Workshops for teachers address new state standards

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Workshops for teachers address new state standards

The Arne Nixon Center for the Study of Children’s Literature at Fresno State is teaming up with the San Joaquin Valley Writing Project to address new state writing standards by offering a series of workshops for teachers and credential students. The series is titled, “Inquiring Minds: Texts and Issues for the Common Core.”

The Common Core State Standards Initiative is intended to help ensure America’s students are college- and career-ready by the end of high school. The standards were adopted by the California State Board of Education in August 2010 and modified in March 2013.

“The series will explore non-fiction and fictional texts, leading to in-depth reading and writing experiences that reflect the Common Core’s emphasis on writing for opinion, information and argument,” said Kathleen Godfrey, coordinator in the Department of English at Fresno State.

Curricula will include the use of new technologies that can be adopted in the classroom. Sessions will be conducted in a classroom setting as well as online using the Blackboard Course Management system.

“Employing the online format gives more flexibility for teachers with busy schedules,” Godfrey said.

The symposia themes, featured titles and session dates are:

  • Sept. 21: “Exploring Youth Activism,” featuring “Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice” by Phillip Hoose
  • To be completed by November 2013 (online session): “Understanding Family Histories,” featuring “American Born Chinese” by Gene Yang
  • Feb. 8: “Breaking Barriers,” featuring “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian” by Sherman Alexie
  • To be completed by March 2014 (online session): “Discovering Our World,” featuring “Life in the Ocean: The Story of Oceanographer Sylvia Earle” by Claire A. Nivola

One unit of credit will be offered through Fresno State’s Division of Continuing and Global Education. To earn university credit, participants are required to complete three of the four workshops and pay a separate unit fee.

Classroom sessions will be held in the Education Building and will include a box lunch. Registration fees are $25 for a single session, $70 for three sessions or $90 for all four. The first 40 registrants receive a copy of the featured book.

For more information, contact the Arne Nixon Center at 559.278.8116 or email Kathleen Godfrey at

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