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Friday, November 17, 2006

What a Great First Day

What a great first day. I am always so proud to be part of the RCWP/NWP community. I signed up for the nuts and bolts summer institute session for Thursday morning. Mitch did a superb job of presenting our project. I’m can’t wait to download the monograph that was published of our CRTD format. Janet and Diana have worked on it for so long, and it is such a rich, thoughtful way of looking at teacher practice from multiple lenses.
It was so good for me to hear how Harriet Williams’ and Lucy Ware’s summer institutes take shape. Harriet’s site, Santee Wateree, has a kickoff boot camp writing day and Lucy’s site, Western Pennsylvania, does action research within their regular SI.

I was so impressed with the afternoon session I attended on “Using Youth Programs as Professional Development” on Thursday afternoon. Three NWP sites lifted up models for integrating writing camps for kids with PD for teachers. What a great idea. I just loved the first presentation from Oklahoma State. They had a great calendar showing the first week with teachers that was followed by a week working with kids. What a great idea.. a PD outreach for teachers affirmed by a writing invitation for students where folks can instantly implement the strategies they are trying out. They gave us a wikki stick and had us make a shape that meant something to us and then had us brainstorm desciptive words that came to mind around the shape and we wrote little poems. I made a fish sculpture from my first memory of feeling like an artist in elementary schools...having made a mobile fish sculpture in 4th grade. Here's my poem:

My fish sculpture
suspended in space
Dancing in the air
A school of swimming wire
Eyes popping out
Tail fins swaying
Walking through a sea of wire animals
Bobbing in the classroom wind
Calling us in

The second site from Great Valley WP in California created a PD week for teachers of ELL, followed by a young writers camp for ELL students. They lifted out how the prerequisites and scaffolds for successful PD with teachers which is identical to the needs for successful writing experiences for the students. Teachers felt successful because they were able to try out their new learning immediately.

This session gave me some great ideas for the first writing camp that we hope to do with our satellite site...We want to lure Rene up to help us plan for a Top-Of-The-Mitt Spartan Camp next summer.

By the way, Troy reported that Rene's session blew folks away yesterday morning. RCWP rocks! We sure did miss Janet last night at dinner. We love you Janet!


Blogger Janet Swenson said...

I can't believe how much all your notes helps me to feel like I am being served a sliver of the dessert you all are enjoying. A slivver might not seem like much, but it's so much better than no dessert. Thought I've been in and out of meetings all day, I doubt an hour has passed that I haven't thought of you all!

6:09 PM  

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