revision

Oakland Writing Project’s Literacy Webinar Series: Reading and Writing in Digital Spaces with a Focus on Revision

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Summary: In partnership with the Oakland School District, the Oakland MI WP developed and hosted an online webinar series focused on revision. Links to all of the webinars, resources, and related readings for the 2015-16 series (Revision: the Heart of Writing) and 2014-15 (Reading and Writing in Digital Spaces) are available here. The strong line-up of presentations gives a deep look into both revision and digital literacy. Individual webinars could be great additions to professional development sessions that have a revision or digital literacy component. Additional workshops and webinars are also posted on this site.
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The Five-Paragraph Theme Redux

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Author: Elizabeth Rorschach

Summary: What are the constraints of teaching the five-paragraph essay? Rorschach argues that its preset format can lull students into nonthinking conformity and questions whether struggling writers need such a format to be successful. Dive into this provocative piece, complete with student writing excerpts.
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Beyond the Five-Paragraph Theme

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Author: Glenda Moss

Summary: After teaching the five-paragraph essay early in her career, Glenda Moss now describes how it locks students into thinking it is the only way to write. By sharing her journey as she moves into teaching college writers, she shares the limitations of the five-paragraph essay, how it inhibited critical thought, and how it restricted access to multiple genres. Because this form of writing is still prevalent, this article could be a helpful segue to help teachers or teacher groups discuss how to approach writing instruction.
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30 Ideas for Teaching Writing

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Summary: This resource offers successful strategies contributed by experienced Writing Project teachers. Readers will benefit from this variety of eclectic, classroom-tested techniques. These ideas originated as full-length articles in NWP publications (a link to the full article accompanies each idea below). This resource can be offered to summer institute or school-partnership participants as they collect ideas to enhance their writing instruction or as possible teacher study group topics.
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A Cure for Writer’s Block: Writing for Real Audiences

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Author: Ann Rodier

Summary: This teacher describes how she connects as a writer to a student whose drafts begin to find a real audience. By guiding student writers toward an authentic purpose for their writing, young authors can see themselves as professional writers. Use this narrative as a hook to bring teachers together to discuss ways authentic audiences can propel students toward meaningful writing.
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Subversive Acts of Revision: Writing and Justice

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Author: Heather Bruce

Summary: Bruce explains how revision can be taught as a tool to critique unjust texts. She writes, “We must …speak back to those who would take our power from us and continue a legacy of damage to our students.” Reading this piece could spark powerful conversations about teaching for social justice while supporting students as critically active readers who write as a way to resist and/or advocate.
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Teacher Transformation in the National Writing Project

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Author: Anne Elrod Whitney

Summary: Why do teachers so often attribute their personal and professional “transformation” to their writing project experiences? Researcher Anne Whitney considers how participants’ writing time and writing group experience impacts their identity as writers, learners, and instructional leaders. Reading this study could spur an interesting discussion about what writing experiences are transformational and essential when planning learning for new teacher participants.
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Peer Review Times Two

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Author: Denise Marchionda

Summary: If you are developing or facilitating a professional development program that includes peer editing as a topic/theme/strand you will want to check out Denise Marchionda’s two-peer editing strategy. Marchionda shares the checklist and specific step-by-step directions that she has students follow in her class when editing/reviewing one another’s writing. Specific examples of how the strategy led to improved student writing are shared. The article could be used as a stand alone discussion piece in a short PD session, but it would be even better if it were read, discussed and followed up with teachers engaging in the process with their own pieces of writing, building on the NWP core belief that teachers of writing should also be writers themselves.
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Resources for Supporting an Online Writing Community

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Summary: For a team interested in developing and supporting an online writing community, this introduction to the NWP’s former E-Anthology describes the role of responding to writing in developing community, gives helpful hints about responding online, offers a response protocol, and provides an example of a productive exchange between responders, commenters, and the writer. In addition, the information would work equally well to support face-to-face writing response groups.
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Bless, Press, Address: A Formative Response Protocol for Writing Groups

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Summary: A useful resource for a writing group, Bless, Press, Address is a classic NWP formative response protocol designed to guide feedback to a writer on a draft piece of writing. Rather than offering a summative assessment on the quality of the writing, the protocol invites group members to share how the writing was received, felt, and understood. The protocol clearly lays out the purpose of the response, the roles each person plays, and the steps to follow for a productive feedback session.

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