community

Teacher as Community Member/Teacher as Connector

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Author: Danielle Filipiak

Summary: This multi-generational dialogue explores the ways in which teachers can strengthen their classrooms’ connection to communities, neighborhoods, and other contexts that their students navigate.
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Site Outreach and Visibility

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Summary: How do you represent the breadth and depth of the work at your site to public and professional audiences? What do you highlight when approaching potential community and school district partners? How can you quantify and communicate your contributions to the university?

This collection of resources demonstrates how different National Writing Project sites describe, showcase, and market their rich and complex work. Whether created with an external or internal audience in mind, these resources provide insight into the value, reach, and impact of the sites’ work.

In addition to the resources included here, it would also be useful for sites to revisit the NWP Annual Reports, linked here, to see how the network describes the reach and relevance of its work and consider how that information might be usefully included in local site materials.
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Service to School: Creating Connections, Creating Democratic Cultures—from The Activist Learner

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Author: Jeffrey D. Wilhelm, Whitney Douglas, and Sara W. Fry

Summary: This sample chapter from The Activist Learner explores how the school itself can become a site for service learning. Two examples are discussed in detail: 1) engaging students in the process of documenting the school’s history; and 2) transforming school culture through a civic participation framework. A valuable resource for service learning curriculum design, this chapter also focuses on service learning as an important form of inquiry.
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We Are All Teachers of English Learners (NWP Radio)

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Summary: Many NWP sites have retooled their recruitment efforts, inservice offerings and institutes in light of the significant demographic changes that have placed English learners in almost every classroom. On this NWP Radio show, teacher consultants from four sites offer a look at their work with multilingual students as a foundation for the development of site inservice and continuity offerings. This resource may be of use to teacher leaders looking for specific ideas and plans to support teachers of English learners in their schools and service areas.
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Youth Camp Flyers

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Summary: Youth camps are a staple of National Writing Project sites across the country. This collection offers flyers that various Writing Projects have created to promote and market their youth writing opportunities. Included in the collection are examples from school-year one-day symposium/workshops, weekend programs, and week-long and multi-week summer writing camps and retreats. While the collection was created to offer insight into how sites can promote the programs they offer for young writers, the flyers’ descriptions of the camps are also useful for teacher leaders simply looking for ideas on themes, formats, and structures for youth programming.
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Youth Camp Agendas, Outlines, and Schedules

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Summary: Starting a new youth writing camp at your site? Looking to infuse new ideas, writing activities, or approaches in your existing youth programs? Looking for creative and innovative ways in which other sites are using “out-of-school” spaces to engage young writers? If so, then this collection of youth camp resources could be a “go-to” resource.  In this collection you will find help with getting started (program overviews and orientation agendas), planning (camp outlines and descriptions), recruiting (invitations to TCs and potential partners), advertising (flyers and registrations), and successfully running (agendas, lessons, protocols) your youth program. Browse through the materials for an overview of possibilities or dig deeply into the collection for an in-depth look at what it takes to develop and host successful programs for young writers.
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Digital Directions in Professional Development

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Author: Elyse Eidman-Aadahl and Cindy O’Donnell-Allen

Summary: In a conversation sponsored by NCTE’s Language Arts, two NWP leaders discuss the transformations in the classroom and in teacher practice that happen when connected learning and digital tools are integrated into curriculum planning. They emphasize that the tools do not replace the teacher; the teacher becomes even more important as a model, or “lead learner,” for writing in today’s digital age.
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Language, Identity, and Learning in Talking Appalachian (NWP Radio)

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Author: Amy Clark

Summary: This NWP Radio conversation with Amy Clark, co-editor of Talking Appalachian: Voice, Identity & Community, begins with a personal story of how transcribing an oral history interview with her great grandmother revealed the syntax and poetry in her speech. Subsequent segments include discussions of: 1) teachers’ and writers’ essays in Part II of the book that incorporate implications and ideas for instruction (4:38 -19:42); and 2) Amy’s teaching career trajectory that led to her bringing research about dialect to her writing project community; a discussion of contrastive analysis as a tool for helping students use their writing to understand reasons nonstandard grammar patterns exist so they can learn to make choices to switch between home/informal and school/formal languages; results and advice for researchers/study groups interested in this work (20:08 – 39:04).This resource could be useful in planning and/or leading professional development, study groups, or teacher inquiry focused on dialect and empowering student voice.
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Honoring the Word: Classroom Instructors Find That Students Respond Best to Oral Tradition

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Author: Michael Thompson

Summary: In this award winning essay, Native American teacher and NWP site director Michael Thompson, reflects on his own practice and shares findings from research interviews he conducted with instructors in tribal college and university classrooms to learn how they approach literature and writing. In particular, he wondered if assigned texts represented “the value that Native people have historically given to traditional stories, teachings, speeches, tribal journeys, and accomplishments.” Instructors reported that Native communities typically value the spoken word over the art of writing and described language practices such as collecting personal narratives of elders in documentary films and digitized recordings. Classroom teachers, study groups and professional development leaders interested in exploring resources and practices that support efforts to “reclaim and honor oral traditions” of native peoples may find this article of interest.
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Why We Are Sticking To Our Stories

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Author: Tina Deschenie

Summary: In recounting the power of the oral tradition of storytelling, Tina Deschenie describes the mesmerizing experience of listening to her father tell elaborated stories in the Diné language about Coyote as well as numerous other literacy practices grounded in “the power and beauty of oral tradition and face-to-face storytelling.” This piece could be used within professional development or study groups advocating for culturally relevant practices, bi-literacy, family and community traditions, and exploring innovative ways to bring native stories, that might range from capturing oral histories to digital animation, into classrooms.
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