Genesee Valley Writing Project Spring Workshop - How to Survive the Common Core: Getting a Game Plan

Saturday, May 4, 2013
9 a.m. - 12 p.m.
LeChase Hall, Room 285

Teachers are facing multiple reforms this year and many are feeling completely overwhelmed. We have designed this workshop to investigate what is so scary about the Common Core State Standards, examine how the Common Core will affect your teaching, and explore the kinds of support teachers need this first year. The sessions will clarify misconceptions about the Common Core and help you to build a framework for designing units (modules).

Download the brochure and registration form.

Session One: What Do You Mean I Can’t Teach Poetry!?
Melissa Pollet-Swidorski
There are many misconceptions surrounding the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Yes, you can teach poetry. Yes, you can provide background knowledge. Yes, students can still write imaginative stories. In this session, we will explore several misconceptions surrounding CCSS and discuss ways to implement the shifts into your classroom.

Session Two: So What Do You Want Them To Do?
Marcy Gamzon
This session will describe the Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC) framework and investigate several types of assessment tasks that align with the CCSS. Creating meaningful literacy tasks for assessing student understanding is an essential foundation for building successful units.  So, with this in mind, what do you want your students to do?

Session Three: Using Modern Music and Lyrics to Explore and Create Connections to Genocide
Jeff Parker
Music provides a creative avenue for exploration and expression that can sometimes reach more deeply than text itself. This session will draw upon modern rock music to explore reactions to the Holocaust and other genocides. In the past 60 years, many artists, such as Bob Dylan, Rush, and the Indigo Girls, have used the horror of genocide as inspiration for their lyrics and music. Many students also find that they are able to respond to the topic of genocide on a more meaningful level when allowed to use poetry to reflect on what they have learned. In this session, participants will receive resources identifying songs that deal with genocide, guides for close reading of the lyrics, creative writing assignments that align with the CCSS and assessment options.

NYS Thruway (I-90) to Exit 46; I-390 North to Exit 16 (W. Henrietta Rd.); cross W. Henrietta to E. River Rd.; right onto Kendrick Rd.; right onto Elmwood Ave. Continue past Crittenden, bear left onto Elmwood Ave., take next right onto Wilson Blvd. Turn onto Intercampus Drive and continue to the Library Lot located just behind Rush Rhees library. Parking is free on weekends. LeChase Hall is located in the historic Wilson Quadrangle, between Todd Union and Wilson Commons on River Campus.

8:45 – 9            Meet and Greet
9 – 9:15            Reflection and Writing
9:15 – 10          Session One
10 - 10:45         Session Two
10:45 – 11         BREAK
11 – 11:45         Session Three
11:45 – 12:00    Wrap Up

Cost of the workshop is $35. Participants will receive 3 professional development hours upon completion.

For more information and to register:
Contact Mary Beyer at (585) 275-2616 or

Tags: Genesee Valley Writing Project, Joanne Larson