“I like a teacher who gives you something to take home to think about besides homework.”
— Lily Tomlin
In this rolling back-to-school season, we know teachers everywhere are thinking about how to create an impactful year of learning with their newest classes. We hope you find things in this newsletter to help you start your year off right, and plan for great teaching and learning all year long.
New year, new students, new goals. We know that writing is a complex act full of decision making and problem solving, and we know that students will arrive in our classrooms with a variety of writing experiences, behaviors, skills and strategies. Why not start the year by finding out what they think they can do, and what they want to do. This resource offers a number of ways to start the school year teaching writers rather than assignments.
This summer’s DigDiscourse Collaborative has been a fertile space for learning and connecting. Now, as the third and final “Social Making” cycle finishes, is a perfect time to come and gather its harvest. The bounty includes things such as: ways to explore the “virtual beach” of the social exchange cycle; a video recording about bringing social annotation into the classroom; slides that give you access to a social making choice board and more! You can also learn about the Digital Discourse Framework and join us for the final Reflection and Closing event, starting August 6. The garden can be joined/entered at any time, so feel free to come in and explore around.
This Fall, join an inquiry group that meets once-a-month to look at classroom practices in social exchange, social annotation, and social making. What moves are we making as teachers? What moves are our students making? What happens when we engage in this kind of discourse in our humanities classrooms? Find more details (dates, stipend) and request an application by emailing Christina Puntel of the Philadelphia Writing Project. Begins August 29.
“Strengthening Community Through Collaboration” shows how three Building a More Perfect Union grant-funded projects enabled educators and community-based cultural institutions to expand students' understanding of their own history and heritage. If you are looking for inspiring examples of how to connect your classroom to your community, this article is a great place to start.
Write Out is a free two-week celebration of writing, making, and sharing inspired by the great outdoors. Running from October 8-22, 2022, including the National Day on Writing on October 20, Write Out is a public invitation to get outside and create and then share your writing using the common hashtag #writeout. Write Out 2023 will be organized around fun ways to play with prose and poetry in parks of all shapes and sizes. Write Haikus! Share a 6-Word Story! Craft a Found Poem! The possibilities are endless. Sign up today to be in the communication loop.
NCTE’s annual convention is a big deal for the National Writing Project this year. We’ll spend a day on Thursday developing a collaborative vision for the next 50 years of NWP, and cap that day off with a social event celebrating the impending retirement of our beloved executive director, Elyse Eidman-Aadahl. Throughout the convention you can follow the NWP strand to learn with and from NWP educators, and step into the Wick Poetry Center’s Maker Bus to create a poem for NWP’s Traveling Stanzas project. Be sure to also sign up for Sunday Brunch where we will be celebrating teacher learning with MaryAnn Smith and Sandy Murphy.
Looking forward to a new school year? Celebrate (and commiserate) with more than 6,000 colleagues in the Write Now Teacher Studio. It’s a great place to get fresh ideas and ask for help with your biggest teaching challenges.
Do you want to try to hold onto this summer feeling? Join the Write Out space, a group of teachers who participate in #writeout in October, and think about place-based learning and the importance of being outside all year long. Starting this month, colleagues Kevin Hodgson and Abigail Lund will be hosting “Manic Mondays: Playful Park Pic,” an opportunity to take photographs and write in and about place, nature, and parks.Do you want to rethink your teaching routines and get the year started right? Join the Deeper Dive, Build Executive Skills & Motivation. In this Deeper Dive, participants will plan the First 20 Days of school to scaffold working memory and build student toolkits in grades 6-11. This Deeper Dive will have four Zoom meetings (August 8, 10, 15, 17 from 2:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. PT). Join now to introduce yourself, read the overview, and get prepared for the August 8 session.
Do you want to drill down on one key strategy? Join veteran writing teachers Jenny and Don Killgallon for Improving Writing Through the Sentence Composing Approach, a webinar in teaching students to write better sentences. In this interactive webinar, you’ll practice several sentence composing strategies yourself and receive ready-to-use and easily adaptable lessons. All participants will receive a free copy of the Killgallons’ most recent book, Writing Like an Author: A Study in Sentence Composing. Register today, space is limited.