New Book by CRWP Teacher and Director Released

Chippewa River Writing Project teacher consultant, Jeremy Hyler, and Director Troy Hicks release a new book this week from Routledge — Create, Compose, Connect! Reading, Writing, and Learning with Digital Tools. The book’s description, from the Routledge website, states:

Create Compose Connect CoverFind out how to incorporate digital tools into your English language arts class to improve students’ reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills. Authors Jeremy Hyler and Troy Hicks show you that technology is not just about making a lesson engaging; it’s about helping students become effective creators and consumers of information in today’s fast-paced world. You’ll learn how to use mobile technologies to teach narrative, informational, and argument writing as well as visual literacy and multimodal research. Each chapter is filled with exciting lesson plans and tech tool suggestions that you can take back to your own classroom immediately.

 Along with a companion blog and wiki,  the book has been featured in a variety of education-related blogs including this post today from MiddleWeb, a webinar last week with 1to1 Technology, and through Jeremy’s post on Teach Thought.
This summer, Hyler and Hicks will lead a one-week institute related to the book at CMU in Mt. Pleasant, MI. Contact Troy Hicks for more information.

Seven CRWP Teachers Present at National Conferences

Most teachers attend a conference for professional development, many choose to go to local events, a few go to national, and even fewer present at a national level… Chippewa River Writing Project is present at all levels.

CRWP Co-Director prepares for her presentation at the NCTE 2012 Convention.

CRWP Co-Director prepares for her presentation at the NCTE 2012 Convention.

Since the inception of Chippewa River Writing Project (CRWP) in 2009, we have been involved at a national level, attending the National Writing Project (NWP) Annual Meeting and the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Annual Convention for the past four years. These national conferences attract many participants—nearly 600 attend NWP’s annual meeting, and over ten times that attend the NCTE Annual Convention.

As a new writing project site, CRWP wanted to send teacher consultants to national conferences to gain information about best practice and new trends in the teaching field, not only to help with their own classroom instruction, but also to help foster the growth of CRWP and the Summer Institute.  After a few years of attending these conferences, and renewing our excitement for the classroom setting, conversations post-conference eventually led to the submission of proposals.  Even as a young site, we knew we had something to offer other colleagues.

CRWP’s national presence began in Orlando in 2010, with an invitation to Site Director Troy Hicks and Co-Director Kathy Kurtze to present at the NWP Annual Meeting as a first-year site.  CRWP’s commitment to furthering writing and literacy education continued in Chicago (2011) and in Las Vegas (2012) with presentations by many teacher consultants.  Most recently, in Las Vegas, Teacher Consultants Jeremy Hyler, Erin Busch-Grabmeyer, Elizabeth Nelson, and Co-Director Penny Lew, along with Site Director Troy Hicks, presented “Writing, Technology, and the Common Core.” In this presentation, the genres of narrative, informational, and argumentative writing were discussed, along with ways to incorporate different types of technology, including Glogster, Prezi, and digital stories into writing instruction.

In addition, Teacher Consultants Andy Schoenborn and Amanda Smoker, along with Co-Director Kathy Kurtze, presented “Alternative Approaches to Teaching Argumentative Writing.” Using George Hillocks’ book, Teaching Argument Writing as a framework, these three discussed how argument can be taught in a classroom setting without falling into the 5-paragraph trap, utilizing Prezi, Public Service Announcements (PSA), Glogster, and Voki.

Finally, several teacher consultants have participated in NCTE’s Tech-to-Go, an on-the-fly conversation about digital learning tools.  Teacher Consultants – Elizabeth Nelson, Erin Busch-Grabmeyer, Andy Schoenborn, Amanda Smoker, and Site Director, Troy Hicks – have all offered their knowledge and experiences with various types of technology in the classroom.

In addition to our national presence, several teacher consultants have also presented in local districts and at statewide conferences, including Michigan Reading Association (MRA) and Michigan Council of Teachers of English (MCTE), showing CRWP presence around the state as well.

Admittedly, it is common for all teachers to attend some kind of professional development.  As we continue to grow, we fully expect to expand our voice in area schools as well as at the national level at both NWP and NCTE.  Whether it is sharing our experiences about technology or guiding teachers in effective content instruction, CRWP is a presence that is here to stay.