Leading Professional Learning

Bless, Press, Address: A Formative Response Protocol for Writing Groups

Summary: A useful resource for a writing group, Bless, Press, Address is a classic NWP formative response protocol designed to guide feedback to a writer on a draft piece of writing or multimedia project. Rather than offering a summative assessment of quality, the protocol invites group members to share how...

One Director’s Role as Leader, Contextualizer, Researcher, Enabler, and Site Conscience

Author: Sheridan Blau Summary: In this classic piece Sheridan Blau, founder of the South Coast Writing Project, reflects on the varied roles a Writing Project site director plays, emphasizing how the role is really about creating a context for teacher leaders to pursue the important work of the project. This is particularly...

Digging Deeper: Teacher Inquiry in the Summer Institute Demonstration

Author: Art Peterson Summary: “If this worked for me, why did it work?” This article explores writing project summer institute teacher demonstrations as a form of teacher inquiry at the Northern California Writing and the Red Cedar Writing Project, focusing on the questions that drive demonstrations of successful practices and...

Bringing Hard Talk to Your Writing Project Site—with the Theatre of the Oppressed

Author: Chris Tsang Summary: When faced with difficult conversations and scenarios involving heated subjects such as race, class, gender, or language, role-playing can be used as a facilitation technique to create an entry point for dialogue and disruption. The author illustrates the experience of teachers in a workshop and discusses...

Seeing Academic Writing with a New “I”

Author: Rebecca Feldbusch Summary: How often do we tell our students (or ourselves) that making personal connections will strengthen their writing, and yet when it comes to academic writing warn against employing the evil “I”? In this essay, Rebecca Feldbusch pushes back against the strong admonitions of teachers across the...

“Mizzou Men” Explore Their Roles as Men in the Elementary School Classroom

Summary: Focusing on an inquiry group comprised of men who teach in elementary schools, this article discusses the unique issues faced by this group and how an inquiry process can support them in addressing those issues and sharing successful strategies. It includes the reading/viewing protocol used by the group to...

A Thousand Writers Writing: Seeking Change through the Radical Practice of Writing as a Way of Being

Author: Robert Yagelski Summary: Have you ever found yourself having to justify teachers’ writing as a key, non-negotiable component of your site’s professional development? If so, this article can help ground you in the importance and value of the act of writing. Yagelski proposes a pedagogy of “writing as a...

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...

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....

Creating a Culture of Inquiry Through the Use of Model Lessons

Author: Suzanne Linebarger Summary: Suzanne Linebarger, associate director of the Northern California Writing Project, describes how her site conducts an inservice program of model lessons that supports collective teacher inquiry into key concepts in teaching reading and writing. Useful for teacher leaders developing or leading school-based or outside professional development,...