BAWP Forum

The BAWP Forum

Join us for our annual conference where we tackle the issues of the day.

A true education. The presenter drew on what we, as participants, brought to the table—quick assessment of individual and combined knowledge and interests. The presenter made us think at every point and supported our work as he engaged in conversation with us during our small group tasks. What an exemplary model of teaching and learning.
Middle Grades Teacher

Finding Our Way in a Shifting Landscape: Writing Practices That Ground Us

March 13, 2021

8:30 am – 12:10 pm

This year our world as we knew it changed.

For months now, shifts in our instructional contexts have led us to think more deeply and differently about our practice and, more than ever, about meeting the needs of our students. While holding on to our core values of equity and social justice, we are reaffirming what works in writing instruction—in any context—and innovating to meet the demands of the moment. 

This year’s Bay Area Writing Project Forum offers educators a place to share individual stories of what has reoriented and grounded us over this past year, and provides a time to share lessons we have learned and relearned about what matters most in writing instruction.

Keynote: A Conversational Tour of the Shifting Landscape: Elementary, Secondary, and College

John Levine BAWP Teacher Consultant, playwright, and Lecturer in the College Writing Programs at UCB, will interview three educators about their experiences since the advent of Covid-19. Listen in as teachers offer their successes and frustrations in virtual classrooms, and share how they negotiated the need to maintain academic rigor while acknowledging the social and emotional needs of their students. Hear how they adapted their practices to meet the tumultuous political climate and worked to make school a safe place--albeit at a distance.

Student Panel

The contexts of teaching and learning have changed drastically over the past year. How have students experienced these changes? Hear students reflect on how teachers are supporting them as learners, thinkers, and humans as they collectively navigate the shifting landscape of education.

Registration and Fees

How to Register

Option 1: Register online with a credit card. 

Option 2: Register with a School Purchase Order


Registration: $75.00

  • Take advantage of early bird registration (before February 1, 2021): $65.00
  • BAWP Teacher Consultants, email the office to get a 50% discount code.
  • Groups of 3 or more teachers from one school get a 20% discount! If paying online, discount will be automatically applied. If registering and paying with a school PO, apply discount to total.


Requests for cancellations must be made in writing ( Those made before 11:59 pm on Monday, March 1, 2021 will be reimbursed minus a $50 cancellation fee. Any requests received after March 7, 2021 do not qualify for a reimbursement.


8:30 am: Early Arrival Tech Support
8:45 am: Pre-Conference Mingle
9:00 am: Opening Welcome
9:05 - 9:25 am: Keynote Conversation
9:30 - 10:30 am: Workshop Selection #1
10:30 - 10:45 am: Break
10:45 - 11:00 pm: Student Panel
11:05 - 12:05 am: Workshop Selection #2

Session 1 Workshops

Choose one of these eight workshops to attend during session 1.

1. Author’s Chair in the Virtual Elementary Classroom

Young children are natural storytellers.  They tell stories through their play, their art, and their conversations.  Through these stories, young children process new information and new experiences in order to better understand themselves, their community, and their place in that community.  This workshop will focus on how to support young children to develop the writing and metacognitive skills necessary to further develop these stories from stories in which they are processing their own experience into stories in which they are communicating what they understand to their audi

2. What is My Linguistic History?

What language (s) did my parents speak? What languages did my grandparents speak? In this workshop participants investigate and engage in producing a map of their linguistic histories tracing it back as far as they can, in order to become metacognitive about their own language and to value the language they use. Attendees will be provided with a brief history of bilingual education in the US, and language scaffolds for creating contexts for language learning. Participants will engage in reflection on how their family, institutions and peers have shaped their language(s).

3. Student Journalists: Reporting on the Pandemic to Develop Empathy

The unit’s goal is to find similarities and cultivate connectedness as well as reflect on systematic differences regarding racism, classism, and other inequalities among experiences to cultivate empathy, without the dangerous othering effects. In order to reflect and begin to understand the coronavirus’ impact on society, students become active journalists, recording individual accounts and researching communities to ethically report the wide range of experiences, responses, and reactions to the pandemic.

4. Nurturing Student Engagement: Interactive Digital Learning - Part 1 Pedagogy

Engaging students in this new pandemic world has never been more important nor more difficult. The topics will be covered in two workshops, one focused on pedagogy and one on praxis. With each focusing  on building a safe nurturing, equity focused digital community that engages our students in deep meaningful learning, while balancing empathy and rigor.

5. Conscientization-Writing for Transformation

Using the Freirian concept of conscientization, teachers can facilitate writing where students critically explore pertinent topics named by students. Topics like racism, gentrification, immigration, education and others with embedded ways to address them head on. Students ask themselves: What is my reality and why is it what it is? What’s keeping me from joy, success, wellness ? How do I get there? As they begin to see systems and obstacles in their lives for what they are, they develop strategies and action plans to combat, and overcome them.

6. What is Owed since 1619?

Working with the resources and commentary from the 1619 Project and Equal Justice Initiative, this workshop focuses on historiography, or the work of writing history based on the critical examination of sources. Participants will write arguments debating whether the federal government should pay Black Americans reparations for slavery.

7. Asking the Right Question – the Critical Question

“Questions open a space in your mind that allow better answers to breathe.”
― Richard Norton

Session 2 Workshops

Choose one of these eight workshops to attend during session 2.

1. The Power of Exploration: Building Autonomy, Perspective, and Storytelling Through Geo-Inquiry

Where is it? Why is it there? Why should we care? If these three questions piqued your curiosity, you’re in good company here. Exploration is a powerful pathway to liberation and storytelling. The Geo-Inquiry Process, developed through the National Geographic Society, helps young people develop a spectrum of perspectives to analyze the interconnections between the human and natural worlds, share their voice, and effect change.

2. Elevating Equity and SEL through Writing

The writer’s workshop is a place where we move both into and out of the self in order to create. It should be a place of agency, creativity, and belonging. In this workshop we will write and analyze student writing using SEL as a lens. We will think about how writing tasks and instructional practices can elevate student SEL skills, build community, and become transformational spaces for deep learning. 

Intended Audience: This workshop is appropriate for  K-8 grades teachers. 

3. The Power of Paraphrasing in Developing Student Voice

We often assume paraphrasing is a lower-level skill, akin to rote memorization and regurgitation, so why do students often freeze or plagiarize when asked to paraphrase or summarize?  In truth, paraphrasing is a fundamental process of language and concept development that brings out the student’s personal voice. When a student converts a concept or idea into words that they use more naturally, they are taking ownership of that knowledge, but this is not a natural or easy process for everyone.

4. Nurturing Student Engagement: Interactive Digital Learning - Part 2 Praxis

Engaging students in this new pandemic world has never been more important nor more difficult. The topics will be covered in two workshops, one focused on pedagogy and one on praxis. With each focusing  on building a safe nurturing, equity focused digital community that engages our students in deep meaningful learning, while balancing empathy and rigor.

5. Debating the Narrative: Using Collaboration and Discussion to Re-write History

Who makes history? Well, us, of course! The goal for this workshop is to investigate the perspectives that are often left out of the historical narrative, and to evaluate how the narrative changes when these perspectives are reintroduced. We will work together to create a collaborative timeline, all the while moving between small and full group conversations to support our thinking and writing.

6. Creativity As A Door to The Self--As a Place to Form and Transform Knowledge

This workshop highlights the ways that art can support comprehension of complex texts, enrich student expression, and develop students’ sense of self. Participants will explore identity through the lens of double- and mestiza-consciousness, and consider the ways that art can be employed to build student confidence and strengthen classroom community. 

Intended Audience: High School Teachers

Zoila Lara-Cea teaches English and Ethnic Studies at the Stern School in San Francisco.  

8. Write NOW?! WRITE now!

We find ourselves challenged in a school year when we have insufficient time to prepare lessons, when we are forced to pivot our delivery systems, remain responsive to the requests of students, parents and administrators. It surely appears that writing, as teachers, change-makers, visionaries and story-tellers, is very low on the priority list. But now more than ever is a time to write: to your students, for your students, for your colleagues and for yourself!

7. Thriving in the Thick of It: Hip hop as Foundational Practice for Fostering Learning During Times of Crisis

This workshop offers educators a space to shape their instruction using the hip hop elements. Given the unprecedented shift educators have experienced this year, it’s important to shift instruction as well. The hip hop elements will be shared as an anchoring toolbox to help educators: foster critical conversations in the classroom, prioritize rigor; and honor creativity. Participants are invited to bring in an existing lesson, essay prompt or assignment to practice shaping their instruction in real-time.