Thursday, July 30, 2015

AuThursday: A Report from our Book Clubs

Fargo-Moorhead Area Book Club
On a sunny day in May, the Fargo Moorhead Area Book Club met to discuss Geoff Herbach's Stupid Fast. Our group loved that this book was so much more than a sports book. Through Felton's messy efforts to sort through the issues he faces, from evolving relationships to dealing with family trauma, we found a story filled with both humor and hope. Stupid Fast is a great middle school and high school read sure to pull readers in fast! 

As this was our final meeting of the 2014-2015 year, we spent the remainder of our meeting discussing plans and books we wanted to read over the summer. The FM Area Book Club looks forward to starting up again in September! Be on the lookout for our 2015-2016 book list coming to you in August! 

--Dan Dooher, FM Area Book Club Coordinator

Grand Forks Book Club
For book club in July, we read and discussed All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. This was one of the more contentious titles we've read lately. Some either loved it or weren't thrilled at all by it. The story follows Marie-Laure, a blind girl living with her father in Paris during the Nazi invasion, and Werner, a young German orphan with a knack for radios. Throughout the story, we saw the threads that pulled these two together.  

We also took some time to discuss other books we're enjoying this summer. Pam read Boston Girl by Anita Diamant, the tale of a young Jewish girl growing up in Boston at the beginning of the twentieth century. Andrea read three volumes of a graphic novel series called Young Avengers, which follows the sons and daughters of Marvel's greatest. Katie is re-reading Robert Jordan's epic Wheel of Time series.  

Our book for next month is El Deafo by CeCe Bell.

--Andrea Scherer, GF Book Club Coordinator

Monday, July 27, 2015

The RRVWP co-sponsors 2015 Foreign Language Conference

For the first time ever, the Foreign Language Association of North Dakota is sponsoring a summer conference which will held on the University of North Dakota campus in Grand Forks August 11-13 with a pre-conference welcome reception the evening of August 10. 

Funded by a grant from UND and additionally sponsored by the Red River Valley Writing Project, the 2015 Summer Conference for Foreign Language Teachers is a conference for all current and retired foreign language teachers in North Dakota, as well as pre-service and regional foreign language teachers who choose to attend. This goal of this summer conference is to bring state and local foreign language teachers together on the UND campus to participate in professional development sessions on current best practices in foreign language education, to conduct whole-group and individual language breakout meetings, and to build a community of like-minded professionals. Teachers attending the conference will be able to earn one credit of continuing education through UND. Register at

Participants coming from a distance who need to pay for lodging are eligible to receive a housing stipend. We have up to ten $50 stipends available. If interested, please contact Pam Fisher at <pam[dot]fisher[at]gfschools[dot]org>. Also, indicate if you would like to share a room (and therefore split expenses), and we can facilitate connections.

Register by August 1 to avoid a late fee.

Schedule of Events
August 10 - 13, 2015 
Education Building, UND campus
Eligible for one continuing education credit

Instructor:~Pamela E. Fisher, Spanish Instructor, Grand Forks Central High School, and Co-Director of the Red River Valley Writing Project, Various session presenters

Monday, August 10, 2015
6:30 pm-8:30 pm: Welcome Reception, location TBD

Tuesday, August 11, 2015
10:00 am-12:00 noon: Morning Class session*: Smarter Balanced-Style Activities to Interact with Culture-Based Texts
12:00 noon-12:50 pm: Lunch on campus
1:00 pm-4:30 pm: Afternoon Class session*: Close Reading to Engage with Authentic Cultural Texts
6:30 pm-9:00 pm: Foreign Language Teachers Social, El Roco Bar and Lounge

Wednesday, August 12, 2015
8:00 am-9:45 am: FLAND Business Meeting
10:00 am-12:00 noon: Morning Class session*: Heuristics and Strategies for Deep Viewing of Target-Culture Art
12:00 noon-12:50 pm: Lunch on campus
1:00 pm-4:30 pm: Afternoon Class session* : Literacy and Learning Stations
6:30 pm-9:00 pm: Dinner† and FLAND Awards Ceremony, Gorecki Alumni Center

Thursday, August 13, 2015
8:00 am-9:45 am: AAT (Individual language) meetings
10:00 am-12:00 noon: Morning Class session*: Interacting with Culture through Humor and Brain Twisters
12:00 noon-12:50 pm: Lunch on campus
1:00 pm-4:30 pm: Afternoon Class session*: Breakout sessions on various topics with guest speakers:                                                     
                                                1:00-2:00 Round One (2 options)
                                                2:10-3:10 Round Two (2 options)
                                                3:10-3:30 Break
                                                3:30-4:30 Round Three (2 options)
4:30-5:00 Plenary Session and Evaluations 

*Sessions that count towards the one credit of continuing education.    †Included with registration.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Build Your Argument Toolkit, August 4 and 5

There's still space available in this two-day workshop with Kim Donehower in early August!
Audience: K-12
Dates: August 4-5 in Grand Forks
Instructor: Kim Donehower
Credits: One 
Description: This mini-institute is designed to give K-12 teachers an introductory course in classical to contemporary rhetoric, so that we might select useful ideas, terms, and techniques for our students and our teaching. The Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts place tremendous emphasis on the "evidence-based argument," but there's a more important word buried (and sometimes misdefined) in the standards: "rhetoric." "Rhetoric," in the classic sense, is the study of persuasion, and it's difficult to teach students to read or write arguments without it. It encompasses everything from coming up with sound claims to the selection of evidence to audience analysis to persuasive techniques to word choice.
UND registration link
NDSU registration link

Thursday, July 16, 2015

What are writers reading this summer?

Check out what authors Edwidge Danticat and Junto Diaz and many others are reading this summer by clicking here. (From The New Yorker)