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: Using Nonfiction in the Elementary Classroom to Develop Critical Thinking and Writing Skills

3:30pm - 5:00pm Gaylord, Hotel Ballroom Level, Annapolis 1

Traditionally, students in elementary schools focused primarily on fiction writing. However, the Common Core State Standards now require teachers and students to engage with nonfiction texts as well. This session will highlight two effective strategies used with students in grades 3 through 5 using nonfiction books and other short texts.

Cynthia Crenshaw, Red Mountain Writing Project
Natasha Flowers, Red Mountain Writing Project
Kenya Hall, Red Mountain Writing Project
Tonya Perry, Red Mountain Writing Project
Sherry Swain, National Writing Project
Jameka Thomas, Red Mountain Writing Project

C2: Grant Writing for Site Development

3:30pm - 5:00pm Gaylord, Hotel Ballroom Level, Annapolis 2

In this interactive workshop, facilitators will share resources, strategies, and lessons learned from their Writing Project sites' grant writing and grant seeking experiences, and will engage participants in sharing their own experiences. Participants will address the questions:

  • For what needs are Writing Project sites most often seeking support?
  • What levels and targets of funding are most common?
  • What types of organizations are being approached? What strategies have been most successful?

Toby Kahn-Loftus, Top-of-the-Mitt Writing Project
Janet Swenson, Red Cedar Writing Project

C3: Exploring Processes and Tools for Conducting Teacher Inquiry

3:30pm - 5:00pm Gaylord, Hotel Ballroom Level, Annapolis 3

This session will explore the impact of teacher inquiry on preservice teachersí capacity to teach secondary English. In particular, we will explore specific inquiry processes and a rubric for assessing attention to culturally and linguistically diverse students. Participants will have the opportunity to try out the processes and the rubric with student work.

Juliet Wahleithner, San Joaquin Valley Writing Project

C4: Connected Learning in the Classroom: Linking Readers, Writers, and the World

3:30pm - 5:00pm Gaylord, Hotel Ballroom Level, Annapolis 4

Writers write and teachers teach in order to build bridges between ideas and individuals that bring us closer together. Connected Learning (CL) is a powerful set of design and teaching principles that offers additional tools to make those connections. CL is a model focused on helping youth express themselves by producing a variety of products driven by their own interests and supported by their peers to create change in themselves and the world. CL offers exciting learning opportunities for youth tied to social networks and digital systems, as well as pathways for teachers to become learners alongside their students and develop new digital agency. Teaching in the Connected Learning Classroom, a new, free ebook edited and curated by NWP colleagues and drawing from examples of practice shared at Digital Is , explores CL through the eyes of educators and learners working in primarily in-school environments. Unique in its focus, this ebook is a critical resource as well as an invitation to continue a conversation about ways to connect in our teaching. Join us as we dig into the collection as a means to support a discussion about the ways that teacher/learner agency is being engaged in connected ways within our Writing Project contexts and communities.

Antero Garcia, Colorado State University Writing Project
Nicole Mirra, West Texas Writing Project
Stephanie Rollag, Minnesota Writing Project

C5: Argumentation Meets Fun Game Play

3:30pm - 5:00pm Gaylord, Hotel Ballroom Level, Fort Washington Boardroom

Mars Generation One: Argubot Academy gives young people the chance, through fun gameplay, to build arguments and better understand argumentation. Join this webinar to hear from GlassLab Games, the developer of Argubot Academy, as well as educators who have been field-testing the game with middle-school-aged children this summer. Find out whatís next for Argubot Academy in the upcoming school year and learn how you can join the fun.

Mat Frenz, GlassLab

C6: An Idea that Worked

3:30pm - 5:00pm Gaylord, Hotel Ballroom Level, Wilson B

Join NWP colleagues from across the network for roundtable discussions of ideas that have made a difference at their sites. Conversations will include topics as diverse as formative assessment of student writing, innovative young writers programs, and approaches to engaging administrators in the work of the site. Plan to bring ideas—big and small—that have made a difference at your Writing Project site to add to the mix.

Angela Faulhaber, Ohio Writing Project
Cheryl Foster, MSU Writing/Thinking Project
Mark Nepper, Greater Madison Writing Project
Diane Osborne, Central Texas Writing Project
Sharon O`Neal, Central Texas Writing Project
Faye Peitzman, UCLA Writing Project
Laura Lee Stroud, Central Texas Writing Project
Valerie Taylor, Central Texas Writing Project
Beth Torrison, Greater Madison Writing Project

C7: Opening the Door to Argument: Short Sequences that Engage Students

3:30pm - 5:00pm Gaylord, Hotel Ballroom Level, Wilson C

Explore short argument writing sequences that engage students in issues and ideas worth thinking about. These sequences begin with innovative reading strategies with multiple texts containing multiple legitimate points of view. Students complete the sequences by writing short arguments that use sources as evidence. Materials from this session could be used in professional development and in the secondary classroom.

Jean Wolph, Louisville Writing Project

C8: Youth and Community: Extending the Reach and Relevance of Writing Project Programs

3:30pm - 5:00pm Gaylord, Hotel Ballroom Level, Wilson D

Family writing events, community reads, library and science center partnerships, after school writing clubs, statewide writing contests...the list goes on! Sites are developing program models that make literacy a community affair while also increasing visibility and contributing financial support for site programs. Join NWP colleagues for roundtable discussions that explore how innovative designs can extend the reach and relevance of youth and community programs.

James Andrukonis, Northern Virginia Writing Project
Marilyn Brooks, Saginaw Bay Writing Project
Lisa Ciecierski, PennLake National Writing Project
Janis Cramer, Oklahoma Writing Project
Jessica Early, Central Arizona Writing Project
Tracey Flores, Central Arizona Writing Project
Peter Golden, Boston Writing Project
Priscilla Griffith, Oklahoma Writing Project
Catherine Hailey, Northern Virginia Writing Project
Darshna Katwala, Long Island Writing Project
Jenny Meister, Eastern Shore Writing Project
Tom Meyer, Hudson Valley Writing Project
Nancy Michelson, Eastern Shore Writing Project
Shaun Mitchell, Connecticut Writing Project - Fairfield
Heather O'Connell, Southeastern Louisiana Writing Project
Heather OLoughlin, Central Arizona Writing Project
Helen Raica-Klotz, Saginaw Bay Writing Project
Diane Rawson, Hudson Valley Writing Project
Bryan Ripley Crandall, Connecticut Writing Project - Fairfield
Julie Roneson, Connecticut Writing Project - Fairfield
Bethany Scullin, Cherokee Rose Writing Project
Kathy Smaltz, Northern Virginia Writing Project
Natasha Whitton, Southeastern Louisiana Writing Project

C9: Youth Voices Inquiry Project: Interest-Based and Disciplinary Learning with Social Media at the Center

3:30pm - 5:00pm Gaylord, Hotel Ballroom Level, Magnolia 3

The Youth Voices Inquiry Project is a cross-generational project focused on using reading, writing, and digital media in support of learners' own passions and interests. Starting as a summer pilot program in 2013, the project has expanded into a full-year inquiry, engaging youth and teachers as co-learners with the ultimate goal of supporting a peer-supported and making/writing-centered orientation in their classrooms. Connected to the larger community and funded in part by the New York Community Trust/New York City HIVE Learning Network, this project serves as a laboratory for the exploration of the relationship between interest-based and disciplinary learning with social media at the center. This session will show rich examples of how the principles and practices of Connected Learning are enacted, and will support participants in thinking about this work in their own communities and contexts.

Paul Allison, New York City Writing Project
Christy Kingham, New York City Writing Project
Marcie Wolfe, New York City Writing Project

C10: Inviting Students to Write Scientific Arguments from Evidence

3:30pm - 5:00pm Gaylord, Hotel Ballroom Level, Magnolia 2

Participants in the SEED Science initiative share initial work in crafting assignments and lessons to support students to write scientific arguments from evidence.

Lara Crowley, Delaware Writing Project
Jeanne Feeney, Area 3 Writing Project
Kathryn Hontz, Penn State Lehigh Valley Writing Project
Leslie Skantz-Hodgson, Western Massachusetts Writing Project

C11: Leadership for a Purpose: Organizing Teacher-Consultants to Support Long-Term Professional Development

3:30pm - 5:00pm Gaylord, Hotel Ballroom Level, Magnolia 1

Writing Project sites frequently have leadership teams that support the work of a site. What if the site has a particularly big or complex program to run? This session looks at ways that leadership teams can be targeted to build specific knowledge and capacity for Writing Project sites.

Tom Fox, National Writing Project
Ellen Shelton, University of Mississippi Writing Project
Flory Simon, Southern Arizona Writing Project

C12: How Formative Assessment Can Provide Direction in Long-Term Professional Development

3:30pm - 5:00pm Gaylord, Hotel Ballroom Level, Azalea 1

Participants will explore the ways that formative assessment of student writing can anchor a long-term professional development program. Central to this work is an exciting new resource, an ebook, that can support Writing Project sites and the teachers they work with.

Terri McAvoy, Prairie Lands Writing Project
Beth Rimer, Ohio Writing Project

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