It has been a busy fall for CRWP Teacher Consultants, as they have been presenting their classroom research at conferences around the state. From inspiring students to write their own novels, to engaging them with Shakespeare through music and other media, CRWP teacher consultants have been sharing their innovative teaching practices with audiences of their peers.
Chanda Wekwert, CRWP 2009 and teacher at Hillman Junior High School near Alpena, presented her workshop, “Writing Without Limits,” at Eastern Michigan Writing Project’s fall conference, “Writing Beyond Expectations,” at the end of September. Wekwert encourages her students to create extended pieces of fiction as a part of National Novel Writing Month by inviting students to create a muse and reach certain word counts each day. In celebrating their competence over the course of the month, she invites them to write without limits and better understand narrative structure in the process.
Andy Schoenborn, CRWP 2010 and teacher at Mount Pleasant High School, was the first of three presentations at the Michigan Council of Teachers of English Autumn Assembly in late October. He presented his workshop “Writing Into Drama,” where participants were prompted to recount their own experience learning drama in high school and then explored imagery, music, and lyrics as poetry so they could immerse themselves in productions. Such an approach allows students to make meaningful connections, read with deeper understanding, and use writing as a tool to step into the minds of characters.
Also at MCTE, Rosie Nedry, CRWP 2010 and teacher at Chippewa Hills Mosiac High School, presented “Imagination Unchained!” During her session, Nedry invited teachers to think about how to inspire reluctant writers with untapped imaginations. By inviting teachers to consider how to structure writing activities, begin a list of topics, and express their creative side, Nedry was able to share how she inspires her reluctant writers.
Another session at MCTE featured Elizabeth Nelson, CRWP 2009 and teacher at Greenville High School, who shared her work on starting a high school program for at-risk learners called “Getting Them Into Books!” Her presentation focused on how to initiate and sustain a literacy program at the high school level specifically designed to meet the needs of at-risk learners. From roleplay to book talks and all kinds of writing strategies in between, Nelson was able to provide her colleagues with a variety of activities that they could take back with them to use in their classrooms.
As the Chippewa River Writing Project continues to grow its cohort of teacher consultants, we appreciate the work that Wekwert, Schoenborn, Nedry, and Nelson have shared with their colleagues through these conference presentations, and we look forward to seeing more presentations at local, state, and national conferences.