writing group

Radical Revision Strategies: My Road from Fairy Tale to Catharsis

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Author: Juanita Willingham

Summary: A teacher-writer shares her experience using radical revision, a strategy for taking ones writing apart and reassembling it. In the process of illustrating the impact of trying out various revisions of a poignant poem she wrote and shared with a writing group, she includes five clear and useful strategies that encourage writers to experiment with changes in structure, genre, and point of view. Teacher-writers as well as classroom teachers and facilitators of writing-intensive workshops may appreciate this piece.

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The Value of Teacher-Writers (NWP Radio)

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Guests: Christine Dawson, Leah Zuidema, and Troy Hicks

Summary: This NWP Radio show brings together the authors of two co-published books on teacher-writers, Christine Dawson (The Teacher-Writer), and Troy Hicks and Leah Zuidema (Coaching Teacher-Writers). For teachers who want to start a writing group, or for site leaders who are looking for guidance in coaching the development of writing groups, this radio show details experiences and offers practical methods for support and success.
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Lawnmowers, Parties, and Writing Groups: What Teacher-Authors Have to Teach Us about Writing for Publication

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Author: Anne Elrod Whitney

Summary: When teachers write for others in their profession they are taking on a form of leadership and embracing a means of advocating for the value of classroom inquiry and reflective practice. This article by Anne Whitney, a researcher who has studied the professional practice of NWP teachers, invites teacher-writers to get beyond the hurdles of doubt as they approach publication of their professional writing. An inspirational article for teacher writing groups, it could resonate with teachers who are ready or getting ready to share their work more publicly.
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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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“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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Reflections on an Online Teachers Writing Group

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Author: Anne Elrod Whitney

Summary: After participating in an NWP program, teachers may be eager to continue writing and yet may find themselves consumed by other obligations related to teaching and their personal lives. This thoughtful article offers concrete, constructive protocols for sustaining a writing group online, as well as authentic models of collegial response and reflection on the implications of teacher-writers’ experiences for their own classroom student writing groups.
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The Journey of an Emerging Site Leader

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Author: Kathleen Ann Gonzalez

Summary: Are you taking on a new role at your writing project? Are you both excited and nervous? If so, then following Kathleen Gonzalez’s journey as she stepped into a key leadership at her site may help set you at ease. Her story confirms what we know deep down: trusting your writing project instincts and staying true to NWP core principles will lead to positive experiences and  outcomes. In the process of telling her story, Gonzalez shares several concrete strategies and suggestions for how to help writing groups develop community and maintain momentum throughout an institute.
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30 Ideas for Teaching Writing

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

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Author: Anne Elrod Whitney

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

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Author: Denise Marchionda

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