Friday, July 9th, 2010 marked the completion of another successful Summer Institute for the Chippewa River Writing Project, including its sixteen newest teacher consultants. For four weeks beginning June 14th, participants and leadership team members met daily for writing and responding, reading and research, fun and collegiality.
Both as teachers and writers, the experience was a period of hard work and intense growth, as well as a chance to forge new friendships with colleagues from all over the state. The entire month made up, as teacher participant Janis Germain observes, “an enlightening and fast-moving class.”
Participants experienced such opportunities as meeting with friends and family in an annual Writing Marathon and collaborating with third through fifth grade writers during CRWP’s first annual Youth Writing Camp.
“The Chippewa River Writing Project has changed my perspective on writing instruction,” notes teacher participant Kelly Murphy. “I’ve become very reflective about my current practices, and it’s challenged my thinking. I’m ready to employ new strategies from a new, refreshed mindset.”
Fellow participant Jodi Mata echoes Murphy’s feelings as she reflects upon the experience:”The Summer Institute has challenged me to write outside of my comfort zone.”
Participants honed their skills as educators through the development of lesson plans, creative writing prompts, and innovative projects utilizing such technologies as podcasting, wikis, a print anthology, and digital storytelling.
The institute culminated with the creation of portfolios presenting multigenre snapshots of participants’ roles as writers, as well as a celebratory dinner and reading.
As the Summer Institute drew to a close, participants looked back with fond memories, exhilarated for the school year to come. Teacher participant Rosie Nedry sums up her time as a member of the SI with a playful grin: “It was da bomb!”
CRWP now prepares for its school year professional development and continuity programs, including the opportunity to host the state network retreat for the National Writing Projects of Michigan and its own Advanced Institute for Professional Development in August, as well as additional programs throughout the 2010-11 school year.
Teachers interested in applying for the 2011 summer institute are invited to visit our Summer Institute page later this fall to find out how to begin the application process.