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Teacher Talk: "But what I meant to say was..." : Commentary for Analysis and Commentary for Argument (AP English Language and Composition)

December 1, 2020 @ 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm CST


Students are smart. Students make great observations. Students say things that cause us to see ideas or texts differently.  Too often, they try to put these things in writing and miss the mark. Too often, we know what they are trying to say, and we want to give them the benefit of the doubt, but we can't.  Giving them credit for something they haven't done doesn't make them better and it makes our job harder.  This session will explore what it takes to have effective commentary and to teach effective commentary so students can get the credit they deserve for their great ideas.

Facilitator: Dr. Brandon Abdon

Dr. Brandon Abdon is a former English teacher who has been doing instructional design, school coaching, and professional development around the intersection of composition, literacy, literature, pedagogy, and technology for over a decade. Currently, he serves as a curriculum and assessment implementation coach in the Cincinnati Public Schools working with Savvas K-12 Learning Services. A fellow of the National Writing Project, Brandon believes in the power of writing daily in the classroom.  He also knows that all students have a path to literacy when engaged and challenged suitably.  He likes to read and play sports but does both of them slowly and only one of them well. He has been married to his brilliant wife, Angela, since 2008 and has two sons, Hilton and Dorian.

He has consulted for or served in some capacity with a number of organizations, including the National Council of Teachers of English, the National Writing Project, the Bluegrass Writing Project, the Kentucky Council of Teachers of English, the National Math-Science Initiative, and others.  In addition to consulting and professional development, he has been on staff with the College Board’s Advanced Placement Program and Savvas K-12 Learning Services (Formerly Pearson K-12 Learning Services).  While at the College Board, he led the development of the current course and exam descriptions for both Advanced Placement English courses, including creation of course skills, revision of exam guidelines, and the development of analytical scoring.

Along with experience in an array of organizations, he holds advanced degrees in both English and Education - including a Doctorate in English Pedagogy - and certification as both a teacher and an administrator.  During his full-time work in high school classrooms, he was recognized with the National Council of Teachers of English “High School Teacher of Excellence” award in 2010.  He has also worked at the University of Kentucky and Georgia State University teaching courses including English Composition 1, Introduction to Literature, Literature for Teachers, Composition for Teachers, and others.

Recently, his research and reading have revolved around inclusion of marginalized voices in English classrooms and the power of including a variety of experiences in texts.  Having just published his first book - Advanced Placement English Language and Composition (Perfection Learning, 2020) - he is hard at work on the companion for the literature course, due out in the Summer of 2021.


December 1, 2020
5:30 pm - 6:30 pm CST
Event Category:




Applied Practice
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