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

Using Break Out Rooms Cover Slide

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.”

CRWP 2020-21 Webinar Series

Laptop, tablet, and smartphone on desk, with video conference in progress. Photo by Gabriel Benois on Unsplash

Open Forum: Next Steps in Learning Continuity (Webinar Archive)

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“Open Forum: Next Steps in Learning Continuity” is Session 8 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 June 2, 2020.

These sessions were offered free. 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.