Get to Know the BSWP!

The Boise State Writing Project is committed to providing resources and opportunities for educators throughout Idaho.  We are actively involved in a number of Professional Development projects throughout Southern Idaho.  Although we are funded through a grant from the National Writing Project, we are always seeking  motivated members of the community to help support our  programs, as well as energetic and enthusiastic teachers who wish to participate in BSWP sponsored activities.   

What We're Doing!

New Teacher Mentoring Program
Kevin Thienes '07

Kevin has spent two years working with a group of Boise State University Writing Project TC's and pre-service teachers in a mentoring program funded by the NWP's Teacher Inquiry Communities Network. The goal was to better prepare new teachers for entry into the profession. At the end of the program, kevin realized that the next couple of years for these new teachers could be even more difficult and challenging than their pre-service year. The frightening statistic that 50% of new teachers entering the profession leave within five years, coupled with the large number of people my age who are retiring, compelled me to do something to attempt to stem the tide. Kevin proposed that the Boise State University Writing Project host a new-teacher mentoring program. View an explanation of this program in an article published on the NWP site HERE.
Common Core Standards
Rachel Bear '07

The Boise State Writing Project is working with NWP, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Literacy Design Collaborative to develop rich curriculum informed by the Common Core Standards.  The team from BSWP is focusing specifically on how to blend Inquiry with the Common Core Standards and ways to assist teachers in planning units with this in mind.
ICTE/BSWP Partnership
Brandon Bolyard 09

BSWP and ICTE continue to work together to support the teaching of literacy in Idaho.  
Through a partnership with the Idaho Reading Association, BSWP/ICTE co-sponsored a fall conference in Meridian, Idaho that featured nationally known speakers James Bucky Carter and Donald Leu.  In addition to these speakers, several BSWP fellows led sessions on topics ranging from grammar instruction to graphic novels.
BSWP and ICTE plan to continue to fine tune their relationship and maintain co-sponsorship of fall conferences during Idaho in-service days when the conference is located in the Boise and/or Twin Falls areas.  
Beyond the fall conference, we would like to sponsor speakers or workshops in the spring to provide teachers with more opportunity for professional development.
ICTE continues to promote BSWP-sponsored institutes and has encouraged members to apply for the summer invitational institute.
Leadership Council Report/Legislative Update 2010
Nikki Matthews, BSWP 07
The BSWP’s legislative goal for this year was to meet with our Congressional Delegation at the NWP Spring Meeting and put a face to our BSWP. Jeff Wilhelm, Jerry Hendershot, Debbie Dehoney, and Nikki Mathhews traveled to Washington DC on March 24-26 and met with Senator Crapo, Senator Risch, and the education assistants for Congressman Simpson, and Congressman Minnick. Letters were compiled  containing BSWP Teacher Testimonials, a Leadership Site Map, Research Briefs from the NWP, and the BSWP Key Figures and Activity Summary to give to each legislator. Each meeting with the elected officials, allotted for 15 minutes, went very well. Our most exciting meeting was with Senator Crapo. He was our last meeting of the day and he was very enthusiastic about the NWP without us even having to say much about it! He believes the instruction of writing in schools is of extreme importance and has previously supported the federal funding of the NWP. He promised to sign the Dear Colleague Letter which was circulating around the Senate for support of the NWP funding and did so that very day! His signature of support was announced the next day at the beginning of Friday’s activities of the Spring Meeting. We later received Senator Risch’s support as well and became one of the few states (eight) in the country that had the support of both its senators! They were also two of only six Republicans out of thirty one senators who were co-signers of the Dear Colleague Letter.


Boise State Writing Project Continues our  K-12 Service-Learning Initiatives in Public Schools: 

Boise State’s thriving Service-Learning Program integrates academics and service for college students. Now, through work with the Boise State Writing Project, 85 Idaho teachers will carry the proven benefits of combining service with learning into their K-12 classrooms this fall. Read more about it in the article!

Service Learning and Inquiry Initiative Off to Roaring Start!

Over 30 in-service and pre-service teachers are signed up for this summer's service learning and inquiry institute!  This year's initiative will also involve 10 BSWP teacher mentors and 8 interns who will work together throughout the next school year to implement service learning as part of the curriculum in the Boise Schools.

Other Summer Programs also filling!

The Grammar course will take place in Mountain Home, led by Rhonda Urquidi.  Spaces still available.

The Holocaust Educators Network Social Justice Institute is full, but will be offered next year as well. Stay tuned.

The 2011 BSWPers had a successful summer institute and are now working on implementing great writing ideas in their own classrooms.

New Book Writing Opportunities!

Jeff is editing a new series of The Ten books for elementary students. Several BSWP fellows were involved in writing the first 100 books, and several more in this next phase.

Inquiring Minds Learn to Read and Write

By Jeff Wilhelm, Peggy Wilhelm and Erica Boas  Available through

Congratulations!Congratulations to John Pattis, BSWP '08, who was awarded a grant from the Meridian School District Foundation to create a math lab at Eagle Hills Elementary.  Way to go, John!

Congratulations to BSWP '05 Paula Uriarte for winning the Idaho Statesman/J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation Go On contest. To read more, go to the Idaho Statesman!