This post is the first in a series about 2016-17 partnerships between the CRWP and various school administrators, community librarians, and other educational leaders.
Last January, the CRWP asked a hand-selected group of school administrators, community librarians, and other educational leaders the following questions:
Do you believe in the transformative power and importance of reading, writing, and digital literacy?
Do you see value in the National Writing Project network but have been unable to join because of time constraints associated with a four-week summer institute?
Is there an innovative educational initiative on your to-do list that you have been unable to complete (or even begin)?
Would you like to be a published author, with support from accessible and experienced, published teacher-scholars?
To each of these questions, Tinna Mills, who is the teen librarian at Veterans Memorial Library in Mt. Pleasant, answered yes, and now she’s partnering with the Chippewa River Writing Project to help her teens produce digital stories about their transforming experiences associated with teen services at the library. To learn about library teen services and the digital story initiative, keep reading …
For quite some time, Tinna had wanted to invite her teens to craft digital stories about teen services at the public library. Her thought was that these digital stories could be posted on the library webpage, the better to promote PR, market services, and extend outreach. In addition, she believed that the digital stories would provide data to measure the effectiveness of the teen services offered at the library by means of a new assessment tool—a topic addressed momentarily.
Andy Schoenborn reflects on student choice while relating it to our own experience as educators in his current role as MCTE past president, and he invites you to attend the 2016 conference. Register here.
As I sit to write, I look out my window while rain falls in steady drops to the earth. The dark green grass stands vibrant against the gray sky and the not-yet-chilled air smells fresh – clean. September is like Spring for teachers. We have become rejuvenated and refreshed by the summer and the worries of last school year are washed away. Teachers, like grass, cannot be fully refreshed by the summer rain alone. To become vibrant against the gray, we need to cultivate our own growth by breaking loose hardened clay and fertilizing our minds with a renewed vigor.
Our school districts understand this and help by beginning the year with professional development programs before the students arrive. It is a good start but, like our students, for growth to take root we, too, need individualized instruction.
If you are reading this post, you know this to be true because you are the master gardener of your learning. You take an active role in shaping your path of growth by reading educational blogs and professional journals. You stay connected with your favorite pages, hashtags, and writers on Facebook, Twitter, and podcasts. No doubt, you belong to organizations like the National Writing Project, the National Council of Teachers of English, the International Reading Association or any of their affiliates. Your thirst for knowledge and affirmation helps you to stay in the full bloom of a master teacher.
The other day, my daughter called and asked me about a recipe. We chatted about its origin, and recalled a funny story that went with it. Our lively conversation had stemmed from a simple question. Recently, I’ve been paying close attention to questions and their resulting conversations.
“Do you have an idea for your digital story?”
“How was your Fourth of July?”
“What’s the best way to get ketchup and red wine out of a table cloth? ”
“Who can help me with Weebly?”
“Could you look at this piece to tell me if the transitions work, and if the ending is strong enough?”
Each of these is a question I heard asked by someone during their time at the CRWP Summer Institute. Each of these led to discussions between two or more people. Sometimes the discussions were short, other times they were long, and a time or two the discussions were later revisited. Although it might appear that the conversations were casual, they were still interactions in which two or more people needed to communicate with others and needed to know what others knew in order to help their own learning or thinking.Continue reading The Value of Talk→
Andy Schoenborn describes his professional journey from an undergraduate who attended a Michigan Council of Teachers of English conference to his current role as MCTE president, and he invites you to attend the 2015 conference. Register here.
The question each of us had to answer as a child was, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Some of us could answer this question right away and others struggle, years later, to answer the age old question. The question itself was easy for me to answer. In fact, I answered it in kindergarten when my tech-savvy teacher asked each of my classmates this question and used a tape recorder to capture our answers. Continue reading What a Gift to Know We Are Not Alone→