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Planning an Identity Study to Center Collaboration and Joy / A Virtual Half-Day Workshop

Presented by Penny Kittle and Kristin Ziemke

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Date and Time

One, half-day workshop from 11:30am to 2:30pm Eastern Time (ET).

  • Thursday, July 22, 2021

Please note that this virtual half-day workshop is scheduled for Eastern Time (ET). If you are in a different time zone, please plan your schedule accordingly.


Every child has a story to tell. Their stories include things that they have experienced during the pandemic, including the challenges they have faced in remote, hybrid, and in-person learning. How do we leverage literacy to honor students' lived experiences through an asset—not deficit—lens? How might we discover who they are as learners in this moment of time?

In this workshop, we will help you learn about your students through story, while helping students explore their identity and gain an understanding of self in this new learning landscape.

We'll showcase practical ways to kid-watch and observe students. We'll model how we use the information we gain about each child to effectively personalize learning with print and digital resources, small-group instruction, and creative modalities that engage and motivate learners! Blending traditional and digital opportunities using notebooks, identity webs, digital publication, poetry, art, text sets, multimedia, and more, this workshop will guide you to plan a month-long unit to launch the school year. This session will engage and inspire the full range of K-12 educators and will provide literacy opportunities that invite students to author their own story—no matter where they are in their learning journey.

Learning Objectives

  • Design and develop a four-week unit of study that you can use right away to launch the school year in elementary, middle, or high school.
  • Gain knowledge of students that will inform instruction throughout the school year.
  • Help students develop and refine their understanding of self and how that applies to learning.
  • Leverage choice and creative responses using traditional and digital tools.
  • Learn how to analyze student work to better understand learning.

About the Presenter

Penny Kittle teaches freshman writers at Plymouth State University in New Hampshire. She was a teacher and literacy coach in public schools for thirty-four years where she cowrote (with Kelly Gallagher) 180 Days. She is the author of Book Love and Write Beside Them, and she coedited a collection of Donald Graves' work, Children Want to Write, with Tom Newkirk. She is the president of the Book Love Foundation.

Kristin Ziemke is a teacher, staff developer, and coauthor of Read the World: Rethinking Literacy for Empathy and Action in a Digital Age; Amplify: Digital Teaching and Learning in the K-6 Classroom; and Connecting Comprehension and Technology. Kristin specializes in digital learning and is an advocate for the balance of print and digital tools to fuel student thinking. She is a resident teacher for the Big Shoulders Fund in Chicago.

Who Should Participate

Classroom teachers of grades K-12, literacy coaches, reading and language arts specialists, technology educators, library media specialists, curriculum coordinators, diversity, inclusion and equity specialists, and administrators.

Special 2021 Tuition Fee

The cost of this virtual half-day workshop is $60.00 per person. Tuition also includes access to the recorded workshop for 60 days.


Registrants will receive multiple emails from Heinemann, including enrollment confirmation, which also serves as your tuition receipt and contains some basic instructions. If you have not received your confirmation email within 48 hours of your registration, please contact us at or 800-541-2086, ext. 1151. Approximately two days prior to the event date you will receive an email with the PD event's Zoom link and log-in instructions.

We highly recommend you test your computer readiness by clicking on this link.

If your computer needs any software upgrades, Zoom will walk you through the updates.

Note: We encourage group participation; however, we require that each person be registered and provide a unique email address.

Registration Form

Our Registration Form is now standardized to be used for any Heinemann PD Services open-enrollment event. Download our new PD Event Registration Form here.

Upcoming Dates & Locations

07/22/2021 - Eastern Time, ET

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Availability: Available When: 07/22/2021 Where:
Virtual Workshop

Eastern Time, ET

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