Leading Professional Learning

The National Writing Project: Scaling Up and Scaling Down

Author: Joseph P. McDonald, Judy Buchanan, and Richard Sterling Summary: How does the NWP simultaneously impact individuals and school communities? What can local sites learn about strategies for scaling up their work? Teacher leaders and project directors involved in developing grant proposals, partnerships, or research focused on scaling up professional...

Changing Teaching from Within: Teachers as Leaders

Author: Ann Lieberman & Linda Friedrich Summary: For sites and individuals interested in exploring why teachers become leaders in their schools and communities and how they move into positions of leadership, this paper and accompanying slides provide a rich and in-depth look at stories from a research study of NWP...

Orientations for the Teaching of Writing: A Legacy of the National Writing Project

Author: Anne Whitney and Linda Friedrich Summary: In this comprehensive review and analysis of a qualitative study of twenty years of interviews with NWP Invitational Institute participants, researchers Whitney and Friedrich conclude that NWP’s influence on participating teachers over time and across settings resulted in their adopting a set of...

Changing Times: Adapting the Invitational Summer Institute to an Online Environment

Author: Ken Martin Summary: Ken Martin, director of the Maine WP, shares lessons learned as the site transitioned from a traditional face-to-face summer Invitational Institute to a year round, online institute. This thoughtful and comprehensive study reviews the rationale for moving to an online institute documenting the successes, struggles, and...

Program Recruitment Flyers: Some Models

Summary: If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound? Likewise, if a great professional development program is offered and no one shows up, was it great? Here is a collection of flyers that NWP sites have used to...

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...

A Year in the Life of a Director

Summary: This graphic/timeline of “A Year in the Life of a Director” encapsulates the management responsibilities and initiatives necessary to keep things running at a local site. This tool is helpful in assisting site leaders and program coordinators with funding deadlines, reporting deadlines, and organizational leadership meetings.

The How of Writing: First-Graders Learn Craft

Author: Glorianne Bradshaw Summary: Inspired by the ways upper grade teachers use mentor texts to generate more interesting student writing, Bradshaw uses the Frog and Toad books to teach writing to her first graders, demonstrating sentence variety, show-not-tell, onomatopoeia, the “good beginning,” and other techniques. This resource also shows the...

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...

Teacher Study Group Movement: From Pilot to Districtwide Study Groups in Four Years

Authors:Mary Weaver, Mary Calliari, Janet Rentsch Summary: This NWP monograph from leaders of the Saginaw Bay WP (Michigan) takes a deep dive into a districtwide approach to teacher-led study groups that resulted in significant changes in teacher practice and student learning as well as leadership development among teacher facilitators. The...