Monday, November 22, 2010

"The Writing Project Saves "Good" Teachers"

Donalyn Miller had a lot to say. Here are a few highlights:
"I introduce my shelf children to my classroom children and they all become friends."
"Writing is a record of what matters to us."
"The only way to be a good writing teacher is to write."
Dorothy Parker-"I hate writing. I love having written."
"We are writers, because we write."

Sunday, November 21, 2010

More Than Assessment: Analytical Writing Continuum

This session discussed the use of the Analytical Writing Continuum (AWC) that the National Writing Project worked for over several years creating. They began working in 2004 and continue to refine the continuum each year. Many WP Teaching Consultants met to first look at rubrics and continuums currently being used. They didn't find any in use that fit the needs of the WP teachers. What they did find is that the 6-Traits was the one they could use as a framework to create their own. What they liked about the 6-Traits is it focused on the writer. The 6-Traits is based on a 4 point scale. The AWC uses a 6 point scale. This way, more growth can be shown. They also changed the headings to be more consistent in the ways they teach: Content (replaced Ideas), Structure (replaced organization), Stance (replaced Voice), Sentence Fluency, Diction (replaced Language), and Conventions.
The only way the continuum can be used in schools is if TC's go to training sessions and train their teachers. It looks promising and I think Bailey and I will be going for training next summer.


I had great intentions to blog while I was in Florida at the NWP, however, I wasn't able to fit my laptop into my carry on luggage and ended up leaving it behind. In the end, that turned out to be a good decision as we had no wireless connection at the Disney resort nor the conference sites. Imagine that-motel 6 offers free wifi and a high end Disney Resort doesn't?!
We arrived on schedule after 8:00pm, then were shuttled to our resort. My traveling buddy, Bailey, and I were starving! After we checked in (by the way, for some strange reason, we were upgraded to the concierges' floor, which came with its own lounge and free food all day long!) and got to our room, it was almost 10:30. We walked around the resort and found a little ice-cream shop that also had some delicious veggie wraps. At that late hour, we decided to share one.
Around 1:00am, we finally got into bed for the night. At 2:20am, the fire alarm sounded and we all had to evacuate down 5 flights of stairs. We all sat outside for over a half hour waiting to be let back in. We never did find out what the alarm was about, but it sure did disturb our sleep!

Sunday, November 14, 2010


I'm hosting a Thirty-One Party on December 2. If anyone is interested in anything, let me know. The orders will be in before the holidays!

Monday, November 8, 2010

NWP Conference in Orlando, Florida

I am excited to announce I was invited to attend the National Writing Project Conference to be held Nov. 17-20 in Orlando, Florida. I'll be staying at the Disney Beach Club Resort with Bailey, another MWP Teaching Consultant.
I can't wait to listen to the keynote speaker, Donalyn Miller, the author of The Book Whisperer. One book review states her beliefs about reading so well, I won't try to paraphrase it: "Her approach is simple yet provocative: affirm the reader in every student, allow students to choose their own books, carve out extra reading time, model authentic reading behaviors, discard timeworn reading assignments such as book reports and comprehension worksheets, and develop a classroom library filled with high-interest books." Apparently, she can make book whisperers out of anyone!
My sessions include: Reading the Research: Because Digital Writing Matters, More Than Assessment: Our Analytic Writing Continuum at Work for Sites, Unique Youth Writing Programs for Diverse Populations, Using Talk, Literature, and Place-Based Poetry for Writing Development in Early Childhood Classrooms, and Inviting Families into Literacy Partnership.
On Thursday evening, we have tickets to go to Epcot. I've never been there before and I'm looking forward to it.
On Friday, we'll go to Bongo's Cuban Cafe and meet up with all the "Maine" people! I've never eaten Cuban food before-should be interesting!
I'll be blogging while I'm there, so check in and leave me some comments!