National Writing Project in Atlanta: What could making mean for your classroom?

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My History with the Writing Project

In 2005, I spent my summer writing, reflecting, and learning as a participant in the North Star of Texas Writing Project. This university-based site was a part of the larger National Writing Project that focuses on creating teacher leaders that help every student realize they have the ability to become a great writer. Consider the vision statement of the National Writing Project.

“Writing in its many forms is the signature means of communication in the 21st century. The NWP envisions a future where every person is an accomplished writer, engaged learner, and active participant in a digital, interconnected world.”

I loved the experience so much that I continued to participate as a technology leader for the next few summers and attend the yearly NWP conference.

If you want to immerse yourself in a pool of passionate and progressive educators, this is a great conference to attend!

I think it was the 2006 conference where I sat in a room full of educators and was introduced to Googledocs for the first time (it was still in beta at the time because it had only recently been acquired from Writely.) We were all on different computers but looking a blank document and all writing at the same time. Watching the words appear on my screen felt magical! I was in love and knew that this amazing educator tool would transform the way my students collaborated on writing. I went home and started using Googledocs in my classroom (almost a decade ago!) which of course did totally transform the way my students write and the way I teach!


National Writing Project Conference 2016

Fast forward ten years….. This year, I’ve been invited to speak at the National Writing Project Meeting in Atlanta this week on how making in the library can be incorporated with classroom instruction. I’m honored to be a part of this workshop with:

  • Buffy Hamilton, Title I Writing teacher, former librarian; Atlanta, GA
  • Zach Duensing, Nashville Public Library
  • Valerie Jopeck, Elementary Library Education Specialist, Fairfax County Public Schools, VA
  • K-Fai Steele, Program Associate, National Writing Project

Our session

If you are in town for NCTE, you should attend this dynamic workshop! (Register here) Each of us will talk about our own practice, but even better, we are going to workshop with participating teachers by breaking into small focus groups and focusing on interested themes and really work together to think about how making and school libraries “can work together to support students’ learning.”

Full session info below:

B31: The Makerspace in the Library: What it Means for Your Classroom

1:30pm – 3:00pm Omni, M3 Meeting Level, North Tower, Hickory

Makerspaces are rapidly being implemented in libraries both in and out of schools, and within this change, the role of the librarian is changing. What are the impacts of this change on the our school communities? Is this phenomenon here to stay? What are the implications for writing teachers, and the larger connected learning ecosystem? Join us in a conversation on making in libraries today, and talk with us about how makerspaces and school libraries can work together to support your students’ learning.

Making and Literacy

Just as Googledocs did for classroom instruction, will making and literacy become wide spread and have a profound effect on how classrooms teach curricular content? Will makerspaces become an example of Seymour Papert’s ideas about “learning environments in which children collaborate around meaningful projects and powerful ideas?”

I look forward to learning and growing this week and sharing back the important conversations that educators bring to the table! See you in Atlanta!




One thought on “National Writing Project in Atlanta: What could making mean for your classroom?

  1. Pingback: What a Makerspace can mean for the Writing Classroom -Takeaways from NWP Annual Meeting | Create, Collaborate, Innovate

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