I Learned from the Online Summer Writing Institute...

I Learned from the Online Summer Writing Institute...

I learned that I should not use writing assignments to measure what students learned. The unit of study approach to teach writing is an excellent framework to use to teach students new ways of thinking and looking at writing. Students are encouraged to expand, apply, evaluate, and reproduce similar works which is certainly more challenging. They use the text that they are studying as the mentor text. Their writing becomes a “habit of the mind.”
Allison, High School English, Department Chair    Reflection  | Sample Writing

Experiences in the live seminars were helpful in that it was good to touch bases with others and hear of their experience and different perspective. Since this was an online course, the live seminars added a personal touch, allowing communication with other participants (despite the technical hick-ups). I think that the live seminars were a nice alternative since we were not physically in a classroom with colleagues. I like the flexibility of the online course, but appreciate the traditional person to person/people setting; it helps to hear the comments of others.
Ann, Middle Grades Social Studies     Reflection | Sample Writing

I learned that I had a lot of room for growth as a writing teacher. I thought I was teaching my students in the best way possible, but now I believe I was hurting them more than helping them. I was only teaching the same formulaic process that I had been taught. I also learned how to analyze writing on my own. I never really looked at a piece of text from the viewpoint of a writer. I just read it for information.
Ashley, Middle Grades English    Reflection |  Sample Writing

I definitely think I have some great ideas that I can integrate into my classroom. I think the hardest part is usually finding the ‘time to write’, but this course has given me some great ideas on how to do just that. I hope to do “Financial Fridays” where students are reading a financial literacy journal each Friday, and then on the last Friday of the month, they will write their own financial journal. I even want to put together a small ‘Newsletter’ each month with some articles students have written.
Charly, Middle Grades Mathematics    Reflection |  Sample Writing

The experiences learned from taking this course were such an eye opener.  This class was very informative and gave a plethora of activities to use in any educational setting including the classroom. Being able to observe teachers incorporate disciplinary literacy was enlightening and gave me insight on how to observe, document, and provide constructive feedback to writing teachers and other teachers that are incorporating literacy discipline in their classrooms. Educating teachers on incorporating unit study approaches will be a great addition to their already stringent curriculum. Incorporating unit study approaches will allow students to make a connection with their learning.

This information will be used to educate teachers and also help in implementing a school-wide writing initiative to get students thinking.
Erin, Elementary School Principal    

The glow of the Summer Writing Institute came from the opportunity to learn and practice an excellent approach to writing instruction. In fact, the unit of study approach is the best approach to the teaching of writing that I have ever been introduced to as it offers a coherent process for engaging students in inquiry and learning while offering teachers professional support in the form of anchor texts.
Gloria, High School English    Reflection  | Sample Writing

The knowledge that I have obtained during my participation in the Summer Writing Institute has enlighten my abilities to implement instructions for teaching writing across the curriculum.
Lakennia, Elementary Teacher    Reflection |  Sample Writing

The variety of books that were made available to us was amazing. I am looking forward to sharing the texts with my colleagues. I will also work on completely reading them instead of just certain chapters. I wish we had more live seminars…maybe 2 times a week.  The small groups within the seminars made it more conducive to informative conversation and discussion.
Paula, Middle Grades Science    Reflection  | Sample Writing

I learned a lot during this summer writing course. First, I learned what disciplinary literacy meant because it was a term I was completely in the dark about. I believe that to take a disciplinary literacy approach to teaching instead of just content area teaching will be more beneficial to students. This seminar has also shown me how easy it would be to include more writing in class than what I had previously assumed as a science teacher. The unit of study approach to writing instruction project was really fun because not only did it get me writing, but it took me step by step into the process that I would be expecting my students to complete also. This gives me validity in helping my students go through the process because I went through it first!
Shandilynne, Middle Grades Science    Reflection  | Sample Writing

I am going to implement a more structured approach to the use of mentor texts in the classroom. I will include more short pieces rather than one or two longer pieces so students get a better look at the techniques that can be used. I will do a better job guiding them through the “noticing” process.
Sheryl, High School English   Reflection  |  Sample Writing