Middle/Secondary Conference 2017

The middle/secondary conference will take place at ESC Region 12 on Tuesday, October 3 and will be a full-day workshop with Jeff Wilhelm focusing on reading and writing strategies for adolescents.  The conference is appropriate for both ELA and content area teachers.  You will be free to go to lunch from 11:00-12:30. You may bring a lunch if you wish to remain at ESC Region 12 during the lunch break.


Jeff is an internationally known teacher, author, and presenter. He is driven by a desire to help teachers to help their students to more powerful literacy and compassionate, democratic living. What he most wants for teachers to get out of his work is motivation and a vital passion to continue experimenting and learning about teaching, as well as ways to frame instruction so it is meaningful and compelling to students. 

A classroom teacher for fifteen years, Jeff is currently Professor of English Education at Boise State University. He works in local schools as part of a Virtual Professional Development Site Network sponsored by the Boise State Writing Project, and regularly teaches middle and high school students.  He is the founding director of the Maine Writing Project and the Boise State Writing Project.

He has authored or coauthored numerous books and articles about literacy teaching and learning. In addition to the Russell award, his “You Gotta BE the Book” won the NCTE Promising Research Award. Jeff has worked on numerous materials and software programs for students including Scholastic’s e21 and ReadAbout, and has edited a series of 100 books for reluctant readers entitled The Ten. 

Jeff enjoys speaking, presenting, working with students and schools. He is currently researching how students read and engage with non-traditional texts like video game narratives, manga, horror, fantasy, etc. as well as the effects of inquiry teaching on teachers, students, and learning. 

Jeff grew up on a small strawberry farm in Northeastern Ohio. He loved the Hardy Boys as a boy, and has continued to love reading ever since, progressing through Hermann Hesse, John Steinbeck, and James Baldwin as literary mentors.  In high school he was named a Harrier All-American for cross-country and track. He was then a two-time Small College All-American in Cross-country. He has competed Internationally in cross country, track, and nordic skiing. He now enjoys marathon nordic skiing and whitewater kayaking.

You can learn more about Jeff by viewing this YouTube video.

Books by Jeff Wilhelm:
  • Reading Unbound: Why Kids Need to Read What They Want—and Why We Should Let Them, Scholastic (2013)
  • Get it Done: Writing and Analyzing Informational Text, Heinemann (2012)
  • Oh, Yeah?!: Putting Argument to Work Both in School and Out, Heinemann (2012)
  • So, What’s the Story?: Teaching Narrative to Understand Ourselves, Others, and the World, Heinemann (2012)
  • Teaching Literacy for Love and Wisdom: Being the Book and Being the Change, Teachers College Press, NCTE, NWP (2011)
  • Fresh Takes on Teaching Literacy Elements: How to Teach What Really Matters About Character, Setting, Point of View, and Theme, Scholastic (2010)
  • Inquiring Minds Learn to Read and Write: 50 Problem-based Literacy & Learning Strategies, Scholastic (2009)
  • Getting It Right: Fresh approaches to Teaching Grammar, Usage, and Correctness, Scholastic (2007)
  • Engaging Readers & Writers with Inquiry, Scholastic (2007)
  • Language & Literacy: “You Gotta BE the Book”: Teaching Engaged and Reflective Reading with Adolescents, Teachers College Press (2007)
  • Reading for Themselves: How to Transform Adolescents into Lifelong Readers Through Out-of-Class Book Clubs, Heinemann (2007)
  • Going with the Flow: How to Engage Boys (and Girls) in Their Literacy Learning, Reed Elsevier, Inc. (2006)
  • Teaching Literature to Adolescents, Lawrence Eribaum Assoc. Inc. (2006)
  • Reading IS Seeing: Learning to Visualize Scenes, Characters, Ideas, and Text Worlds to Improve Comprehension and Reflective Reading, Scholastic (2004)
  • Action Strategies for Deepening Comprehension: Using Drama Strategies to Assist Improved Reading Performance, Scholastic (2002)
  • Reading Don’t Fix No Chevys: The Role of Literacy in the Lives of Young Men, Heinemann (2002)
  • Improving Comprehension with Think-Alouds: Modeling What Good Readers Do, Scholastic (2001)
  • Strategic Reading: Guiding Adolescents to Lifelong Literacy, Heinemann (2001)
  • Hyperlearning: Where Projects, Inquiry and Technology Meet, Stenhouse (1998)
  • Imagining to Learn: Inquiry, Ethics and Integration through Drama, Heinemann (1998)
  • Reading Stephen King: Issues of Censorship, Student Choice and the Canon, NCTE (1997)
Conference Presentation:

"Diving Deeper into Nonfiction and Fiction — as Readers and Writers"

A.M. This interactive workshop explores how to motivate and assist students to more expertly read nonfiction and fiction texts of all kinds! Using Peter Rabinowitz’s notion of "readers’ rules of notice" students will learn to notice the topics of conversation taken up by nonfiction and fiction texts and the key details used to communicate meaning about these topics.  We will also consider how genre and text structure work to create meaning and effect.  We will model and use teaching techniques like using visual texts, think alouds, reading like a writer/writing like a reader, practicing in miniature, questioning strategies like KEEP!, and the topic-comment strategy for reading for main idea..

P.M. We will use the Directed Reading/Writing/Thinking activity to model apprenticing students into expert reading practices with a nonfiction and a fiction text. We will especially feature thinking aloud and drama/action strategies for engaging and assisting student readers into expertise.

Click for more information:

Elementary Conference (Grades 2-6)
Monday, Oct. 2, 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Primary Conference (Grades K-1)
Tuesday, Oct. 3, 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.