School of Education and Human Services

Pawley Hall
456 Pioneer Drive
Rochester , MI 48309-4482
(location map)
248 370 3050

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Literacy Learning

Literacy Learning for Educators: Enhancing Student Learning in the Classroom

An educational workshop sponsored by the Department of Reading and Language Arts and Oakland University’s School of Education and Human Services


Oakland University’s School of Education & Human Services is pleased to announce the Literacy Learning for Educators workshop to be held at Oakland University in Rochester, MI.

We are dedicated to bringing educators together to share knowledge about enhancing student literacy learning and explore practical lesson ideas to use in the classroom. Participants at this workshop will take away a preliminary plan for integrating a demonstrated instructional approach in their own reading / language arts classroom. The 2016 workshop will feature 15 breakout sessions covering a variety of language arts and learning topics, along with a keynote session and networking opportunities.


  • Learn how to differentiate and adapt language arts instruction
  • Learn how to utilize children’s literature & information text & poetry writing to enhance instruction in the classroom
  • Leave with practical lesson ideas to use in the classroom, including sessions geared toward adolescent and multicultural learners
  • Identify ways that educational technology can be used to support language arts instructional and student learning
  • Learn how hip-hop culture can be used for educational purpose
  • Networking opportunities with other K–12 educators
  • Educators can earn SCECHs
  • Light refreshments and lunch provided

Barbara Begin Campbell
Barbara Begin Campbell, MLS is the Coordinator of the Educational Resources Lab for Oakland University’s School of Education and Human Services. She received her B.A. in English and secondary teaching certificate from the University of Iowa, and her Masters in Library Science from Kent State University. Barbara brings forward experience as a high school English teacher and as an elementary School Library Media Specialist. She has been providing information literacy training as well as reference service for youth literature and Pre-K–12 curriculum at the academic level for more than 10 years. At Oakland University, she supports the teacher education program through collection development, class presentations, individual and group consultations and reference service to faculty and students.

Tanya Christ
Tanya Christ is an Associate Professor of Reading and Language Arts at Oakland University. She teaches courses related to reading assessment and instruction practices for K12. Her research focuses on emergent reading processes, digital literacies in early childhood, issues of educational access and equity, and teacher education. She has taught both inclusion and general education in Title 1 classrooms in Brooklyn, NY. Her work appears in journals such as Journal of Literacy Research, Early Childhood Research Quarterly, Journal of Early Childhood Literacy and Young Children.

Ron Cramer
Ron Cramer is Distinguished Professor of Education in the Department of Reading and Language Arts in the School of Education at Oakland University. He has several scholarly interests, which include writing, “mismeasurement” of children and informal assessment and instructional observation. Most recently he has co-authored a book about reading assessment and instruction and is currently working on publishing a poetry book.

Narges K. Gol
Narges K. Gol is a doctoral student and graduate assistant in the Reading and Language Arts Department at Oakland University. Prior to her doctoral studies she practiced law in Iran, and has taught writing composition and English to ESL students while at the University of Toledo. She has presented on ESL cultural and motivational studies at national and international conferences. Her research interests include teaching English as a second language as well as cultural and linguistic differences of ESL students.

Liz Guzniczak
Liz Guzniczak is a Visiting Professor in the Reading and Language Arts Department at Oakland University. For the past three years she has been actively involved in the Avondale/OU Partnership School Initiative, where she teaches literacy classes to pre-service teachers. She works closely with teachers, administration and colleagues to provide authentic learning experiences for Oakland University students who participate in the program at the Auburn Elementary Partnership School. Currently, Dr. Guzniczak is involved in two areas of research, that of partnership learning and inquiry-based learning in digital literacies.

Anne Hotz
Anne Hotz is a Lecturer in the Department of Reading and Language Arts in the School of Education at Oakland University. She teaches introductory Reading and Language Arts courses and both undergraduate and graduate courses in Reading and Writing in the Content Areas. Her expertise lies in supporting disciplinary literacy in all content areas with a special interest in Music and Art.

Bong Gee Jang
Bong Gee Jang is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Reading and Language Arts. Bong Gee received his Ph.D. in Reading Education from University of Virginia in 2013. His main areas of research include literacy motivation and engagement in digital settings and disciplinary/content literacy. His research has appeared in Reading Research Quarterly, Educational Psychology Review, Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, The Reading Teacher and Assessment for Effective Intervention. Bong Gee teaches courses related to disciplinary literacy and language arts for both pre-service and in-service teachers. He also teaches introductory and advanced quantitative method courses to doctoral students.

Ledong Li
Ledong Li is an Associate Professor of Education and Instructional Technology in the Department of Reading and Language Arts at Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan. Dr. Li was the recipient of IRA’s Dissertation of the Year Award in 2002. His recent work involves digital literacy in K12 classrooms and Web-based learning in diverse instructional environments. His research also focuses on educational technology advancement and its impact on pre-service teacher education and in-service teacher professional development.

John McEneaney
John McEneaney is Professor of Education and Chair of the Department of Reading and Language Arts. He teaches courses in reading assessment, digital literacies and theories and models in reading research. His research interests focus on the ways web technologies have altered what it means to be a reader in a genuinely global digital world.

Linda Pavonetti
Linda M. Pavonetti is a Professor in the Reading and Language Arts Department of Oakland University in Rochester, MI where she teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in children’s and young adult literature. Dr. Pavonetti is the past president of the United States Board on Books for Young People, the US national section of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) and served as vice-president of IBBY for four years. She edited an annotated bibliography, Bridges to Understanding: Envisioning the World Through Children’s Books (2011) that spotlights international children’s books and selected American books about international issues and cultures. She also edited Children’s Literature Remembered: Issues, Trends and Favorite Books (2004) and has contributed chapters to a number of other books in addition to articles in academic journals. She is a former co-editor of the Michigan Reading Journal, editor of the professional books column for the Journal of Children’s Literature and the children’s book column editor for the Michigan Reading Journal. Pavonetti has served on numerous committees for the National Council of Teachers of English, Michigan Council of Teachers of English, American Library Association, Michigan Library Association and Michigan Reading Association. Dr. Pavonetti’s current projects include editing.

Li Pei
Li Pei started her teaching career at Guizhou University, China in 2000, upon graduation with a B.A. majoring in English as a foreign language (EFL). In 2008, she earned her M.A. in Teaching at Oakland University and returned to her teaching position at Guizhou University. She was the first-prize winner in the Guizhou Provincial English Teaching Contest and the third-prize winner in the National English Teaching Contest in China in 2012. Li Pei came back to Oakland University in 2013 to pursue her PhD degree. She has published over ten academic papers in China and made five professional presentations at the local and national conferences in the US. Currently, she is a third-year doctoral student and graduate assistant in the PhD program in reading education at Oakland University. Her research interests include: teaching English as a foreign/second language (EFL/ESL), researching effective strategies to engage EFL/ESL learners and integrating technology in EFL/ESL teaching and learning environments.

Emery Petchauer - Keynote Speaker
Emery Petchauer is an Associate Professor in the Teacher Development and Educational Studies Department at Oakland University. A former high school English teacher, his scholarship focuses on how urban arts like hip-hop culture can be used for educational purposes. He is the author of Hip-Hop Culture in College Students’ Lives (Routledge, 2012) and the co-editor of Schooling Hip-Hop: Expanding Hip-Hop Based Education Across the Curriculum (Teachers College Press, 2013). His work in this area is informed by over 15 years of helping organize urban arts spaces across the United States and abroad.

Julie Schrauben
Julie Schrauben is a Lecturer in Reading and Language Arts in the School of Education at Oakland University. She teaches reading and writing courses for the department of Reading and Language Arts in the School of Education at Oakland University. Her research interests include writing and author’s craft, transfer of knowledge in writing and multiple ways of understanding literacy.

Sue Ann Sharma
Sue Ann Sharma is a Visiting Professor in the Department of Reading and Language Arts at Oakland University. She also holds appointments on the International Reading Association’s Literacy Reform Task Force, MRA’s Board of Directors and Michigan Reading Journal Review Board. Sharma’s expertise lies in the areas of diversity and culturally responsive teaching, online teaching and learning, digital curation and coaching and has authored articles and presented internationally on these topics.

Wen Wu
Wen Wu is currently a doctoral student and graduate assistant in the Reading and Language Arts Department at Oakland University. She has co-taught an undergraduate course related to educational uses of microcomputers and related technologies. Before she enrolled in the doctoral program, she worked for more than ten years as an English as a Foreign Language instructor at Guizhou University in China. Her primary research interests include: English as a Foreign/Second Language (EFL/ESL) Teaching and Learning; Digital Literacies and New Literacies; and Educational Technology.


Please click on a session title to view the session description. Each session will be 90 minutes in length, in order to allow time for instruction and group participation/discussion.

Hip-Hop Culture - Keynote Session
Presenter: Emery Petchauer

iPad App-Book Selection to Support Emergent and Beginning Reading Development
Presenters: Tanya Christ, Pei Li, Narges K. Gol and Wen Wu
This interactive session will provide guidelines, models, and guided practice for teachers to (1) identify iPad app-book features that support specific areas of literacy development, and (2) evaluate the quality of iPad app-book features. Specific iPad app-books will be suggested for meeting particular early literacy learning goals.

Culturally Responsive Teaching: Building Bridges to Diverse Learners in the Classroom
Presenter: Sue Ann Sharma
In this session, you will learn how culturally responsive teachers use multicultural literature to: strengthen cultural and linguistic identities and awareness of others, increase community conversations, provide new ways to integrate text with new media, and deepen knowledge of notable authors.

Writing Poetry with Children in Grades K-12
Presenters: Ron Cramer and Julie Schrauben
Come join us for an interactive session exploring how you can write poetry with students, and teach them to see the world like poets. We will discuss how students can learn to see poetry in the world around them, how to observe everyday moments and integrate those moments into poetry, and how to develop a love of language that can be infused into writing. Of course we will be crafting poetry and using specific writing strategies to create poems.

Teaching Academic Vocabulary: Moving beyond the Friday Quiz for better understanding and retention.
Presenter: Anne Hotz
Michigan’s K-12 Standards for the English Language Arts require students to “acquire and use accurately a range of general academic and domain specific words and phrases” (Michigan Department of Education, 2010, p. 25). Academic vocabulary, those words that are vital to academic success and to understanding dense disciplinary text and practice, must be taught so that students use the language actively and often. This workshop will offer background and activities that teachers can incorporate into their practice to help students build strong vocabularies that serve them well beyond Friday’s quiz. Appropriate for all grade levels and content areas.

Guided Reading in Grades 3-5: Making Plans and Taking Action!
Presenter: Liz Guzniczak
Teachers will participate in this interactive session, as they share their current classroom practices with Guided Reading. Whether you are new to Guided Reading, or just need time to grow your guided reading practices, this session is for you! Join us as we review our practices, design lessons, and share our plans.

A Most Difficult Decision: How Do I Select Good Informational Text?
Presenter: Linda Pavonetti
A classroom read aloud can serve many purposes, but the most important is motivation.  We will explore the many avenues of book selection to find that elusive book that will motivate students to pick up a book and read.  This workshop will focus on informational text.

Brave New Word: Using the Web to Promote Critical Literacy and Content Area Reading in Middle and Secondary Classrooms

Presenter: John McEneaney
Participants will explore the challenges and rewards of integrating web-based resources in middle and secondary classrooms. Topics include evaluation of online resources, using social media to engage students, developing a sense of authorship and audience for student work, and the broader issues of digital citizenship, privacy, and digital presence. The session will be in a computer lab where participants will engage in hands-on activities designed to help them explore and better understand how online resources can be effectively integrated in support of learning.

A Most Difficult Decision: How Do I Find a Good Read Aloud?
Presenter: Linda Pavonetti
A classroom read aloud can serve many purposes, but the most important is motivation. We will explore the many avenues of book selection to find that elusive book that will movtivate students to pick up a book and read. This workshop will target early childhood methods and books.

Reading, Writing, and Digital Literacies
Presenter: LeDong Li
This session will discuss the challenges and new approaches of literacy instruction in the digital age, in relation to teaching reading and writing in schools. Participants will learn about K-12 classroom practices, with discussion on current state and national technology standards and the common core. There will be a segment focusing on how the digital world impacts today’s learners, and how teachers ought to embrace the changes. Definitions and components of digital literacies will also be presented.

Differentiated Literacy Instruction to Promote Student Motivation and Engagement
Presenter: Bong Gee Jang
In this workshop, you will learn how to motivate and engage your students in content reading and writing. Different motivational factors that influence your students' content learning and literacy practices will be discussed. In addition, you will learn about promising practices for planning and implementing differentiated literacy instruction.

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  • Workshop Registration Fee: $75
  • SCECHs Fee: Additional $10
  • Parking is free on Oakland University’s Main Campus.
  • Lunch will be provided to all participants.