About Writing

Billy Collins: A ‘Reader’s Poet’ Reads at NWP’s Annual Meeting

Summary: Two-time Poet Laureate Billy Collins shared his poetry, insights into writing, and many, many humorous asides at the 2009 NWP Annual Meeting’s General Session.

Improving Assignments With the Writing Assignment Framework

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...

Grammar—Comma—a New Beginning

Author: Mary Ehrenworth Summary: Teaching grammar through inquiry and seduction? In this piece, Mary Ehrenworth shares strategies for moving away from direct instruction (which seldom works) to making it possible for students to “have an apprenticeship relation with great authors, even at the sentence structure level.” By honoring diverse dialects...

Reflection & Reform: Five Myths About Reflective Writing

Author: Joe Check Summary: Making an argument for reflective teaching in the face of mandated, external programs, the author identifies five “myths” or beliefs about reflective writing and suggests ways to address the negative attitudes engendered by them. Useful to demonstrate the potential for connection between reflective teacher inquiry and...

Introduction: Why Digital Writing Matters

Author: National Writing Project, with Dànielle Nicole DeVoss, Elyse Eidman-Aadahl, and Troy Hicks Summary: What does it mean to write digitally? What does it mean to be a teacher of writing in a digital age? In this introduction to the book, Because Digital Writing Matters, the authors provide an overview...

Writing Centers: More Than Remediation

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 of establishing a high school writing center. Jennifer Wells, a teacher-consultant...

Sharing Student Work With the Community: Wall of Literacy Learning Exemplifies Student Writing

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...

Thank You for Sharing: Developing Students’ Social Skills to Improve Peer Writing Conferences

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...

Writing Together, at Home and Online

Summary: A sojourn at home can be the occasion for lots of creativity around topics and projects of interest. For those with internet access and a suitable devices, there are also ways to connect with others as you write. Here are some of our favorites from our colleague organizations in...

Why I Write: Jane Hirshfield Writes about Life’s Profound Mystery

Author: Jane Hirshfield Summary: Prize-winning international poet, translator, and essayist Jane Hirshfield’s poetry speaks to the central issues of human existence: desire and loss, impermanence and beauty, and the many dimensions of our connection with others. She tells NWP why she writes.