Writing Project Summer Institute

Thursday, June 21, 2012
There are so many things that I want to say about the National Writing Project and the summer institute. I can not believe that the week has flown by. Each day we have workshops presented by those who have come through the institute. The are all teachers and serve as teacher consultants for the Little Rock Writing Project. Then each of us in the institute this summer will also present a workshop. Mine was today. After lunch we meet with our writing groups or inquiry groups to talk about writing or best practices in writing. It is SOOO wonderful. I have grown so much as a writer and the theory that we discuss backs up what I want to be as a teacher of writing. I thought I would share with my blog buddies some of the books that we are reading, in case you want to read more about best practices in writing instruction.

We have four common reading books. We will not read all of them, but the parts we have read so far have been wonderful. Two of our books are by the National Writing Project:

  Because Writing Matters really lays the foundation for why we do what we do! It's wonderful

Because Digital Writing Matters is a more recent publication but it focuses on adding the digital element to writing. I must be honest this book is a dry when it comes to reading. But the information is really good.
A Writer's Book of Days is a wonderful book. It's an easy read and I have had some real connections to this book. It's secret feature is that it is divided by months and with in each chapter there are as many writing starts as there are days. I'm not sure I want to call them writing prompts anymore... that feels so high stakes testing. I kind of like writing starts. We'll see...
This last books is my favorite of the common readings. I have laughed and cried and gotten really upset while reading this book. I am beginning to thing that it is a must read for ALL teachers, especially in light of the common core.

We each have a personal inquiry that we are working on. Mine is teaching writing with the very young. I keep adding books that I want to read during my inquiry reading. I am reading a LOT of Katie Wood Ray and Matt Glover. Here is the list minus one that I don't have a picture of- Already Ready by Katie Wood Ray and Matt Glover.

Here are my teacher choice or inquiry books:
This is the book that started as my focus book, but as I am reading I am pulling in others, or Glover makes references to others that I, of course, feel that I need to read too.
I love this book!! There is a blog study that is starting on June 22 for this one. I can't wait to see what other teachers think about this book.
I haven't started this book yet but I am really excited to see how it ties into the ideas that are already forming in my head about talking and drawing and writing. I am getting SOOO excited about teaching writing. I think that some of my posts this summer will be from my SI (summer institute) learning log. I think it might be cool to get my blog buddies thoughts on the quote.

I need to get back to my reading... I still have quite a bit and I want to get caught up on my learning log. I want to spend more time with Katie Wood Ray and Matt Glover.


  1. The technology book would be a great read. I learned today that it is part of Common Core writing.

  2. Jennifer there is another book that you might be interested in. It should be at my house today. One of the teachers in my institute was given it by her principal for summer reading. The book is Pathways to the Common Core. She read me a section on the writing exemplars for kinder.

  3. I've been seeing a lot of people write about "In Pictures and in Words" I guess I need to check it out!

    Mrs. Wilson's World

  4. Just stumbled upon your blog! Funny how that happens in blogging world! We obviously have too much in common...I am finishing up my masters in July AND I too have bad knees. I am trying my very best to hold off on knee replacements as long as I can because I am still young and have no time to slow down for surgery and recovery! Hoping I can wait until next summer now.

    I ordered my Daily 5 & Cafe books & hope they will be delivered this week. I think I am ready to try a few new things this year.


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