MATE - Teaching ELA in Challenging Times

Event is FULL - Currently not accepting registrations

Manitoba Association of Teachers of English (MATE)

Conference Title: Teaching ELA in Challenging Times

Location: Virtual, ZOOM online

Date: October 23rd, 2020

09:00 - 09:45 - Session A: Morning Keynote: Sonya Ballantyne, "What is Essential?"
10:00 - 10:45 - Session B: Sonya Ballantyne, “Who is Telling Whose Stories and Why?”
11:00 - 11:45 - Session C: Jacki Lagiewka, “Virtual Classrooms Anonymous: 12 Steps to Your Newest Addiction”
12:00 - 12:45 - Lunch
12:45 - 01:30 - Session D: Afternoon Keynote: Troy Hicks PhD., “Designing Purposeful and Engaging Arcs of Writing Instruction in an Era of Remote Learning”
01:45 - 02:30 - Session E: Troy Hicks, PhD., “Continuing the Conversation”
02:45 - 03:30 - Session F: Shaylyn Maharaj-Poliah, “The Readaholics: An ELA Teachers’ Book Club”

Please peruse our MATE MTS PD Day virtual workshops on October 23. Participants do not have to choose a session or sessions during this registration process. You will have access to all workshops on October 23.

Registration closes: Tuesday, October 20 at midnight!

Session Descriptions

Session A: Morning Keynote: Sonya Ballantyne, "What is Essential?"

Sonya Ballantyne talks about her experiences during the COVID pandemic and doing what she always does when she encounters adversity: nerding out.

Sonya is a filmmaker, writer and public speaker from Misipawistik Cree Nation. Her short films have played in festivals worldwide including most recently the Vancouver International Film Festival. She was the winner of the 2016 ImagineNative Short Film Pitch Competition and the 2014 winner of the RBC Emerging Filmmakers Pitch Competition. Her work focuses on Indigenous women and girls in non-traditional genres and presenting them as the heroines they are. Sonya recently published “Kerri Berry Lynn” a children’s book about a little Cree girl and her 7 dogs and a graphic novel about professional hockey player Brigette Lacquette. She has spoken at such events as We Day 2017, San Diego Comic Con 2018, and New York Comic Con 2019. Sonya is currently the Partnership and Communications Specialist at Manitoba Moon Voices Inc, a local non-profit organization that represents and advocates on behalf of Indigenous women and gender diverse people in Manitoba. She is currently working on two graphic novels: her own memoir and a biography about Michael Champagne as well as her first feature film WWSHE.

Session B: Sonya Ballantyne, “Who is Telling Whose Stories and Why?”

Indigenous and other diverse content is great, but Sonya Ballantyne wants you to look deeper at who is actually creating it.

Session C: Jacki Lagiewka, “Virtual Classrooms Anonymous: 12 Steps to Your Newest Addiction”

How to use Google Slides and the Bitmoji app to create interactive virtual classrooms, environments, and even field trips that can be used with LMS software to create a dynamic learning experience for students of all ages. E.g.: a virtual library where students can click on a book cover and be whisked off to a video read-aloud of that book, or a choose-your-own-adventure style mystery room! By the end of the session, participants will be able to customize their own Bitmoji, design a virtual environment in Google Slides, find copyright-friendly graphics for their classroom, and remove backgrounds from graphics.

Jacki is the current Literacy Support Teacher and EdTech Leader at Champlain School (term ending soon), and a soon-to-be Google Certified Trainer who thrives on finding new and innovative ways to create dynamic learning experiences for her students that incorporate tech and apps that they are already using anyway!

Session D: Afternoon Keynote: Troy Hicks PhD., “Designing Purposeful and Engaging Arcs of Writing Instruction in an Era of Remote Learning”

As we continue to live and learn in “unprecedented times” and move to “remote learning” — and with some successes to celebrate, yet many challenges made clear and inequities laid bare — we have an opportunity to reimagine English language arts instruction, particularly the teaching of writing. During this interactive webinar, we will focus on three key questions, with teaching moves and applicable tech tools shared in the process:
• What principles of teaching writing still hold true, whether face-to-face, online, or in hybrid spaces?
• What patterns of writing, response, and revision can still be accomplished over an arc of instruction lasting from a few days to a few weeks?
• Which technology tools can help us maintain relationships and build community with our writers, as well as expand their opportunities for writing into multimodal forms?

Together, we will create arcs of instruction that utilize effective teaching practices across physical and virtual spaces.

Dr. Troy Hicks is a former middle-school teacher and current professor of English and education at Central Michigan University who focuses his work on the teaching of writing, the intersections of literacy and technology, and, more broadly, teacher education and professional development. He directs both the Chippewa River Writing Project and the Master of Arts in Learning, Design & Technology program. Dr. Hicks is author of the Heinemann titles Crafting Digital Writing (2013) and The Digital Writing Workshop (2009) as well as a co – author of Because Digital Writing Matters (Jossey – Bass, 2010), Create, Compose, Connect! (Routledge/Eye on Education, 2014), Connected Reading (NCTE, 2015), Research Writing Rewired (Corwin Literacy, 2015), Coaching Teacher-Writers (Teachers College Press, 2016), Argument in the Real World (Heinemann, 2017), and From Texting to Teaching (Routledge/Eye on Education, 2017). His edited collection, Assessing Students' Digital Writing (Teachers College Press, 2015) features the work of seven National Writing Project teachers. Hicks has authored or co – authored over 40 additional scholarly contributions and blogs regularly at He is the father of six digital natives and is always learning something new about writing and technology from them. Follow him on Twitter: @hickstro

Session E: Troy Hicks, PhD., “Continuing the Conversation”

Please bring your questions and ideas from the keynote straight into this follow-up conversation. Here we can discuss some of the digital writing tools in more detail, connect more directly to your classroom practice, and look at more examples of student work. You will help make this session happen, so please come prepared to interact, learn, and think about how to integrate digital writing into your teaching.

Session G: Shaylyn Maharaj-Poliah, “The Readaholics: An ELA Teachers’ Book Club”

The Readaholics Book Club seeks to engage both new and seasoned teachers with potential reading and teaching material and encourage them to build relationships with members of their community. Interested ELA teachers choose a theme for the year (i.e. the environment, coming-of-age, man vs. nature, dystopian, a specific time period, etc.) or a specific genre or genre blend, or have a facilitator choose it, and gather on an evening or a weekend. These gatherings will be dependent upon social distancing restrictions in the fall, though they could also occur remotely via Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meets, or another Facetime platform. The teachers could discuss the novels’ various nuances, such as writing, story-telling, or quality, as well as classroom applications. Meetings will run for approximately an hour to an hour and a half and occur approximately once a month. Books would be acquired and provided through a variety of mediums, such as through Audible or Project Gutenberg for those who prefer online formats or through Book Outlet or Amazon, for those who prefer hard copies. Depending on Manitoba closures, it may also be possible to acquire hard copies from local bookstores like Chapters or Indigo. Take advantage of this opportunity to find out more about MATE’s new book club initiative.

Shaylyn Maharaj-Poliah is a new graduate from the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Education and a grade 10 ELA teacher at Kelvin High School. She is a member of the MATE Executive.

Conference Fees:
2020-2021 MATE Full Membership Fee and SAGE Conference (free membership) ............... $20

Membership Only
MATE Membership ................. $ free

Late Registration: Thursday, October 22 at 4:30 - Friday October 23 at 12 pm.

Late Registration Fee: $25

Follow us on Twitter: @mateMTSmb

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

For conference or registration information, please contact Linda at email or 204-255-1676.