Program Design

A Year of Action Research: An Adaptable Model

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Summary: This advanced institute program overview from the Lake Michigan Writing Project could be a valuable resource for any sites looking to add an action research/teacher research component to their programming. The overview outlines program goals, objectives, key components, and expectations for participants, as well as a detailed and helpful breakdown of the focus for each of the academic year meetings. This short overview is an example of how to concisely convey the scope and desired outcomes of a program.
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Planning for Young Writers Camps

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Summary: Many writing project sites count on young authors’ camps to reach out to the community and bring in revenue. This resource is a planning tool that illustrates how the Fox Valley Writing Project thought through the decisions involved in launching a summer youth camp. Those looking to expand, revise, or begin summer youth writing programs may find this resource useful, as it 1) lists expectations for teachers leading camps, 2) provides budget “givens” and guidelines, and 3) outlines the many decisions camp leadership teams make in preparing for an engaging summer experience that also contributes to site income.
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Writing Our Future Through Family Literacy Projects (NWP Radio)

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Summary: In this NWP Radio Show, writing project leaders discuss their family academic literacy projects, developed as part of the Writing Our Future Initiative. Based in high-needs schools around the country, this work provides support and interactive programming for English Language Learners grades K-3 and their families. This resource can support NWP sites and groups of teacher leaders to understand some of the questions and issues involved in developing these programs, and provides models for adaptation.
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The Work of the National Writing Project: Social Practices in a Network Context

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Author: Ann Lieberman and Diane Wood

Summary: Is it really “magic” that occurs in Writing Project-related professional development? The authors of this report argue that Writing Projects have visible cultural features that lead to the building of successful professional learning communities. Ask teachers to read and discuss this report after they have worked together over time. Their conversation will support them in demystifying the NWP “magic” and unpacking the cultural features that make for successful professional learning communities as a basis for planning their own facilitation of professional learning experiences.
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NWP Teacher Consultant Badge Framework: A Product Of The Building New Pathways To Leadership Initiative

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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.
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Teacher Transformation in the National Writing Project

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Author: Anne Elrod Whitney

Summary: Why do teachers so often attribute their personal and professional “transformation” to their writing project experiences? Researcher Anne Whitney considers how participants’ writing time and writing group experience impacts their identity as writers, learners, and instructional leaders. Reading this study could spur an interesting discussion about what writing experiences are transformational and essential when planning learning for new teacher participants.
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Formative Assessment in Designing and Refining Long-Term Professional Development

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Guests: Toby Kahn-Loftus, Dan Polleys, Catherine Quick, Jennifer Guerra, Maria Garcia, Erin Mohr, and Stephanie Rollag

Summary: For teachers studying the role of formative assessment in the teaching of writing or leading long-term, in-school professional development, this webinar provides a wealth of strategies and resources. National Writing Project teachers from Michigan, Texas, and Minnesota share assessment strategies and program designs and offer insights from their work with teachers in high-need schools into the ways in which critical feedback from student work and teaching practice helps shape and reshape professional development sessions.
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Site-Based Leadership Reforms the Writing Curriculum on the Other Side of the Tracks

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Author: Nancy Remington and Robert McGinty

Summary: Leaders from the Great Basin Writing Project in Nevada describe a long-term school partnership that gave teachers at Southside Elementary the opportunity to redesign curriculum and reshape the writing culture of their school. This inquiry-centered approach to professional development, designed and led by teachers with the support of the writing project’s teacher consultants, could serve as a model for any school engaged in similar work.
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How Our Assumptions Affect Our Expectations

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Author: Jan Hillskemper

Summary: Increased parental involvement in student success is a goal of many schools and teachers. However, there can be vastly different ideas on what parental involvement looks like at school. This article, a useful resource for teachers and study groups addressing the complex issue of parent involvement, examines how teachers can drift into a set of misguided assumptions when they mistakenly believe parents have the same values and expectations that they have, and that their beliefs about parental participation are the “right” ways for parents to be involved in their children’s education.
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Writing Centers: More Than Remediation

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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 with the Central California Writing Project, shares both the resources and mentors that helped her in foundational ways along with how she navigated the misconceptions of what writing centers do. This article and Wells’ book can serve as a guide for professional discussions of writing center development.
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Assessment in a Culture of Inquiry: The Story of the National Writing Project’s Analytic Writing Continuum

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Author: Sherry Swain and Paul LeMahieu

Summary: This article details the journey of teachers and researchers who worked together to create the NWP’s Analytic Writing Continuum (AWC), an approach to writing assessment that is locally contextualized yet linked to a common national framework and standards of performance. In addition to demonstrating the AWC’s great potential for classroom use, the authors describe the multiple ways NWP sites have utilized the AWC to conduct research, to re-envision large-scale writing assessments, to develop effective professional development, and to mentor teachers in further development of their own writing. They also provide illustrations of how the AWC enabled students to discuss and iterate ways to improve their writing. This article, or excerpts from it, may prove useful during summer institute or teacher PD discussions of the most effective and in-depth ways to both scaffold and evaluate writing.
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Designing a Writing Retreat and Building Site Leadership on a Small Budget

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Author: Nancy Mellin McCracken & Barbara Smith

Summary: This article describes the National Writing Project at Kent State University’s journey into the development of a sustainable Professional Writing Retreat that not only supported teachers’ professional writing but also contributed to the development of new site leadership. The goals and priorities that guided their work may serve as a helpful guide for teacher leaders planning their own writing retreats.  CONTINUE READING

One-Day Workshops for Outreach and Revenue

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Summary: Many writing project sites raise funds by offering a series of one-day open workshops over the course of a school year. This list of workshops offered by the University of Mississippi Writing Project in 2013 may inspire teacher-leaders at other sites to think about how they could develop similar one-day programs in their own service area. (Note: the ongoing, updated schedule is available here)
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Such Stuff as Writing Dreams Are Made Of: Technology in the Writing Retreat

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Author: Michelle Rogge Gannon

Summary: This article describes how to plan and implement a Professional Writing Retreat that supports writers who create multimodal texts, and how to troubleshoot technology-related issues that might arise. Included are guidelines for responding to multimodal writers in ways that support their revision in various media. This resource may be useful for groups who are planning writing retreats at their local sites; additionally the revision guidelines may be adaptable for working with students.
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The Professional Leadership Development Project: Building Writing Project and School-Site Teacher Leadership in Urban Schools

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Author: Zsa Boykin, Jennifer Scrivner, and Sarah Robbins

Summary: Motivated by a desire to have opportunities for professional development for their teaching colleagues similar to those they had experienced as participants in the Kennesaw Mountain Writing Project, teacher-consultants created a structure for building a school-based professional leadership development project. The authors of this NWP monograph describe a flexible model–grounded in participating teachers’ own collaborative inquiry into their work–for promoting teacher leadership within six urban schools. Teacher leaders interested in developing similar models of school-based learning communities will find inspiration in this resource along with a useful planning guide.
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Service to School: Creating Connections, Creating Democratic Cultures—from The Activist Learner

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Author: Jeffrey D. Wilhelm, Whitney Douglas, and Sara W. Fry

Summary: This sample chapter from The Activist Learner explores how the school itself can become a site for service learning. Two examples are discussed in detail: 1) engaging students in the process of documenting the school’s history; and 2) transforming school culture through a civic participation framework. A valuable resource for service learning curriculum design, this chapter also focuses on service learning as an important form of inquiry.
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Creating a Team of Teacher Leaders in Remote Schools and Local Communities: The Yellowstone Writing Project’s New Pathway to Leadership

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Authors: Allison Wynhoff Olsen, Kirk Branch, Alan Hoffmann, Amber Henwood, Hali Kirby, Cassandra Moos, Tyrel Shannon, Peter Strand, and Nigel Waterton

Summary: Written as part of the Building New Pathways to Leadership initiative, this narrative and accompanying resources tell one site’s story of building a pathway to teacher leadership in a remote rural school district. Site leaders interested in supporting teacher leadership development in remote rural areas of their service area may find this narrative helpful.
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Online Event Supports Debate about Content Area Literacy

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Summary: Twenty-five participants from 15 sites met online to discuss provocative issues related to the recruitment and retention of content area teachers at writing project sites. The group shared thoughts about and experiences with content area literacy and the expansion of sites to include content area literacy teachers into the development of a site.
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TTT (Teachers Teaching Teachers) Talks Badges

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Author: Erin Wilkey Oh

Summary: This blog post from “The Current” features two videos that offer comprehensive talk-throughs about badging (credentialing) including various iterations, pros and cons, structures and practical uses in education and other contexts. Teacher leaders will find the featured discussions useful in exploring the uses and possibilities of badging.
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Creating a Pedagogy of Facilitation: A Facilitator’s Handbook from the Philadelphia Writing Project

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Authors: Christina Puntel and Carol Rose

Summary: Created by Philadelphia Writing Project teacher-consultants, this Facilitator’s Handbook and related resources invite emergent leaders to consider how they might plan, lead, and facilitate a specific professional development series. Included are facilitation scenarios (e.g., planning a PD series on Writing Workshop and Conferencing or Writing Across the Curriculum) and protocols designed to provoke discussion. There could be additional questions to consider, for example, what kinds of “writing experiences” would you design into the series? What sorts of “readings” would have participants engage with?
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Creating a Culture of Inquiry Through the Use of Model Lessons

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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, the resource includes a sample schedule for a yearlong professional development program along with tools for evaluating student writing.
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Envisioning Leadership Transitions as Moments of Opportunity

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Author: Karen Hamlin

Summary: This article describes the Oregon Writing Project’s visioning retreat and includes links to their retreat invitation, their annotated list of online resources, retreat agenda, and newsletter. This resource will help in building site capacity when challenges and opportunities of transition arise.
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From Summer to Yearlong Institute: Transitioning the ISI to a Yearlong Program

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Summary: The Hudson Valley Writing Project shares how the site transitioned from a traditional Invitational Summer Institute to a year-round program that includes a mix of face-to-face and blended programming. Whether looking to adapt the Invitational Institute to take advantage of new and emerging technologies, to address issues of course credit and recruitment, or for any other reason, sites and site leaders can benefit from considering the model year-round program shared by the HVWP.
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Program Recruitment Flyers: Some Models

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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 successfully recruit participants to a variety of professional development offerings. Take a look and see what might be useful in helping your site recruit a large and enthusiastic crowd for the fabulous professional development programs that you offer.
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Connected Learning: An Agenda for Research and Design

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Summary: “Connected learning is realized when a young person is able to pursue a personal interest or passion with the support of friends and caring adults, and is in turn able to link this learning and interest to academic achievement, career success or civic engagement.” This report—which emerged from the MacArthur Foundation’s Digital Media and Learning Initiative, of which the National Writing Project is a key member—describes a set of design and learning principles meant to support a new approach to learning and presents the latest findings in the design and implementation of Connected Learning principles in education.
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Real World History: Six Videos that Model and Inspire

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Summary: Looking for ways to involve high school students in using historical tools to craft arguments and make personal connections to current issues? These six short NWP-produced videos spotlight Real World History, a high school course that frames history as an argument about the past and teaches students to think like historians. The video footage, focused on a study of the Great Migration of the 20th Century, could be a springboard for curriculum design or spark conversation in classes or professional development focused on disciplinary literacy with a social justice bent.
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Sharing Student Work With the Community: Wall of Literacy Learning Exemplifies Student Writing

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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 of teacher researchers “opened a window on classroom life” by creating a “wall of literacy” to illustrate their own and their K-12 students’ writing development. Hallway spaces were turned into a “museum” of writing that was opened to the community. This article describes the both the design and the outcome of the event.
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The Challenge of Change: Growth Through Inquiry at the Western Massachusetts Writing Project

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Author: Susan Connell Biggs, Kevin Hodgson, and Bruce Penniman

Summary: This National Writing Project monograph describes the inquiry process undertaken by leaders at the Western Massachusetts Writing Project when the site faced radical changes and challenges in funding and leadership. This process led to a reorganization of the site, with new structures created to ensure its sustainability. In addition to the narrative, the monograph includes a variety of useful resources and tools for engaging in collaborative planning such as identity mapping, inquiry models, site leadership job descriptions, and more.
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Reflection and Practice on Leadership and Facilitation

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Summary: This series of scenarios for planning professional development programs can serve as thinking and discussion guides for site leaders working with teacher leaders who are developing and delivering professional development. The scenarios guide leaders through a process of considering multiple brief PD requests, how they would put together a team of teacher leaders well positioned to respond to the requests, what materials and resources they would need to deliver the PD, and what protocols and approaches they might use.
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Joined at the Hip: The Joys and Travails of Teaching “Linked” Courses

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Author: Matthew Teorey

Summary: This article features one university’s program offering “Freshman Learning Communities” in which two instructors from different disciplines work together developing curriculum by coordinating two sets of complementary readings and assignments. In this cross-disciplinary approach, a community environment helps the students succeed in their freshman year. The resource provides an example of co-teaching and of coordinated literacy integration with specific writing and critical thinking skills across disciplines and has the potential for adaptation to the high school curricula.
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Innovative Writing Program Helps High Schools

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Author: University of Arizona – University Relations

Summary: This news article describes the Wildcat Writers, an innovative service learning and writing program housed in the University of Arizona. By exploring topics like censorship, designing infographics, producing novels, and organizing campus events, the high school writers learned how to promote literacy, creativity and artistic innovation. The grant behind this initiative is explained as well as the university partnership with its NWP site. Takeaways from this resource are the learning outcomes seen in the enthusiastic quotes from student writers, the planning and funding sources for such a partnership, and the collaborative facilitation that provided a unique pathway for youth from high school to the university–all helpful for site leaders and summer writing program organizers who may gain ideas for similar partnerships in their areas.
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Youth Writing Camp – Manuscript Day

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Author: Janet Neyer

Summary: Thinking of developing a youth program? Looking for creative ideas to recruit more young writers to your summer camp offerings? If so, then this blog post describing an exciting one-day free youth event the Chippewa River Writing Project (CRWP) hosted could be the spark you need. This collaboration between the CRWP and the NCTE student affiliate at Central Michigan University is a model for 1) creatively engaging young writers K-8,  2) partnering with like minded campus partners,  3) providing outreach and opportunities with short, yet meaningful programming, and 4) how an outreach efforts can also serve as a great marketing tool/opportunity.
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Online Summer Institute: Extending the Invitation

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Author: Deanna Mascle, Vickie Moriarity, Liz Prather

Summary: Created as part of the Building New Pathways to Leadership initiative, this short monograph outlines the development, execution, and refinement of the Morehead Writing Project’s Online Summer Institute over the course of 8 years, including a variety of artifacts and links to the Google Site used to coordinate the institute. Site leaders developing their own online or hybrid summer institute may find this site’s experience useful.
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Saturday Seminar and Workshop Series Support Materials

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Summary: Are you thinking of developing a new or revising an existing weekend workshop series? This collection of flyers, marketing emails, and syllabi–from a Seven Valleys Writing Project conference program, the Greater Madison Writing Project’s Saturday Seminar Series, and the Colorado State Writing Project’s Just in Time Conference–offers not only models of support materials but also ideas and inspiration for planning, recruiting, and running your program.
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What’s the Buzz About Badges?

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Author: Elyse Eidman-Aadahl & Sheryl Grant

Summary: This video introduces a definition of badges and features a discussion of various badging systems. The facilitators also preview a series of webinars and learning opportunities about badges and début a new resource collection that shares lessons learned from dozens of badge design projects.
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Planning for Study Groups: An Advanced Institute at the NWP in Vermont

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Author: Patricia McGonegal

Summary: This article describes the design and development of an advanced summer institute where teacher-consultants prepare to lead study groups in their own schools. Within this experiential institute, teacher leaders immerse themselves in the practices and theories essential to making study groups productive and powerful; they participate in a study group, reflect on this experience, and begin to design study groups adapted to their specific contexts. While this article can be viewed as a guide to preparing teachers to lead study groups, it could just as easily be used as a general guide for any site planning an advanced institute to support teachers as professional development leaders.
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A Critical Inquiry Framework for K-12 Teachers

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Author: JoBeth Allen and Lois Alexander

Summary: This sample book chapter explains what teacher-led critical inquiry means in a social justice context. Useful in planning inquiry groups with a social justice focus, it also includes excellent content to help teachers to bring a social justice focus to their individual inquiry practice and encourage their students to take a critical inquiry stance in the classroom.
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Building LRNG Badges: Beyond Graphics

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Author: Paul Allison

Summary: This resource offers access to two in-depth discussions about LRNG playlists and corresponding online assignments/tasks leading to badges that youth receive for their career-based digital work. Teachers in the New York City Writing Project talk through the Badge Builder on LRNG in the first video. In the second, Paul Allison (NYCWP) and Chris Sloan (Wasatch Range WP) talk through the building of an entire set of guidelines and digital tasks based on two photography playlists. This rich task-oriented discussion considers students first and takes educators who want to build such a badging system through the process.
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The Birth and Death of Portfolio Assessment

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Author: Pauline Sahakian

Summary: Although this short article is ostensibly about portfolio assessment, the author warns that promising teaching practices will only endure in a school or professional community if mentors facilitate ongoing conversations about the hows, whens, and whys of practice. In other words, regular practices cannot be taken for granted; mentors and facilitators cannot assume new leaders will simply take up time-honored practices.
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Youth Camp Flyers

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Summary: Youth camps are a staple of National Writing Project sites across the country. This collection offers flyers that various Writing Projects have created to promote and market their youth writing opportunities. Included in the collection are examples from school-year one-day symposium/workshops, weekend programs, and week-long and multi-week summer writing camps and retreats. While the collection was created to offer insight into how sites can promote the programs they offer for young writers, the flyers’ descriptions of the camps are also useful for teacher leaders simply looking for ideas on themes, formats, and structures for youth programming.
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Creating Spaces for Study and Action Under the Social Justice Umbrella

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Authors: Marlene Carter, Norma Mota-Altman, and Faye Peitzman

Summary: This monograph provides an in-depth look at the UCLA Writing Project’s approach to exploring two social justice concerns—matters of race and issues of homophobia—and the design of two multiyear study groups that engage the learning community at the site. The authors chronicle how both study groups were moved to take action as a result of their work together, and describes the programs they created and the impacts of these programs. Finally, the authors reflect on how these study groups have impacted the work of their site, and on the significance of nurtur­ing long-term, focused continuity work for teachers. The monograph would be useful for teacher leaders interested in organizing and leading study groups focused on social justice issues, and/or in learning about strategies that support honest conversations among thoughtful colleagues.
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Scaling Up Youth Programs (NWP Radio)

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Guests: Mary Buckelew, Carol Minner, and Paul Rogers

Summary: Youth programs invite teachers to apply their experience in new contexts including after-school and summer programs with students, families and their local communities. This NWP Radio show features youth program models from three National Writing Project sites. Teachers who are planning programs for youth may be especially interested in the following segments: (2:16-5:44) which features a discussion of the overall potential and value of youth programs; (28:30-34) which describes program partnerships with museums, national parks and botanical gardens and the key role of teachers in leading the work; (45:15-48:38) which features a discussion of youth programs that work with migrant students. The show also includes a discussion of how youth programs can contribute to the financial stability of a writing project site.

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Beyond Strategies: Teacher Practice, Writing Process, and the Influence of Inquiry

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Author: Anne Whitney, Sheridan Blau, Alison Bright, Rosemary Cabe, Tim Dewar, Jason Levin, Roseanne Macias, and Paul Rogers

Summary: A key reading, this award-winning research study may serve equally well as the focus for a group studying writing process pedagogy or for teacher leaders developing and leading a professional development program. Based on two contrasting case studies, the overall study provided evidence for the importance of inquiry in transforming teaching practice and student performance. While each teacher discusses how she interpreted and implemented a process-centered theory of writing, the comparative data suggest that inquiry-based inservice may lead to more nuanced thinking about teaching writing and increase a teacher’s sense of responsibility for improving curricula and interrogating her own practice. The study also includes detailed descriptions of the inquiry-based professional development in which one of the teachers participated.
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Sustaining Work with New Teachers

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Summary: Teacher leaders interested in supporting early career teachers may find this resource useful as it describes how several National Writing Project sites developed programs for teachers new to the profession.  Originally supported by NWP New Teacher Initiative grants, new teacher programs were integrated into the ongoing work of the site. Whether you are considering starting small (Southern Nevada: Study Groups), going all in (Houston: Intensive Summer Institute), or experimenting somewhere in the middle (Delaware: Workshop Series), there are protocols and other resources in this collection to help you devise a program that can provide the support, collaboration, and collegiality new teachers need to thrive during their early professional years.
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A Guide for Writing Marathon Leaders

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Authors: Richard Louth

Summary: This in-depth guide, drawn from the book “I’m a Writer”: Essays on the Writing Marathon and Why We Write, covers just about everything needed to organize and run a successful writing marathon. In a writing marathon, small groups write and share their writing as they move through a setting such as a landscape, a city neighborhood, a museum. These events–for teachers, community members, and/or students– can inspire writing while also developing community among writers and celebrating local spaces.

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From Young Writers Camp to Young Adult Literacy Labs: CT Connecticut-Fairfield Finds New Ways to Revitalize Youth Programs

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Summary: The Connecticut Writing Project-Fairfield’s adaptation of its traditional Young Writers Camp to a series of Young Adult Literacy Labs (YALLs) provides food for thought for site leaders designing new or considering changes to existing youth programming. The primary change was a move away from two large general writing camps to a dozen smaller genre-specific camps. The change, while attracting more participants, also allowed the site to integrate the camps and the Invitational Institute in some innovative ways, including creating opportunities for camp instructors to present workshops that engaged teachers and young writers in writing together. Importantly, the camps provide the site with a robust revenue line that fully supports the YALLs, provides student scholarships, and generates income for other site activities.
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Improving Students’ Academic Writing: Building a Bridge to Success

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Author: Juliet Wahleithner, Jayne Marlink

Summary: This report would be of interest to teachers engaged in or planning college-preparatory reading/writing initiatives.  It describes the statistically significant impact of a statewide professional development program designed to improve students’ understanding of and ability to write academically in high school, specifically in grades 11 and 12. The authors clearly lay out the study’s purpose, methods, and guiding frameworks, including one for forming sustained professional learning communities.
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Multi-Session Calendar for School-Based Professional Development

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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. The second page includes a list of literacy topics that the group explored, another document that was shared with participants.
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Double the Work: Challenges and Solutions to Acquiring Language and Academic Literacy for Adolescent English Language Learners

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Summary: This 2007 report by the Carnegie Foundation and the Center for Applied Linguistics identifies challenges faced by adolescent ELs in meeting grade-level academic expectations. It also provides recommendations for teacher education, educational research, school administrators and policy makers, along with instructional approaches likely to increase student achievement. The downloadable PDF would be an excellent resource for teacher leaders designing professional development programs, developing grant proposals, doing advocacy work, and developing knowledge about teaching middle/high school ELLs.
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Integrating Writing Project Practices into a Mandated Program

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Author: Bob Fecho

Summary: This brief article describes how the San Diego Area Writing Project (SDAWP) created professional development around a mandated writing curriculum. While the idea of a mandated writing curriculum runs counter to NWP principles, the need to support teachers required to use certain materials remains essential. The SDAWP shares how they successfully navigated competing ideologies through a series of teacher study groups that explored the materials’ strengths and weaknesses, identified key processes/skills being taught, and created supplemental mentor texts and models to help teachers meet the on-the-ground needs they encountered as they used the materials. This article would serve as a good discussion piece for any group of educators designing professional development where they are asked to be involved in curriculum implementation.
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Writing, Place, and Culture: Indian Education for All

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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 by, for example, understanding the central role of storytelling and importance of place.
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Southern Colorado Writing Project Coaching Protocol

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Summary: Teacher leaders designing professional development programs will find this nine step coaching protocol useful. The resource outlines a cycle for working with teachers and describes how to coach participants through the stages of brainstorming, developing, presenting, reflecting on and revising a presentation/demonstration lesson/inquiry workshop. In addition, it offers “how-to” guidance, a timeframe, and overall goals with each coaching cycle.
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Changing the Face of Leadership: Redesigning the Summer Institute to Invite Diversity

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Author: Katie Kline and Thomas Ferrel

Summary: When one site’s self-study revealed that recruitment, programming, leadership, access and relevance did not reflect or serve the diversity of the region they served, site leaders committed to developing plans for change. In this piece, the authors describe resources, relevant readings and strategies that emerged through the process of viewing the summer institute as an intentional focus for fostering change. Lessons learned and rich resources in this piece would be useful for teacher leaders in both new and existing sites wishing to address equity and access in proactive ways.  

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Mentoring New Teachers: Dinner Table Discussions

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Author: Kevin Thienes

Summary: This article shares the six core components of a new teacher mentoring program developed at the Boise State WP and how the program helped new(er) teachers navigate the early years of their career and develop a sense of agency. Those coaching/mentoring new teachers, as well as anyone looking to find a safe and effective protocol for discussing classroom successes and struggles, will find a golden nugget with the Gotcha/Gorilla protocol and will be inspired by the discussion of how the protocol allowed the new teachers to see themselves as problem solvers, thinkers, and educators.
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Developing Leadership and Site Capacity Through Program Evaluation and Research

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Author: Paul M. Rogers

Summary: This article describes how, supported by a grant to engage in multi-year research into their site’s professional development work in high needs schools, leaders at the South Coast Writing Project gathered and analyzed data from nine teachers and their students…surveys, interviews, classroom observations, and collections of teacher and student work—to assess the effects…[on] teachers’ classroom practices and their students’ learning.” In addition to improving the site’s professional development programming, teacher leaders developed “valuable capacities” and confidence as researchers and program leaders.
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What Does Teacher Leadership Look Like at Writing Project Sites? (NWP Radio)

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Summary: This hour-long radio episode features several NWP sites whose TCs discuss their experiences as leaders of site programs, leadership teams, and professional development. This resource may be useful for individuals and groups who are exploring models of teacher leadership and ways to support emerging teacher leaders.
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Youth Camp Agendas, Outlines, and Schedules

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Summary: Starting a new youth writing camp at your site? Looking to infuse new ideas, writing activities, or approaches in your existing youth programs? Looking for creative and innovative ways in which other sites are using “out-of-school” spaces to engage young writers? If so, then this collection of youth camp resources could be a “go-to” resource.  In this collection you will find help with getting started (program overviews and orientation agendas), planning (camp outlines and descriptions), recruiting (invitations to TCs and potential partners), advertising (flyers and registrations), and successfully running (agendas, lessons, protocols) your youth program. Browse through the materials for an overview of possibilities or dig deeply into the collection for an in-depth look at what it takes to develop and host successful programs for young writers.
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A Park in Your Backyard: Summer Youth Programs & More at the National Park (NWP Radio)

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Guests: Renee Albertoli, Bethany Silva, Lois McGee, Diane Rawson, Eric Fiore, Susanne Norris, Mary Buckelew, Rhonda Schier, Lisa Italiano, and Cate Lamb

Summary: This NWP radio show is the second of two shows that explore the design and impact of summer youth programs developed through a partnership between the National Writing Project and the National Park Service. It features teachers from four NWP sites and their National Park ranger colleagues who describe several rich opportunities for young people to explore their relationship to place through writing in historic sites.
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Tapping the Potential: Building Teacher Leadership While Rethinking Your Site

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Author: Ellen Brinkley and Anne-Marie Hall

Summary: Considering a leadership retreat? This article frames the experience of two site directors who used an NWP directors’ retreat as an opportunity to explore ways to invite new teacher leadership for the site. As they addressed site leader strengths, roles, and burnout, they used several writing and thinking exercises to focus on specific talents and interests in site leadership, then looked at teacher leaders who could be invited in and whose work could build capacity for the future.
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James Gray On Coaching: An Excerpt from Teachers at the Center

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Author: James Gray

Summary: Coaching the development of successful workshops is a key step in preparing teachers to become professional development leaders. In this excerpt from Teachers at the Center, NWP founder James Gray shares some of the early insights that informed the practice of coaching teachers as they prepare to lead their first professional workshops. During coaching sessions, experienced teacher leaders listen to what the teachers are planning, listening for what they know from experience are the most important features of a successful workshop: Is it focused on one idea or approach? How will the audience be involved? Will there be time for discussion? Will it be clear to the audience why the teacher is demonstrating this particular practice?
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Engaging Stakeholders: A Site’s Year in Review

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Summary: How can a site communicate information to stakeholders more effectively and ensure continued support? This example of a site impact report by the Oklahoma Writing Project shows one way. Data from the NWP Site Profile System and other information sources were compiled to showcase the impact of site programs. This newsletter/report was then distributed to university partners and the local educational community. Site leaders can use this model to consider how to make the case for their own site.
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C3WP: Teaching On-Demand Argument Writing

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Summary: This online learning experience from the College, Career, and Community Writers Program (C3WP) supports on-demand writing. A PowerPoint with a slide-by-slide voiceover, it takes you through a step-by-step approach to teaching on-demand arguments of policy. It uses a two-day reading and writing task as a teaching prompt and another reading-based prompt as the task students complete on-demand. The PowerPoint, once downloaded, is editable. This resource could provide a digital writing experience for teacher groups to explore their own on-demand argument writing skill, or it could be used as a model so teachers can form their own on-demand readings and prompts.
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Challenges for Writing Teachers: Evolving Technologies and Standardized Assessment

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Author: Anne Herrington and Charles Moran

Summary: This introductory chapter discusses existing and emerging technologies and electronic text types for use in curriculum and assessment. While the authors provide examples of how teachers have embraced new forms of writing by developing relevant learning objectives and e-projects, they also argue that automated assessment of writing limits student writers in the service of data compilation needs. Useful as a teacher inquiry piece or for NWP site leaders as they work with state entities and school administrators in partnership development, this chapter has helpful references from experts who have sifted through various electronic tests, companies, and state processes.
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Redesigning the Summer Institute

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Summary: The first NWP Invitational Summer Institute in 1974 established a model professional development experience, the basic principles and elements of which have been sustained at local writing project sites over the decades since. But even the best program design invites constant evaluation and adaptation. Reflection is a hallmark of our work and attention to both new opportunities and the changing needs of teacher participants is a vital part of what makes NWP programs so successful. Noting three challenges that emerged over time in relation to their traditional ISI model; timing, teaching demonstrations, and sustaining TCs active engagement with the site beyond the institute, the Colorado State University Writing Project adapted their Invitational Institute’s program design to be responsive to both the challenges and opportunities they faced. This reflective piece is of particular interest to site leaders facing similar circumstances who are interested in following the theory of action and process that CSUWP followed in adapting and redesigning this core program.
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Youth Writing Contests: How Sites Inspire Writers and Increase Visibility of NWP Work

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Summary: Are you looking to grow the youth programming and visibility at your site? If so, this collection highlighting seven NWP sites’ creative, and often revenue generating, programs and opportunities for youth could provide the spark and inspiration you need. Several unique partnerships with the Scholastic Arts & Writing contest are shared, as well as out of school work with refugee students, a Saturday showcase, and publication day for teens.

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Composing Science (NWP Radio)

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Guests: Kim Jaxon and Leslie Atkins Elliott

Summary: In this engaging NWP Radio Show, Kim Jaxon and Leslie Atkins Elliott, authors of Composing Science: A Facilitator’s Guide to Writing in the Science Classroom, talk about teaching writing, teaching science, and creating classrooms in which students use writing to learn and think scientifically. In a lively conversation, Kim, a composition and literacy specialist, and Leslie, a science teacher educator with a Ph.D in physics, talk about concrete strategies and approaches for engaging students in practices that mirror the work that writing accomplishes in the development and dissemination of scientific ideas. Together they address a range of genres that can help students deepen their scientific reasoning and inquiry in this excellent resource for teachers engaged in inquiry into disciplinary literacy.
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Literacy in the Digital Age

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Guests: Natalie Franzi, Steve Figurelli, Paul Oh, and Claire Rivero

Summary: In this webinar representatives from the NWP, the Teaching Channel, and Student Achievement Partners discuss effective uses of digital literacy tools, arguing that our vision must evolve to incorporate a new approach to literacy instruction, one in which technology becomes an accelerator to create and personalize meaningful learning contexts. This video would be a good way to launch a discussion about online tools and out-of-school literacies. The speakers also recommend specific digital tools and strategies.
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Workshop and Open Institute Marketing and Recruitment

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Summary: Are you looking for creative ideas for advertising your Saturday seminar series, one-day workshop, or open institutes? If so, this collection of flyers from sites might provide you with exactly what you need or inspire you to create something of your own. Looking over these flyers with colleagues as you consider approaches to marketing your programs could be a great way to decide what features will be most effective when advertising your site’s good work.
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Elbow Room: Tweaking Response in the Secondary Classroom

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Author: Anne Marie Liebel

Summary: Using Peter Elbow’s theory of peer response as described in Writing Without Teachers, Ann Marie Liebel began implementing response groups, providing space for her student writers to lead the way in revision. Central here are the ways she reflected as a teacher/facilitator and the ways she listened to her students as she adjusted Elbow’s methods to fit her high school and college freshman classes. Because this resource will instigate thought on how to initiate or improve peer response groups, it may be useful for teacher inquiry, for leaders of young author summer writing camps, or for guidance prior to summer institute writing group experiences.
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The National Writing Project’s New Teacher Initiative: A Study of Outcomes, Designs, and Core Values

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Author: Barbara Heenan and Nina Houghton

Summary: Where do teachers newer to the profession fit into the NWP equation? How do we help new teachers survive and thrive in the early years of their careers? If you are grappling with  how to engage early career educators in your site’s programs, this report on NWP’s New Teacher Initiative can serve as a catalyst for dialogue about the purpose of engaging new teachers and the practices you might want to put into place. The report, which describes the work of eighteen NWP sites engaged in programming for new educators, is conveniently broken down into four smaller, focused module reports on programming: 1) the benefits to new teachers of participating, 2) the emerging practices, 3) the distinctive design features across sites, and 4) NWP core values embedded in the programs. The entire report will be useful for site leaders beginning to consider programming for newer teachers, while those already offering new teacher programs may find themselves gravitating towards one of the four modules.
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Writing in Good Company in New Orleans (NWP Radio)

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Guests: Richard Louth, Kim Stafford, Susan Martens, and Tracy Cunningham

Summary: In this NWP Radio show, teacher leaders from the Southeastern Louisiana Writing Project discuss their writing marathon-focused advanced institute, a model of a large-scale writing marathon that draws attendees from across the county. Guests on the radio show share information that can be useful for designing local events. They emphasize the ways that marathons inspire writing while also celebrating local place and developing community among writers.
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Changing Times: Adapting the Invitational Summer Institute to an Online Environment

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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 modifications implemented during the first several iterations; the changes in roles and relationships as a result of the move; and the ways in which the touchstone activities and rituals of the Summer Invitational Institute translate to an online environment. In addition, helpful examples of and protocols for how to translate writing groups, writing marathons, peer response groups, and mentoring to an online environment are included in the appendices. Whether looking to simply incorporate more online components into a professional development experience or to transition to a fully online institute experience, site leaders will find this report to be an invaluable resource.
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Content Literacy Leadership: A Lane Change for Writing Projects

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Authors: Bruce M. Penniman, Leslie Skantz-Hodgson, Jane Baer-Leighton, Maria José Botelho, Richard Cairn, Karen Miele, Lawrence O’Brien, Momodou Sarr, Laura St. Pierre, Chris Tolpa, Susan Connell Biggs, Karen Diaz, Kevin Hodgson, Hollington Lee, Karen Pleasant, Christopher Rea, Lisa Rice

Summary: Written as part of the Building New Pathways to Leadership initiative, this narrative and accompanying resources tell one site’s story of building a pathway to teacher leadership for civics teachers. Site leaders interested in developing their site’s capacity to deliver professional development for social studies teachers may find this story of investment in the leadership of civics teachers illuminating.
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Conference Flyers: Some Models

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Summary: Are you planning to host a conference at a school or across a district? Here are some examples of conference flyers from National Writing Project sites that may give you ideas about advertising and promoting your conference. These models also illustrate various layouts and pricing strategies. Examining these samples may help you raise and answer questions for your own conference planning.
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School-Based Study Groups Build Community

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Summary: Teacher leaders involved in planning and/or facilitating teacher study groups will find a useful resource in this brief article describing how the NWP in Vermont developed and launched a long-term school-based teacher study group with several districts. The leaders of the program found the “open-endedness of the study group replicates the principles that make a summer institute succeed…teachers are intellectually and emotionally nurtured, rejuvenated, and empowered. They assume a measure of authority over their own learning.”
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National Survey on New Forms of Writing

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Summary: This national survey (2009) looks at public opinion related to the importance of writing for work and personal life and how well we are preparing young Americans to write. Along with expressing dissatisfaction with their own writing ability and with the job high schools are currently doing to train students to write clearly, a broad majority of respondents want public education to place more emphasis on teaching students to write well. As sites leverage professional development offerings or seek partnerships with schools, they might use this resource in arguing for the inclusion of new forms of writing in schools and to describe how those might be addressed in instructional planning and the professional growth of teachers.
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Author to Author: How Text Influences Young Writers

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Author: Dina Sechio DeCristofaro

Summary: What role does reading play in children’s development as writers? After surveying her fifth graders about where they get ideas for writing, the author of this piece examined the relationship between what students read and what they write. She identifies specific aspects of what her students borrowed from mentor texts, such as “subject,” “tone,” “genre,” “style,” as well as ideas stemming from silent, self-selected readings. This resource features student samples connected to specific mentor pieces and would be useful in teacher study groups or during a summer writing institute where teachers are discussing the value of deep, consistent reading to help young authors develop themselves as writers.
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Change the Readings, Change the Site: Addressing Equity and Access

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Author: Wilma Ortiz and Karen Sumaryono

Summary: Recognizing that while their site programs were primarily serving the needs of suburban teachers in a service area that encompassed a large population of urban schools, teacher leaders at the Connecticut Writing Project-Fairfield named as a site priority the need to diversify site leadership. In order to be responsive to the contexts and needs of urban teachers and students, they examined and subsequently revised the readings in their programs putting “front and center works that signaled openness to discussions about race, culture, and language.” Of particular interest to teacher leadership teams working to address issues of equity and access at their own sites are the suggested readings included in the additional related resources.
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Resources For Internet Safety and Digital Citizenship: Spotlight on Common Sense Media

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Author: Tiffany Chiao

Summary: Concerned about students’ safe and responsible internet use? This resource describes Common Sense Media, an interactive website that helps kids navigate the Internet safely and interact with their peers responsibly and respectfully. The website also provides resources for parents and curriculum for teachers to serve those ends. Common Sense Media could be helpful if you are looking for resources to recommend to parents who are concerned about the content and quality of online spaces.The website may also help teachers who are working toward family or community partnerships.
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Thank You for Sharing: Developing Students’ Social Skills to Improve Peer Writing Conferences

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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 can provide. This article is ideal for a teacher study group examining effective techniques for writing groups or peer revision/conferencing, as well as for a professional reading prior to writing-group time in a summer institute.
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Developing a Multi-year School Partnership

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Author: Rick VanDeWeghe

Summary: This article describes the Denver Writing Project’s three-year professional development model used in partnership with several local schools/districts. In the first year, the site builds local capacity through teacher study groups, then transitions in the second year to site-sponsored professional development related to the topics researched by the study groups during the first year. The third year of the partnership is dictated by local school needs, with some schools starting new teacher study groups and some continuing with professional development through demonstration lessons or other means. Those starting new partnerships would be well-served to explore the document in its entirety, but a specific focus on setting and making explicit the goals for the program (p.2) and the expectations of participants and facilitators (p.2-3) may be especially useful.
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Stories of Impact: The On-Site Work of the New York City Writing Project

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Author: Elaine Avidon, et al.

Summary: This e-book includes powerful chapters written by teacher-consultants about the individual and collective impact of their work and its alignment to their site’s mission and beliefs about professional learning. Reading select chapters would support fellows in imagining different kinds of school coaching; alternatively, the book offers a powerful model for site leaders who want to pull together leaders to collectively evaluate and write about the impact of their site’s programs.
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Reimagining Learning in Libraries and Museums (NWP Radio)

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Summary: Imagine out-of-school learning spaces where museum and library educators create digital access for youth. The discussion focuses on students as makers rather than as consumers. Organizational partners discuss ways in which YOUmedia Network has impacted educators’ commitments to teen learning.
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Strengthen Your Work with New Teachers

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Summary: Teacher leaders developing or jumping into an existing program for early career educators will find this brief overview from NWP’s New Teacher Initiative useful. Included in the overview is an annotated bibliography of key readings you will want to consider using with your new teachers. The readings are conveniently organized into the following categories: 1) the teaching of writing, 2) understanding culture and its implications for teaching and learning, 3) strengthening inquiry as a mode of learning, and 4) rethinking professional development for new teachers through participation in a professional community. In addition, several suggestions and protocols for deepening discussion of the texts are included.
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Orientations for the Teaching of Writing: A Legacy of the National Writing Project

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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 orientations toward the purposes of writing; students’ abilities and responsibilities as writers; and the relationships between ideas and form that govern a teacher’s choices about how best to structure writing opportunities for students. A key reading for teachers and program leaders that analyzes the foundations of the National Writing Project’s unique success as a professional development network that inspires improved teaching practice and student performance.
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Working at the Intersections of Formal and Informal Science and Literacy Education

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Author: Tanya Baker and Becky Carroll

Summary: This resource describes the NWP’s multi-faceted work (with collaborating organizations) on the Intersections Project, which supported local partnerships to design programming and innovative projects to connect science and literacy learning. The authors present two cases and their benefits to participants: one focuses on enhancing museum/science field trips and the other describes a STEAM partnership project (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, Mathematics) between a writing project and a local science/engineering discovery center. Video, art, and student reactions are embedded. This resource could provide schools and teachers with ideas about partnerships with area museums or science centers, as well as literacy integration for science, STEM, or STEAM learning.
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Summer and Extended Institute Marketing and Recruitment Materials

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Summary: Postcards, applications, and flyers, oh my! How do we sum up the magic that is an Invitational Institute? We can’t. But that doesn’t mean we don’t try. Flyers and other marketing materials, whether print or digital, can develop a distinct identity for a site and its programs and serve as an effective outreach tool to increase site visibility. This collection offers up tri-folds, postcards, flyers, and applications that different NWP sites have created to convey the essence of the Writing Project experience and generate interest in the opportunity to participate in a truly transformative professional development program.
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Increasing Student Achievement in Writing Through Teacher Inquiry: An Evaluation of Professional Development Impact

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Author: Nancy Robb Singer and Diane Scollay

Summary: Documenting a well-designed experimental study, this article offers clear evidence of the positive impact of teacher-led inquiry on student writing achievement. Teachers in the experimental group participated in inquiry-based professional development to increase understanding and application of effective writing pedagogy in their classrooms. Compared to a control group of teachers, the teacher-inquiry group demonstrated a broader range of writing tasks, longer duration of writing tasks, and explicit strategies to support students in making the reading/writing connection. In addition, students of teachers in the experimental group showed improved achievement in writing on a nationally scored assessment. This article represents an important resource in for leaders planning and/or advocating for an inquiry-based approach to professional development.
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“I’m a Writer”: Essays on the Writing Marathon and Why We Write

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Author: Richard Louth

Summary: This brief piece describes a book that puts writing–both teachers’ and students’–at the center. The first part focuses on writing marathon how-tos and offers guidelines, planning and facilitation resources, and teachers’ anecdotal experiences of writing in community. The second part of the book includes essays by teachers about why they write and how their own writing impacts their teaching. Further resources are included on this page, along with purchasing information for the book.
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Strategic Planning for Program Development

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Summary: This resource outlines a guided inquiry for NWP site leaders interested in designing a new or revitalizing an existing site program. It is designed to capture the process and thinking involved in determining site capacity and priorities and organizing a revenue-generating program at any local site. As a series, these four sessions pull together the organizational aspects of a program–financial, physical, personnel, and relational–with the goal of establishing a program structure that is self-sustaining. Each session consists of steps that include inquiry prompts and tasks designed to lead teams through the thinking and work essential to designing a self-supporting, revenue-generating program. The sessions can be followed sequentially as a whole program, or individual sessions can be explored and revisited as stand-alone resources.
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The Relationship of High School Student Motivation and Comments in Online Discussion Forums

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Author: Chris Sloan

Summary: Although online discussions have become more and more ubiquitous, there is a dearth of research that has looked at relationships between students’ commenting and motivation to learn. Course and program designers wishing to better structure discussions in online learning communities may be interested in mining this research study of 12th graders. Discussion posts and comments composed on http://youthvoices.live helped to identify ways to enhance motivation to learn.
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School Partnerships: A Year of Professional Development

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Author: Mark Dziedzic

Summary: Is your site currently working in or working to develop a school partnership? If so this rich resource offers a year-long calendar of events for one in-school partnership project, with links to materials used for each session. In addition to the year-long calendar, program leaders will find examples of daily agendas; writing prompts; protocols for analyzing writing processes, student writing and writing across the curriculum; and links to readings/videos.
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Coaching Guide and Protocol

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Summary: This coaching guide and protocol from the Southern Colorado Writing Project may be a useful resource for program leaders looking for ways to support teachers in presenting their work to colleagues. While the protocol lays out a schedule and rationale for meetings between presenting teachers and their mentors, the guide provides a framework for establishing roles/relationships/responsibilities along with a set of questions that can be used to guide the thinking partners through the stages of identifying a question, researching the question(s), and creating a demonstration/inquiry workshop.
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C3WP Mini-Units

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Summary: This resource from the College, Career, and Community Writers Program (C3WP) features one-minute videos that define mini-units and explain the value of using nonfiction sources/texts. There are links to related pages on the C3WP website that focus on creating text sets and on developing and sequencing mini-units. These resources will take facilitators and teachers through both the content and implementation of researched argumentative modules, with space to supplement or customize. Teachers can write in response to some of the units to see how they might work with students.
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A Cognitive Strategies Approach to Reading and Writing Instruction for English Language Learners in Secondary School

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Author: Carol Booth Olson and Robert Land

Summary: This article documents a longitudinal research study conducted by members of the UC Irvine Writing Project in partnership with a large, urban school district in which 93 percent of the students are English language learners. Over an eight-year period, 55 secondary teachers implemented a cognitive strategies approach to reading and writing instruction designed to make visible the thinking strategies that experienced readers and writers access in the process of constructing meaning. An important resource, this would be useful as a text for study in a professional development program or for individual teacher research. The project “was not just an abstract research study; it was a concrete attempt to level the playing field for specific EL students in a large urban school district through sustained, ongoing collaboration with a dedicated and committed group of teachers…” The consistency of positive outcomes on multiple measures strongly points to the efficacy of using this approach with EL students.
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Helping High School Students “Gear Up” for College

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Author: Art Peterson

Summary: This article highlights a program designed to support 9th graders in understanding how to differentiate and act upon revision and editing concerns. The program’s development and implementation reflects a collaboration between area high school writing centers, teachers, and university composition faculty. Since Gear-Up funds programs throughout the country, teacher leaders and site directors might see possibilities for local adaptations.
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The View from a Rural Site

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Author: Anne Dobie

Summary: Site leaders working in rural areas, especially for the first time, will want to read this piece that frames what it means to be a rural teacher, including some of the challenges teachers face in this context and implications for writing project institutes. Visiting and living the rural life for even a few hours helps provide rich context for the work. This is an excellent piece to consider for community building and partnership development.
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Enabling Communities and Collaborative Responses to Teaching Demonstrations

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Author: Janet A. Swenson, Diana Mitchell

Summary: This monograph explains a useful protocol developed by Red Cedar Writing Project for responding to demonstrations in the Summer Institute, called the Collaborative Responses to Teaching Demonstrations (CRTD). This response takes the form of a letter to the person offering the demonstration, thus providing responders with opportunities to draft and revise a piece with a clear audience and purpose. The monograph includes discussions of each aspect of the protocol, as well as tools to help prepare teachers for response, both prior to and during the Summer Institute.
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The Limitations of Partnership

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Author: GibAnn Tam

Summary: Sharing lessons on time, focus, and leadership, one NWP site details important lessons learned in a professional development initiative with multiple partners. Their story could be helpful for sites confronting bumps in the road as they build professional partnerships intended to bring NWP ideas and practices to teachers in schools.
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The Northern California Writing Project’s Hybrid Summer Institute Remix

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Summary: Created as part of the Building New Pathways to Leadership initiative, this Piktochart presentation documents the Northern California Writing Project’s creation of a Hybrid Summer Institute, as an alternative to the traditional multi-week, face-to-face institute. Site leaders interested in increasing the accessibility and flexibility of their professional development offerings may find inspiration and ideas from this presentation, documenting the NCWP’s story and approach and filled with flyers, agendas, video clips, and other artifacts.
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New Teachers in Urban Contexts: Creating Bridges with Teach For America Teachers

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Authors: Dina Portnoy and Tanya Maloney

Summary: This article examines how the Philadelphia Writing Project partnered with the University of Pennsylvania and Teach for America (TFA) to provide new TFA teachers with an additional week of focused training before they entered the classroom for the start of the school year. The program is designed as a collaborative model to help the TFA teachers learn about building strong classroom communities, learn about and see the diversity of the urban school as an asset, and develop relationships with experienced and successful urban school educators. In addition, the program looks specifically to initiate the TFA teachers into the reflective practices and teacher inquiry processes inherent in NWP sites and work. This article would be a timely and useful resource for any TCs, teams, or sites considering working on professional development/mentoring for educators new to the profession, early in their careers, or those moving into a more diverse school setting for the first time in their careers. It might also serve as a good resource for sites looking at intensive one-week models that focus on issues of classroom diversity or as an alternative to the traditional four-week Invitational Summer Institute.
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From Annual Conference to Saturday Seminars: New Forums to Present Teachers’ Work

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Summary: Leaders at the NWP site at Rutgers University describe how they reframed their annual conference, in which new teacher-leaders first present their work, as a more informal series of Saturday workshops. The workshop series preserved the opportunity for new teacher leaders to conduct their first professional development session while eliminating the costs of a formal conference (keynote, food, etc.). In addition, the site also shares its unique model for assuring a predictable number of attendees. Includes a sample workshop schedule.
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The Concept of a Writing Center

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Author: Muriel Harris

Summary: Interested in establishing a writing center at your institution? This resource describes all aspects of running a writing center and reviews the many issues to be considered by anyone seeking to establish one, from developing program goals to funding to staffing and staff training. Useful as the focus for a study group, advanced institute or program development meeting, this resource can serve to focus an inquiry into how teachers might take the idea of a writing center back to their schools.
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The Authenticity Spectrum: The Case of a Science Journalism Writing Project

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Author: Angela Kohnen

Summary: The SciJourn project, in which students learn to write like science reporters, was initially designed to help students develop scientific literacy. However, it became much more — a key to high school students’ engagement as learners, researchers, and writers and their teachers’ opportunity to explore “real world” genre-based writing assignments and assessments. This article provides a rich discussion with specific examples that can guide teachers in developing writing assignments and learning experiences that take into account “functional authenticity.” Those designing professional development, grants, summer institutes, or study groups on topics such as disciplinary literacy, genre, or authentic learning/writing will find ample food for thought!
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A Work in Progress: The Benefits of Early Recruitment for the Summer Institute

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Author: Anne-Marie Hall, Roger Shanley, and Flory Simon

Summary:  Of particular interest to teacher leaders planning their site’s invitational institute, this monograph from the Southern Arizona Writing Project describes how site leaders’ addressed the challenges of recruitment by revising their year-round calendar to more seamlessly integrate pre and post-institute experiences with other site programming. By starting recruitment efforts for the next summer immediately following the current summer’s institute and building in stronger mentoring and pre-institute events focused on the development of teacher demonstrations, site leaders found that institute participants were better acclimated and prepared. An additional benefit they found was that this new sequence increased the diversity of participating teachers.

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Planning for Writing Instruction

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Author: Mark Overmeyer

Summary: In this brief tip from his book, When Writing Workshop Isn’t Working, Mark Overmeyer describes a process of collaborative backward planning that provides a scope and sequence for the year that meets district curriculum requirements, allows for the study of genres connected to various disciplines and units (e.g., research, narrative, memoir, and technical writing), and culminates in a student-generated magazine that draws from strategies learned throughout the year. This would be a useful resource for school-based planning teams as well as for professional development focused on writing workshop and cross-curricular planning and assessment.
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Launching a Comprehensive Fundraising Plan for Your Writing Project Site

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Summary: The new reality for site sustainability is the need for fundraising. This overview of the Hudson Valley Writing Project’s strategy focuses on the need for ongoing discussion, cultivating university relationships, documenting programs, and identifying tools and actions. This document is written in a short, easy-to-use list form, and would be a great starting point for other sites to consider their own fundraising strategies. Site leaders might use it at a leadership retreat to spur discussions not only about funding, but also about marketing and visibility—how to make sure the university and the larger educational community know about the site, its programs, and its impact.
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Boys’ Literacy Camp Sets a Standard

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Summary: When adolescent readers can read, but won’t read, how can teachers get them engaged? Teacher-consultants in Maine created a summer wilderness camp where students discovered they had to read in order to do things they wanted to do. For example, they had to read about canoe safety before piloting a canoe, or study how to edit a film digitally in the process of making one about their adventures. The goal was to make reading and writing real and necessary. This idea would be readily adaptable for summer youth programs.
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Continuity Linked to Site Mission & Local Context: The Philadelphia Writing Project’s Leadership Inquiry Seminar

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Author: Teri Hines, Bruce Bowers, and Vanessa Brown

Summary: A vital resource for anyone planning an inquiry-based leadership program, this NWP monograph details the strategies and practices that define the Philadelphia Writing Project’s Leadership Inquiry Seminar, a yearlong institute designed to support the professional growth and reflective practice of urban educators as they examine their own pathways to leadership.
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The Ubuntu Academy: An Immigrant and Refugee Youth Writing Camp

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Summary: Ubuntu, a Bantu word that translates as “I am, because we are,” is the guiding philosophy behind the CT-Fairfield Writing Project’s two-week literacy lab designed to invite immigrant and refugee youth into writing spaces that honor their heritage and promote academic success. This innovative approach to youth writing camps will be a valuable read for sites looking for ways to reach out to underserved populations who might not otherwise have access to youth writing camps and enrichment opportunities.
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What We’ve Learned About School Partnerships

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Author: Kim Lanza

Summary: School and district partnerships for contracted professional development have become more important as sites develop additional revenue streams and look to expand the impact of their work beyond traditional summer institutes to school-year programs. In this brief article, the National Writing Project at Rutgers University shares an overview of the key lessons learned from a four-year intensive site focus on partnerships with local schools and districts. Sites embarking on partnership development will find this article to be a useful resource for discussions among teacher leaders– both those developing the partnership and programming, and those facilitating professional development. The lessons highlighted (mandatory inservice doesn’t work, maintain flexibility, keep administrators involved, evaluate and reflect) cover partnership issues from planning to initiation to evaluation.
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Living History: Reading, Writing, and Learning in a National Park (NWP Radio)

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Summary: What happens when an NWP site teams up with a nearby National Park to create a learning experience for young people? Guests on this first of two NWP Radio episodes exploring the partnership between the National Writing Project and National Parks talk about the design and impact of summer youth writing programs for elementary and secondary students inspired by the rich treasures available inside a National Park.
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#StayinTeaching: Pathways to Writing Project Leadership for Early-Career Teachers

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Authors: Vicki Collet, Amanda Coughlin, Jean Hill, Katie Hill, Tyler McBride, & Kristina Packard

Summary: Written as part of the Building New Pathways to Leadership initiative, this narrative and accompanying resources tell one site’s story of building a pathway to teacher leadership for early career teachers. Site leaders interested in supporting professional growth for new teachers that is more of a collegial welcome to the profession, and the writing project, and less remedial instruction, may find this site’s story and approach illuminating.
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Understanding and Creating Digital Texts

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Guests: Richard Beach, Antero Garcia, Nicole Mirra, and Lara Trale

Summary: This recording provides an in-depth look at supporting youth to create and curate digital texts. Richard Beach and university/school colleagues discuss practices that encourage youth as they create digital texts to define purpose and audience, make connections between digital texts and people, collaborate with others, employ multimodal forms of communication and gain new perspectives, and construct identities. The webinar also asks: How can we guide students’ digital work using a connected learning lens, and with a civic engagement mindset? The multiple resources included here can be a valuable guide during professional development about digital writing and learning, or used as a professional reading during a Summer Institute.
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Sustainable Practices through Purposeful Partnering at Shoreline

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Author: Steve Pearse

Summary: This article describes the successful, longterm partnership between the Puget Sound Writing Project and the Shoreline School District that focused on improving student achievement in writing. Following a model of a year-long, embedded invitational institute, P-12 teachers engaged in writing, working in writing groups, and conducting research on the teaching of writing. The resulting teacher-designed curriculum, aligned with NWP core principles, was posted on the district’s website for district-wide use by teaching colleagues.
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Making the Right Connections in High School: Developing Teaching Teams to Integrate the Curriculum

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Author: Carla Gubitz Jankowski

Summary: Integrating high school curricula isn’t easy, but it is worth the effort and produces powerful results for students and teachers. In this resource, a teacher describes her award-winning project to develop teaching teams that designed cross-curricular units in order to foster students’ personal and intellectual connections among ideas and skills. Students created personal family trees in art, held a medical symposium as geneticists, physicians, or therapists, and integrated the study of animals with the creation of fables. The teachers’ professional learning community, which benefited from administrative support and professional development time, can be a model for other schools who want to help students make connections among disciplines.
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Visioning Retreats as a Strategy for Leadership Development and Site Development

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Author: Pat Fox

Summary: Planning a visioning retreat can be an effective strategy for bringing together directors and teacher-leaders to take stock of where the site has been and to develop a strategic plan for future programs. Visioning retreats can help newer sites in their early years to develop an array of continuity and inservice programs beyond the summer invitational institute. For sites undergoing a leadership transition or reorganization, such an event can help to focus and clarify their mission while mature sites can refresh site leadership and refocus the work of the site. Teacher leaders may also find this work useful in thinking about visioning retreats for their schools or programs.
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The Family Writing Project: No More Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

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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 that are important to them. They work together on activities, write extensively, and respond to each other’s work.” Useful for teachers exploring program models to support community literacy, this article includes several writing prompts that work in family writing contexts as well as a rationale for why family writing programs build community and honor writing as they honor writers’ lives.
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Exploring “Systems Thinking” with Grinding New Lenses (NWP Radio)

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Summary: Eight teachers from three National Writing Project sites spent a month in Chicago exploring the power of systems thinking to support students in the way they learn, make, and write. Of particular interest to teachers planning and leading young writers programs that focus on digital literacy, this project, called “Grinding New Lenses,” engaged teachers in their own learning and thinking about systems, followed by an opportunity to lead a summer camp with youth from the surrounding area.
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The Web as a Tool for Continuity

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Authors: Evan Nichols, Carol Tateishi, Sonnet Farrell, Tom McKenna, and Sondra Porter

Summary: How can we keep teachers connected to each other across time and space? This monograph illustrates how the web can be used effectively to facilitate continuity and follow-up opportunities at sites. Showcased are the Bay Area Writing Project’s ezine, Digital Paper, and the Alaska State Writing Consortium’s Virtual Open Institute. This in-depth piece could be helpful for sites whose teachers are geographically distant from each other as they explore shifting to virtual spaces for institutes.
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A Voice That Is Heard: Living the Writing Project Philosophy as Coaches

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Author: Sidnie Myrick

Summary: Anyone developing a coaching or mentoring program or stepping into a role as a classroom coach/consultant/mentor will find this article by teacher consultant Sidnie Myrick a useful resource. The author relates her own experience transitioning from a workshop facilitator to the role of coach/mentor to explore the key to successful classroom coaching: being a partner and co-learner, not the expert. Specific examples of how the relationship between coach and coachees were developed and nurtured over the course of a year highlight both the challenges and successes of walking alongside a colleague as a learning partner, rather than as the expert. Myrick wisely cautions that had she not shifted to the stance of learning partner she would have maintained a role as “an expert so removed from her day-to-day experience with her particular students that anything I offered would seem like handing her the decorator’s plans when her house wasn’t even built yet.”
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Curriculum Rewired: Teachers and Students Come Together Around Innovative New Pedagogy

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Author: Razeen Zaman

Summary: “Grinding New Lenses,” a four-week summer camp supported by a MacArthur Foundation grant, combined intensive professional development in design thinking for teachers with their leading a program for sixty-five rising sixth- and seventh-grade Chicago area students that engaged them as game designers and digital storytellers. “The end result: students who learned to take on roles as proficient designers, philosophers, writers, and activists; teachers who become avid systems thinkers; and strong curricula that underwent a rapid process of iteration, innovation and refinement.” This article and the related NWP Radio show offer inspiration for teacher leaders planning youth opportunities focused on developing students’ digital literacy.
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Youth Voices Summer Program

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Summary: This Youth Voices website gives a detailed look into a multi-week summer youth writing program including examples of student work (writing, video, and audio) as well as a detailed weekly and daily agenda. Included in the agendas are links to many of the activities and resources used throughout the camp. In addition to providing a a detailed look at a youth camp, the site offers significant resources for those considering badges and badging.
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Teacher Study Group Movement: From Pilot to Districtwide Study Groups in Four Years

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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 appendices include study group schedules, facilitation guides, evaluation tools, etc. Teacher leaders developing and facilitating school-based study groups will find that this offers a wealth of useful resources.
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The Work Will Teach You How to Do It: A New Director Learns How to Begin and Grow Inservice

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Author: Sally Crisp

Summary: In this case study, the author reflects on how her writing project site moved from an inservice neophyte to a partner in several multiyear programs with local schools. She raises dilemmas (such as: Are we ready to do this? If the PD we offer isn’t perfect, will we ruin our name/reputation? Who should we contact?) and shares strategies for confronting them. As the title suggests, the director and teacher leaders in Little Rock learned how to do the work by doing the work, and this case study would be a great read and tool for other sites who find themselves taking a leap into new partnerships.
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Imagining the Possibilities: Improving the Teaching of Writing Through Teacher-Led Inquiry

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Author: Jessica Early

Summary: This article presents a model of how one group of teachers used inquiry to improve their understanding of student writing and revise their school’s curriculum accordingly. Specifically, they conducted action research on implementing Common Core standards in an Arizona urban charter school. Written by and for teachers, curriculum directors and administrators, it offers a case for encouraging teacher-led inquiry groups as a way to empower teachers and improve writing instruction for students.
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Oakland Writing Project’s Literacy Webinar Series: Reading and Writing in Digital Spaces with a Focus on Revision

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Summary: In partnership with the Oakland School District, the Oakland (MI) Writing Project developed and hosted an online webinar series focused on revision. Links to all of the webinars, resources, and related readings for the 2015-16 series (Revision: the Heart of Writing) and 2014-15 (Reading and Writing in Digital Spaces) are available here. The strong line-up of presentations gives a deep look into both revision and digital literacy. Individual webinars could be great additions to professional development sessions that have a revision or digital literacy component. Additional workshops and webinars are also posted on this site.
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Scaffolding Program Planning Through a Proposal Form

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Summary: HVWP invites teacher leaders to propose workshops and other programs through a simple form that helps them draft their preliminary thoughts about a workshop that they would like to design and implement. The form scaffolds predictable planning work, asking new leaders to consider, for example, “What is the need? Who is the audience? What is the time frame? What are the resources that might inform the work?” This protocol can assist individual teachers or a collaborative group to plan their work in preparation for or during a professional development institute, and can provide institute coordinators with information to help guide teacher leaders in developing those workshops.
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The UCLA Writing Project’s Continuity Programs at a Glance (From Creating Spaces for Study and Action Under the Social Justice Umbrella)

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Authors: Marlene Carter, Norma Mota-Altman, and Faye Peitzman

Summary: How can teachers remain connected to a writing project learning community? This appendix to the monograph, Creating Spaces for Study and Action Under the Social Justice Umbrella, describes a number of program models that support teachers as they continue their professional growth after a first NWP experience at the UCLA Writing Project through “one-day, multiple week, full-year, and multiyear engagement.” These program ideas are adaptable to a range of NWP sites or teacher-learning groups.
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On-Site Consulting: New York City Writing Project

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Author: Nancy Mintz, Alan L. Stein, and Marcie Wolfe

Summary: This NWP monograph provides an in-depth look at the longstanding New York City WP program of school-based professional development partnerships with the New York City public schools. Former NYCWP Director Marcie Wolfe provides background information on the development and evolution of the program which places TCs on-site at partner schools for multi-year cycles. Two TCs with extensive experience in the on-site consultant role, Nancy Mintz and Alan Stein, then share their experiences. Mintz explores a fundamental consulting/coaching dilemma: how do you hold onto your core beliefs and values, while not trying to enact those beliefs and visions in someone else’s classroom. Stein’s story describes a crucial shift in school culture and the importance of the collaboration between himself, the principal, and several key teachers at the school. This thoughtful, extensive exploration of work in and with schools serves as a valuable resource for any leadership team considering extended professional development partnerships.
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Hey Matt! There’s a Reason We Write Like Every Day!

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Author: Molly Toussant

Summary: Students often wonder why they have to write every day. In this piece, with her students as her audience, one teacher outlines and then elaborates the beliefs that guide her teaching of writing. Points of use for this article may be early in summer institutes or school partnerships to guide teachers in examining their own beliefs about teaching writing as well as the value of making their beliefs more transparent to learners. This article may also be ideal for engaging community partners, parents, or administrators in discussions about the work of teachers who teach writing.
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The Family Writing Project: Creating Space for Sustaining Teacher Identity

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Author: Marilyn McKinney, Rosemary Holmes-Gull, and Saralyn Lasley

Summary: How can teacher leaders and writing project sites develop effective ways to collaborate with parents and families? The writers, all with the Southern Nevada Writing Project, argue that family writing projects help develop a writing culture, nurture authentic writing and democratic practice, build relationships between students and teachers, counter teacher burnout, and help develop teacher leadership. This article can inspire and guide groups of teachers to develop family writing projects that have the potential to influence their classroom practice as well as deepen their understanding about the assets that parents bring to their children’s education.
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Planning a Cohesive, Year-long Program with a Partner School: The Arc of Professional Development

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Authors: Jane Frick, Tom Pankiewcz, and Terri McAvoy

Summary: In this NWP webinar, teacher leaders from the Prairie Lands Writing Project share specific examples of the steps they followed to develop and implement a yearlong intensive professional development partnership. The webinar begins with a discussion of how site leaders approached the partner school, built a strong relationship with key staff, conducted needs assessments, and collaboratively developed the program budget and a list of common goals. The focus then shifts to specific examples of how the site developed and facilitated the PD sessions throughout the year. A particular strength of the webinar, for teacher leaders developing their own long term professional development partnerships, is the inclusion of a link to a google folder with all of the materials discussed in the webinar.
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Site Outreach and Visibility

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Summary: How do you represent the breadth and depth of the work at your site to public and professional audiences? What do you highlight when approaching potential community and school district partners? How can you quantify and communicate your contributions to the university?

This collection of resources demonstrates how different National Writing Project sites describe, showcase, and market their rich and complex work. Whether created with an external or internal audience in mind, these resources provide insight into the value, reach, and impact of the sites’ work.

In addition to the resources included here, it would also be useful for sites to revisit the NWP Annual Reports, linked here, to see how the network describes the reach and relevance of its work and consider how that information might be usefully included in local site materials.
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The National Writing Project: Scaling Up and Scaling Down

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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 development or school reform efforts may find this chapter a useful resource and rich perspective on NWP’s successful “improvement infrastructure.” The authors describe what is meant by “scaling up by scaling down”: “to succeed in a new environment, a reform that is spreading geographically must also challenge and, eventually, penetrate habitual practice in new contexts.” NWP has promoted both spread and depth of change via three elements: an annual site review process; specialized cross-site networks; and a commitment to both internal, site-based, practitioner-directed research and external, national, and independent research. These elements, separately and together, enable the NWP to generalize from the diverse experiences of local sites and chart new directions for the work.
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Teachers at the Center: A Memoir of the Early Years of the National Writing Project

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Author: James Gray

Summary: In 1974, Jim Gray and his colleagues convened a group of teachers for the first summer institute of the Bay Area Writing Project at UC Berkeley—the first writing project site in the country. In the over four decades since, Gray’s then radically new vision of professional development for teachers, and his inspired work establishing what became the National Writing Project model in sites around the country, generated a national network that has served more than two million teachers. In this chapter from his candid memoir, he looks back on the early years, describing the mentors who influenced his thinking, the mistakes he made and strategies he used to refine the model, and the difficulties overcome to gain widespread support for the project. A key reading for NWP teacher leaders, this engaging and thoughtful narrative will also be of interest to anyone concerned about education, literacy, and teacher professional development.

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Directors Retreat Strategic Planning Tools

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Author: Susan Biggs and Nick Coles

Summary: Leadership retreats can offer occasions for sites to review current programming and to plan for future work. This short resource describes how several planning and review documents – Strategic Action Planning Template, Timeline, and Collaborative Review – used at NWP Directors Retreats have also been useful to local site leadership teams. The strategic planning tools can be used to develop a collective vision to guide the development and evaluation of site programs. The final review doc, a charette protocol, can be used not only to review programming but also to look at writing and discuss interpretations of student work.
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A “Connected-Learning” Style and Fashion Program for Adolescents Leads to Career Opportunity

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Author: Kiley Larson, Erin Bradley, Tonya Leslie, Bryan Rosenberg, and Nathan Reimer

Summary: This case study features two Hive Fashion hubs, in Chicago and New York, in a youth program for adolescents interested in fashion as a career field. The program design is built on the recognition that young people need relevant personal relationships and career-relevant opportunities for their learning to make a difference in the real world. The youth viewed their work through the lens of social justice by incorporating social, political, economic, and cultural perspectives into their projects. From ideas to production, teen designers leveraged digital technologies to write posts on social media and to produce their creations. Useful to gain ideas for similar youth programs and to develop ideas related to connected learning, out-of-school literacies, and career education, this resource takes readers to the hubs with photos, detailed descriptions, and a video.
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Local Site Research Initiative Final Report: Impact of NWP Professional Development on Student Learning

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Summary: This report on the 2004-2006 results of Local Sites Research Initiative studies demonstrates the positive impact of NWP professional development on student learning. Conducted at a variety of sites around the nation, these studies consistently showed greater improvement in writing on every measured attribute among students taught by NWP-trained teachers, when compared with students taught by teachers who were not NWP-trained. These results may be useful in making a case for NWP work in your school or district.
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Moving Toward the Paperless Institute

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Author: Eric Hasty and Bob Fecho

Summary: Two summer institute facilitators reflect on their transition, over a number of years, to a paperless institute. They describe how the site embraced digital technologies as they followed the inquiry, “What if?” One central understanding that evolved was “… technology allows us to create a living space to develop, store, and review our ideas as they grow.” This story of their journey would be a useful resource for summer institute or school-year PD facilitators when they are designing their schedule and making decisions about the best forums for daily logs, communication among the fellows, anthology development, and continuity spaces.
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Writing Projects and School Reform: A Local Perspective

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Author: Marcie Wolfe

Summary: How can teachers’ voices be heard within the top-down forces of reform, and how can NWP avoid becoming a “recipe-based” school reform model? This article tells the story of New York City writing project leaders who supported teachers and administrators within a city initiative to phase out large, struggling high schools and replace them with co-located smaller schools. Central in this resource are the ways the on-site NYCWP teacher-consultants became “redesign pioneers,” using writing to enhance policy and planning meetings as well as teachers’ practice. The article also addresses some of the challenges involved in coordinating with other professional development groups. This may be an important piece for site leaders or advanced inquiry groups to read as a frame for inquiry and for mapping out a plan for entry into schools undergoing redesign or struggling with reform issues.
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Evaluating the Impact of Professional Development Programs

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Author: Sheridan D. Blau, Rosemary H. Cabe, and Anne Whitney

Summary: While there is significant research behind the NWP model, there is also a need for sites to evaluate their local professional development programming. This research study of the South Coast Writing Project’s IIMPaC (Inquiry, Inservice workshops, Models, Practice, and Coaching) program provides an in-depth look at how one site evaluated the program offered as part of a five year partnership with a local district. Teacher consultants and site leaders developing PD that includes any of the core structures of IIMPaC will find the results section useful in planning. The B appendices (p.25-38) on evaluation will be of particular interest to those already offering programming and looking for tools to assist in evaluation.
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Professional Writing Retreat Handbook

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Authors: Joseph Check, Tom Fox, Kathleen O’Shaughnessy, and Carol Tateishi

Summary: Support teachers to share their work through publication! This comprehensive handbook, developed by National Writing Project leaders, helps facilitators plan a Professional Writing Retreat from beginning to end. The guide includes detailed suggestions for the design of retreat agendas and activities as well as a list of additional resources and short articles. It also includes ideas for creating an anthology of participants’ writing with the support of the group.
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Mini-Inquiries: Changing Classroom Instruction One Lesson at a Time

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Author: Cindy O’Donnell-Allen

Summary: When a small group of language arts teachers from the Tar River Writing Project in North Carolina noticed that some students seemed less engaged in their classes, they decided to study their own practices, question their assumptions, and work systematically to change their teaching. Specifically, this inquiry project evolved into the LEEAP program: Leadership for Equity, Excellence, Achievement, and Partnership in 21st Century Classrooms, an initiative to support teachers in studying equity in their classrooms. In addition to the article, this resource also includes three digital-story videos exploring equity, created by the LEEAP team. This work may be useful as a model for conducting teacher inquiry to address specific issues of concern within or across schools.
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Overview of the NWP’s College, Career, and Community Writers Program

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Summary: This overview provides key information about the National Writing Project’s College, Career, and Community Writers Program (C3WP) and how it works, along with the results from multiple years/areas of the country. In “About the Program,” teachers can find resources that complement each other in a year-round approach to teaching argument: routine argument writing, mini-units, extended research arguments, on-demand tasks, formative assessment resources, and videos of teachers who have used the resources. The “How it Works” sub-link offers a model for an Advanced Institute for C3WP. The last sub-link provides the results of a 2-year random assignment evaluation which found C3WP had a positive, statistically significant effect on the four attributes of student argument writing—content, structure, stance, and conventions. Points of use include: site leadership team review of C3WP to see how it might be used in their region/locale; and teacher leadership or teacher inquiry related to bringing C3WP into their writing instruction.
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Short and Meaningful Programming: Expanding the Work and Reach of the Site

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Author: Meg Petersen and Valerie Combie

Summary: You’re a teacher, not a small business owner? Yes, that is true, but running a Writing Project site and/or developing writing project programming requires an entreprenureial spirit and approach. With that in mind, this collection offers a glimpse into several ways sites have developed shorter, yet meaningful, programming that expands the work and reach of the site while also generating revenue.
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The Boise State Writing Project’s Science Pathway

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Summary: Created as part of the Building New Pathways to Leadership initiative, this website documents the Boise State Writing Project’s year-long Science Pathway, designed to cultivate science teacher leaders in the site and state. Site leaders interested in expanding their site’s content-area specific offerings, can see each step of the Summer Institute and following Fellowship Year, including guidelines for and examples of the variety of writing teachers produced, and an exploration of what was kept from the traditional Writing Project Summer Institute, and what was incorporated to make the program discipline-specific.
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A Year in the Life of a Director

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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.
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Educating Funders and Partners About the Work of Your Site

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Summary: Looking to increase your site’s visibility and raise new funding? This resource from the Western Massachusetts Writing Project, developed as part of a comprehensive plan to increase visibility and raise new funding by educating others about its work, demonstrates how effectively key site information can be compiled into a “Who We Are” document for marketing purposes. Geared toward an audience of potential donors and university partners, this document enables the site to communicate clearly and concisely about its programs and their impact. Sites looking to promote themselves to similar audiences will find the attached document a useful model for developing their own promotional materials. 

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Leadership Transition: Taking Over a Site in Reorganization

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Author: Gatsinzi Basaninyenzi

Summary: What happens when a Writing Project site needs to be rethought and renewed? This article offers the perspective of a site director who was invited to take over and renew an existing site and who attended a NWP New Site Directors Retreat. At the retreat he explored site business development, invitational summer institutes, inservice, and continuity. Inspired by this experience, he worked with teachers at his site to design rotational site leadership teams, teacher study groups for continuity, newsletter development, and a youth writing program. This resource could be helpful to sites in need of new strategies for site development or teacher-leadership development. It shows, firsthand, how new or re-visioned programs can develop under leadership transitions or a shift toward enhanced teacher leadership of a site.
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The National Writing Project’s Unchanging Principles and Practices for Change

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Author: Sheridan Blau

Summary: It is highly likely that you are here exploring this site and its resources because you, like tens of thousands of other teachers, found your experience with your local National Writing Project site to be transformative, and you want to bring similar experiences to other educators. If that is the case, then you may find Sheridan Blau’s speech to the NWP Annual Meeting will serve as a powerful introductory reading and discussion piece at the outset of your work with educators new to the work of the NWP. Blau lays the groundwork for a rich discussion of how the NWP is different from other professional development experiences and how, through all the shifts in educational fads over the decades, the NWP model has stayed true to the core tenets of “teachers teaching teachers” and writing as a powerful tool for learning. In addition to serving as a shared reading for teachers new to NWP work, Blau’s speech also serves as a discussion piece for teacher leaders during the planning and development stages for new programming. As he reminds us—”the writing project is a powerful agent for deep and transforming change in persons, in professional development, and in the nature of schooling in part because we have so scrupulously resisted any change in our fundamental principles and practices.”
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