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Past Conferences

Thank you for attending our fall conference at Manchester Twp. HS

"Reading, Writing, and Empathy: Using Literature to Build Compassion" 
from 9am-12:00pm 
Authors Gae Polisner and Nora Raleigh Baskin will be on hand to lead a discussion centered around using literature to talk about difficult topics with students.  Both authors have new novels about the events and impacts of September 11th and will be signing their books after the talk.  
Booktowne, an independent bookstore in Manasquan, NJ, will be on hand to sell books and will carry other 9/11 materials, including Jewell Parker Rhodes' new middle grade novel, Towers Falling. Booktowne will also sell the authors' other titles. 
In addition, members of NJCTE will share strategies for pairing novels, graphic novels, nonfiction, and more to inspire empathy in students when discussing difficult topics.
GAE Polisner is the award-winning author of The Summer of Letting Go (Nerdy Book Club Best YA 2014, Teen Ink Editor's Choice Badge of Approval) and The Pull of Gravity (2012 Bank Street Best, 2012 PSLA Top Forty, Nerdy Book Club Best YA 2011). She also co-hosts Teachers Write!,a virtual writers camp for teachers and educators. She lives in Long Island, New York with her family.
Nora Raleigh Baskin is the ALA Schneider Family Book Award-winning author of Anything But Typical. She was chosen as a Publishers Weekly Flying Start for her novel What Every Girl (Except Me) Knows, and has since written a number of novels for middle graders and teens, including The Truth About My Bat Mitzvah, The Summer Before Boys, and Ruby on the Outside. Nora lives with her family in Connecticut. Visit her at NoraBaskin.com.

We did it again!*

     In the 1990's, we honored Jon Scieszka with the Becker Award.  A few years later, he was named National Ambassador for Young People's Literature.

     Then there was David Lubar in 2004, and he is now one of the most beloved writers in children's and YA literature today!

     Tamora Pierce was our 2009 awardee, and her fame skyrocketed soon after.

     Walter Dean Myers graced us with his attendance in 2011, and he too was named by the Library of Congress as National Ambassador soon afterward.

     In 2012, Gayle Forman was our Becker winner for a little book called If I Stay  She has been on the bestseller lists ever since.

     In 2016, we honored Matt de la Peña for his writing, and before we could even get him to Montclair State, he won the Newbery Medal!
    We think the world is watching us at the NJCTE to discover what really great writing is all about. 


* Oh, yes, they were all great when the NJCTE first recognized them, but in many ways we're often the first to recognize the greatness of writers (due in no small part

to M. Jerry Weiss and Laura Nicosia).


Also featured Dan-el Padilla Peralta, author of Undocumented, a memoir that opened our eyes about what teaching and learning means.


And David Lubar returned to welcome his new book, Character, Driven, which is already being hailed as his finest work to date!


2016 Session Schedule



10:20-11:10: SESSION ONE

Successful Cross-Disciplinary Collaboration and the Common Core                    HS

-Audrey Fisch, PhD, NJCU;  Susan Chenelle,  Steven Gavrielatos & Edwin Rivera, University Academy Charter HS, Jersey City



 Race in the ELA Classroom: A Subject That Can’t Be Checked at the Door

-Erika Robinson, Red Bank Regional HS



From Senioritis to Self Startup: Growing 21st Century Skills in the Secondary ELA Classroom                                                                                                                             HS

-Oona Abrams, Chatham HS


Inspiring Students to Pick Up a Book—and Actually Read It!              MS/HS

Denise Weintraut, Berlin Borough School District, & Kelly Kosch, Robbinsville Public Schools



11:20-12:10: SESSION TWO


A Head in the Clouds, Heart on the Page: Immersing Students in the Imagined Worlds of Narratives                                                                                                                   MS/HS

-Catherine Greeley and Elissa Greenwald, PhD, Clifton HS


2 The Power of Questions: A DBQ Approach to Writing about Literature  MS/HS

-Molly Winter, DBQ Project


Picture this: Practical tips for using picturebooks in the MS & HS ELA classroom   MS/HS

-Todd A. Bates and Maureen Bates, Montclair State U



12:20-1:10: SESSION THREE

Teaching Students to Read Critically                                                                        MS/HS

-Fernando Naiditch, PhD, Montclair State U


Making Room for Innovation: Using Physical Space as a Catalyst for Learning       MS/HS

- Ms. Tina Marchiano, Mr. Matthew Morone, Mrs. Tracy Recine, Pascack Valley HS



Teaching To Kill a Mockingbird and A Raisin in the Sun in (Not-So) Post-Racial Times  HS

-Audrey Fisch, PhD, NJCU, & Susan Chenelle, University Academy Charter HS, Jersey City


Social Justice Book Clubs:  Where Literature and Technology Meet                           MS

-Trish Emerson, Brielle HS

Our Fall 2015 Conference:

September 19
College of Saint Elizabeth

2 Convent Road, Morristown, NJ 

Annunciation Center



4 professional development hours


Using Popular Young Adult Texts to Prompt Discussions of Social Justice and Various Diversities

With Laura Nicosia

   Our professional and innate common sense tells us that the literature we teach in our classes can offer opportunities to critique false and harmful misrepresentations of various Others. We know that guided discussions can lead children to question their assumptions and to expand their social and intellectual horizons. In such volatile times, with numerous cases of racial and cultural violence, holding such discussions with our children is crucial."

2015 featured these stellar literary and educational figures:

• Greg Takoudes, 2014 Muriel Becker Award-winner, and author of the urban fiction drama When We Wuz Famous.

• Kenan Trebincevic, author of the unforgettably gripping nonfiction book, The Bosnia List.

Jeff Baron, author of the clever and delightful middle-grade books, I Represent Sean Rosen and Sean Rosen Is Not for Sale.

• Michael Gabriele, author of The History of Diners in New Jersey.

…and David Lubar, who has been called "America's finest short story writer for kids."

Kenan Trebincevic, author of the compelling, The Bosnia List: a Memoir of War, Exile, and Return

2014 Muriel Becker Award winner, Greg Takoudes

Jeff Baron, middle-grade author of I Represent Sean Rosen, and Sean Rosen Is Not for Sale

Anyone who lives in New Jersey knows the cultural significance of diners.  Michael Gabriele goes deeper in his book, The History of Diners in New Jersey.

SEVEN PD hours!  Three sets of sessions.  See more of the workshops you love and network with more people.

2015's Sessions

10:20-11:10: SESSION ONE

#hiphoped: Hip-hop and Poetry in the Writing Classroom                  (MS/HS)

       Sarah Caddle, Ed.M., Irvington HS                                                        Student Center 411


The Newsroom: Teaching Nonfiction That Matters                                    (HS)

       Matthew Morone, Pascack Valley High School                                University Hall


Approaches to Remedial Reading Instruction at the Secondary Level

       Daniel Lombardi, Teacher of English (secondary, higher ed.)    Student Center 419


Censorship                                                                                                                        (HS)

       Melissa Sak, Barack Obama Green Charter HS, Plainfield                                University Hall


11:20-12:10: SESSION TWO

Who Were You in Seventh Grade?  (Jeff Baron, author)                          (MS)

       Jeff Baron, Middle-Grade Author                                                           Student Center 411


Tech-Based Book Responses                                                                                    (HS)

       Jennifer Shettel, Millersville U of PA                                                  University Hall,


Adapting teacher response to ELLs: Giving better feedback to ELLs in mainstream English classrooms

       Meghan Odsliv Bratkovich and Hee-Jin Kim,Columbia U         Student Center 419


Professional Development as Social Transformation: Teaching Social Justice and Responsibility in Common Core-Aligned Classrooms                     (MS/HS)

       Mary Grace Whealan and Jennifer Ansbach, Manchester Twp HS      Student Center 417


12:20-1:10: SESSION THREE

Democracy 101: Literature and Democracy (Huck Finn as Minstrel Text)  (HS)

       Patricia L. Hans, Ridgewood HS, Bergen CC, Columbia U                       University Hall


The History of Diners in New Jersey                                                                (all grades)

       Michael Gabriele, author                                                                         University Hall  


DBQs in Literature: Getting to the Core of Argument Writing              (all grades)

       Molly Winter, DBQ Project and Brooklyn Friends School                      Student Center 419


Addressing Issues of Equity Through a Multiliteracies Framework     (HS)

     Jennifer Kingma Wall, Ed.D.,Montclair State U                                         Student Center 411