prices they sell for in stores. She will share the titles of books that have been popular with her students and talk about some of the strategies and assessment practices she uses to help students engage with books.

Elizabeth Bourbonniere, an avid bargain hunter, teaches senior years ELA at River East Collegiate.

A8 – Supporting the Teaching and Learning of Disciplinary Literacies in Manitoba (MY/SY)

What if teachers explored how to apprentice students as readers and thinkers in their subject areas? What if schools were also able to create dedicated time and space for this literacy work to happen within and beyond the subject area classroom? Participants will consider how schools and school divisions across the province have explored these questions through Reading Apprenticeship and Reading is Thinking.

Shelley Warkentin, English Language Arts and Literacy Consultant, Manitoba Education and Training

A9 – “So you have another Canadian newcomer in class, eh?” (General)

Over the last number of years, we have been seeing a growing number of “newcomer” students from other countries in our classrooms. This can add an expected degree of stress on a teacher who must assess and incorporate EAL strategies on a daily basis. How can teachers with limited EAL background cope?

Nathan Klippenstein teaches EAL in Pembina Trails School Division. Nathan has lived in Mexico and Japan and knows a thing or two about not understanding what anybody around him is saying.

A10 – New Teachers Only! A roundtable discussion and sharing session for teachers in their first five years (General)

YOU are the stars of this session! Come with questions and ideas, along with any resources and materials you would like to share.

Pamela Lockman has taught in both public and independent schools in both Canada and the United States for approximately 38 years (who can count that high?) before (sort of) retiring.

A11 – Our Team is Better than Your Team: Collaborating to Win! (MY/SY)

We know that students learn best in a vibrant and supportive learning community. Similarly, teachers flourish in that same kind of environment. In this session, we will strive to share the lightning we collectively captured in a bottle with our team, talk about building a team, and collaborate with participants.

Rachelle Bauer & Jay Nickerson are two members of an enthusiastic, energetic, and eclectic team of English teachers whipping the students of Gimli High School into a frenzy of literacy learning.

Lunch 11:30-1:00p.m.
Afternoon B Sessions (2 hours) 1:00-3:00p.m.

*except for B5 Stripped Down Anthony and Cleopatra which starts at 1:30 p.m.

B1 – Making Writing Instruction Work . . . Painlessly and Joyfully (EY/MY)

If we want engaged, enthusiastic writers who understand what quality writing looks like, then we must plan with the end in mind. In this practical, interactive session we will explore the creation of authentic learning destinations and the use of gradual release of responsibility both to teach writing and to involve students in the assessment process.

Brenda Augusta, educator, consultant, mentor, author, and presenter draws on her deep understanding of assessment and literacy, as well as her considerable skill as a facilitator, to support educators and to foster a positive impact on student learning.

* Please note: This session is a continuation of Brenda’s which began in the morning (A – 2) workshop. For the complete workshop experience, it is recommended that participants attend both sessions.


B2 – How to turn your English Language Arts Classroom into a Writing Lab: Getting Students to Learn How to Write (SY)

In the digital age, learning how to write coherently is important because it gives students the confidence to explore their own voices. Join the discussion and learn how English Language Arts classrooms can become places where students do not just write, but actually learn how to write.

Dr. Karen Soiferman is a writing instructor at both the University of Manitoba and the University of Winnipeg.

B3 – E is not for Easy. Offering E-credit Courses to EAL Learners (SY)

E-credit Course designation indicates that the goals and objectives of a course have been adapted significantly to accommodate the language learning needs of an individual EAL student. This interactive session will examine how to adapt a course for Stage 1 – 3 EAL learners. We will examine requirements and a process of using the EAL acquisition continuum to develop an E-Credit Course for an EAL student.

Jayesh Maniar is the EAL and Newcomer Education Consultant for Manitoba Education and Training.

Raman (Simmy) Dhiman is a grade 7 – 12 EAL and LAL teacher at Elmwood High School.


B4 – Reflecting on Writing in the Digital Age: The Manitoba Writing Project (General)

Reflecting on student work is a powerful tool to help educators work together to strengthen their teaching. In this workshop, we will share a reflective practice protocol that allows participants to become better teachers of writing by gaining insights into students’ motivations, processes, and identities as writers/creators.      

The Manitoba Writing Project (MBWP) is a professional network and inquiry community for educators and educational partners. The MBWP creates opportunities for teachers across Manitoba to become more confident writers and better teachers of writing.

Session facilitators include: Timothy Beyak, Amanda Borton, Brandy Cook, Chas Findlay, Jacquie Neufeld, and Cathy Oresnik

B5  – Stripped-Down Antony & Cleopatra (General)

Stripped-Down Antony & Cleopatra is a new one hour, four actor adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic tale of imperial conquest. Set in pre-confederation Manitoba, this show will be touring to high schools across our province this October 23rd to November 17th, 2017.

For 24 years Shakespeare in the Ruins (SIR) has been Manitoba’s premier Shakespearean theatre company, delivering exciting, relevant, and easy to understand productions of Shakespeare’s classic work to audiences across this great province.

B6 – Understanding and Engaging with the Four Practices of the New ELA Curriculum (General)

Manitoba’s new ELA curriculum is founded around four practices, which reflect the ways we use language. The aim of this presentation is to explore the four practices and then delve deeper into the essential ways these practices are embedded across language and literacy applications. Audience members will receive some “nuts and bolts” documentation created from the new ELA curriculum as well as be part of a discussion on the value of the four practices as we prepare students for futures where new literacies emerge regularly.

Heather Anderson is the grade 6 to 12 ELA Consultant for Pembina Trails School Division. Heather is currently completing her PhD in Education with a focus on educational policy.

Warren Nickerson is the grades 7 to 12 ELA Consultant for Winnipeg School Division. Warren is currently completing his PhD in Education with a focus on language arts curriculum.

Afternoon C Sessions (1 hour) 1:00-2:00

C1 – Poetry: A Process of Play, Purpose & Power (MY/SY) 

Poetry, though a rewarding pursuit, is challenging to teach. The purpose of this session is to share what happened when I dedicated myself to growing as a teacher of poetry. Crafting poetry, poetry analysis, and using poetry as a means of responding to texts will be discussed.

Jay Nickerson has been recently approaching his work as an English teacher at Gimli High School with the heart and soul of a poet.

C2 – Graphic Novels & Comics Studies in the Classroom (SY)

This workshop shows how the growing academic field of comics studies can provide techniques for teaching senior students how to read graphic novels critically. The emphasis is on treating the graphic novel as a unique form and developing comics literacy skills through specific terminology and key concepts in visual – verbal analysis.

Dr. Candida Rifkind is an Associate Professor in the Department of English at the University of Winnipeg, where she teaches courses in comics and graphic novels and researches auto/biographical comics, refugee and migrant comics, and Canadian & Indigenous comics.


C3 – Critical Thinking, Learning and Creating Using the Inquiry Process (SY)

Make an impact on student learning! This interactive session will foster ideas about how to develop questions at a deeper level for a novel study and/or to generate topics explored in class that are relevant to an inquiry research process.

Margaret Murray is an English teacher at Kildonan-East Collegiate.

C4 – Reading and Strategies for Diverse Learners: Linking Book Talks to Activities (MY/SY) Writing 

This session is designed as an introduction to daily book talks with writing activities. Participants will hear examples of daily book talks and participate in the writing activities that accompany them. People should come prepared to write and to share their writing with other participants.

Jill Cooper is a senior years English teacher who believes strongly in providing space for daily reading and writing.

Afternoon D Sessions (1 hour) 2:15-3:15 p.m.

D1 – Collaboration, collusion, and fake news: Importance of academic integrity in today’s world (General)

Approximately 50 – 70 percent of high school students admit to cheating in their school work. Increased Internet use may contribute to copy – paste plagiarism and inappropriate collaboration. Topics for discussion will include the importance of academic integrity and teaching digital literacy to prevent academic dishonesty.

Dr. Brenda Stoesz, a former high school teacher, is a Faculty Specialist – Academic Integrity at The Centre for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning, University of Manitoba.

Ms. Brandy Usick is the Director of Student Advocacy & Accessibility, University of Manitoba.

Ms. Loie Gervais is the Academic Integrity Coordinator for the Academic Integrity Initiative, University of Manitoba.

D2 – Teaching ELA in Propel: a Project Based Learning Environment (SY)

The “Propel Program’” is a high school project – based learning initiative and provincial pilot in which students work on a semester – long project and present it in a public space before friends and interested observers. Presenters will share learnings and strategies from the program’s unique, flexible learning environment.  

Patrick Hansen is a media literacy teacher with a background in music and film production.

Matt Patrician is a former industrial arts teacher with a special interest in project – based learning.


D3 – Poetic Literacy for Social Media Buffs (General)

Through an examination of the presenter’s own poetry, as well as the work of other contemporary Canadian poets, the concept of on – line poetic exploration in the classroom will be shared and discussed. The layers of meaning to which the Internet’s poetic holdings give access can be made into a fascinating lesson.

Dr. Carolyn Creed, a poet and professor, has blended her two passions, writing and teaching, with an enduring curiosity about the human experience.

D4 – Substance Use in Media and Literature (MY/SY)

The purpose of this session is to use contemporary literature to address the topic of substance use and addiction among teens. This session will explore reasons why teenagers behave the way they do and identify the risks of abusing substances during this stage of life.

Katharine Doerr is a recent University of Winnipeg graduate with a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education.

Fees and Registration

Register Online at:

Conference Fees:

MATE Full Membership Fee and Full Day SAGE Conference – $70.00

Full Day Conference ONLY (Non-Member) – $75.00

MATE Student Membership Fee and Full Day SAGE Conference – $20.00

MATE Full Membership Fee and Half Day SAGE Conference – $45.00

Onsite Registration between 7am and 10am:

MATE SAGE conference and one-year membership – $80.00

MATE SAGE conference and one-year student membership – $30.00

Membership Only

MATE Membership – $20.00                      

MATE Student Membership – $10.00

If you do not have Internet access, please contact Linda at 204-255-1676 or at email to make alternate arrangements for payment.


Parking bans have been lifted for the day in areas surrounding the school.
Check for parking details and restaurant options surrounding Nelson McIntyre Collegiate.