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Moving Students And Others: Pitching a Fresh Take On The Rhetorical Triangle

  -Summary:  In this workshop I consider how contemporary, research based selling techniques can be utilized in the English/Language Arts classroom.  The correlation of Dan Pink's To Sell Is Human with the standard rhetorical ideas of audience, purpose, and reason provide new support for and ways to explore these ideas with a class.

Workshop Overview (1-3 minutes)

Introductions (3-5 minutes)
Review/Introduction of Rhetorical Triangle (10 minutes)
-So all participants are on the same page the session will start with a summary of the rhetorical triangle. This section will include a brief discussion of the audiences we work with and the modes available for us to communicate with those audiences.

Introduce concept of “Moving” (10 minutes)
-Pink’s explanation of moving and non-sales selling has a lot of relevance for us in the classroom and in our professional communications. How today’s context affects what we do in the classroom will also be explored.

Alignment of Pink With Rhetorical Triangle (15 minutes)
-The Rhetorical Triangle will be revisited and connected with the major sections of Pink’s book.  During this time we will practice writing contemporary pitches that we can use in our professional communication and have our students use as they write.

Buoyancy and Clarity Activities (10 minutes)
-The term buoyancy relates to the credibility of the author.  Having the ability to keep ourselves afloat is also important to establishing our credibility as a teacher.  Clarity is about us asking logical questions and identifying the correct problems. As time allows, we will continue to explore the rhetorical triangle by experimenting with activities inspired by Pink’s work.

Wrap-Up and Evaluation (3-5 minutes)

     Practice your 6 pitches - from Dan Pink
     Standard Rhetorical Purposes & Common Literary Themes
     Audiences & Modes-Of-Communication spreadsheet
     Dan Pink's Pecha Kucha on "Emotionally intelligent signage"
     "Why 'To Sell Is Human'"
     "6 Elevator Pitches for the 21at Century"
     "Good Life Project:  Dan Pink - To Sell Is Human (for real!?!)"
     Genre List (note:  this started with a handout from the orientation day)

Related Information
      "Windup and Pitch: A Change Up for Book Talks"

     "Student Facebook Use Might Affect Future Success"

     "A Classroom Website or Blog is A Must for Every Teacher"

     "How One School Uses Social Media To Empower Parents And Students"

      "Open Your Classroom Door to 'Be Better'"

     "Secrets from the Science of Persuasion"

     "Opinion:  N.J. Classrooms are 'Losing Battle for the Attention...'"

     "Opinion:  Why America Demonizes Its Teachers"

     "Why Would Anyone Want To Be a School Leader?"

     "The 6 Essential Lessons of a Satisfying, Productive Career"

     "Dan Pink:  The Puzzle of Motivation"

     "5 Habits of Mind:  Deborah Meier"

Annotated Works Cited

     Christensen, Linda. Teaching for Joy and Justice.
          Milwaukee: Rethinking Schools, 2009. Print.
-This book was a gift from a colleague at the end of the year.  She thought it fit well with my workshop topic.  She was right.  Unfortunately I have only ad time to read the introduction at this point; it does, however, seem to fit well with my interests.

     Palmer, Amanda. "The Art of Asking." TED: Ideas Worth Spreading.
          March 2013. Web. 29 June 2013.

     Palmer, Amanda. "Connecting The Dots." AmandaPalmer.net. 29 May 2013.
          Web. 29 June 2013.
-Whether you like her music or not you have to respect Palmer's use of the internet to promote her work and tap into a new way to sell her music.

     Pink, Daniel H. To Sell is Human:  The Surprising Truth
          About Moving Others
. New York: Riverhead Books.
          2012. Print.
-The way that Pink connects social science findings, exemplar story telling, and practical application activities unexpectedly inspired a change in the direction  of my pursuits for this workshop.  The information in this book connected with the critical thinking framework of the rhetorical triangle that I had started using in my teaching last year.

Official GMWP Website:  http://gmwp.wisc.edu/

About the Greater Madison Writing Project 

In January 2013 I received an email through the Department of Public Instruction email list ("Informational forum for English teachers" - there are other email lists you might want to subscribe to listed there) announcing that applications were being accepted for the Greater Madison Writing Project (GMWP).  I had some vague idea about the program and had considered applying for either the Madison or Milwaukee Writing Project for a few years.  This time, I actually followed through.

Here is what intrigued me in that initial email:

     "IMAGINE  . . .
  • a nationally-acclaimed professional learning community that puts the knowledge, experience, and voices of teachers at the center;
  • the power of your own writing and scholarly inquiry;
  • the skills and confidence to take your writing instruction into the digital age;
  • the support, resources, and opportunities you need to have the career of your dreams."
I submitted my application in February, interviewed in March, and found out I was accepted in April.  There was an orientation day early in May during which we learned about the work we would have to do:

     Every participant will read:
          Teachers At The Center by James Gray
          Pathways To The Common Core by Lucy Calkins, et al.

     Each participant will also read one book that focuses on us as writers and 
     one book that focuses on the teaching of writing during the SI.

          I am reading:
               If You Want To Write by Brenda Ueland
               Beyond The Five-Paragraph Essay by Kimberly Campbell & Kristi Latimer

     Each day will start with common writing time and each day will end with time to share our writing.

     Each participant will complete five multigenre pieces (more on this in the presentation) 
     that fit the title Ways of Looking at Me; three need to be completed prior to the SI starting.

     Each participant will design and present a 90 minute workshop that is based on inquiry into 
     an "authentic question" about instruction and student's writing practices and plans for 
     addressing/exploring this question.  (4-6 minutes about the development of the question, 
     5-10 minutes about the research, 5-10 minutes about future applications/work, 
     45-55 minutes of writing activities for your colleagues to take part in that represent what 
     you might do with students, and 15 minutes of Q&A about the content)

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