Common Core is Not a Bore: Turn Rigor to Vigor
"One constant in this world
gone mad for assessing, sorting and labeling
children is that Barry Lane will cut through
all of that and stay true to the educators
who light the fire and deliver the passion
within children to be all they can be .” ~Nancy Thornblad, Curriculum Supervisor
How to Excel at the New Test
.... without Losing Your Voice
adoption of the Common Core Standards many states are
testing proficiency in expository writing.
How do we help students to succeed at these tests without
losing our focus on how to teach writing in an authentic
This workshop will give you all the tools you need to help
students succeed at the test while becoming better writers
in the process.
learn how to:
Create kid tested,
classroom proven strategies which raise test scores
Understand simple craft
techniques to improve expository writing
Learn to mine themes and
insight from literature and life
Teach Essay structure
without mindless formulas which flatten out writing
Bridge effortlessly from
narrative structures to expository writing
Design a question
culture which brings writing to life
Bring Barry Lane to Work with
Barry does a wide variety of
workshops for students of all
grade levels. Here are some
Painless Test Prep: How
to help students excel at
expository and narrative
writing tests and learn to
love writing in the process
How to Love Revision:
Techniques in the Craft of
Writing and Laughing Across
"WOW! Our school is still
buzzing about your visit. YOU
were the best we have ever had.
You truly are amazing...and
deserved all the outpouring of
love we showed. We appreciated
everything, from your
engagement, easy style ...and
flexibility during the day.
"Reed" has never met anybody
like you...a superstar in our
eyes.." ~ Michelle Vaccarro ,Reed
Writing Away the Bullies: Using Writing as
a Tool for Social Awareness For Grades K-6
"Educating the mind
without educating the heart is no education at all."
Bullying is a national
problem and only recently has it begun to be addressed in our
public schools. Though anti-bullying programs can be effective,
they often ignore the types of acceptable bullying that occur in
society at lodge. This program explores the source of bullying
and gives students tools to understand it and control it in
their own lives. Using positive concepts and songs like Know
Your Higher Self and Now
is the New Day, Barry Lane shows students how to
navigate bullying situations and integrate that knowledge into a
deeper sense of who they are in society. Students learn these
ideas through writing poetry, essays and songs. Because this
program is both Language Arts and Mental Health in nature, it
qualifies for funding in both areas.
"My students adore
Barry's songs and interpreted them in deeper ways
than I ever imagined! Being our "higher self"
is part of who we are as class community."
~Colleen Mestagh, teacher, Rochester, Michigan
Barry's Teacher Workshops and Keynote
Putting Voice and Passion in Non-Fiction Writing
There are no boring subjects, only boring writers. ~ Barry Lane
Teaching non-fiction writing with voice is a challenge. Assigned research reports often turn out sounding as though they were written by the famous author from his/her CD Rom, and the students' own voices are disguised beneath layers of objective information they have dutifully unearthed. Likewise, assigned position papers consist of arguments that sound more like grocery lists than impassioned, logical inquiries. Many books and seminars on non-fiction writing teach rigid formulas for success at such assignments but few address the real problem: how to help our students find their own unique voices when writing about subjects outside of themselves. This session, based on Barry's book (with Gretchen Bernabei),
Why We Must Run With Scissors, will show you techniques for helping students grades 3-12 discover their own voices and craft them into eloquent, smart, funny, sad, audacious, papers that reach the hearts and minds of their readers.
Revision: How to Teach it, Learn it, Love it!
"They love to write, but how do I get them to love revision?"
Revision is an ongoing, creative process, not simply the act of correcting a rough draft. Yet, many students groan or go limp at the prospect for revising their work. This idea-packed session, based on Barry Lane's 2 books,
After THE END and Revisers Toolbox, will send you back to the classroom with scores of practical techniques and exercises to show students how to love revision as much as professional writers do. Teachers of all grade levels will leave inspired by Barry Lane's stories and songs and practical tips.
Writing and Laughing Across the Curriculum
Humor is truth, only quicker. ~ Gilda Radner
What is humor and how can teachers of all subjects and all grade levels use it to engage students and improve performance in reading and writing. In this session, Barry Lane, author of
51 Wacky We-search Reports, will reveal at least 3 basic truths about humor and many practical tips of how to use it in the classroom. So stop laughing and pay attention.
Art of Wacky We-search: Face the Facts with Fun
says research reports have to be dry and boring?
Trade in the dump truck essay for something far more meaningful
and fun and meet the State Standards in the process. Based
on Barry's best-selling non-fiction children's book , 51 Wacky We-search Reports, this session will give
you scores of ideas for transforming research writing
assignments in your class.
Tips for Succeeding at, and not Succumbing to Writing Tests
Writing tests are a painful reality in today's schools.
How do we teach students to succeed at these inauthentic
assignments and learn something about the craft of writing at
the same time? How do we avoid the textbook formulas that
kill students voices and have fun with writing tests? Based on ideas from his new
DVD/VHS program Hooked on Meaning, Barry Lane will show you his best tricks for
helping all students succeed with prompted tests.
Stories from Characters
best stories grow from a character's troubles and dreams, not
the plot. This session teaches a well tested series of
activities that lead young writers to explore character before
they have written one word on the page.
Discovering the Writer and the Writing Teacher Within:
a Four Day Retreat for Teachers
This four day, intensive writing course is aimed at creating teachers who teach writing from a writer's perspective. Based on Barry Lane's books, Discovering the Writer Within, Reviser’s Toolbox, The Healing Pen and But How Do You Teach Writing? The goal of this training is to help teachers become confident writers who can share the craft with their students.
The first three days of the seminar will take teachers through the entire writing process and will reveal the basics of setting up a writing workshop for any grade level. The fourth day shows teachers how to apply what they have learned, as writers, to their particular classrooms.
Along with being an inspiring introduction to a choice-based writing program, this workshop is also a great community builder. By the end of four days of writing, sharing and discussing, teachers have created a professional learning community that can be taken back into the school or district. This program can also be extended or shortened
depending on the need.
Barry Lane’s Literacy Cabaret:
An Inspiring, Satirical, Show of Singing,
Clean, Comic Fun that Celebrates
Lane is the Jimmy Buffet of Educators!
His lyrics, music, and ad libs represent our classroom lives.”
~Colleen Kazor, 2nd grade teacher, Michigan
These are difficult times for
teachers. There are serious issues in
educational accountability and instruction
raised by the new Common Core Standards.
There are one-size-fits-all bubble tests
that rank teachers. There are
politico-pundits who blame teachers for all
the problems of public education. Time to
forget about all that, let your hair down,
and concentrate on what's real. Time to
DANCE, LAUGH, SING.
After years of doing
stand-up and parody karaoke singing as part
of his academic presentations, Barry Lane
has put together a genuine interactive,
improvisational, night club act for
teachers. You will sing, you will dance and
you will learn to laugh at yourself and the
crazy world around you. You
may also begin to realize once again, that
you have the most important job in the
(note: all songs are posted
for free at barrylane55 on Soundcloud.com so you can bring the
show back to your school)
was an exhilarating night of fun and fancy celebrating teachers
and kids. Fasten your lanyard and prepare yourself for an
interactive show that will leave you energized!"
Lane's Literacy Cabaret is just what "teacher souls"
need. Barry provided us with laughter, food for thought,
zaniness, and a great opportunity to be just plain silly. When
you see every person in the audience on their feet and joining
in, it's a sure sign that something is working!”
~Sue Biggam, Associate Director, VT Reads
Institute, University of Vermont
Lane - Entertainer! Performer! Lead singer! Dancer! - realistically
portrays America’s classrooms using humor and music. (He)
involves the audience in a rowdy, enjoyable evening of clean,
night club entertainment. Hear Barry like you have never heard
Barry before!!! Sing, dance, and LAUGH! A fantastic evening!” ~Lucinda Mitchell, 6th grade teacher, North Branch