Program Design

Coaching Guide and Protocol

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Summary: This coaching guide and protocol from the Southern Colorado WP may be helpful if you are looking for ways to support teachers in presenting their work to colleagues. While the protocol lays out a schedule and rationale for meetings between presenting teachers and their mentors, the guide provides a framework for establishing roles/relationships/responsibilities and provides a set of questions that can be used to guide the thinking partners through the stages of identifying a question, researching the question(s), and creating a demonstration/inquiry workshop.
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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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Creating a Pedagogy of Facilitation: Ideas From the Philadelphia Writing Project

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Authors: Christina Puntel and Carol Rose

Summary: Created by Philadelphia Writing Project teacher-consultants, this guide and related resources invite emergent leaders to consider how they might plan, lead, and facilitate specific professional development series. Included are facilitation scenarios (e.g., planning a PD series on Writing Workshop and Conferencing or Writing Across the Curriculum) and protocols designed to provoke discussion. There could be additional questions to consider, for example, what kinds of “writing experiences” would you design into the series? What sorts of “readings” would have participants engage with?
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CRWP: Extended Research Arguments

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Summary: This resource from NWP’s College-Ready Writers Program (CRWP) includes actual assignments, student work, and interviews with teachers about one student’s process. The “Extended Research Argument” video is a good introduction to the resource, inviting you to explore the ideas behind extended argument and demonstrating how to use the “Inside the Life of Piece of Writing” website in both high school and middle school. For teacher study groups or professional development experiences centered on extended research argument, this resource provides authentic examples of teacher process and student writing.
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Connected Learning: An Agenda for Research and Design

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Summary: “Connected learning is realized when a young person is able to pursue a personal interest or passion with the support of friends and caring adults, and is in turn able to link this learning and interest to academic achievement, career success or civic engagement.” This report—which emerged from the MacArthur Foundation’s Digital Media and Learning Initiative, of which the National Writing Project is a key member—describes a set of design and learning principles meant to support a new approach to learning and presents the latest findings in the design and implementation of Connected Learning principles in education.
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Sharing Student Work With the Community: Wall of Literacy Learning Exemplifies Student Writing

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Author: Lynne Alvine

Summary: “How could we show the public all that is good in our schools? How could we open a window on classroom life to those who do not spend their lives in classrooms?” To illustrate the work of teachers and their students in rural classrooms, a team of teacher researchers “opened a window on classroom life” by creating a “wall of literacy” to illustrate their own and their K-12 students’ writing development. Hallway spaces were turned into a “museum” of writing that was opened to the community. This article describes the both the design and the outcome of the event.
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Meeting the Needs of Racially and Linguistically Diverse Students through Courageous Conversations

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Author: South Coast Writing Project

Summary: Although conversations about race and diversity are not easy, they can allow teacher leaders to examine and interrogate their beliefs and practices to determine the direction of their teaching and of their writing project sites. This article describes how the South Coast WP spent two years engaged in “courageous conversations” around issues of diversity as a way to better meet the needs of the linguistically diverse student population in the area. Also included are useful details on how the program started with an open institute and links to several of the key resources used throughout the project’s implementation. The article and its related resources might inspire study groups and leadership teams to engage in their own critical reading and courageous conversations.
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From Annual Conference to Saturday Seminars: New Forums to Present Teachers’ Work

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Author: Katie McKay

Summary: Leaders at the NWP site at Rutgers University describe how they reframed their annual conference, in which new teacher-leaders first present their work, as a more informal series of Saturday workshops. The workshop series preserved the opportunity for new teacher leaders to conduct their first professional development session while eliminating the costs of a formal conference (keynote, food, etc.). In addition, the site also shares its unique model for assuring a predictable number of attendees. Includes a sample workshop schedule.
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One-Day Workshops for Outreach and Revenue

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Author: Catherine Quick

Summary: Many writing project sites raise funds by offering a series of one-day open workshops over the course of a school year. This list of workshops offered by one site in 2013 may inspire teacher-leaders at other sites to think about how they could develop similar one-day programs in their own service area. (Note: the ongoing, updated schedule is available here)
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Planning for Young Writers Camps

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Author: June Joyner

Summary: Many writing project sites count on young authors’ camps to reach out to the community and bring in revenue. This resource is a planning tool that illustrates how one writing project site thought through the decisions involved in launching a summer youth camp. Those looking to expand, revise, or begin summer youth writing programs may find this resource useful, as it 1) lists expectations for teachers leading camps, 2) provides budget “givens” and guidelines, and 3) outlines the many decisions camp leadership teams make in preparing for an engaging summer experience that also contributes to site income.
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A Year in the Life of a Director

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Summary: This graphic/timeline of “A Year in the Life of a Director” encapsulates the management responsibilities and initiatives necessary to keep things running at a local site as it is connected to the NWP office and federal funding. This tool is helpful in assisting site leaders and program coordinators with funding deadlines, reporting deadlines, and organizational leadership meetings.
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Short and Meaningful Programming: Expanding the Work and Reach of the Site

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Author: Meg Petersen and Valerie Combie

Summary: You’re a teacher, not a small business owner? Yes, that is true, but running a Writing Project site and/or developing writing project programming requires an entreprenureial spirit and approach. With that in mind, this collection offers a glimpse into several ways sites have developed shorter, yet meaningful, programming that expands the work and reach of the site while also generating revenue.
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Tapping the Potential: Building Teacher Leadership While Rethinking Your Site

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Author: Ellen Brinkley and Anne-Marie Hall

Summary: Considering a directors’ or leadership retreat? This article frames the experience of two site directors who used an NWP directors’ retreat as an opportunity to explore ways to invite new teacher leadership for the site. As they addressed site leader strengths, roles, and burnout, they used several writing and thinking exercises to focus on specific talents and interests in site leadership, then looked at teacher leaders who could be invited in and whose work could build capacity for the future.
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Beyond Strategies: Teacher Practice, Writing Process, and the Influence of Inquiry

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Author: Anne Whitney, Sheridan Blau, Alison Bright, Rosemary Cabe, Tim Dewar, Jason Levin, Roseanne Macias, and Paul Rogers

Summary: A key reading, this award winning research study may serve equally well as the focus for a group studying writing process pedagogy and as for teacher leaders developing and leading a professional development program. Based on two contrasting case studies, the overall study provided evidence for the importance of inquiry in transforming teaching practice and student performance. While each teacher discussed how she interpreted and implemented a process-centered theory of writing, the comparative data suggest that inquiry-based inservice may lead to more nuanced thinking about teaching writing and increase a teacher’s sense of responsibility for improving curricula and interrogating her own practice. The study also includes detailed descriptions of the inquiry-based professional development in which one of the teachers participated.
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Working Toward Equity

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Authors: Linda Friedrich, Carol Tateishi, Tom Malarkey, Elizabeth Radin Simons, and Marty Williams

Summary: What is equity? What does it mean to work for equity in schools? What does it mean to make equity central to our work as teachers and researchers? With a focus on inquiry, Working Toward Equity explores these and other questions in 13 narratives from a broad spectrum of educators chronicling their real work in classrooms, schools, districts, and professional development organizations. Of use both in planning and leading teacher research, it offers a rich variety of tools and protocols to support individual and group inquiry.
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Scaffolding Program Planning Through a Proposal Form

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Summary: HVWP invites teacher leaders to propose workshops and other programs through a simple form that helps them draft their preliminary thoughts about a workshop that they would like to design and implement. The form scaffolds predictable planning work, asking new leaders to consider, for example, “What is the need? Who is the audience? What is the time frame? What are the resources that might inform the work?” This protocol can assist individual teachers or a collaborative group to plan their work in preparation for or during a professional development institute, and can provide institute coordinators with information to help guide teacher leaders in developing those workshops.
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Writing In the Community: The New Orleans Writing Marathon as Model

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Authors: Richard Louth

Summary: This article explores the history and foundations of the New Orleans-style writing marathon. Richard Louth describes what it’s like to lead a writing marathon; he provides tips, insights, writing prompts, and writing samples that illustrate how a community can be guided to write together over time and space. This piece is a good introduction for teacher leaders who are thinking about ways to support teachers as writers, often a transformative dimension of a Writing Project experience.
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Directors Retreat Strategic Planning Tools

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Author: Susan Biggs and Nick Coles

Summary: Leadership retreats can offer occasions for sites to review current programming and to plan for future work. This short article describes how several planning and review documents – Strategic Action Planning Template, Timeline, and Collaborative Review – used at NWP Directors Retreats have also been useful to local site leadership teams. The strategic planning docs can be used to develop a collective vision to guide the development and evaluation of site programs. The final review doc, a charrette protocol, can be used not only to review programming, but also as protocol for looking at writing or discussing interpretations of student work.
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Exploring “Systems Thinking” with Grinding New Lenses (NWP Radio)

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Summary: Eight teachers from three National Writing Project sites spent a month in Chicago exploring the power of systems thinking to support students in the way they learn, make, and write. Of particular interest to teachers planning and leading young writers programs that focus on digital literacy, this project, called “Grinding New Lenses,” engaged teachers in their own learning and thinking about systems, followed by an opportunity to lead a summer camp with youth from the surrounding area.
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A Voice That Is Heard: Living the Writing Project Philosophy as Coaches

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Author: Sidnie Myrick

Summary: Anyone developing a coaching or mentoring program or stepping into a role as a classroom coach/consultant/mentor will find this article by teacher consultant Sidnie Myrick a useful resource. The author relates her own experience transitioning from a workshop facilitator to the role of coach/mentor to explore the key to successful classroom coaching: being a partner and co-learner, not the expert. Specific examples of how the relationship between coach and coachees were developed and nurtured over the course of a year highlight both the challenges and successes with walking alongside a colleague as a learning partner, rather than as the expert. Myrick wisely cautions that had she not shifted to the stance of learning partner she would have maintained a role as “an expert so removed from her day-to-day experience with her particular students that anything I offered would seem like handing her the decorator’s plans when her house wasn’t even built yet.”
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Imagining the Possibilities: Improving the Teaching of Writing Through Teacher-Led Inquiry

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Author: Jessica Early

Summary: Teachers in Phoenix, AZ improved their practice by participating in a teacher-led inquiry group of Writing Project fellows, collaborating on a curriculum framework for college- and career-ready writing.

This article presents a model of how one group of teachers used inquiry to improve their understanding of student writing and revise their school’s curriculum accordingly. Specifically, they conducted action research on implementing Common Core standards in an Arizona urban charter school. Written by and for teachers, curriculum directors and administrators, it offers a case for encouraging teacher-led inquiry groups as a way to empower teachers and improve writing instruction for students.
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What Does Teacher Leadership Look Like at Writing Project Sites? (NWP Radio)

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Summary: This hour-long radio episode features several NWP sites whose TCs discuss their experiences as leaders of site programs, leadership teams, and professional development. This resource may be useful for individuals and groups who are exploring models of teacher leadership and ways to support emerging teacher leaders.
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Teacher Study Group Movement: From Pilot to Districtwide Study Groups in Four Years

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Authors:Mary Weaver, Mary Calliari, Janet Rentsch

Summary: This monograph from leaders of the Saginaw Bay WP (Michigan) takes a deep dive into a districtwide approach to teacher-led study groups that resulted in significant changes in teacher practice and student learning as well as leadership development among teacher facilitators. The appendices include study group schedules, facilitation guides, evaluation tools, etc. Those developing and facilitating study groups will find these of great use.
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Educating Funders and Partners About the Work of Your Site

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Author: Sue McIntyre

Summary: Looking to increase your site’s visibility and raise new funding? This resource from the Western Massachusetts WP is a great model of how important site information can be compiled into a “Who We Are” document. Geared toward outsiders such as donors or university partners, this document enables the site to communicate more effectively about its programs and their impact. Sites looking to promote themselves to similar audiences should take a look.
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Southern Colorado Writing Project Coaching Protocol

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Summary: Teacher leaders designing professional development programs will find this nine step coaching protocol useful. The resource outlines a cycle for working with teachers and describes how to coach participants through the stages of brainstorming, developing, presenting, reflecting on and revising a presentation/demonstration lesson/inquiry workshop. In addition, it offers “how-to” guidance, a timeframe, and overall goals with each coaching cycle.
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A Park in Your Backyard: Summer Youth Programs & More at the National Park (NWP Radio)

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Guests: Renee Albertoli, Bethany Silva, Lois Mcgee, Diane Rawson, Eric Fiore, Susanne Norris, Mary Buckelew, Rhonda Schier, Lisa Italiano, and Cate Lamb

Summary: This NWP radio show explores the design and impact of summer youth programs developed through a partnership between the National Writing Project and the National Park Service. Featuring teachers from four NWP sites and their National Park ranger colleagues, it describes several rich opportunities for young people to explore their relationship to place through writing in historic sites.
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Business Planning for Program Development

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Summary: This resource outlines a guided inquiry for NWP site leaders interested in designing a new or revitalizing an existing site program. It is designed to capture the process and thinking involved in determining site capacity and priorities and organizing a revenue-generating program at any local site. As a series, these four sessions pull together the organizational aspects of a program–financial, physical, personnel, and relational–with the goal of establishing a program structure that is self-sustaining. Each session consists of steps that include inquiry prompts and tasks designed to lead teams through the thinking and work essential to designing a self-supporting, revenue-generating program. The sessions can be followed sequentially as a whole program, or individual sessions can be explored and revisited as stand-alone resources.
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Launching a Comprehensive Fundraising Plan for Your Writing Project Site

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Author: Meg Petersen

Summary: The new reality for site sustainability is the need for fundraising. This overview of the Hudson Valley Writing Project’s strategy focuses on the need for ongoing discussion, cultivating university relationships, documenting programs, and identifying tools and actions. This document is written in a short, easy-to-use list form, and would be a great starting point for other sites to consider their own fundraising strategies. Site leaders might use it at a leadership retreat to spur discussions not only about funding, but also about marketing and visibility—how to make sure the university and the larger educational community know about the site, its programs, and its impact.
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Evaluating Professional Development Programs: Understanding the Impact of Professional Development

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Author: Sheridan D. Blau, Rosemary H. Cabe, and Anne Whitney

Summary: While there is significant research behind the NWP model, there is also a need for sites to evaluate their local professional development programming. This research study of the South Coast Writing Project’s IIMPaC (Inquiry, Inservice workshops, Models, Practice, and Coaching) program provides an in-depth look at how one site evaluated the program offered as part of a five year partnership with a local district. Teacher consultants and site leaders developing PD that includes any of the core structures of IIMPaC will find the results section useful in planning. The B appendices (p.25-38) on evaluation will be of particular interest to those already offering programming and looking for tools to assist in evaluation.
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Activities from Southern Nevada Writing Project’s School-Based Writing Studios

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Authors: Tom Frasier, Holly Ishman, Rosemary Holmes-Gull, Krista Johnson, Kim Sicurella, and Karyn Steffensen

Summary: This resource includes full descriptions of two protocols that are structured to foster democratic dialogue within groups. Useful in planning for group discussions, particularly those that might become dominated by a few participants, these protocols allow the facilitator to work with the group in a equitable and fair manner that will allow all voices an opportunity to be heard.
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“A More Complicated Human Being”: Inventing Teacher-Writers

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Author: Christine Dawson

Summary: How might teachers pursue and support personally and professionally worthwhile writing practices in the midst of the many demands associated with teaching? How might writing groups sustain their work together – in person or online? This final chapter from The Teacher-Writer: Creating Writing Groups for Personal and Professional Growth, a book that documents the first year of a successful teacher writing group, includes strategies developed and a generative framework grounded in lessons learned by the group as they met face-to-face and worked online. Their story and what they learned together will be of particular interest to teachers who wonder how to build on their commitments to personal writing and sustain a collegial community that forms in the process of writing and sharing.
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Overview of the NWP’s College Ready Writers Program

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Summary: This overview provides key information about the National Writing Project’s College-Ready Writers Program (CRWP) and how it works, along with the results from multiple years/areas of the country. In “About the Program,” teachers can find resources that complement each other in a year-round approach to teaching argument: routine argument writing, mini-units, extended research arguments, on-demand tasks, formative assessment resources, and videos of teachers who have used the resources. The “How it Works” sub-link offers a model for an Advanced Institute for CRWP. The last sub-link provides the results of a 2-year random assignment evaluation which found CRWP had a positive, statistically significant effect on the four attributes of student argument writing—content, structure, stance, and conventions. Points of use include: site leadership team review of CRWP to see how it might be used in their region/locale; and teacher leadership or teacher inquiry related to bringing CRWP into their writing instruction.
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Professional Writing Retreat Handbook

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Authors: Joseph Check, Tom Fox, Kathleen O’Shaughnessy, and Carol Tateishi

Summary: Support teachers to share their work through publication! This comprehensive handbook helps facilitators plan a Professional Writing Retreat from beginning to end. The guide includes detailed suggestions for the design of retreat agendas and activities, as well as a list of additional resources and short articles. It also includes ideas for creating an anthology of participants’ writing with the support of the group.
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Mentoring New Teachers: Dinner Table Discussions

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Author: Kevin Thienes

Summary: This article shares the six core components of a new teacher mentoring program developed at the Boise State WP and how the program helped new(er) teachers navigate the early years of their career and develop a sense of agency. Those coaching/mentoring new teachers, as well as anyone looking to find a safe and effective protocol for discussing classroom successes and struggles, will find a golden nugget with the Gotcha/Gorilla protocol and will be inspired by the discussion of how the protocol allowed the new teachers to see themselves as problem solvers, thinkers, and educators.
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The State of Student Technology: A Webcomic Analysis

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Author: Kevin Hodgson

Summary: An innovative and multi-purpose webcomic provides an example of how to: 1) survey and represent data from students about their use of technology and media (mostly outside of school), and 2) document and reflect on one’s teaching (and use of digital tools) in a useful format for both students and teacher-assessment purposes. Key insights support perceptions regarding the savviness and fearlessness of students while at the same time pointing to the need for teachers and parents to guide them in addressing issues of privacy and responsibility as they compose with media.
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Strengthen Your Work with New Teachers

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Summary: Anyone developing or jumping into an existing program for early career educators will find this brief overview from the New Teacher Initiative useful. Included in the overview is an annotated bibliography of key/foundational readings you will want to consider using with your new teachers. The readings are conveniently organized into 1) the teaching of writing, 2) understanding culture and its implications for teaching and learning, 3) strengthening inquiry as a mode of learning, and 4) rethinking professional development for new teachers through participation in a professional community. In addition, several suggestions and protocols for deepening discussion of the texts are included.
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Creating a Culture of Inquiry Through the Use of Model Lessons

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Author: Suzanne Linebarger

Summary: Suzanne Linebarger, associate director of the Northern California Writing Project, describes how her site conducts an inservice program of model lessons that supports collective teacher inquiry into key concepts in teaching reading and writing. Useful for teacher leaders developing or leading school-based or outside PD, the resource includes a sample schedule for a yearlong professional development program along with tols for evaluating student writing.
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Author to Author: How Text Influences Young Writers

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Author: Dina Sechio DeCristofaro

Summary: What role does reading play in children’s development as writers? After surveying her fifth graders about where they get ideas for writing, the author of this piece examined the relationship between what students read and what they write. She identifies specific aspects of what her students borrowed from mentor texts, such as “subject,” “tone,” “genre,” “style,” as well as ideas stemming from silent, self-selected readings. This resource features student samples connected to specific mentor pieces and would be useful in teacher study groups or during a summer writing institute where teachers are discussing the value of deep, consistent reading to help young authors develop themselves as writers.
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Leadership Transition: Taking Over a Site in Reorganization

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Author: Gatsinzi Basaninyenzi

Summary: What happens when a Writing Project site needs to be rethought and renewed? This article offers the perspective of a site director who was invited to take over and renew an existing site and who attended a NWP New Site Directors Retreat. At the retreat he explored site business development, invitational summer institutes, inservice, and continuity. Inspired by this experience, he worked with teachers at his site to design rotational site leadership teams, teacher study groups for continuity, newsletter development, and a youth writing program. This resource can be helpful to sites in need of new strategies for site development or teacher-leadership development. It shows, firsthand, how new or re-visioned programs can develop under leadership transitions or a shift toward enhanced teacher leadership of a site.
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The Authenticity Spectrum: The Case of a Science Journalism Writing Project

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Author: Angela Kohnen

Summary: Although learning to write like science reporters was initially designed to help students develop scientific literacy, the SciJourn project became much more — a key to high school students’ engagement as learners, researchers, and writers and their teachers’ opportunity to explore “real world” genre-based writing assignments and assessment. This article provides a rich discussion with specific examples for learning to develop assignments and learning experiences that take into account “functional authenticity.” Those designing professional development, grants, summer institutes, or study groups on topics such as disciplinary literacy, genre, or authentic learning/writing will find ample food for thought!
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The Web as a Tool for Continuity

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Authors: Evan Nichols, Carol Tateishi, Sonnet Farrell, Tom McKenna, and Sondra Porter

Summary: How can we keep teachers connected to each other across time and space? This monograph illustrates how the web can be used effectively to facilitate continuity and follow-up opportunities at sites. Showcased are the Bay Area Writing Project’s ezine, Digital Paper, and the Alaska State Writing Consortium’s Virtual Open Institute. This in-depth piece could be helpful for sites whose teachers are geographically distant from each other as they explore shifting to virtual spaces for institutes.
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Interest-based Learning and Passion Projects

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Guests: Laura Bradley, Kim Douillard, Elyse Eidman-Aadahl, Paul Oh, Jo Parasio

Summary: In celebration of October’s Connected Educator Month, this webinar focuses on creating opportunities, space, and time for all youth to be agents in their own learning. The participating educators draw inspiration from the “Maker Movement” and the Connected Learning principles as they share ideas and strategies related to the notion of youth agency. Links to numerous additional resources are provided.
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The Evolution of a Model Writing Teacher and a Model Writing School

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Author: Art Peterson

Summary: How does a Writing Project teacher become a leader? This brief portrait describes how award-winning elementary teacher Julie Johnson evolved into an exemplary teacher of writing and collaborated with colleagues to develop a model writing school. This resource can fulfill multiple needs for site leaders and leaders of advanced institutes or teacher inquiry groups if they are looking for examples of effective early-grade writing classrooms, evidence of content-based writing in elementary grades, or schoolwide efforts to find effective approaches to writing.
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Formative Assessment in Designing and Refining Long-Term Professional Development

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Guests: Toby Kahn-Loftus, Dan Polleys, Catherine Quick, Jennifer Guerra, Maria Garcia, Erin Mohr, and Stephanie Rollag

Summary: For teachers studying the role of formative assessment in the teaching of writing or leading long-term, in-school professional development, this webinar provides a wealth of strategies and resources. National Writing Project teachers from Michigan, Texas, and Minnesota share assessment strategies and program designs and offer insights from their work with teachers in high-need schools into the ways in which critical feedback from student work and teaching practice helps shape and reshape professional development sessions.
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Assessment in a Culture of Inquiry: The Story of the National Writing Project’s Analytic Writing Continuum

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Author: Sherry Swain and Paul LeMahieu

Summary: This article details the journey of teachers and researchers who worked together to create the NWP’s Analytic Writing Continuum (AWC), an approach to writing assessment that is locally contextualized yet linked to a common national framework and standards of performance. In addition to demonstrating the AWC’s great potential for classroom use, the authors describe the multiple ways NWP sites have utilized the AWC to conduct research, to re-envision large-scale writing assessments, to develop effective professional development, and to mentor teachers in further development of their own writing. They also provide illustrations of how the AWC enabled students to discuss and iterate ways to improve their writing. This article, or excerpts from it, may prove useful during summer institute or teacher PD discussions of the most effective and in-depth ways to both scaffold and evaluate writing.
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Annotated Bibliography for NWP Professional Writing Retreats

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Summary: The purpose of this annotated bibliography is to showcase pieces of writing that were developed at NWP Professional Writing Retreats. From pieces on teacher practice to books about the teaching of writing, this bibliography has something of interest for every teacher. The range of genres highlights the kind of writing that is supported at Professional Writing Retreats, and offers inspiration for sites interested in creating their own forums to support teachers as writers.
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The Family Writing Project: Creating Space for Sustaining Teacher Identity

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Author: Marilyn McKinney, Rosemary Holmes-Gull, and Saralyn Lasley

Summary: How can teacher leaders and writing project sites develop effective ways to collaborate with parents and families? The writers, all with the Southern Nevada Writing Project, argue that family writing projects help develop a writing culture, nurture authentic writing and democratic practice, build relationships between students and teachers, counter teacher burnout, and help develop teacher leadership. This article can inspire and guide groups of teachers to develop family writing projects that have the potential to influence their classroom practice as well as deepen their understanding about the assets that parents bring to their children’s education.
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National Survey on New Forms of Writing

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Summary: This national survey (2009) looks at public opinion on the importance of writing for work and personal life and how well we are preparing young Americans to write. Along with expressing dissatisfaction with their own writing ability and with the job high schools are currently doing to train students to write clearly, a broad majority of respondents want public education to place more emphasis on teaching students to write well. As sites leverage professional development offerings or seek partnerships with schools, they might use this resource in arguing for including new forms of writing in schools and how those might be addressed in instructional planning and the professional growth of teachers.
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Youth Writing Contests: How Sites Inspire Writers and Increase Visibility of NWP Work

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Summary: Are you looking to grow the youth programming and visibility at your site? If so, this collection highlighting seven NWP sites’ creative, and often revenue generating, programs and opportunitites for youth could provide the spark and ispiration you need. Several unique partnerships with the Scholastic Arts & Writing contest are shared, as well as out of school work with refugee students and a Saturday showcase and publication day for teens.

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A Snapshot of Writing Instruction in Middle Schools and High Schools

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Author: Arthur N. Applebee and Judith A. Langer

Summary: This 2011 article describes research which updates earlier work and which addresses the following questions: How much writing do students do? Who reads what students write? What is the effect of high-stakes tests on writing instruction? What kinds of writing instruction do teachers emphasize? How has technology influenced the teaching of writing? From writing tasks and genres to standards-based writing and writing in the disciplines, the authors present readers with reminders that writing can contribute to learning and deepen understanding. Teachers and teacher groups may use this article to spur discussion of ways to go beyond test-focused writing assignments by offering students the chance to develop writings based on their reflections, interests, and contemporary connections to learning.
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NWP at Rutgers: What We’ve Learned About School Partnerships

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Author: Kim Lanza

Summary: School and district partnerships for contracted professional development have become more important as sites develop additional revenue streams and look to expand beyond traditional summer institutes to school-year programs. In this brief article, the National Writing Project at Rutgers University shares an overview of the key lessons learned from a four-year intensive site focus on partnerships with local schools and districts. Sites embarking on partnership development will find this article to be a useful discussion piece among site leaders, those developing the partnership and programming, and those facilitating professional development. The lessons highlighted (note that mandatory inservice doesn’t work, maintain flexibility, keep administrators involved, evaluate and reflect) cover partnership issues from initiation to evaluation.
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Toward a Scholarship of Teaching Practice: Contributions from NWP Teacher Inquiry Workshops

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Author: Patricia Lambert Stock

Summary: In her keynote speech at NWP’s 2007 Spring Meeting, Patricia Lambert Stock reports on her study of an overlooked genre of educational research: the teacher workshop. Describing in detail a presentation on mock trials, she shows that such workshops not only have the customary elements of research published in professional journals but, in addition, they are theory-based and situated in a teaching context, construct an argument about teaching and learning and have an immediate impact on teaching practice.
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Why Retreat? Nurturing Teacher Confidence, Creativity, and Camaraderie

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Author: Kristy Lauricella Dawson

Summary: This article includes several ideas on recruitment, resource gathering, and scheduling that can lead to successful writing retreats, as well as a discussion of the value of bringing together colleagues to work on their writing over time. Through this example, retreat planners can see how nurturing teacher creativity leads to better classroom instruction.
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The UCLA Writing Project’s Continuity Programs at a Glance (From Creating Spaces for Study and Action Under the Social Justice Umbrella)

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Authors: Marlene Carter, Norma Mota-Altman, and Faye Peitzman

Summary: How can teachers remain connected to a writing project learning community? This appendix to the monograph, Creating Spaces for Study and Action Under the Social Justice Umbrella, describes a number of program models that support teachers as they continue their professional growth after a first NWP experience at the UCLA Writing Project through “one-day, multiple week, full-year, and multiyear engagement.” These program ideas are adaptable to a range of NWP sites or teacher-learning groups.
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From Summer to Yearlong Institute: Transitioning the ISI to a Yearlong Program

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Summary: The Hudson Valley WP shares how the site transitioned from a traditional summer Invitational Institute to a year-round program that includes a mix of face-to-face and blended programming. Whether looking to adapt the Invitational Institute to take advantage of new and emerging technologies, to address issues of course credit and recruitment, or for any other reason, sites and site leaders can benefit from considering the model year-round program shared by the HVWP.
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Teacher Discoveries and Connected Learning

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Author: Joe Dillon

Summary: How does digital writing shift our teaching? This blog post describes how multiple NWP teachers have applied Connected Learning principles to their classrooms. Hyperlinks within the piece take readers to additional details about each teacher’s work. From discovering how blogging can inform writing instruction to enacting paperless classrooms, readers can come away with innovative ways to integrate technology. Any site professional development or summer institute session about integrated digital instruction could use this resource to explore new strategies and tools.
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Getting Inside Inquiry: Teachers’ Questions Transform Their Practice

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Summary: Useful for teams interested in planning teacher inquiry programs, this resource tells the story of a collaborative inquiry project carried out among teachers from writing project sites in Oklahoma and Nevada that not only transformed their individual teaching practices but also supported them to start teacher inquiry communities at their sites. This resource includes links to readings other resources on inquiry, a PDF of a teacher inquiry-focused institute, and a great writing exercise (“The Stuck Place”) designed to help teachers begin to develop practice-based research questions.
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Double the Work: Challenges and Solutions to Acquiring Language and Academic Literacy for Adolescent English Language Learners

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Summary: This 2007 report by the Carnegie Foundation and the Center for Applied Linguistics identifies challenges faced by adolescent ELLs in meeting grade-level academic expectations. It also provides recommendations for teacher education, educational research, school administrators and policy makers, along with instructional approaches likely to increase student achievement. The downloadable PDF would be an excellent resource for those designing PD, developing grant proposals, doing advocacy work, and developing knowledge about teaching middle/high school ELLs.
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The Ubuntu Academy: An Immigrant and Refugee Youth Writing Camp

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Author: Susanna Steeg

Summary: Ubuntu, a Bantu word that translates as “I am, because we are,” is the guiding philosophy behind the CT-Fairfield WP’s two-week literacy lab designed to invite immigrant and refugee youth into writing spaces that honor their heritage and promote academic success. This innovative approach to youth writing camps will be a valuable read for sites looking for ways to reach out to underserved populations who might not otherwise have access to youth writing camps & enrichment opportunities.
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The Birth and Death of Portfolio Assessment

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Author: Pauline Sahakian

Summary: Although this short article is ostensibly about portfolio assessment, the author warns that promising teaching practices will only endure if mentors facilitate ongoing conversations about the hows, whens, and whys of practice. In other words regular practices cannot be taken for granted; mentors and facilitators cannot assume new leaders will simply take up time-honored practices.
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Challenges for Writing Teachers: Evolving Technologies and Standardized Assessment

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Author: Anne Herrington and Charles Moran

Summary: This introductory chapter discusses existing and emerging technologies and electronic text types for use in curriculum and assessment. While the authors provide examples of how teachers have embraced new forms of writing by developing relevant learning objectives and e-projects, they also argue that automated assessment of writing limits student writers in the service of data compilation needs. Useful as a teacher inquiry piece or for NWP site leaders as they work with state entities and school administrators in partnership development, this chapter has helpful references from experts who have sifted through various electronic tests, companies, and state processes.
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The Relationship of High School Student Motivation and Comments in Online Discussion Forums

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Author: Chris Sloan

Summary: Although online discussions have become more and more ubiquitous, there is a dearth of research that has looked at relationships between students’ commenting and motivation to learn. Course and program designers wishing to better structure discussions in online learning communities to take into account traits of comments students find most valuable may be interested in mining this research study of 12th graders. Discussion posts and comments composed on http://youthvoices.live helped to identify ways to enhance motivation to learn.
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Helping Teacher-Writers Begin to Write

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Author: Troy Hicks, Anne Elrod Whitney, James Fredricksen, and Leah Zuidema

Summary: How can we best support our own and our colleagues as teacher-writers? In this chapter from Coaching Teacher-Writers: Practical Steps to Nurture Professional Writing, planners and leaders will find constructive strategies to motivate teacher-writers to begin, sustain, and complete professional writing. A valuable resource for facilitators, the chapter offers, “descriptions of key practices…developed over years of coaching, teaching, and collaborating with K12 teachers who write about classroom instruction, teacher research, or advocacy for better policy and pedagogy.
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CRWP: Formative Assessment

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Summary: This resource from NWP’s College-Ready Writers Program (CRWP) features two strategies that teachers can use to assess students’ source-based arguments. The “Using Sources Tool” focuses on the quality of students’ claims and how well they use evidence to support them. The “Claim, Evidence, Reasoning Protocol” can help students and teachers see how well they have developed source-based arguments. This page also includes student writing that has been annotated through the lens of the “Using Sources Tool” to illustrate how teachers can use the tool in their classrooms. These assessment strategies can be useful for teachers in any content area who are looking for effective ways to analyze students’ evidence-based arguments. Teacher study groups can examine and apply these two tools and discuss their impact.
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Online Event Supports Debate about Content Area Literacy

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Summary: Twenty-five participants from 15 sites met online to discuss provocative issues related to the recruitment and retention of content area teachers at writing project sites. The group shared thoughts about and experiences with content area literacy and the expansion of sites to include content area literacy teachers into the development of a site.
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The Work Will Teach You How to Do It: A New Director Learns How to Begin and Grow Inservice

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Author: Sally Crisp

Summary: In this case study, the author reflects on how her writing project site moved from an inservice neophyte to a partner in several multiyear programs with local schools. She raises dilemmas (such as: Are we ready to do this? If the PD we offer isn’t perfect, will we ruin our name/reputation? Who should we contact?) and shares strategies for confronting them. As the title suggests, the director and teacher leaders in Little Rock learned how to do the work by doing the work, and this case study would be a great read and tool for other sites who find themselves taking a leap into new partnerships.
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Resources for Educators of English Language Learners: An Annotated Bibliography

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Author: Judith Rance-Roney and Lynn Jacobs

Summary: With the goal of collecting “diverse perspectives in the field of teaching English language learners and to provide audiences with readings that will involve, inform, and inspire.” Judith Rance-Roney and Lynn Jacobs created this 41 page comprehensive annotated bibliography. Of special interest to classroom teachers of English language learners, teacher inquiry groups, and professional development leaders, this rich collection contains many direct links to the original resources.
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Integrating Writing Project Practices into a Mandated Program

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Author: Bob Fecho

Summary: This brief article describes how the San Diego Area WP (SDAWP) developed professional development around a mandated writing curriculum. While the idea of a mandated writing curriculum runs counter to NWP principles, the need to support teachers required to use certain materials remains essential. The SDAWP shares how they successfully navigated competing ideologies through a series of teacher study groups that explored the materials’ strengths and weaknesses, identified key processes/skills being taught, and created supplemental mentor texts and models to help teachers meet the on-the-ground needs they encountered as they used the materials. This article would serve as a good discussion piece for any group of educators designing professional development where they are asked to be involved in curriculum implementation.
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Boys’ Literacy Camp Sets a Standard

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Summary: When adolescent readers can read, but won’t read, how can teachers get them engaged? Teacher-consultants in Maine created a summer wilderness camp where students must read in order to do things they want to do. For example, they had to read about canoe safety before piloting a canoe, or study how to edit a film digitally in the process of making one about their adventures. The goal was to making reading and writing real and necessary. This idea would be readily adaptable for summer youth programs.
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School Partnerships: A Year of Professional Development

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Author: Mark Dziedzic

Summary: Is your site working in school partnerships? This resource offers a year-long calendar of events for one in-school partnership project, with links to materials used for each session. In addition to the year-long calendar, program leaders will find examples of daily agendas; writing prompts; protocols for analyzing writing processes, student writing and writing across the curriculum; and links to readings/videos.
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A Cognitive Strategies Approach to Reading and Writing Instruction for English Language Learners in Secondary School

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Author: Carol Booth Olson and Robert Land

Summary: This article documents a longitudinal research study conducted by members of the UC Irvine Writing Project in partnership with a large, urban school district in which 93 percent of the students speak English as a second language. Over an eight-year period, 55 secondary teachers implemented a cognitive strategies approach to reading and writing instruction designed to make visible the thinking strategies that experienced readers and writers access in the process of meaning construction. An important resource, this would be useful as a text for study in a professional development program or for individual teacher research. The project “was not just an abstract research study; it was a concrete attempt to level the playing field for specific ELL students in a large urban school district through sustained, ongoing collaboration with a dedicated and committed group of teachers…” The consistency of positive outcomes on multiple measures strongly points to the efficacy of using this approach with ELL students.
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Improving Assignments With the Writing Assignment Framework

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Author: National Writing Project and Mary Ann Smith

Summary: Featuring a range of protocols, tools, and student samples, the Writing Assignment Framework and Overview was designed as a resource for use in planning instruction and professional development. Growing out of work NWP did with the Authentic Intellectual Work framework, these tools aim to support teachers in all disciplines to think critically about the effectiveness of their assignments in supporting intellectual work that “is similar to the type of problem solving that adults face in their everyday lives and helps prepare students to be critical, analytical thinkers.” At page 10 in the document, teachers share designs for professional development sessions using the tools and forms.
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The Challenge of Change: Growth Through Inquiry at the Western Massachusetts Writing Project

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Author: Susan Connell Biggs, Kevin Hodgson, and Bruce Penniman

Summary: This National Writing Project monograph describes the inquiry process undertaken by the leaders at the Western Massachusetts Writing Project when the site faced radical changes and challenges in funding and leadership. In addition to the narrative, it includes a variety of useful resources and tools for engaging in collaborative such as identity mapping, inquiry models, site leadership job descriptions, and more.
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Formative Assessment as a Compass: Looking at Student Work as an Intentional Part of Ongoing Professional Development

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Author: Beth Rimer and Terri McAvoy

Summary: This e-book is a practical resource for teachers as they think about formative assessment in relation to writing instruction. Using questions posed by the authors and links within the text, a facilitator can use this guide to help teachers think about the role of assessment in their classrooms and to assist them as they consider approaches that can be informative about student writing growth. Available through iTunes as a multi-media iBook for iOS and Mac users, the e-book is available as a PDF below.
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Thank You for Sharing: Developing Students’ Social Skills to Improve Peer Writing Conferences

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Author: Keri Franklin

Summary: In this article, Keri Franklin provides ideas and methods to prepare student authors for meaningful peer conferences which promote social talk in students’ responses to peers’ writings. Students benefit from peer conferences by receiving ideas from an audience of peers and more feedback than one teacher can provide. This article is ideal for a teacher study group examining effective techniques for writing groups or peer revision/conferencing, as well as for a professional reading prior to writing-group time in a summer institute.
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Writing Projects and School Reform: A Local Perspective

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Author: Marcie Wolfe

Summary: How can teachers’ voices be heard within the top-down forces of reform, and how can NWP avoid becoming a “recipe-based” school reform model? This article tells the story of New York City writing project leaders who supported teachers and administrators within a City initiative to phase out large, struggling high schools and replace them with co-located smaller schools. Central in this resource are the ways the on-site NYCWP teacher-consultants became “redesign pioneers,” using writing to enhance policy and planning meetings as well as teachers’ practice. The article also addresses some of the challenges involved in coordinating with other professional development groups. This may be an important piece for site leaders or advanced inquiry groups to read as a frame for inquiry and for mapping out a plan for entry into schools undergoing redesign or struggling with reform issues.
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The Family Writing Project: No More Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

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Author: Arthur Kelly

Summary: Describing the family writing project that he developed and led, Arthur Kelly explains that such programs offer families the rare opportunity to come together and create a community of writers: “As in National Writing Project summer institutes, participants in family writing projects discuss ideas and issues that are important to them. They work together on activities, write extensively, and respond to each other’s work.” Useful for teachers exploring program models to support community literacy, this article includes several writing prompts that work in family writing contexts as well as a rationale for why family writing programs build community and honor writing as they honor writers’ lives.
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Writing Our Future Through Family Literacy Projects (NWP Radio)

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Summary: In this NWP Radio Show, writing project leaders discuss their family academic literacy projects, developed as part of the Writing Our Future Initiative. Based in high-needs schools around the country, this work provides support and interactive programming for English Language Learners grades K-3 and their families. This resource can support NWP sites and groups of teacher leaders to understand some of the questions and issues involved in developing these programs, and provides models for adaptation.
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Curriculum Rewired: Teachers and Students Come Together Around Innovative New Pedagogy

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Author: Razeen Zaman

Summary: “Grinding New Lenses,” a four-week summer camp supported by a MacArthur Foundation grant, combined intensive professional development in design thinking for teachers with their leading a program for sixty-five rising sixth- and seventh-grade Chicago area students that engaged them as game designers and digital storytellers. “The end result: students who learned to take on roles as proficient designers, philosophers, writers, and activists; teachers who become avid systems thinkers; and strong curricula that underwent a rapid process of iteration, innovation and refinement.” This article and the related NWP Radio show offer inspiration for teacher leaders planning youth opportunities focused on developing students’ digital literacy.
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Wise Eyes: Prompting for Meaningful Student Writing

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Author: Mary Ann Smith and Sherry Swain

Summary: How can teachers create effective prompts that motivate students to show what they can do as writers? Focusing on purpose, audience, authenticity, and accessibility, the authors of this short book analyze existing prompts and provide guidelines for teachers in developing their own prompts for different modes of writing. They also consider adaptations for culturally or linguistically diverse learners. Excerpts from this book may be particularly useful in school-based professional development partnerships, as well as in teacher inquiry focused on assessing student work.
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NWP and Digital Learning Day (NWP Radio)

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Guests: Kim Doulliard, Janet Ilko, Jeremy Hyler, and Joe Dillon

Summary: Ideal for sites considering special events for the annual Digital Learning Day, this NWP Radio show describes how four teachers advocate for thoughtful and creative use of technology in schools. The teachers share what they have planned in their classrooms and at their Writing Project sites for the 2013 Digital Learning Day and talk about their varied approaches involving technology in their own instructional practice.This piece could be useful for teachers interested in developing similar programs or for school partnerships focused on 21st century literacy skills.
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The Concept of a Writing Center

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Author: Muriel Harris

Summary: Interested in establishing a writing center at your institution? This resource describes all aspects of running a writing center and reviews the many issues to be considered by anyone seeking to establish one, from developing program goals to funding to staffing and staff training. Useful as the focus for a study group, advanced institute or program development meeting, this resource can serve to focus an inquiry into how teachers might take the idea of a writing center back to their schools.
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Resources For Internet Safety and Digital Citizenship: Spotlight on Common Sense Media

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Author: Tiffany Chiao

Summary: Concerned about students’ safe and responsible internet use? This resource describes Common Sense Media, an interactive website that helps kids navigate the Internet safely and interact with their peers responsibly and respectfully. The website also provides resources for parents and curriculum for teachers to serve those ends. Common Sense Media could be helpful if you are looking for resources to recommend to parents who are concerned about the content and quality of online spaces.The website may also help teachers who are working toward family or community partnerships.
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Expanding the Reach of Education Reforms: Scaling Up and Scaling Down

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Author: Joseph P. McDonald, Judy Buchanan, and Richard Sterling

Summary: How does the NWP simultaneously impact individuals and school communities? What can local sites learn about strategies for scaling up their work? Teacher leaders and project directors involved in developing grant proposals, partnerships, or research focused on scaling up professional development or school reform efforts may find this chapter a useful resource and rich perspective on NWP’s successful “improvement infrastructure.” The authors describe what is meant by “scaling up by scaling down”: “to succeed in a new environment, a reform that is spreading geographically must also challenge and, eventually, penetrate habitual practice in new contexts.” NWP has promoted both spread and depth of change via three elements: an annual site review process; specialized cross-site networks; and a commitment to both internal, site-based, practitioner-directed research and external, national, and independent research. These elements, separately and together, enable the NWP to generalize from the diverse experiences of local sites and chart new directions for the work.
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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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Changing Times: Adapting the Invitational Summer Institute to an Online Environment

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Author: Ken Martin

Summary: Ken Martin, director of the Maine WP, shares lessons learned in transitioning MWP’s Invitational Institute from a traditional face-to-face summer program to a year round online institute. This comprehensive study reviews the rationale for moving to an online institute; the successes, struggles, and modifications implemented during the first several iterations; how roles and relationships changed as a result of the move; and how the touchstone activities and rituals of the Summer Institute translate to an online environment. In addition, helpful examples of and protocols for how to translate writing groups, writing marathons, peer response groups, and mentoring to an online environment are included in the appendices. Whether looking to simply incorporate more online components into a PD experience or transitioning to/developing a fully online experience, you will find this report to be an invaluable resource.
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Innovative Writing Program Helps High Schools

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Author: University of Arizona – University Relations

Summary: This news article describes the Wildcat Writers, an innovative service learning and writing program housed in the University of Arizona. By exploring topics like censorship, designing infographics, producing novels, and organizing campus events, the high school writers learned how to promote literacy, creativity and artistic innovation. The grant behind this initiative is explained as well as the university partnership with its NWP site. Takeaways from this resource are the learning outcomes seen in the enthusiastic quotes from student writers, the planning and funding sources for such a partnership, and the collaborative facilitation that provided a unique pathway for youth from high school to the university–all helpful for site leaders and summer writing program organizers who may gain ideas for like partnerships in their areas.
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A “Connected-Learning” Style and Fashion Program for Adolescents Leads to Career Opportunity

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Author: Kiley Larson, Erin Bradley, Tonya Leslie, Bryan Rosenberg, and Nathan Reimer

Summary: This case study features two Hive Fashion hubs, in Chicago and New York, in a youth program for adolescents interested in fashion as a career field. The program design is built on the recognition that young people need relevant personal relationships and career-relevant opportunities for their learning to make a difference in the real world. The youth viewed their work through the lens of social justice by incorporating social, political, economic, and cultural perspectives into their projects. From ideas to production, teen designers leveraged digital technologies to write posts on social media and to produce their creations. Useful to gain ideas for similar youth programs and to develop ideas related to connected learning, out-of-school literacies, and career education, this resource takes readers to the hubs with photos, detailed descriptions, and a video.
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Conference Flyers: Some Models

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Summary: Are you planning to host a conference at a school or across a district? Here are some examples of conference flyers from National Writing Project sites that may give you ideas about advertising and promoting your conference. These models also illustrate various layouts and pricing strategies. Examining these samples may help you raise and answer questions for your own conference planning.
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Hey Matt! There’s a Reason We Write Like Every Day!

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Author: Molly Toussant

Summary: Students often wonder why they have to write every day. In this piece, with her students as her audience, one teacher outlines and then elaborates the beliefs that guide her teaching of writing. Points of use for this article may be early in summer institutes or school partnerships to guide teachers in examining their own beliefs about teaching writing as well as the value of making their beliefs more transparent to learners. This article may also be ideal for engaging community partners, parents, or administrators in discussions about the work of teachers who teach writing.
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Working at the Intersections of Formal and Informal Science and Literacy Education

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Author: Tanya Baker and Becky Carroll

Summary: This resource describes the multi-faceted work of the NWP (and partners) Intersections Project which supported local partnerships to design programming and innovative projects that connected science and literacy learning. The authors present two cases and their benefits to participants: one focuses on enhancing museum/science field trips and the other describes a STEAM partnership project (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, Mathematics) between a writing project and a local science/engineering “discovery” center. Video, art, and student reactions are embedded. This resource could provide schools and teachers with ideas about partnerships with area museums or science centers, as well as literacy integration for science or STEM learning.
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Enabling Communities and Collaborative Responses to Teaching Demonstrations

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Author: Janet A. Swenson, Diana Mitchell

Summary: This monograph explains a useful protocol developed by Red Cedar Writing Project for responding to demonstrations in the Summer Institute, called the Collaborative Responses to Teaching Demonstrations (CRTD). This response takes the form of a letter to the person offering the demonstration, thus providing responders with opportunities to draft and revise a piece with a clear audience and purpose. The monograph includes discussions of each aspect of the protocol, as well as tools to help prepare teachers for response, both prior to and during the Summer Institute.
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Moving Toward the Paperless Institute

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Author: Eric Hasty and Bob Fecho

Summary: Two summer institute facilitators reflect on their transition, over a number of years, to a paperless institute. From virtual classrooms to a web page, to Meeting Wizard and online surveys, they describe how their summer institute embraced digital technologies as they followed the inquiry, “What if?” One central understanding that evolved was “… technology allows us to create a living space to develop, store, and review our ideas as they grow.” This story of their journey would be a useful resource for summer institute or school-year PD facilitators when they are designing their schedule and making decisions about the best forums for daily logs, communication among the fellows, anthology development, and continuity spaces.
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The National Writing Project’s Unchanging Principles and Practices for Change

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Author: Sheridan Blau

Summary: It is highly likely you are here exploring this database because you, like thousands of other teachers, found your experience with your local NWP site to be transformative and you want to bring similar experiences to other educators. If that is the case, then you may find Sheridan Blau’s speech to the NWP Annual Meeting can serve as a powerful introductory reading and discussion piece at the outset of your work with educators new to the work of the NWP. Blau lays the groundwork for a rich discussion on how the NWP is different from other PD experiences and how through all the shifts in educational fads the NWP model has always stayed true to the core tenets of “teachers teaching teachers” and writing as the most powerful tool for learning. In addition to being a shared reading with those new to NWP work, this speech would also serve well as a discussion piece with TCs during the planning and development stages for new programming. As Blau reminds us—”the writing project is a powerful agent for deep and transforming change in persons, in professional development, and in the nature of schooling in part because we have so scrupulously resisted any change in our fundamental principles and practices.”
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Developing a Multi-year School Partnership

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Author: Rick VanDeWeghe

Summary: This article describes the Denver Writing Project’s three-year professional development model used in partnership with several local schools/districts. In the first year, the site builds local capacity through teacher study groups, then transitions to site-sponsored professional development related to the topics researched by the study groups during the first year. The third year of the partnership is dictated by local school needs, with some schools starting new teacher study groups and some continuing with professional development through demonstration lessons or other means. Those starting new partnerships would be well-served to explore the document in its entirety, but a specific focus on setting and making explicit the goals for the program (p.2) and the expectations of participants and facilitators (p.2-3) may be especially useful.
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Elbow Room: Tweaking Response in the Secondary Classroom

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Author: Anne Marie Liebel

Summary: Using Peter Elbow’s theory of peer response as described in Writing Without Teachers, Ann Marie Liebel began implementing response groups, providing space for her student writers to lead the way in revision. Central here are the ways she reflected as a teacher/facilitator and the ways she listened to her students as she adjusted Elbow’s methods to fit her high school and college freshman classes. Because this resource will instigate thought on how to initiate or improve peer response groups, it may be useful for teacher inquiry, for leaders of young author summer writing camps, or for guidance prior to summer institute writing group experiences.
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A Guide for Writing Marathon Leaders

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Authors: Richard Louth

Summary: This in-depth guide, drawn from the book “I’m a Writer”: Essays on the Writing Marathon and Why We Write, covers just about everything needed to organize and run a successful writing marathon. In a writing marathon, small groups write and share their writing as they move through a setting such as a landscape, a city neighborhood, a museum. These events–for teachers, community members, and/or students– can inspire writing while also developing community among writers and celebrating local spaces.

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Exploring Resources from Teacher-Researcher Marian Mohr

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Summary: A leader in the field of teacher research, Marian Mohr left a legacy of resources to support teacher inquiry. This article provides an excellent annotated bibliography of resources for anyone interested in participating in or guiding teachers through the inquiry process.
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The How of Writing: First-Graders Learn Craft

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Author: Glorianne Bradshaw

Summary: Inspired by the ways upper grade teachers use mentor texts to generate more interesting student writing, Bradshaw uses the Frog and Toad books to teach writing to her first graders, demonstrating sentence variety, show-not-tell, onomatopoeia, the “good beginning,” and other techniques. This resource also shows the value of networking vertically among grade levels, as is often seen in NWP summer writing institutes. Useful as a starting point for discussion for a cross-grade group of educators who will be collaborating or spending professional development time together, this article is ideal for a summer institute reading or for literacy coaches or curriculum coordinators who can see how writing workshop might look in early grades as opposed to upper grades.
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Protocols: Looking at Student Work (for participants) and Looking at Student Work (for facilitator)

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Author: Hudson Valley Writing Project

Summary: This protocol is one that takes teachers through the steps of looking at student work in a professional development session. The accompanying script helps a facilitator to guide participants through the “turns” in the protocol process. Adapted from the Prospect Center Descriptive Review Process and the National School Reform Faculty Appreciative Inquiry protocol, this resource allows participants to name what students have accomplished before making recommendations for next steps. Rather than focusing on deficits, it offers an additive model for reviewing student work.
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Envisioning Leadership Transitions as Moments of Opportunity

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Author: Karen Hamlin

Summary: This article describes the Oregon Writing Project’s visioning retreat and includes links to their retreat invitation, their annotated list of online resources, retreat agenda, and newsletter. This resource will help in building site capacity when challenges and opportunities of transition arise.
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Scaling Up Youth Programs (NWP Radio)

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Guests: Mary Buckelew, Carol Minner, and Paul Rogers

Summary: Youth programs invite teachers to apply their experience in new contexts: after-school and summer work with students, families and their local communities.This NWP Radio show features youth program models from three sites. Teachers who are planning programs for youth may be interested in the following segments: (2:16-5:44) which features a discussion of the overall potential and value of youth programs; (28:30-34) which describes program partnerships with museums, national parks and botanical gardens and the key role of teachers in leading the work; (45:15-48:38) which features a discussion of youth programs that work with migrant students. The show also includes a discussion of how youth programs can contribute to the financial stability of a writing project site.

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Changing the Face of Leadership: Redesigning the Summer Institute to Invite Diversity

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Author: Katie Kline and Thomas Ferrel

Summary: With a focus or recruiting and supporting diversity in site programs, this article offers recruitment strategies relevant for all site activities. It also includes identifying relevant readings and how program leaders met to examine how best to involve diverse teachers and educators in their programs.
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The View from a Rural Site

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Author: Anne Dobie

Summary: Site leaders working in rural areas, especially for the first time, will want to read this piece that frames what it means to be a rural teacher including some of the challenges teachers face in this context. Visiting and living the rural life for even a few hours helps provides rich context for the work. This is an excellent piece to consider for community building and partnership development.
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From Young Writers Camp to Young Adult Literacy Labs: CT Connecticut-Fairfield Finds New Ways to Revitalize Youth Programs

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Author: Susanna Steeg

Summary: The Connecticut Writing Project-Fairfield’s adaptation of its traditional Young Writers Camp to a series of Young Adult Literacy Labs (YALLs) provides food for thought for site leaders designing new or considering changes to existing youth programming. The primary change was a move away from two large general writing camps to a dozen smaller genre-specific camps. The change, while attracting more participants, also allowed the site to integrate the camps and the Invitational Institute in some innovative ways, including creating opportunities for camp instructors to present workshops that engaged teachers and young writers in writing together. Importantly, the camps provide the site with a robust revenue line that fully supports the YALLs, provides student scholarships, and generates income for other site activities.
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A Year of Action Research: An Adaptable Model

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Author: Lucinda Juarez

Summary: This advanced institute program overview from the Lake Michigan WP could be a valuable resource for any sites looking to add an action research/teacher research component to their programming. The overview outlines program goals, objectives, key components, and expectations for participants, as well as a detailed and helpful breakdown of the focus for each of the academic year meetings. This short overview is an example of how to concisely convey the scope and desired outcomes of a program.
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A Thousand Writers Writing: Seeking Change through the Radical Practice of Writing as a Way of Being

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Author: Robert Yagelski

Summary: Have you ever found yourself having to justify teachers’ writing as a key, non-negotiable component of your site’s professional development? If so, this article can help ground you in the importance and value of the act of writing. Yagelski proposes a pedagogy of “writing as a way of being” and describes how the approach can encourage awareness, reflection, and inquiry in ways that product-focused approaches may not. Yagelski’s full vision–that writing is more than communication, and that our lives and thinking live within writing–will be helpful to any teacher inquiry group or educator/leader teams who are working together to construct their own philosophical stance about writing: what it is, what it does, and what it should look like in classrooms. This piece will also be an invaluable resource for any teachers needing to justify the practice of having students write without being directly tied to the day’s objective, goal, or standard.
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Mini-Inquiries: Changing Classroom Instruction One Lesson at a Time

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Author: Cindy O’Donnell-Allen

Summary: When a small group of language arts teachers from the Tar River Writing Project in North Carolina noticed that some students seemed less engaged in their classes, they decided to study their own practices, question their assumptions, and work systematically to change their teaching. Specifically, this inquiry project evolved into the LEEAP program: Leadership for Equity, Excellence, Achievement, and Partnership in 21st Century Classrooms, an initiative to support teachers in studying equity in their classrooms. In addition to the article, this resource also includes three digital-story videos exploring equity, created by the LEEAP team. This work may be useful as a model for conducting teacher inquiry to address specific issues of concern within or across schools.
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Continuity Linked to Site Mission & Local Context: The Philadelphia Writing Project’s Leadership Inquiry Seminar

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Author: Teri Hines, Bruce Bowers, and Vanessa Brown

Summary: A vital resource for anyone planning an inquiry-based leadership program, this NWP monograph details the strategies and practices that define the Philadelphia Writing Project’s Leadership Inquiry Seminar, a yearlong institute designed to support the professional growth and reflective practice of urban educators as they examine their own pathwyas to leadership.
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James Gray On Coaching: An Excerpt from Teachers at the Center

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Author: James Gray

Summary: Coaching the development of successful workshops is a key step in preparing teachers to become professional development leaders. In this excerpt from Teachers at the Center, NWP founder James Gray shares some of the early insights that informed the practice of coaching teachers as they prepare to lead their first professional workshops. During coaching sessions, experienced teacher leaders listen to what the teachers are planning, listening for what they know from experience are the most important features of a successful workshop: Is it focused on one idea or approach? How will the audience be involved? Will there be time for discussion? Will it be clear to the audience why the teacher is demonstrating this particular practice?
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A Critical Inquiry Framework for K-12 Teachers

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Author: JoBeth Allen and Lois Alexander

Summary: This sample book chapter explains what teacher-led critical inquiry means in a social justice context. Useful in planning inquiry groups with a social justice focus, it also includes excellent content to help teachers to bring a social justice focus to their individual inquiry practice and encourage their students to take a critical inquiry stance in the classroom.
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A Weekend of Writing Isn’t a Weekend of Work

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Author: Cheryl North-Coleman

Summary: This article describes ideas for recruiting for professional writing retreats, shaping the retreat events, and providing necessary equipment and materials. Most of all, it reminds retreat planners and facilitators of the importance and centrality of time to write.
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Literacy in the Digital Age

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Guests: Natalie Franzi, Steve Figurelli, Paul Oh, and Claire Rivero

Summary: In this webinar representatives from the NWP, the Teaching Channel, and Student Achievement Partners discuss effective uses of digital literacy tools, arguing that our vision must evolve to incorporate a new approach to literacy instruction, one in which technology becomes an accelerator to create and personalize meaningful learning contexts. This video would be a good way to launch a discussion about online tools and out-of-school literacies. The speakers also recommend specific digital tools and strategies.
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Designing a Writing Retreat and Building Site Leadership on a Small Budget

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Author: Nancy Mellin McCracken & Barbara Smith

Summary: This article depicts the Kent State University Writing Project’s journey into the development and sustainability of a Professional Writing Retreat which also spurred new site leadership. Their experience brought forward important details about what really matters for successful retreats.
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Program Recruitment Flyers: Some Models

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Summary: If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound? Likewise, if a great professional development program is developed and no one shows up, was it great? Here is a collection of flyers sites have used to successfully recruit participants to a variety of professional development offerings. Take a look and see what might be useful in helping you recruit a large and enthusiastic crowd for the fabulous professional development you have to offer.
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Such Stuff as Writing Dreams Are Made Of: Technology in the Writing Retreat

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Author: Michelle Rogge Gannon

Summary: This article describes how to plan and implement a Professional Writing Retreat that supports writers who create multimodal texts, and how to troubleshoot technology-related issues that might arise. Included are guidelines for responding to multimodal writers in ways that support their revision in various media. This resource may be useful for groups who are planning writing retreats at their local sites; additionally the revision guidelines may be adaptable for working with students.
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Developing Leadership and Site Capacity Through Program Evaluation and Research

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Author: Paul M. Rogers

Summary: This article describes how, supported by a grant to engage in multi-year research into their site’s professional development work in high needs schools, leaders at the South Coast Writing Project gathered and analyzed data from nine teachers and their students…surveys, interviews, classroom observations, and collections of teacher and student work—to assess the effects…[on] teachers’ classroom practices and their students’ learning.” In addition to improving the site’s professional development programming, teacher leaders developed “valuable capacities” and confidence as researchers and program leaders.
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How Teachers Become Leaders (the Epilogue)

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Author: Ann Lieberman and Linda Freidrich

Summary: The epilogue to Ann Lieberman and Linda Freidrich’s excellent book on teacher leadership, How Teacher Become Leaders, highlights three overarching themes that emerged during their study: teacher leadership is reframed as advocacy for students and transparency of practice, NWP participation was foundational to teachers’ growth and identity as leaders, and bridging the research/practice divide is essential to educators progress as literacy leaders. This brief reading can be used equally well in an advanced institute to remind NWP veterans of the power of the network or as an early reading and introduction to the work of the NWP in a professional development program for teachers new to the NWP experience.
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Empowering Teachers Through the Summer Institute

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Author: Beth Halbert

Summary: Is leading a program for the site a new endeavor for you? Are you wondering, “what in the world did I get myself into?” Then you should read this article about being thrust into a site leadership role, transitioning from summer institute participant to facilitator, just two weeks before the start of the institute. The author not only shares her personal experience, but also demonstrates how remaining true to the NWP principle of “teachers teaching teachers” is foundational to successful NWP work.
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On-Site Consulting: New York City Writing Project

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Author: Nancy Mintz, Alan L. Stein, and Marcie Wolfe

Summary: This NWP monograph provides an in-depth look at the longstanding New York City WP program of school-based professional development partnerships with the New York City public schools. Former NYCWP Director Marcie Wolfe provides background information on the development and evolution of the program which places TCs on-site at partner schools for multi-year cycles. Two TCs with extensive experience in the on-site consultant role, Nancy Mintz and Alan Stein, then share their experiences. Mintz explores a fundamental consulting/coaching dilemma: how do you hold onto your core beliefs and values, while not trying to enact those beliefs and visions in someone else’s classroom. Stein’s story describes a crucial shift in school culture and the importance of the collaboration between himself, the principal, and several key teachers at the school. This thoughtful, extensive exploration of work in and with schools serves as a valuable resource for any leadership team considering extended professional development partnerships.
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Change the Readings, Change the Site: Addressing Equity and Access

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Author: Wilma Ortiz and Karen Sumaryono

Summary: Recognizing that, while their site programs were primarily serving the needs of suburban teachers in a service area that encompassed a large population of urban schools, teacher leaders at the Connecticut Writing Project-Fairfield named as a site priority the need to diversify site leadership. In order to be responsive to the contexts and needs of urban teachers and students, they examined and subsequently revised the readings in their programs putting “front and center works that signaled openness to discussions about race, culture, and language.” Of particular interest to teacher leadership teams working to address issues of equity and access at their own sites, are the suggested readings included in the additional related resources.
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“I’m a Writer”: Essays on the Writing Marathon and Why We Write

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Author: Richard Louth

Summary: This brief piece describes a book that puts writing–both teachers’ and students’–at the center. The first part focuses on writing marathon how-tos and offers guidelines, planning and facilitation resources, and teachers’ anecdotal experiences of writing in community. The second part of the book includes essays by teachers about why they write and how their own writing impacts their teaching. Further resources are included on this page, along with purchasing information for the book.
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Professional Development in the Digital Age: A Virtual Conference on Digital Literacy

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Author: Kim Douillard

Summary: This short article on the 4T Virtual Conference on Writing could be the perfect starting point for sites/leaders looking to integrate online learning into a program or those ready to make the jump to a fully online conference/professional development experience. Key to the success of the 4T annual online conference, which is hosted by the University of Michigan Schools of Education and Information and the Oakland Schools, has been the 15 hours of training all presenters and facilitators receive on effective interactive webinar facilitation and moderation.
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Understanding and Creating Digital Texts

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Guests: Richard Beach, Antero Garcia, Nicole Mirra, and Lara Trale

Summary: This recording provides an in-depth look at supporting youth to create and curate digital texts. Richard Beach and university/school colleagues discuss practices that encourage youth as they create digital texts to define purpose and audience, make connections between digital texts and people, collaborate with others, employ multimodal forms of communication and gain new perspectives, and construct identities. The webinar also asks: how can we guide students’ digital work using a connected learning lens, and with a civic engagement mindset? The multiple resources included here can be a valuable guide during professional development about digital writing and learning, or used as a professional reading during a Summer Institute.
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Engaging Stakeholders: A Site’s Year in Review

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Author: Carol Minner

Summary: How can a site communicate information to stakeholders more effectively and ensure continued support? This example of a site impact report by the Oklahoma Writing Project shows one way. Data from the NWP Site Profile System and other information sources were compiled to showcase the impact of site programs. This newsletter/report was then distributed to university partners and the local educational community. Site leaders can use this model to consider how to make the case for their own site.
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Improving Students’ Academic Writing: Building a Bridge to Success

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Author: Juliet Wahleithner, Jayne Marlink

Summary: This report would be of interest to those embarking on college-preparatory reading/writing initiatives; it describes the statistically significant impact of a statewide professional development program designed to improve students’ understanding and ability to write academically in high school, and specifically in grades 11 and 12. The authors clearly lay out the study’s purpose, methods, and guiding frameworks, including one for forming sustained professional learning communities.
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Green(ing) English: Voices Howling in the Wilderness?

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Author: Heather Bruce

Summary: Noting that “in literature and language arts classes at the secondary level, where we do not hesitate to study the impact of ethical mores in human lives, where we do not hesitate to teach respect for life, we have fairly well ignored our impact on the natural world or our relationships with it,” In this article, Heather Bruce argues for teachers to engage students in considering a range of difficult issues related to climate, environment, and the future of humanity. A useful resource for launching a content-area study that brings current environmental questions into the reading and writing curriculum.
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The National Writing Project’s New Teacher Initiative: A Study of Outcomes, Designs, and Core Values

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Author: Barbara Heenan and Nina Houghton

Summary: Where do teachers newer to the profession fit into the NWP equation? How do we help new teachers survive and thrive in the years before recruiting them to be part of a Summer Institute? If you are grappling with fitting early career educators into your site’s programs or how to meet the needs of the needs of this audience, this report on NWP’s New Teacher Initiative can serve as a catalyst for dialogue about the purpose and practices you want to put into place. The report, which describes the work of eighteen NWP sites engaged in programming for new educators, is conveniently broken down into four smaller and focused module reports: 1) the benefits to new teachers participating in the programs, 2) the emerging practices from the programs, 3) the distinctive design features across sites, and 4) NWP core values embedded in the programs. The entire report will be useful for those just beginning to consider programming for newer teachers, while those already offering new teacher programs may find themselves gravitating towards one of the four modules.
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Helping High School Students “Gear Up” for College

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Author: Art Peterson

Summary: This article highlights a program designed to support 9th graders developing an understanding of how to differentiate and act upon revision and editing concerns. The program’s development and implementation reflects a collaboration between area high school writing centers, teachers, and university composition faculty. Since Gear-Up funds programs throughout the country, teacher leaders and site directors might see possibilities for local adaptations.
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Planning for Study Groups: An Advanced Institute at the NWP in Vermont

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Author: Patricia McGonegal

Summary: This article describes the design and development of an advanced summer institute where teacher-consultants prepare to lead study groups in their own schools. Within this experiential institute, teacher leaders immerse themselves in the practices and theories essential to making study groups productive and powerful; they participate in a study group, reflect on this experience, and begin to design study groups adapted to their specific contexts. While this article can be viewed as a guide to preparing teachers to lead study groups, it could just as easily be used as a general guide for any site planning an advanced institute to support teachers as professional development leaders.
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Aims and Criteria for Collaboration in Content-Area Classrooms

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Author: Roni Jo Draper, Paul Broomhead, Amy Petersen Jensen, and Daniel Siebert

Summary: If you are looking for a book chapter that will help you think through content area reading and writing beyond taking tests and basic writing, read this. Facilitators planning and/or framing the thinking of a group that includes content and literacy specialists will appreciate how the authors propose powerful common “aims” for adolescents’ content area learning and offer specific examples to illustrate their thinking.
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Stories of Impact: The On-Site Work of the New York City Writing Project

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Author: Elaine Avidon, et al.

Summary: This e-book includes powerful chapters written by teacher consultants about the individual and collective impact of their work and its alignment to their site’s mission and beliefs about professional learning. Reading select chapters would support fellows in imagining different kinds of school coaching; alternatively, the book offers a powerful model for site leaders who want to pull together leaders to collectively evaluate and write about the impact of their site’s programs.
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Multi-Session Calendar (School-Based PD)

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Author: Katelin Grande

Summary: This blueprint/plan for a multi-day professional development series was created by teacher-consultants from the Hudson Valley Writing Project. Along with illustrating how reading, writing, and inquiry strands were designed strategically for the series, this plan also serves as a calendar for teacher-participants and includes time considerations. The second page includes a list of literacy topics that the group explored, another document that was shared with participants.
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Site-Based Leadership Reforms the Writing Curriculum on the Other Side of the Tracks

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Author: Nancy Remington and Robert McGinty

Summary: Leaders from the Great Basin Writing Project in Nevada describe a long-term school partnership that gave teachers at Southside Elementary the opportunity to redesign curriculum and reshape the writing culture of their school. This inquiry-centered approach to professional development, designed and led by teachers-with support from the writing project site, could be a model for any school.
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Increasing Student Achievement in Writing Through Teacher Inquiry: An Evaluation of Professional Development Impact

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Author: Nancy Robb Singer and Diane Scollay

Summary: Documenting a well-designed experimental study, this article offers clear evidence of the positive impact of teacher-led inquiry on student writing achievement. Teachers in the experimental group participated in inquiry-based professional development to increase understanding and application of effective writing pedagogy in their classrooms. Compared to a control group of teachers, the teacher-inquiry group demonstrated a broader range of writing tasks, longer duration of writing tasks, and explicit strategies to support students in making the reading/writing connection. In addition, students of teachers in the experimental group showed improved achievement in writing on a nationally scored assessment. This article represents an important resource in for leaders planning and/or advocating for an inquiry-based approach to professional development.
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Writing Centers: More Than Remediation

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Author: Art Peterson

Summary: A resource for educators interested in establishing writing centers or as a guide to professional conversations about the limits and possibilities of writing centers, this article reports on what one teacher learned from her experience establishing a high school writing center. Jennifer Wells, a teacher-consultant with the Central California Writing Project shares both the resources and mentors that helped her in foundational ways along with how she navigated the misconceptions of what writing centers do. This article and Wells’ book can serve as a guide for professional discussions of writing center development.
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Redesigning the Summer Institute

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Author: Tonya Perry

Summary: The first NWP Invitational Summer Institute in 1974 established a model professional development experience, the basic principles and elements of which have been sustained at local writing project sites over the decades since. But even the best program design invites constant evaluation and adaptation. Reflection is a hallmark of our work and attention to both new opportunities and the changing needs of teacher participants is a vital part of what makes NWP programs so successful. Noting three challenges that emerged over time in relation to their traditional ISI model; timing, teaching demonstrations, and sustaining TCs active engagement with the site beyond the institute, the Colorado State University Writing Project adapted their Invitational Institute’s program design to be responsive to both the challenges and opportunities they faced. This reflective piece is of particular interest to site leaders facing similar circumstances who are interested in following the theory of action and process that CSUWP followed in adapting and redesigning this core program.
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Reflection and Practice on Leadership and Facilitation

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Author: Philadelphia Writing Project

Summary: This series of scenarios for planning professional development programs can serve as thinking and discussion guides for site leaders working with teacher leaders developing and delivering professional development. The scenarios guide TCs through a process of considering multiple brief PD requests, how they would put together a team of TCs well positioned to respond to the requests, what materials/resources they would need to deliver the PD, and what protocols and approaches they would use to lead the PD.
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Planning a Cohesive, Year-long Program with a Partner School: The “Arc” of Professional Development

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Author: Jane Frick, Tom Pankiewcz, and Terri McAvoy

Summary: In this NWP webinar, teacher leaders from the Prairie Lands Writing Project share specific examples of the steps they followed to develop and implement a yearlong intensive professional development partnership. The webinar begins with a discussion of how site leaders approached the partner school, built a strong relationship with key staff, conducted needs assessments, and collaboratively developed the program budget and a list of common goalst. The focus then shifts to specific examples of how the site developed and facilitated the PD sessions throughout the year. A particularly strong point of the webinar is the inclusion of a link to a google folder with all of the materials discussed in the webinar.
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Using Study Groups to Build Community

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Summary: Those involved in planning and/or facilitating teacher study groups will find a useful resource in this brief article describing how the NWP in Vermont developed and launched a long-term school-based teacher study group with several districts. The leaders of the program found the “open-endedness of the study group replicates the principles that make a summer institute succeed…teachers are intellectually and emotionally nurtured, rejuvenated, and empowered. They assume a measure of authority over their own learning.”
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Voces del Corazón: Voices from the Heart

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Author: Dolores S. Perez

Summary: Family Literacy Nights were created by teacher-consultants from the Sabal Palms Writing Project who partnered with two middle schools to reach out to parents and families in low-income communities. The article tells their story through examples and parents’ and students’ words (Spanish and English). It offers a set of guidelines and themes they felt would help to create inviting spaces that would encourage families and teachers to attend and participate; describes the TCs’ planning process of reading professional materials, writing and sharing personal writing which reinforced the value of writing and sharing cultures and histories; discusses ways that TCs and colleagues sat with parents and families to share their own stories; and provides a brief discussion of code-switching/ translanguaging. This resource can provide background and inspiration for starting to work with families in ways that truly value the funds of knowledge of all involved.
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Bridging the Disconnect: A Layered Approach to Jump-Starting Engagement

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Authors: Nanci Werner-Burke, Jane Spohn, Jessica Spencer, Bobbi Button, and Missie Morral

Summary: This article describes how middle school teachers looked closely at their own practice with the goal of increasing student engagement. As they explored digital tools and multimodal texts and publishing, they came to recognize the need to interweave attention to the social aspects of students’ learning with their own teaching. In the process, four key ideas rose to the forefront: the use of writing as a tool for engagement and learning, the importance of preparing students to compete in an increasingly digitized world, and the motivational appeal of the graphic novel genre. The results of their inquiry may serve as an example of how teachers can examine their own writing and classroom practices to develop new strategies to engage their students.
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Reimagining Learning in Libraries and Museums (NWP Radio)

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Summary: Imagine out-of-school learning spaces where museum and library educators create digital access for youth. The discussion focuses on students as makers rather than as consumers. Organizational partners discuss ways in which YOUmedia Network has impacted educators’ commitments to teen learning.
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CRWP: Teaching On-Demand Argument Writing

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Summary: This online learning experience from the College-Ready Writers Program (CRWP) supports on-demand writing. A PowerPoint with a slide-by-slide voiceover, it takes you through a step-by-step approach to teaching on-demand arguments of policy. It uses a two-day reading and writing task as a teaching prompt and another reading-based prompt as the task students complete on-demand. The PowerPoint, once downloaded, is editable. This resource could provide a digital writing experience for teacher groups to explore their own on-demand argumentative writing skill, or it could be used as a model so teachers can form their own on-demand readings and prompts.
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Pre-Retreat Coaching Leads to a More Successful Writing Retreat

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Author: Rebeca García-González

Summary: This article describes how pre-retreat coaching can be organized to deepen the effectiveness of a Professional Writing Retreat. This scaffolding prior to the event can be designed to help participants refine, adjust, or modify their writing plans and help build an early connection to a veteran site leader or retreat facilitator. Included are a brief list of pre-retreat coaching ideas and an example of an email to a writing retreat participant.
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Michigan Network Learns Together About 21st Century Literacies

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Author: Laura Roop

Summary: This article describes how the Red Cedar Writing Project designed a four-day capacity-building workshop, focused on 21st century literacies, for every NWP site in their state (Michigan). Any site can use this piece as a discussion starter to plan a similar workshop and to determine what web-based resources to use. Specifically, if a site needs help with technology and literacy, this is an excellent “how-to” map that also details important outcomes.
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Visioning Retreats as a Strategy for Leadership Development and Site Development

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Author: Pat Fox

Summary: Planning a visioning retreat can be an effective strategy for bringing together directors and teacher-leaders to take stock of where the site has been and to develop a strategic plan for future programs. Visioning retreats can help newer sites in their early years to develop an array of continuity and inservice programs beyond the summer invitational institute. For sites undergoing a leadership transition or reorganization, such an event can help to focus and clarify their mission while mature sites can refresh site leadership and refocus the work of the site. Teacher leaders may also find this work useful in thinking about visioning retreats for their schools or programs.
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Writing in Good Company in New Orleans (NWP Radio)

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Guests: Richard Louth, Kim Stafford, Susan Martens, and Tracy Cunningham

Summary: In this NWP Radio show, teacher leaders from the Southeastern Louisiana Writing Project discuss their writing marathon-focused advanced institute, a model of a large-scale writing marathon that draws attendees from across the county. Guests on the radio show share information that can be useful for designing local events. They emphasize the ways that marathons inspire writing while also celebrating local place and developing community among writers.
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College-Ready Writers Program Lesson Study (NWP Radio)

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Summary: Guests on this radio program were part of NWP’s College-Ready Writers Program (CRWP) who participated in an online version of a lesson study focused on two mini-units. Guests talk about how the structure of the lesson study has impacted their practice, their experience with teaching the mini-units in their classrooms, and their experience with participating in the online community. Site leadership teams may develop a similar online lesson study using lessons learned by these educators about digital interaction in professional inquiry groups. This resource may be useful for sites who want to engage in continuity across rural areas, or teachers want to try the argumentative writing modules and compare processes and outcomes with other educators.
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Creating Spaces for Study and Action Under the Social Justice Umbrella

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Authors: Marlene Carter, Norma Mota-Altman, and Faye Peitzman

Summary: This monograph provides an in-depth look at the UCLA Writing Project’s approach to exploring two social justice concerns—matters of race and issues of homophobia—and the design of two multiyear study groups that engage the learning community at the site. The authors chronicle how both study groups were moved to take action as a result of their work together, and describes the programs they created and the impacts of these programs. Finally, the authors reflect on how these study groups have impacted the work of their site, and on the significance of nurtur­ing long-term, focused continuity work for teachers. The monograph would be useful for teacher leaders interested in organizing and leading study groups focused on social justice issues, and/or in learning about strategies that support honest conversations among thoughtful colleagues.
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CRWP Mini-Units

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Summary: This resource from the College-Ready Writers Program features one-minute videos that define mini-units and explain the value of using nonfiction sources/texts. There are links to related pages on the CRWP website that focus on creating text sets and on developing and sequencing mini-units. These resources will take facilitators and teachers through both the content and implementation of researched argumentative modules, with space to supplement or customize. Teachers can write in response to some of the units to see how they might work with students.
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Youth Writing Camp – Manuscript Day

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Author: Janet Neyer

Summary: Thinking of developing a youth program? Looking for creative ideas to recruit more young writers to your summer camp offerings? If so, then this blog post describing an exciting one-day free youth event the Chippewa River Writing Project (CRWP) hosted could be the spark you need. This collaboration between the CRWP and the NCTE student affiliate at Central Michigan University is 1) a model for creatively engaging young writers K-8, 2) a model for how to partner with like minded campus partners, 3) a model for how to provide outreach and opportunities with short, yet meaningful programming, and 4) an example of how an outreach effort can also serve as a great marketing tool/opportunity.
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Sustaining Work with New Teachers

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Summary: Sites and/or educators interested in supporting early career teachers may find this resource useful: a description of how several sites developed and integrated their programs for new teachers—which were originally supported by NWP New Teacher Initiative grants—into the ongoing work of the site. Whether you are considering starting small (Southern Nevada: Study Groups), going all in (Houston: Intensive Summer Institute), or experimenting somewhere in the middle (Delaware: Workshop Series), there is something here to help you devise a program that can provide the support, collaboration, and collegiality new teachers need to thrive during their early professional years.
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The Limitations of Partnership

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Author: GibAnn Tam

Summary: Sharing lessons on time, focus, and leadership, one NWP site details important lessons learned in a professional development initiative with multiple partners. Their story could be helpful for sites confronting bumps in the road as they build professional partnerships intended to bring NWP ideas and practices to teachers in schools.
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New Teachers in Urban Contexts: Creating Bridges with Teach For America Teachers

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Authors: Dina Portnoy and Tanya Maloney

Summary: This article examines how the Philadelphia Writing Project partnered with the University of Pennsylvania and Teach for America (TFA) to provide new TFA teachers with an additional week of focused training before they entered the classroom for the start of the school year. The program is designed as a collaborative model to help the TFA teachers learn about building strong classroom communities, learn about and see the diversity of the urban school as an asset, and develop relationships with experienced and successful urban school educators. In addition, the program looks specifically to initiate the TFA teachers into the reflective practices and teacher inquiry processes inherent in NWP sites and work. This article would be a timely and useful resource for any TCs, teams, or sites considering working on professional development/mentoring for educators new to the profession, early in their careers, or those moving into a more diverse school setting for the first time in their careers. It might also serve as a good resource for sites looking at intensive one-week models that focus on issues of classroom diversity or as an alternative to the traditional four-week Invitational Summer Institute.
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