CRWP Article from The News@CMU

An article by Tracy Burton featuring CRWP is now up and available on the News@CMU website:

‘Teachers teaching teachers’ focus of National Writing Project site at CMU

After 29 years of teaching high school English, Kathy Kurtze returned to her classroom this fall with a set of fresh ideas and resources she gathered from her experiences with the Chippewa River Writing Project — a site of the National Writing Project now at Central Michigan University.

Kurtze was among 13 teachers representing K-12 school districts, Mid Michigan Community College and CMU, who participated in the first CRWP institute.

“The most exciting part was being introduced to new teaching approaches,” said Kurtze, who teaches at Carson City High School. “The whole aspect of bringing technology into the writing process was brand new to me. Now, I’m excited to bring it into my lessons. I want my students to do podcasts and learn about how this enhances our writing.”

Sharing resources is one of the main goals of the National Writing Project, which operates with the concept of teachers teaching teachers and a mission to improve the teaching of writing and learning among kindergarten through college students.

Kathy Kurtze, an English teacher at Carson City High School, works on a journal entry about a recent writing assignment.

Photo by Robert Barclay
CMU University Communications

Chippewa River Writing Project One Hundred Day Celebration

100 day kathyTuesday, September 29th, 2009 marked the One Hundred Day Celebration of the Chippewa River Writing Project, as members of the Summer Institute met to celebrate the occasion at Central Michigan University.  Participants met at Anspach Hall’s Writing Center for a potluck dinner and a creative writing session, followed by an open reading.  The event was coordinated by Kathy Kurtze and headed by CRWP director Troy Hicks.100 day group

For further information, check out  The CRWP gallery, entitled “Chippewa River Writing Project 2009 Participants,” is open to all members and their students.  Here’s to our first one hundred days, and many more to come!

CRWP Summer Institute Concludes Successfully, School Year Programs Begin

CRWP 2009 Summer Insitute Participants
CRWP 2009 Summer Insitute Participants

Participants in this year’s inaugural Chippewa River Writing Project Summer Institute found over their four weeks together the time, energy, and support that they needed as writers and teachers of writing.

One anonymous evaluation comment summarized the feelings of many in stating, “After this summer, I feel so much more prepared to teach writing in my classroom.  I have also vowed to write with my students and to take the time each day to write for myself.”

Each day, participants in the institute gathered to write for themselves and engage in activities related to the teaching of writing. At the end of the institute, each participant produced a portfolio of personal and professional writing, many of which can be found as links to their digital portfolios on the CRWP wiki.

At the end of the institute, Kathy Kurtze, an English teacher at Carson City Crystal High School, was announced as CRWP’s second K-12 co-director. From the CHSBS News site, she states:

“This has awakened a new need for me to know my writing and make changes,” said Kathy Kurtze of Carson City who has been teaching at Carson City-Crystal Middle School for 29 years. “From being students again, we all seem to have a renewed empathy toward our own students.”

Participants who completed the summer institute and are now teacher consultants affiliated with CRWP include:

  • Alicia Ciaramitaro, Collins Elementary, Houghton Lake Community Schools
  • Lucia Elden, Mid Michigan Community College
  • Louis “Bud” Kanyo, Mid Michigan Community College
  • Megan Kowalski, Central Michigan University
  • Kathy Kurtze, Carson City-Crystal High School
  • Rita Maddox, Retired from Gratiot-Isabella RESD
  • Gretchen Martin, Farwell Elementary School
  • Deborah Meister, Fellowship Baptist Academy in Carson City
  • Elizabeth Nelson, Greenville High School
  • Ashley Patton, North Elementary, Ithaca Public Schools
  • Shannon Powell, Central Montcalm Middle School
  • Amanda Smoker, Meridian Junior High School
  • Chanda Wekwert, Hillman Jr. and Sr. High School

CRWP events will continue this fall for both teacher consultants from this summer’s institute and other local educators. Plans for professional development events are underway and the CRWP leadership team will attend the National Writing Project’s Annual Meeting this November in Philadelphia.

CRWP 2009 Invitational Summer Institute Begins

With the support of the College of Humanities and Social and Behavioral Sciences, the College of Education & Human Services, and the College of Graduate Studies as well as an external grant from the National Writing Project, the Chippewa River Writing Project began its first invitational summer institute today.

Maureen Baker from Crossroads Writing Project leads us in a guest teaching demonstration.
Maureen Baker from Crossroads Writing Project leads us in a guest teaching demonstration.

CRWP leaders — Troy Hicks, Elizabeth Brockman, and Penny Lew — welcomed fifteen teachers from mid-Michigan to CMU’s Writing Center to begin an intensive four-week institute focusing on the teaching of writing. Our institute kicked off with a guest teaching demonstration from Maureen Baker of Ferris State University’s Crossroads Writing Project entitled “Let Them Go: Persuasive Writing.”

Throughout the day, participants worked in writing groups, discussed professional readings, and enjoyed getting to know one another as writers and colleagues.

As the summer institute continues, participants will engage in their own personal writing, respond to the writing of their peers, read and discuss current literature about the teaching of writing, and prepare their own teaching demonstrations. Follow along with our ever-emerging agenda as the summer continues.