CRWP 2021-22 Webinar Series

Close-up of second-grade girl behind protection shield. Photo by Allison Shelley for EDUimages

Close-up of second-grade girl behind protection shield. Photo by Allison Shelley for EDUimagesCreating the New Normal In Our Classrooms (October 2021 – May 2022)

View our flyer on Smore.

As we embark on another year of historic changes in education, we find that we have been given ( or maybe thrust is the more accurate word) the opportunity to create what the new normal in our classrooms is going to look like. In the quest to do what is best for all of our students, every day, the Chippewa River Writing Project seeks to explore what that looks like and can continue to look like. We do this the only way we know how, with teachers teaching teachers.

The Chippewa River Writing Project (CRWP) has a PD series to help you (and us) discover what the new normal looks like this year. We invite you to join us for a new monthly webinar series running from October 2021 until May 2022 that will help ground yourself in your classroom despite everything going on. This free webinar series will be held once a month on the Tuesdays listed below from 7 pm to 8 pm (EST) on Zoom.

Register here to be included on an email list for any of the sessions listed below!

  • October 19, 2021
  • November 16, 2021
  • December 14, 2021
  • January 18, 2022
  • February 15, 2022
  • March 15, 2022
  • April 19, 2022
  • May 17, 2022

All sessions will occur from 7 pm to 8 pm on Zoom. Due to account limitations, this means only 100 people can attend them live. If you happen to not be one of the first 100 people to join live, know that a recording with a hyperlinked recap will be coming your way within a few days! We apologize for any inconvenience this might cause.

If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us:

  • Troy Hicks (CRWP Director) –
  • Jeremy Hyler (Webinar Co-Facilitator ) –
  • Becky Schwartz (Webinar Co-Facilitator ) –

CRWP Announces Fall 2021 Leadership Institute

CRWP 2021 Group Photo

CRWP Fall 2021 FlyerCRWP will set out once again to offer a fall leadership institute in the tradition of the National Writing Project‘s mantra, “Teachers Teaching Teachers.”

We plan to welcome 12 educators to learn from each other through collaboration, renewing our practices as teachers of writing, adapting those practices for remote learning, and demonstrating our lessons for one another. Participants will work both synchronously and asynchronously for approximately 9-12 hours per month, meeting via Zoom on Saturday mornings throughout the fall.

Last year’s fall leadership institute resulted in thoughtful conversation across the country, as participants joined us from Georgia, California, Illinois, and Michigan. Teachers from K-12 through college met regularly to share best practices and survival stories, and to simply decompress from the challenges of the week. This fall, the challenges facing us are still unknown, as policies governing schools and public health across the nation are erratic and polarizing. But our conversations between colleagues in the leadership institute will be uplifting and inspirational, reminding ourselves that we are part of a thriving community of dedicated educators.

Participants in the fall leadership cohort will:

  • Participate in regular, virtual workshops with CRWP teacher consultants and dedicated colleagues.
  • Develop leadership skills by analyzing teaching demonstrations and providing feedback to other educators.
  • Lead an individual teaching demonstration designed in conjunction with an experienced CRWP teacher consultant.
  • Collaborate with colleagues to respond to teaching demonstrations and explore best practices in writing instruction.
  • Prepare a final collection of materials suitable for professional purposes (including a conference proposal submission, and a professional blog post.).

Each participant will create and present a teaching demonstration for the cohort and, optionally, for a larger audience during CRWP’s winter virtual conference in 2022. In addition, participants will be encouraged to write professionally for the CRWP blog, adding their voices to the rich conversations happening throughout the National Writing Project. Participants who successfully complete all components of the Invitational Leadership Institute will become CRWP teacher-consultants and will earn the NWP Teacher-Consultant microcredential/digital badge for engaging in the six social practices for NWP leadership development.

We are excited to continue to grow our teacher-consultant community and to lift each other up with thoughtful collaboration, mindful pedagogy, and deliberate equity.

Registration Costs and Guidelines:

36 SCECHs will be available as part of the registration costs (pending MDE approval).

The institute can also be taken for 3 graduate credits. The total cost for CMU’s graduate application and the three credits will be $1500 plus a $50 application fee. For participants interested in joining the institute as graduate students, please do NOT complete the form below. Instead, contact Dr. Troy Hicks.

Enrollment is limited to 12 participants, so sign up now using our secure web form where we will ask for your contact information, and then you will be asked to click through to CMU’s Quik Pay system for billing.

Screenshot of Registration Form for Remote Literacy Learning

  • Registration cost, before September 10: $225 (reflects a 10% discount)
  • Registration cost, after September 10: $250
  • Registration closes at 11:59 PM EST on September 19.
  • Cancellations before September 19th at 11:59 PM EST will be refunded, minus a $25 processing fee.
  • After September 19, registrations are transferable, but not refundable.


Poems as Portals – Session #8 of the CRWP 2020-21 Webinar Series

Poems as Portals Cover Slide


In our final webinar for the 2020/2021 school year, CRWP’s teacher consultant, former MCTE President, and author, Andy Schoenborn (@aschoenborn), talked about teaching poetry in both virtual and face to face settings. He invited us to consider how poetry is not necessarily a therapy, but it is therapeutic. 

In this webinar, Schoenborn blended writing opportunities for participants to build an understanding of the power of poetry in our writing lives as well as our students. He also talked about the importance of making sure there are spaces between all the things we have to do in our English classrooms to allow the sparks of student creativity and writing to become a flame… and not be snuffed out or smothered.

Then, Andy talked about what a week in his classroom looks like and how he makes “spaces between the logs” of the fire to keep the spark of student creativity going. In addition to explaining how he provides students time and space for poetry writing, Schoenborn discussed what he has students do with their writing. Andy illustrated how he has students dig deeper into meaningful metacognitive conversations where they talk about their own writerly decisions and voices.

Andy also discussed the importance of sharing.  Not only having students sharing their writing with each other, but the idea that we — as teacher-writers — share our own writing with students and share in those moments of vulnerability with them. He talked about how, despite the differences in your students and their backgrounds, there is poetry that will resonate with them. Schoenborn encouraged all of us to give poetry in our classroom a chance and give the opportunity for our students to experience the magic of words. 

Towards the conclusion of the webinar, Andy gave us a strategy to use both with ourselves and with our students to help them “find the poem within themselves.” It’s a strategy any educator could take into one’s classroom tomorrow and use as “space between the logs” for sparks of student creativity as we finish out our school year. 

Andy’s grand finale to our series this year is a webinar you don’t want to miss!


We welcome you to follow CRWP on Facebook or on Twitter: @chippewariverwp.

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Ask, Explore Write – Session #7 of the CRWP 2020-21 Webinar Series

Ask Explore Write Cover Slide

In our March webinar, CRWP’s director, Dr. Troy Hicks (@hiskstro) and one of our teacher consultants Jeremy Hyler (@Jeremybballer) discuss cross-curricular literacy and connect writing in science and English.

They began by telling us about some of the work they have done on Beaver Island with other science and English teachers. This work allows science and ELA teachers to develop a cross curricular set of lessons or a unit that can be brought back into their classrooms. While they won’t be able to due another institute this summer, the next proposed Beaver Island Institute will be in 2022.

Jeremy began by discussing how he introduces infographics in the classroom. He argues that creating infographics allows students to build on their writing abilities and give them more writing opportunities. Infographics provide them with opportunities to use, analyze, and synthesis data. Jeremy explains that infographics can be used as both formative and summative assessments as well as access student’s creative abilities.

Jeremy walked us through how he introduces infographics to his middle school students by involving them in a discussion of a USDA infographic. Jeremy modeled how discussions in both a traditional classroom might work as well as how to do it in a virtual setting. He explains how the transition looks in his classroom from just looking at infographics to how he begins to get students to create their own infographics. He then shared Canva, Piktochart, and Infogram, which are online softwares he has students create their infographics on. All of these softwares have free possibilities you can use in your own classes. Jeremy also discussed how he assesses students’ infographics and how they evolve over the course of the year and provided a possible rubric that can be adapted for classrooms. 

Next, Jeremy explained why science notebooks are powerful tools for vital parts of a science classroom such as making observations, recording data, brainstorming for experiments, and to record notes. He discussed both paper and digital possibilities. He also discussed how he does digital science notebooks this year and shared a template for these notebooks. You can also see the webinar our TC Becky did where she presented digital notebooks more in depth.

Then, Troy wrapped up our webinar by introducing us to Create Creative Non-Fiction and how it can be used in the classroom. Troy walked us through the ways that we can teach students to analyze non-fiction writing and then how we can have students create creative non-fiction. His discussion of creative nonfiction showed not only how it can be more engaging for the reader as well as a powerful and challenging writing experience. With the shared GDoc above, Troy provided us with a template to help writers play with the style of Creative Nonfiction and get students started on a path to writing into a more technical style.


We welcome you to sign up for future webinar sessions and we invite you to follow CRWP on Facebook or on Twitter: @chippewariverwp.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.