Teacher Inquiry

Wise Eyes: Prompting for Meaningful Student Writing

Author: Mary Ann Smith and Sherry Swain Summary: How can teachers create effective prompts that motivate students to show what they can do as writers? Focusing on purpose, audience, authenticity, and accessibility, the authors of this short book analyze existing prompts and provide guidelines for teachers in developing their own prompts...

Developing a Definition of Teacher Research

Author: Marian M. Mohr, Betsy Sanford, Marion S. MacLean, Courtney Rogers, and Sheila Clawson Summary: A group of experienced K-12 teachers and teacher-consultants from the Northern Virginia Writing Project engaged in teacher inquiry for several years to improve their teaching. The process and the findings from their research reverberated throughout...

Reflections on Race in the Urban Classroom

Author: Janice Jones Summary: In a thoughtful first person narrative, Janice Jones describes her inadvertent “silencing” of the only white student in a class of primarily African American and Latino students. An example of the power of a teacher’s personal reflection on classroom practice, this essay might serve as a...

A Collection of Resources on Teacher Inquiry

Summary: This collection of materials on teacher inquiry was developed for a 2003 NWP Teacher Inquiry Communities Network online conference. A valuable resource for teachers who engage in or facilitate inquiry projects, the collection contains extensive and practical information on engaging in teacher inquiry including definitions, along with forms and...

Promises of Coherence, Weak Content, and Strong Organization: An Analysis of the Student Text

Author: Margaret Kantz Summary: This report looks at ways in which college freshmen interpreted and negotiated an assignment calling for writing based on reading, along with how teachers then judged the abilities and preparation of the students based on that writing. The study discovered that students and teachers had different...

Mandated Reform vs. Classroom Reality

Author: Joe Check Summary: How should teachers pro-actively respond to school reforms mandated from above? This article advocates for teachers to take the lead in determining how these reforms are best implemented at the school and classroom level through reflective inquiry practices. Specifically, the article covers three main lines of...

Informal and Shared: Writing to Create Community

Author: Deborah Dean and Adrienne Warren Summary: How can we use informal writing to cultivate the meaningful interaction and deepened understanding that build the foundation of classroom community? Here, Deborah Dean and Adrienne Warren’s explain how a daily writing and sharing routine helped build community and bring meaning to the...

Activities from Southern Nevada Writing Project’s School-Based Writing Studios

Authors: Tom Frasier, Holly Ishman, Rosemary Holmes-Gull, Krista Johnson, Kim Sicurella, and Karyn Steffensen Summary: This resource includes full descriptions of two protocols that are structured to foster democratic dialogue within groups. Useful in planning for group discussions, particularly those that might become dominated by a few participants, these protocols...

“A More Complicated Human Being”: Inventing Teacher-Writers

Author: Christine Dawson Summary: How might teachers pursue and support personally and professionally worthwhile writing practices in the midst of the many demands associated with teaching? How might writing groups sustain their work together – in person or online? This final chapter from The Teacher-Writer: Creating Writing Groups for Personal...

What Student Writing Teaches Us

Author: Mark Overmeyer Summary: In this short video, Mark Overmeyer, co-director of the Denver Writing Project and author of the book What Student Writing Teaches Us poses the question, “If you read student writing closely enough, will the student’s writing teach you what the student needs to know?” A thoughtful...