Using Break Out Rooms Effectively in the Writing Classroom: Session #2 of the CRWP 2020-21 Webinar Series

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In our October 20, 2020 webinar, Chippewa River Writing Project director and Central Michigan University professor Dr. Troy Hicks (@hickstro) presented ideas on how to use break out rooms effectively. Dr. Hicks challenged us not to worry or think about what meeting platform we are using, but how we want to use our breakout rooms. 

He asked us to begin to begin to think of our activities as “anytime learning” (asynchronous)  and “real time learning” (synchronous). He presented us with important questions such as:

  • What do we value?
  • What can we do to make the most of the precious time we have with our students?

Dr. Hicks introduced the Harvard Project Zero’s Thinking Routines Toolbox and the National School Reform Faculty’s Protocols for collaborative work and small group discussions. He had us consider how we might blend these ideas with popular activities and literacy structures such as the 4C’s Collaborative Writing Activity, KWL charts, Venn Diagrams, Jigsaw reading, Save the Last Word, probing questions, and more, all giving us a great example of lessons to make the most of our time with students. 

This session was packed with great activities, ideas, and resources for how to better use your real time learning experiences with your students in break out rooms this year!  

Here are the links to the resources shared during Dr. Hicks’ presentation:


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All About HyperDocs: Session #1 of the CRWP 2020-21 Webinar Series

Described as “a transformative, interactive Google Doc replacing the worksheet method of delivering instruction,” the creators of Hyperdocs call them “the ultimate change agent in the blended learning classroom.”

In our September 15, 2020 webinar, Chippewa River Writing Project teacher consultant Jeremy Hyler (@Jeremybballer) shared his knowledge of Hyperdocs in a one-hour webinar. This was first in an ongoing series called Critical and Creative Strategies for Remote Teaching, and registrations for future sessions can be found on the program homepage

In the session, Jeremy walked us through what a Hyperdoc is, what some of the best resources are for both looking for Hyperdoc ideas as well as for creating new ones, exactly why you should use a Hyperdoc, and how creative and flexible a Hyperdoc can be for both teachers and students in learning. 

Because of its highly adaptive nature, a Hyperdoc can provide engaging, differentiated instruction during this time of digital and hybrid learning. This webinar is designed for beginners and has many great ideas and resources for you to check out!

Here are Jeremy’s resources discussed in his presentation, and are a great place to start out with hyperdocs: 

If you appreciate the ideas that these teacher consultants are sharing, and are willing to support our work, please visit <giving.cmich.edu> and select “Chippewa River Writing Project.”

Reasonable Expectations for Remote Learning (Webinar Archive)

CRWP - Continuity of Learning - Banner

“Reasonable Expectations for Remote Learning” is Session 2 in an 8-part series of webinars that teacher consultants from the Chippewa River Writing Project are offering in the spring of 2020, as a response to the call for critical and creative teaching in these times. It was recorded on April 28, 2020.

These sessions are being offered free, yet in order to participate live, in Zoom, RSVPs are required using this Google Form. Questions? Please contact CRWP Director, Troy Hicks at <troy.hicks@cmich.edu>.

Finally, if you would like to support the Chippewa River Writing Project, we would appreciate any donation that you able to offer through CMU’s online giving portal.

Continuity of (Our Own Professional) Learning – Spring 2020 Webinar Series

CRWP - Continuity of Learning - Social Media Post

CRWP - Continuity of Learning - Social Media PostCritical and Creative Teaching in Response to the COVID-19 Crisis

A series of free webinars for K-12 educators (Flyer)

  • Tuesdays | 4:00 to 5:00 PM EST
  • 8 Sessions, April 21 to June 8, 2020
  • Via Zoom Video Conferencing, Up to 100 Participants
  • Recorded sessions will be archived and available after the initial webinar

In these unique and unprecedented times, K-12 educators are being tasked with providing experiences for their students that range from “enrichment” activities to fully online, synchronous learning sessions. As we all work through a design and development phase of flexible learning options,  we hope to share knowledge, insights, and activities that could be useful for other educators.

This series of weekly webinars will be offered as live, synchronous one-hour Zoom sessions on Tuesdays at 4:00 PM EST, and will be archived for later viewing. Teacher consultants leading these sessions are, like you, working under “stay home, stay safe” orders and are working to engage students in meaningful learning activities.

We will participate in activities together, as learners, and have time for questions, conversation, and planning next steps in your own teaching context. Recognizing the challenges of remote learning, we will address strategies for supporting students’ socio-emotional health, our own struggles with the abrupt end of the school year, and other concerns that continue to emerge during the COVID-19 pandemic.

More than just “moving online,” these sessions are designed to provide interactive, web-based learning opportunities, so active participation during the scheduled sessions is encouraged through webcams and microphones. Teachers leading these session are donating their time, talent, and expertise, and look forward to learning with you. Sessions will include:

  • Session 1: Remote Learning without Ubiquitous Internet Access (Tue, Apr 21st at 4:00 PM EST)
  • Session 2: Reasonable Expectations for Remote Learning (Tue, Apr 28th at 4:00 PM EST)
  • Session 3: Facilitating Effective Online Class Sessions Through Video Chat (Tue, May 5th at 4:00 PM EST)
  • Session 4: Promising Experiences for Student Writers (Tue, May 12th at 4:00 PM EST)
  • Session 5: PBL at Home: Designing Meaningful Research Projects (Tue, May 19th at 4:00 PM EST)
  • Session 6: Learning How to Learn Online as Professionals (Tue, May 26th at 4:00 PM EST)
  • Session 7: Staying Connected as Teacher-Writers (Tue, June 2nd at 4:00 PM EST)
  • Session 8: Open Forum: Next Steps in Learning Continuity (Tue, June 9th at 4:00 PM EST)

These sessions are being offered free, yet in order to participate live, in Zoom, RSVPs are required using the Google Form below. Questions? Please contact CRWP Director, Troy Hicks at <troy.hicks@cmich.edu>.

Finally, if you would like to support the Chippewa River Writing Project, we would appreciate any donation that you able to offer through CMU’s online giving portal.

CMU Online Giving Portal Screenshot