Equity & Access

Wise Eyes: Prompting for Meaningful Student Writing

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...

Mike Rose on Integrating Science and Language Arts in First Grade Using a Culturally Relevant Lens

Author: Mike Rose Summary: Rose offers an in-depth portrait of a Writing Project teacher integrating the study of science and language arts in her first-grade Baltimore classroom, all while advancing and honoring the cultural knowledge and understanding of her thirty African American students. This chapter, “Baltimore, Maryland” from Rose’s Possible...

Understanding Community Literacies as Foundational to Teaching Excellence

Author: Toni M. Williams, Diane DeFord, Amy Donnelly, Susi Long, Julia López-Robertson, Mary E. Styslinger, and Nicole Walker Summary: This article from the NCTE journal Language Arts reviews several professional books that explore issues of equity and access. The books reviewed share the view that, as educators, we can support...

Listening to the Sounds of Silence in the Classroom

Author: Art Peterson and Kathy Schultz Summary: Did you ever wonder about why certain students might choose silence? In this video and an accompanying article about her work, Kathy Schultz urges educators to inquire into the meaning of silence while also finding strategies to allow silent students to communicate. Watching...

Book Review: Teaching Reading in Middle School

Author: Rosalyn Finlayson Summary: This review of Laura Robb’s book, Teaching Reading in Middle School, is a useful resource for professional development program leaders and teachers looking for strategies to implement reading workshop in their classrooms to benefit students at all reading levels. Sharing the impetus for and insights drawn...

Writing, Place, and Culture: Indian Education for All

Author: Paul Epstein Summary: This article illustrates how two Writing Project sites In Maine and Montana explore how to help teachers address state laws regarding Indian education and improve the writing of Native American learners. It includes specific ideas for teacher leaders to increase their understanding of Native American culture...

Cultural Citizenship and Latino English Language Learners

Author: Maria Franquiz and Carol Brochin-Ceballos Summary: This short article emphasizes the importance of creating “a safe space for language and literacy development.” The authors argue for students’ rights to use their own “linguistic and cultural resources for learning.” Teachers who are eager for a conversation about about advocacy and...

Community Literacy: Can Writing Make a Difference?

Author: Linda Flower, Lorraine Higgins, Wayne C. Peck Summary: This resource describes the process emerging from a Community Literacy Collaborative (CLC) initiative that enabled youth to use inquiry and writing to enter into a policy discussion about increases in school suspension and for their university mentors to enter into the...

Are You the Teacher Who Gives Parents Homework?

Author: Carole Chin Summary: In this chapter from the NWP publication, Cityscapes, an elementary teacher describes how she uses the writing of students and their families to build community, honor family cultures and languages, and provide a forum to address fears, anxieties, and concerns. Threaded through the narrative are many...

The Family Writing Project: No More Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

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...