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Conference Details

Engaging Adolescent Readers and Writers SeriesDetails



Region 8 Education Service Center

Choose from the sessions below that work for you.  Participants will have access to  all sessions that have been recorded previous to registering.


Four different national presenters share practical ideas to connect and engage with middle school readers and writers. Sixty minute live sessions at times listed below.  Recordings available until 06.30.23.


Led by Ruth Ayres, this study group is the perfect mix of professional learning with classroom observations and reflective practice. Get your mojo for engaging writers. Meets 11.08.22 and 05.16.23.



Join middle school educators from other schools to discuss and reflect on the book Why Do I Have to Read This? by Cris Tovani. This is a book for all content-area middle school teachers.

Why Do I Have to Read This? Literacy Strategies to Engage Our Most Reluctant Learners Book Club

In Why Do I Have to Read This? Cris Tovani shares her best secrets, lessons learned from big fails, and her most effective literacy and planning strategies that hook these hard to get learners. 

You will meet many of Cris’s students inside this book. As she describes some of her favorites, you may even recognize a few of your own. You will laugh at her stories and take comfort in her easily adaptable strategies that help students remove their masks of disengagement. Cris shows teachers how to plan by anticipating students’ needs. Her Curriculum You Anticipate structures of Topic, Task, Targets, Text, Tend to me, and Time will literally help you anticipate your curriculum. 

Inside Why Do I Have to Read This? readers will find:

  • literacy strategies for all content areas that support and engage a wide range of learners so they can read and write a variety of complex text 
  • reference charts packed with small bites of instructional shifts that coaches and teachers can use to quickly adjust instruction to re-engage students 
  • planning strategies that show teachers how to connect day-to-day instruction so that no day lives in isolation 
  • versatile thinksheets that are reproducible and adaptable to different grade levels, content areas, and disciplines

Above all, Cris gives teachers energy to get back into the classroom and face students who wear masks of disengagement. She reminds us of the importance of connecting students to compelling topics, rich text, useful targets, and worthy tasks. She reminds us of the importance of tending to students’ basic needs and helps us consider how to best structure instructional time. After reading this book, teachers will have new ways to connect with students in a deep, authentic way. Written in a humorous, compassionate, and wise voice, Why Do I Have to Read This? will provide answers to the pressing questions we have when we try to teach and reach all of our students.

Instructor: Ruth Ayres
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