Sharing Our Best Classroom Writing Strategies

Screen Shot 2016-01-30 at 12.22.16 AMTeaching is my passion. Teaching writing is my obsession. I’ve been in the classroom since the ’80s, and I’ve seen just about every trend come through the pedagogical pipeline. As a Teacher-Consultant with the National Writing Project (NWP) since 1989, I’ve had the opportunity to work with hundreds of outstanding educators in the Mid-Atlantic region. Sadly, though, due to various programs being cut or trimmed back in recent years, few opportunities exist to network and share their great ideas and strategies with other teachers.

We can’t wait for programs to be restored. Too many of these innovative approaches to teaching writing — approaches that blend the more traditional focus on the stages of the writing process with the more recent technology advancements and publishing opportunities — are simply staying within the walls of dynamic classrooms across the country.

In January 2016, I met with five other NWP Teacher-Consultants who have each made an indelible mark in the field of teaching writing. Together, we decided that the best way to start sharing these best practices is with a publication that brings all of these strategies together in a single collection.

Empower.Write.Publish: A Collection of Best Writing Practices is based loosely on the traditional stages of the recursive writing process: Prewriting, Drafting, Revising, Editing, and Publishing. It merges the best “tried and true” practices of the last 40 years with the innovative and cutting-edge approaches that engage students with technology in a worldwide community that embraces the elements of social justice, diversity, and individuality.

In this publication we are looking for the following:

  • Formal and adaptive lesson plans on teaching writing in the five specific stages of the writing process (we will supply a generic template to follow);
  • Specific graphic organizers, visuals, templates, and rubrics
  • Publishing opportunities
  • Models of self-made publications
  • Sample works in their various stages of development from student-writers
  • Photos of writing-in-process
  • Reflective essays on the teaching of writing that focus on Empowering, Writing, and Publishing in the classroom. These will be used as introductory essays for each section of lesson plans/best practices.

In addition, we are asking that careful attention be given to the following:

  • Development of Voice
  • Development of solid writing practice in and beyond the classroom
  • Use of Technology in and beyond the classroom
  • Common Core Standards
  • The Recursive Writing Process and the more detailed 6+1 Traits
  • Authentic Publishing with an audience beyond the classroom
  • Various forms of publishing (traditional, web-based, social media)

Lessons will be geared toward a general age/grade level (elementary, middle, high, university) with suggestions for adaptations 1) across the curriculum and 2) across age and grade levels.

Empower.Write.Publish will also include suggested graphic organizers, templates, rubrics, and publishing opportunities. These will be in both print and digital form, where those who purchase the book will get exclusive access to a site to download these supplementary materials.

TENTATIVE TIMELINE:

  • February 15 — April 18, 2016: Call For Submissions. All submissions must be received via email by 11:59 p.m., April 18.
  • May 24, 2016: Final selections made for publication and authors contacted.
  • August 7, 2016: Proofs sent to authors for final approval.
  • September 2016: Launch/Distribution of Book

To view our Call for Submissions flyer and share with others in your school and community, go here: Call for Submissions for Empower.Write.Publish

To fill out our Teacher Information and Inquiry Form, go here: Teacher Information and Inquiry Form

Questions? Contact Rus at rus.vanwestervelt@gmail.com.

We are so excited to share your best strategies with other teachers across the country. Remember: There is no fee to submit. Download the submission flyer today and spread the word. It’s time to free those walled-in lessons that are empowering writers every single day!

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