Leading Professional Learning

Imaginary Gardens and Real Issues: Improving Language Arts in the Urban Elementary School

Author: Joe Check Summary: Former Boston Writing Project director Joe Check creates “an imaginary school filled with real issues” to explore the role that Writing Project sites can play in helping schools create lasting improvements in literacy instruction, shifting focus from scaling up “exemplary programs” to scaling down and fostering...

Formative Assessment as a Compass: Looking at Student Work as an Intentional Part of Ongoing Professional Development

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. Led by questions posed by the authors and links within the text, a study group, individual teacher or professional development program facilitator can use...

No Longer a Luxury: Digital Literacy Can’t Wait

Author: Troy Hicks and Kristen Hawley Turner Summary: Calling for reflection upon and critique of how technology is typically used in schools, authors Hicks and Turner caution that technology in the classroom cannot be viewed simply as an add-on, but must instead be used to cultivate distinctly digital literacies, inviting...

Window Sill: Teacher-Researchers and the Study of Writing Process

Author: Marian M. Mohr Summary: For those new to facilitating teacher-research, this article provides insight into the process, specifically how teachers approach research, the potential for research to change teaching practice, and implications for teacher education. It’s written as an introduction to a collection of research reports on the writing...

Creating Connectional and Critical Curriculum, from Family Dialogue Journals: School-Home Partnerships that Support Student Learning

Authors: JoBeth Allen, Jennifer Beaty, Angela Dean, Joseph Jones, Stephanie Smith Matthews, Jen McCreight, Elyse Schwedler, and Amber M. Simmons Summary: In this chapter from Family Dialogue Journals: School-Home Partnerships That Support Student Learning, the authors discuss what they have learned from families and how family funds of knowledge became...

Culturally Mediated Writing Instruction for Adolescent English Language Learners

Author: Leslie Patterson, Carol Wickstrom, Juan Araujo Summary: Sites looking for examples of how to design a study and/or plan professional development focused on the impact of culturally mediated writing instruction (CMWI) for adolescent English learners may find this report by the North Star of Texas Writing Project a helpful...

Collaborating to Write Dialogue

Author: Janis Cramer Summary: By engaging children in a collaborative workshop environment to help them learn to develop characters, consider word choice, and interweave dialogue and description, the author simultaneously helped her students to strengthen social and independent writing skills. Opportunities to perform their dialogues in front of the class...

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...

NWP Teacher-Consultant Badge Framework: A Product Of The Building New Pathways To Leadership Initiative

Summary: As part of the Building New Pathways to Leadership Initiative, a team of NWP teacher-leaders surfaced and refined the social practices that underlie NWP teacher leadership development programs. These social practices form the framework for NWP’s Teacher-Consultant Badge.

Multi-Session Calendar for School-Based Professional Development

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....