National Writing Project

Thursday Sessions Round C: Messing Around and Geeking Out

This round of afternoon breakout sessions provides opportunities for conversations about teaching and learning and being an NWP site.


Round C: 3:30 p.m.–5:00 p.m.

C1: Genre Study in the Digital Age: Multimedia Presentations

3:30pm - 5:00pm Hynes, Level 1, 107

This session explores the possibilities for using the Inquiry Square when designing instruction in 21st Century composing. Using the example of a “TED Talk” style presentation, participants will explore how students can be guided through the process of understanding and composing digital pieces.

Rachel Bear, Boise State University Writing Project

C2: Hacking the Storybook

3:30pm - 5:00pm Hynes, Level 1, 108

In this hands-on workshop, you’ll get a chance to work with circuits, writing, and your creative impulse to turn the writer’s notebook into a repository of STEM-powered storytelling. Join Jie Qi of the Responsive Environments group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and David Cole and Jennifer Dick of and its I/O (Inside/Out) program, as they walk you through the building of low-cost circuits that allow writers to hack the traditional notebook and tell stories with interactivity.

David Cole,
Jennifer Dick,
Paul Oh, National Writing Project
Jie Qi, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

C3: Infographics as an Alternative to the Five-Paragraph Essay

3:30pm - 5:00pm Hynes, Level 1, 109

Infographics present an exciting and dynamic way to teach students to compose argumentation as an alternative to the five-paragraph essay. This session will explore the basics of visual argument with ways to use them in the classroom to analyze and to create infographics.

Molly Robbins, Denver Writing Project

C4: Argumentative Writing: Can History Lead the Way?

3:30pm - 5:00pm Hynes, Level 1, 101

How does disciplinary thinking inform the content and shape of argumentative writing? In this session, participants will examine the attributes of a historical argument and discuss implications for writing arguments in other disciplines—teasing out similarities, differences, and instructional implications.

Diane Giorgi, New York City Writing Project
Stan Pesick, Bay Area Writing Project

C5: Digital Is/Teaching Is: Learning to Teach in a Dialogic Ecosystem

3:30pm - 5:00pm Hynes, Level 1, 102

Recognizing that learning to teach is a lifelong process, how can we use spaces like Digital Is to build reciprocal and expansive relationships between teachers that will enable the exploration of critical issues in education? In this workshop, two English educators will describe how they have used the Digital Is website to build a shared “dialogic ecosystem” between their classrooms—one in New York and the other in Colorado—that allowed their preservice teachers to consider the mindsets and pedagogies associated with culturally responsive teaching and Connected Learning. Workshop participants will engage in some of the activities used, examine samples of student work, and generate ideas for harnessing the rich resources found on NWP's Digital Is website to build similar dialogic ecosystems in their respective teaching and learning contexts.

Danielle Filipiak, Wayne State Writing Project
Cindy O`Donnell-Allen, Colorado State University Writing Project

C6: Educator Innovator: What Is It and How Can You Participate?

3:30pm - 5:00pm Hynes, Level 1, 103

Educator Innovator, powered by the National Writing Project, is a network of educators who are re-imagining learning along the model of Connected Learning. In this session, we'll look at how Educator Innovator is the latest incarnation of NWP's 40-year tradition of valuing educator-led innovation and student production. Come join this discussion and find out how you and/or your Writing Project site can participate in learning opportunities and mini-grants.

Elyse Eidman-Aadahl, National Writing Project

C7: Looking with the Heart: Celebrating the Human in the Digital

3:30pm - 5:00pm Hynes, Level 1, 104

At NWP Digital Is, Christina Puntel describes the Descriptive Review process of looking at student work, whether online or face-to-face, as a process of “looking with the heart.” And looking closely at students' work—whether made digitally, analog, or both—is a key piece of building relationships. Come revisit the Descriptive Review protocol for looking at student work, reimagined in the context of today’s digitally networked and multimedia-rich world. In what ways do these structured conversations support us in celebrating the maker, the thinker, and the human in our students? And how can we integrate these processes into our professional work, both face-to-face as well as online? Presenters will describe the inquiry process that they have embarked on to write a book about looking closely at students' digital work, and invite you to try the process firsthand.

Christina Cantrill, National Writing Project
Troy Hicks, Chippewa River Writing Project
Jeremy Hyler, Chippewa River Writing Project
Julie Johnson, Columbus Area Writing Project
Bonnie Kaplan, Hudson Valley Writing Project
Christina Puntel, Philadelphia Writing Project
Stephanie West-Puckett, Tar River Writing Project
Jack Zangerle, Hudson Valley Writing Project

C8: Collaborative Conversations: Exploring the Use of Mentor Texts Across the Curriculum

3:30pm - 5:00pm Hynes, Level 2, 207

What is a mentor text? What makes a quality mentor text? How do we choose and help students find appropriate, real-world resources to use in our classrooms to inspire writing? Join us for interactive roundtable discussions about how teachers across the grade levels and disciplines use mentor texts from all genres to teach writing and expand thinking.

Rose Cappelli, Pennsylvania Writing and Literature Project
Lynne Dorfman, Pennsylvania Writing and Literature Project
Robin Holland, Columbus Area Writing Project
Carla Truttman, Northern California Writing Project

C9: What Does It Take for Your Writing Project Site to Succeed Financially?

3:30pm - 5:00pm Hynes, Level 2, 208

Join colleagues from the network who will host roundtable discussions focusing on their Writing Project site's approach to reaching out to new partners, generating revenue, and planning for long-term financial stability. A complete list of roundtable titles facilitated by the following sites will be available at the workshop: Oregon Writing Project at Eastern Oregon University, Boise State University Writing Project, Connecticut Writing Project–Fairfield, and Louisiana State University Writing Project.

Steven Bickmore, Louisiana State University Writing Project
Jim Fredricksen, Boise State University Writing Project
Nancy Knowles, Oregon WP at Eastern Oregon University
Bryan Ripley Crandall, Connecticut Writing Project - Fairfield
Margaret-Mary Sulentic Dowell, Louisiana State University Writing Project
Jeffrey Wilhelm, Boise State University Writing Project

C10: More Than "College Eligible": Pushing for College-Ready Writers

3:30pm - 5:00pm Hynes, Level 2, 209

This workshop will focus on our work with analyzing and responding to student writers and their text-based, analytical writing. Our programs have been ongoing for a long time, with variations: a focus on high school writers, a focus on middle school writers, a focus on English Learners—from beginners to long-term English Learners. Most recently we've been considering how our work is supported by the Common Core State Standards, the new ELD Standards, and the Smarter Balanced Assessments.

Norma Mota-Altman, UCLA Writing Project
Faye Peitzman, UCLA Writing Project

C11: Harnessing Youth Passions: Facilitating Interest-Driven Learning Inside and Outside the Classroom

3:30pm - 5:00pm Hynes, Level 2, 201

This interactive session will help educators develop strategies for connecting student interests to academic content and skills in ways that make the learning process more culturally relevant and civically engaging. The presenters, through a discussion of their own work and small group discussions, will encourage audience members to re-conceptualize what student interests are, how to harness them, and how to use social media and other digital tools to disseminate what they produce.

Nicole Mirra, West Texas Writing Project
Anna Smith, Illinois State University

C12: Quality Education as a Right for All: Collaborating with the Algebra Project

3:30pm - 5:00pm Hynes, Level 2, 202

In this interactive session, we’ll introduce the Algebra Project (AP) framework and its overall stance and mission, show a video clip demonstrating pedagogy, and then break into small working groups focusing on 1) mathematical literacy; 2) acceleration versus remediation in mathematics and ELA; and 3) student identity and agency in mathematics and ELA. We aim to identify ways and places where Writing Project sites and the AP can deepen their collaboration for the sake of youth currently being poorly served by our current education system. From early in its history, the Algebra Project, a nonprofit network founded in 1982 by Civil Rights organizer Bob Moses that aimed at improving mathematics education for students in the bottom quartile, has collaborated with National Writing Project colleagues. Most recently, NWP leaders in Michigan and Ohio have been engaged in joint work with Algebra Project leaders.

Bill Crombie, Algebra Project
Lynne Godfrey, Boston Writing Project
Mindy Nathan, Oakland Writing Project
Laura Roop, Western Pennsylvania Writing Project

C13: Teaching Opinion Writing: Experiencing the Possibilities

3:30pm - 5:00pm Hynes, Level 2, 203

This workshop immerses participants in tried-and-true strategies that engage elementary students in opinion writing. We will be looking at designing assignments that not only captivate learners, but also blend with other content-area learning by using mentor texts and additional year-round activities that build students' experience with opinion writing.

Terri McAvoy, Prairie Lands Writing Project

C14: Directing a Writing Project Site Then, Now, and Beyond || 40th Anniversary Strand

3:30pm - 5:00pm Hynes, Level 2, 204

What can we learn from the past? How can we anticipate the future? How does the role of the director change and how does it stay the same? What factors influence successful site directorship and facilitate site work in schools? What challenges arise? And what are possible solutions or strategies to meet the challenges? Join directors of early sites, current directors, and aspiring directors as they ponder perspectives on these questions.

Juan Araujo, North Star of Texas Writing Project
Sheridan Blau, South Coast Writing Project
Robin Bynum, Wiregrass Writing Project
Joe Check, Boston Writing Project
Gina Guess, MSU Writing/Thinking Project
Pauline Sahakian, UC Merced Writing Project

C15: Looking at the Use of Craft to Add Purpose to Revision

3:30pm - 5:00pm Hynes, Level 2, 205

Participants will examine and analyze conceptually connected mentor/anchor texts as a way to strengthen the revision process. Reading text through the lens of a writer, participants will analyze for effectiveness, purpose, style, and craft. Teachers will work together to authentically and purposefully apply their discoveries to their own writing.

Emily Noble, MSU Writing/Thinking Project

C16: Using Resiliency as a Theme to Structure Year-Long Professional Development in a High-Need School

3:30pm - 5:00pm Hynes, Level 2, 206

This session examines the ways that Writing Project sites design year-long professional development. Using the theme of resiliency in their professional development with high-need elementary schools supports teachers at the school in a coherent experience. This workshop will present a model for year-long professional development and invite you to create your own.

Sandra Hogue, Louisville Writing Project
Lindsey Nemec, Northern California Writing Project
Amanda von Kleist, Northern California Writing Project

C17: Finding Partners in Existing Places

3:30pm - 5:00pm Hynes, Level 3, 301

This workshop will focus on how Writing Project site leaders can position their sites to be open to and take advantage of partnership opportunities. After a glimpse into three partnership examples—connecting to the Being a Writer program, accessing Striving Reader Comprehensive Literacy funds, and partnering with the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education—participants will explore ways to think about finding and negotiating partnerships that provide resources for the Writing Project and offer benefits to teachers, students, and all the partners involved.

Lisa Davis, Northwestern State University Writing Project
Julie Sheerman, Missouri Writing Project
Rhonda Sutton, Pocono Writing Project

C18: Making Learning Connected: An NWP-Led MOOC

3:30pm - 5:00pm Hynes, Level 3, 310

The National Writing Project led the Making Learning Connected MOOC (#clmooc) as part of the Summer of Making and Learning. In this session, the facilitators of this Massive Open Online Collaboration (MOOC) will share their lessons learned about facilitating a MOOC and how the experience deepened both facilitators’ and participants’ thinking about Connected Learning and "making." We’ll provide background on MOOCs in general and share examples of production-centered learning from #clmooc that might inspire others’ innovative efforts in professional learning.

Joe Dillon, Denver Writing Project
Kevin Hodgson, Western Massachusetts Writing Project

C19: The Key to Success: Effective Program Design for Year-Long Professional Development

3:30pm - 5:00pm Hynes, Level 3, 313

This session will consider the importance of program design to the success of long-term professional development partnerships. Participants will explore program goals, planning principles, and a variety of designs, and engage in first steps in program planning.

Lori Czop Assaf, Central Texas Writing Project
Tasha Thomas, Spartanburg Writing Project

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