The Boise State Writing Project offers professional development workshops for administrators and teachers addressing a variety of topics including implementation of the Common Core State Standards.  Inquiry, assessment, reading and writing strategies are other popular topics. Our workshops are presented by Boise State Writing Project Teacher Consultants who are classroom practitioners and thinking partners for other teachers. Workshops are geared toward specific district needs. BSWP programs meet the high standards set by the National Writing Project, and all of our offerings can be paid for through Title II and Title IIa funds as we are approved federal in-service providers under NCLB. Our programs will be specifically tailored to meet the specific needs articulated by your teachers, building or district. To learn more, download our flyer or contact Paula Uriarte:; 208-841-5820.

Schools and Districts we have served the past two years: 2013-14
34  Teacher consultants served 2,019 teachers in Idaho City, Middleton, Salmon, Boise High School, West Ada School District, Capital High School, Vallivue High School, Malheur School District, Twin Falls Elementary School, Cassia School District, Fort Hall, West Jefferson High School, Parma, American Falls, Region IV elementary principals, ACLU Conference, Minidoka School District, Content Area Teachers Twin Falls, Burley, White Pine Elementary School, Weiser School District, IASA, IABE, Idaho Leads, partners with the State Department of Education

2014-2015:  25 Teacher Consultants served 600 teachers in South Fremont, Jerome, IABE, State Department of Education, Twin Falls, Notus, Minidoka, Sugar Salem, Twin Falls and Sage Valley Middle School.   


We also have on-going institutes and programs for individual teachers. For more information on these programs, see the Teaching Resources Page. If you are interested in knowing how your district can help fund these presentations, see our handout. For more information, or to discuss a program for your staff or district, contact our BSWP in-service director, Paula Uriarte.


Apply for learning odysseys -- The Fund for Teachers invites educators from across the country to submit proposals for their own do-it-yourself learning odysseys next summer. Destinations and  disciplines are limitless as previous itineraries over the past nine years include tours, conferences and independent studies on every continent. Multiple grants, of $5,000 for individuals and team grants of up to $10,000, will be awarded. For more information, please visit Fund for Teachers.

2013/14 Institutes

2014 Summer Institute Application

Join us for our summer program and become a better teacher! Fill out this form or distribute it to dedicated teachers interested in becoming a part of a national writing group.

Teaching and Technology

Are you interested in:
Learning more about Google, Web 2.0 tools, Wikis, and Blogs?  Understanding how Google applications can work in your classroom?    Examining author's craft through multimedia composition? Fostering choice and inquiry through multimedia exploration? Creating an online learning environment where students can explore voice, technique, and content? Learning how to use a variety of online resources to engage your 21st century students?

Join us for one, two, or all three modules and learn how to better integrate technology into your classroom. For more information, download the flyer or see this brochure!


Getting It Done: Strategies for Teaching Informational Text (and Leading PD Discussions that Leverage the Core)

An eight-week OLE MOOC | January 28-March 21, 2014

Live Instructional Modeling Sessions Every other Tuesday, 1/28, 2/11, 2/25, 3/11 –  7 p.m. MT. Participants may also access archives of these events. For more information, download our flyer or go to our course website and create an account.

Rethinking Assessment: The Core, SBAC, and Your Students

3 graduate credits | Led by Jim Fredricksen, co-director, Boise State Writing Project

By the end of the course you will understand the stand the SBAC, and you will understand how to use formative and summative assessments in your classroom as a teaching and learning tool that will prepare your students for success in your classroom, on the SBAC, and in life. You will devise, implement and reflect on various kinds of assessments FOR and AS learning. For more information, download the flyer.

Project Citizen/Senior ProjecT

A curricular program designed by the Center for Civic Education and administered in-state by the Idaho Human Rights Education Center, Project Citizen provides a practical, first-hand approach to learning about our complex system of government and how to monitor and influence it. Students work together to conduct research in their community in order to discover problems or concerns that they think the government is not handling at all or not handling well. Open this document for more information.


What kinds of programs does BSWP offer individual schools?

Though we have a list of specific demonstrations on our website, each program is designed to suit the needs and interests of individual schools and districts. Whatever your needs are, we will create a program that considers the uniqueness of your school or district. The demonstrations on our site are about 90 minutes or in some cases a series, that focus on successful classroom-tested, research-based approaches to various topics. 

School-site coaching can be done in conjunction with a series of workshops. BSWP coaches can provide services such as in-class teaching demonstrations, classroom observations followed by conferences and facilitation of teacher inquiry groups, looking at student work and curriculum work groups.  

BSWP provides intensive summer programs where teachers learn more about teaching writing, read and discuss current research and participate in their own writing. These programs can be designed to support school-site summer programs for students as well. 

When and where are the sessions held?

Workshops are usually held at the school site and are offered at times most convenient for the school, during collaboration/PLC time or after school. We also offer workshops for inservice days, Saturdays or summer months. 

How much do BSWP programs cost?

While we make arrangements based on the number of hours and presenters, as a general rule, a half day workshop (3 hours) is $500 and a full day (6 hours) is $850 plus expenses (travel, lodging, etc.).  A BSWP director will work with you to do all of the set up, evaluation, etc. and to ensure the presentation fits the needs of your school. 

Who do I contact if I am interested in setting up professional development?  

If you have a specific demonstration in mind from our website, the contact information is right on the chart. Otherwise, if you are looking at setting up an in-service, contact Paula Uriarte or Rachel Bear.


Did you attend a BSWP Conference and looking for the handouts, PowerPoint presentations, or other related links? Here they are!

Project Citizen
Common Core Standards

Links from the October In-Service
Addressing Complex Texts in Literacy Programs: Moving ALL Learners Beyond Avoidance, Resistance and Exertion. Presented by Michael P. Ford.


In Service Offerings

The Boise State Writing Project has several offerings on ELL/ESL topics. Some of our past presentations are outlined below, but our Teacher Consultants will tailor a program specifically for your needs.  

For more information, or to discuss a program for your staff or district, contact one of our BSWP in-service directors Paula Uriarte or Rachel Bear.

This presentation addresses basic concerns teachers might have when dealing with ELL students. It discusses levels of language acquisition, how students' literacy background affects their progress, and touches on ways to modify assignments in mainstream classroom.

ELL 101: Things youneed to know

This presentation is an extension of the ELL 101. It focuses on ways to address ELL students' needs in the mainstream classroom. It gives a brief description of SIOP (Sheltered Instruction Operational Protocol) and shows examples and non-examples from different content areas concerning how to accommodate for students' needs.

ELL/ESL: How to modify assignments for ALL students in mainstream classrooms 

This  presentation allows you to reflect on your own philosophy and approach in responding to ELL writing and explores the roles of effective feedback, error, and assistance.

ELL/ESL: Responding to ELL Writing 

This presentation will assist teachers in realizing their role as host/hostess to great conversations within their classroom.  Teachers will be introduced to 3 key components: language awareness, creating relevant work for ELL students, and participating in relationships in order to create a harmonious conversation engaging all students regardless of language and culture.  After the presentation teachers will be aware of the importance of their active participation in conversations with ELL students.

ELL/ESL: Inviting Students Into Your Classroom and Into "Our" Culture


The Boise State Writing Project has several offerings relating to various Instructional Strategies.  Some of our past presentations are outlined below, but our Teacher Consultants will tailor a program specifically for your needs. For more information, or to discuss a program for your staff or district, contact one of our BSWP in-service directors Paula Uriarte or Rachel Bear.

Provides an overview of Differentiated Instruction and ways to differentiate content, process, and product.

Differentiated Instruction

Interactive Learning Strategies

Learn research-based strategies that help students learn more effectively through an interactive approach.

The Big 6 is a framework for solving any information-based problem, and is particularly useful when teaching students the research process.

Big 6 Information Problem Solving Model

Two hours of instructional strategies and hands on activities designed to activate or provide background knowledge and “lens in” techniques to help students engage in and connect to the topic at hand. Visuals, poetry writing, primary source documents, group activities feature dominantly.

Connecting Historical and Cultural Background to Meaning

This demonstration will teach successful strategies for  classroom behavior.  We will also discuss  academic strategies that will help the regular education teachers make accommodations and adaptations that will help everyone in the class be successful.

Standing on your head makes a difference

This demonstration will offer teachers both theory and classroom application of how the achievement gap of student learning can be narrowed when teachers establish a “safe” community wherein relationships between student and the teacher and among students are recognized as the primary tool for success.

Teachers will play with strategies (puzzles, paper shredder, and dialogue journal) they can use with students to help the student discover enabling qualities that will free the writer within.

no fear


Interested in learning to re-frame existing curricular requirements as inquiry?
Interested in project-based learning & helping students create knowledge artifacts that display their learning?
Interested in learning how to ask essential questions, design instructional sequences, and use discussion and questioning techniques to promote deep understanding of disciplinary concepts and strategies?
Interested in learning to supplement evaluation with performance-based assessments?

An overview of inquiry based teaching and/or I can dive deeper into any of the following areas: essential questions, big ideas/concepts, standard learning targets, sequenced activities beginning with a lens in, authentic products, assessment of/for/as learning

This workshop offers strategies and skills to engage students in effective, but often ignored, forms of learning. Participants experience events through the lens of a doer. 

the power of drama

This workshop will address common issues facing at-risk students in the classroom. At-risk students are everywhere and it is our job as teachers to bring them back into the classroom.

Empowering At-Risk Students with the classroom

This workshop explores the importance of community in the classroom and shows how the exchange of our stories builds a foundation for learning.  The presentation highlights three classroom proven community building activities--the Socratic Seminar, Triggering Town (story exchange), and the Personal Creed Project - each of which helps students connect to the learning environment we call "classroom." 

Establishing Community in the Classroom

Workshop connecting all content areas to classroom projects; i.e. vermicomposting in service of local efforts in conversation of Earth's resources.

Saving the World One Composer at a Time

What does it take to cultivate and sustain a community where students and teachers feel comfortable taking risks in learning?  How do groups learn to be groups?  As educators we must facilitate cooperative learning with diverse groups of students.  This workshop provides tools to educators to debrief group processes more effectively, leading to a more positive classroom culture.

Creating Healthy Groups Through Questioning: Debriefing Tools for a Positive Group Culture in the Classroom

The Partnering of Music and Content Learning in an Elementary Setting

This demonstration offers strategies for incorporating music into elementary classroom curricula, focusing here in the areas of science and history.  Participants in this workshop will be taught key techniques and strategies for using music to promote conceptual understanding in specific disciplines.  We will look at both accessing the expertise of their school's music teacher, and in using music in their classrooms without the accessibility of a music teacher.

Frontloading with Picture Books: Using children's literature to build scheme

Imagery in picture books is a powerful way to build schema or activate prior knowledge for student readiness and comprehension in all content areas.  Participants in this in-service will identify a strategy to address diversity of student experience and readiness and will create a plan to use picture books in the classroom.

Beyond the Standardized Test: Using Extended Tasks and Authentic Assessment to Construct Meaning

This in-service exhorts teachers to think of alternative ways to assess student learning, beyond the multiple choice or short answer test. It demonstrates several projects in which students apply what they know by creating an end product, using the concepts that they have learned.

The Power of a Teacher: Reflecting on your practice

This in-service explains how important the role of the teacher is in the classroom.  Participants in this workshop will be able to reflect on their own teaching style and learn ways to connect with their students by analyzing their strengths as well as their weaknesses.

Developing an engaging Classroom Culture (Using humor to create a more functional classroom)

  1.  What are the hallmarks of a good classroom?
  2. What requirements fall on students for an engaging classroom culture?
  3. What expectations are on teachers for sustaining an engaging classroom culture? 
  4. What benefits are accrued from an engaging classroom culture?
  5. How is an engaging classroom culture sustained?

This in-service can be presented as a five part workshop or can be done as one short presentation that gives people the tools to create the culture on their own.

Writing to Learn in Math (Using writing strategies to improve math comprehension, and stimulate conversation and collaboration)

Students learn communication through many forms of writing, to improve math comprehension, as they dialogue, share and learn new problem-solving strategies to create true understanding of mathematical concepts.

Teaching through the Arts

Teaching through the arts involves using the art modalities (visual arts, poetry, storytelling, creative movement, etc.) as a vehicle for teaching. This strategy enables students of all grades, abilities and learning styles to thrive in any curricular area and improves students' abilities to work collaboratively. 

Getting to the heart: The art of the questioning strategies.

Techniques to increase reading comprehension, engagement, and autonomy. 

Living History 

Connecting students to history throughout the year. 

A teacher's Guide to the Brain 

This demo combines some brain basics with how to apply strategies from brain research to the classroom. 

Instructional Strategies Balancing Conceptual Understanding and Procedural Knowledge

Participants in this in-service will know the differences between procedural knowledge and conceptual learning. They will also know why it is important to balance instruction to improve student thinking and understanding. Participants will have an opportunity to reflect on their teaching practices and acknowledge where conceptual instruction can be used.

Entryways to Empowerment: Structured Opportunities for Student Discussion

During this workshop we will explore ways to support students as they develop their voices and become active members of our community. Through examining one student-driven project, we will identify the underlying principles that facilitate student action. Since providing students with opportunities to explore multiple perspectives and grapple Instructional Strategies with ideas is a critical component, we will experience and reflect on two strategies for structuring student talk. Throughout the workshop we will deepen our understanding of how structured discussions empower students to get involved in their communities. 

Family, School and Community Partnerships: How does your garden grow? 

This workshop will identify the importance of family-school-community partnerships in our own schools. This workshop will also illustrate the incredible return gained from even just one partnership. Using the context of Taft elementary's partnership with the Boise Urban Garden School to establish our garden/learning center, you will be guided through a process that will help you identify current levels of partnerships. We will also identify potential partners in your own communities and begin drafting some form of an action plan. 

The Building Background Knowledge Workshop

This workshop demonstrates how quickly students can become interested in a topic, build background knowledge, and use that background knowledge to become better and more informed readers of difficult text. The workshop adapts easily to content in many disciplines, provides many opportunities for differentiation and the design of the workshop ensures that all students read, think and contribute.

Learners Learn Through Play 

Play leads children to be self-regulators, able to initiate and inhibit action. This 1.5 hour workshop will lead the participants through an exploration of the role of play in self-regulation and the life-long impact it has on a learner.

Storytelling: Building Community, Deepening Understanding 

Building Community in the Classroom

This workshop will give the classroom teacher hands-on ideas on how to create a community in his/her classroom. It will also cover the importance of building community and the positive results that are possible when students feel a sense of belonging. 

Entryways to Empowerment: Structured Opportunities for Student Discussion

During this workshop we will explore ways to support students as they develop their voices and become active members of our community. Through examining one student-driven project, we will identify the underlying principles that facilitate student action. Since providing students with opportunities to explore multiple perspectives and grapple Instructional Strategies with ideas is a critical component, we will experience and reflect on two strategies for structuring student talk. Throughout the workshop we will deepen our understanding of how structured discussions empower students to get involved in their communities. 


The Boise State Writing Project has several offerings on topics relating to In-service collaboration. Some of our past presentations are outlined below, but our Teacher Consultants will tailor a program specifically for your needs. For more information, or to discuss a program for your staff or district, contact one of our BSWP in-service directors Paula Uriarte or Rachel Bear.

Demo focus can vary from initial work with collaboration to working through kinks in the process. 

Exploring the foreign policy of collaboration

Focus is on meeting teacher needs for in-service. Without data, you're just another person with an opinion. 

One Size Inservice Does Not Fit All (Administrator audience but can be tailored for teachers)

Professional Learning Communities

This In-Service focuses on empowering teachers to create effective change in schools using PLCs to ensure that students really do learn.

Making Connections: Creating Meaning through Interdisciplinary Teaching

This In-Service is designed to show how collaboration can lead to effective interdisciplinary units of study that encourage students to make meaningful connections to the real world, foster a deep, significant understanding, and lead to the transfer of knowledge.


This presentation will assist educators in teaching difficult texts through the use of media, art, and popular culture. Teachers will be introduced to research based strategies that help students name themselves as readers, accept the challenge of reading difficult literature, move beyond surface level comprehension to analysis and synthesis, and use collaboration to achieve deeper understanding of texts. After the presentation teachers will be aware that teaching difficult reading is teaching thinking, and that doing so will prepare them to critically participate in their education and critically participate in their communities. 

From the Known to the New: Scaffolding for Deeper Reading with Media/Pop Culture 

Teachers and students often feel trapped by so-called traditional texts. However, incorporating graphic novels and comic books into a curriculum can engage students of all levels. Struggling and advanced readers can build literacy skills through reading graphic novels and through creating their own. Used as supplements or to augment a program, graphic novels can provide exciting territories for teachers and students to explore.

Using Graphic Novels to Enhance Literacy

The purpose of the demonstration is to provide various strategies for engaging reluctant learners with difficult text. The objective for this lesson will be to get students over the language barrier of Shakespeare's late-Middle English as well as to help students overcome his or her perceived misconceptions, or biases, about Shakespeare while increasing their comprehension with this difficult text and unfamiliar language. The strategies presented in this lesson can easily be adapted to all disciplines and grade levels when approaching demanding material that needs to be taught. 

Engaging Reluctant Learners through Inquiry and Hands-on Learning 

This presentation is designed to empower teachers from all content areas to teach and promote deep disciplinary literacy.  School staff will start by learning the demands that are placed on student readers in school and in the real world, noting that the readings done in school are often not in service of the real reading students participate in presently or in the future. Next, school staff will learn the best practices for motivating the non-engaged reader, including setting clear purposes for reading, using an essential question to guide student readings, techniques to engage readers background knowledge and other ways to motivate students to read.  Finally, school staff will see examples of powerful ways students and teachers can make visible and concrete the invisible and conceptual processes of reading.  By making disciplinary reading and thinking visible and concrete, non-engaged readers can learn how to improve their own reading practice, thereby moving all students toward deeper expertise in each content area. 

Closing the Achievement Gap: Engaging the Non-Engaged Reader

Reading Like a Writer/Writing Like a Reader: How to use archetypes as a vehicle to engage students with difficult texts.

Guide students in making self-to-text connections. Teach writing in a way that parallels their understanding of a particular text structure. 

This In-Service explores the way in which directed reading and thinking activities can be used to assess students' reading moves, differentiate instruction, and move students toward becoming independent critical readers.  

Moving students toward independent reading

Participants use recyclable materials to create reading manipulatives. Students retell science fiction stories using their manipulatives and explain the reading strategies they used to enhance their understanding. 

Reading, Re-Telling, and Recycling: Using reading strategies and reading manipulatives to improve comprehension

Making Shakespeare Accessible to Ninth Graders

Many educators believe that Shakespeare is accessible only to "mature" students. Shakespeare wrote for everyone, including 9th graders. Participants will learn how to engage students by acting out scenes, acting out sonnets and writing their own sonnets help students dive into the richness and beauty and passion of the great playwright.

To Kill a Mockingbird for 2000

Ethnography frontloading technique to increase student engagement with required text.

Apprenticing Students into Real World Readers Book by Book

Content Area Reading 

Isn't the reading teacher's job to teach reading? Why reading matters to content area teachers and easy strategies to get kids to read and understand their textbooks.


At the completion of this three hour session, teachers will have created a functioning on-line discussion forum for use in their classroom in order to strengthen students critical thinking, writing, reflection and interactive learning.  It is designed for beginning and experienced web surfers alike, introducing a user-friendly system even an Internet novice can understand.

Integrating On-Line Discussion Forums into the Classroom

Integrating Technology into the Classroom

At the completion of this possible 1 hour, 3 hour, or one week session, learners will examine and explore technology integration strategies within K-12 networked computing environments. Content will include an examination of technology integration techniques using various application tools, instructional software, productivity software, and the Internet. Participants will also identify relative advantages for choosing technology integration strategies and resources for teachers to draw upon in developing their own technology integration activities.

Teaching and Technology: Erasing the Digital Divide

Teachers will walk away with a navigable and usable web page that is user friendly, beneficial for both students and parents, and improve communication between all members of the learning community.

  • Session One: Web Page Design to Aide Communication 
  • Session Two: The Internet as an Instructional and Motivational Tool
  • Session Three: Motivating and Engaging Students to Research Through Technology
  • Session Four: Incorporating Powerful Technology Tools into the Classroom


In this series of presentations, we will explore the use of on-line venues, such as blogging and the use of wikkis to engage students in thinking through writing and starting conversations through interactive blogging. We then progress through various uses of on-line blogs until we graduate to off-line composing. The goal is to work towards academic literacy objectives through a medium familiar and pervasive to the kids.  


The demo focuses on boosting the amount of writing done in disciplines other than Language Arts and quick writing strategies for all disciplines.  The presentation also demonstrates ways to get students writing more in English classes without a ton of grading.

Take a Load Off; Take  A Plunge Finding Balance in Writing Across the Curriculum

This workshop explores the ways in which argumentation can serve to motivate students and improve their critical thinking skills. This introductory session involved defining argumentation and exploring how it can be used to move students from personal response to informed argument. These strategies can be applied to all types of writing and discussion including research writing and literary analysis.

Everything is an argument 

Writing for Social Action Acquainting students with democratic principles. Helping them select a relevant topic, gather information, debate, form an opinion, and create a product where they state their opinion for an authentic audience, and finally meet that audience. 

Inviting Students to Shape Their World by Putting Ideas Into Words

Using brief, focused assignments, guided practice, and rewrites to introduce and improve literary analysis. Demonstration focuses on using scaffolding, and it could be part of a series where I show how I move students from writing miniature literature analysis to extended works, and how I use timed writing and rewriting throughout this process.


This demonstration explains the effectiveness of using modeled and shared writing in classrooms throughout all the grade levels.  Participants in this workshop will understand what modeled and shared writing are.  They will learn how to use the two processes in their own classrooms as a way to guide their students towards independence and quality writing.

Writing Hand in Hand: Leading Students Towards Independence Through Modeled and Shared

Week-long course offered in summer, but can also be tailored to school or district needs.  Explores the use of poetry, music, film, essay, and other literary arts for social change.

Writing for Social Change

Up to fives sessions in designing assignments tied to literature and ways to respond to student writers, whether teacher/student conferencing or peer responding.

Responding to Writers

Various writing activities beyond the essay to use in the classroom and tie to literature.  Emphasis is on the teacher as active participant and writer in the process.

Teaching Writers

This inservice provides teachers with a hands-on opportunity to write and reflect on their own writing and the writing their students do in the classroom.  They can understand the power of writing as they experience it for themselves. A workshop, or a one-week course that offers two graduate credits, teachers will discuss writing in the morning and write in various locations in the afternoon. Each teacher will then present two pieces of their writing at the end of the course.

Power of the Word

Through this series of activities and discussions, we approach the discovery and cultivation of student voice in writing by examining and working through writing at the single word level.  We will work through encouraging students to play with word choice, varying their language in different contexts to begin to build toward recognizing their emerging style and voice in writing.

From Word Choice to Voice

In this presentation, we bring explore methods of developing student ability to talk about, analyze, and discuss fine art. We look at the Design Elements and Principles as well as various approaches to composition (i.e. Write Traits) to encourage and develop more literacy opportunities in the non-language arts classroom.

INCORPORATING WRITING INTO THE FINE ARTS: An Exploration on How to Talk and Write about Fine Art

In this presentation, we will examine the benefits of beginning with personal experience or narrative as a means to finding a path to research topics and research composition.  This presentation will help with the problems of exhausted topics (AIDS, Abortion, etc.) as well as plagiarized or more copy transfer style reports.  Additionally, we emphasize the connection between student background/interest and topic to be researched.

COMPOSING THE RESEARCH PAPER THROUGH STORY: An Exploration of the Use of Narrative/Creative Writing to the Research Paper

Students use various writing prompts to find a time in their lives to write about. Students explore their memories of childhood places, events, and relatives to spark their creativity. Students read literature that can be categorized as memoir. Students discover the meaning of memoir. Students learn the difference between autobiography and memoir. Students write a memoir.

How to Write Memoirs (1st - 8th)

This In-Service addresses why grammar is not great as a stand alone subject and presents the problems and history behind grammar being taught in isolation. Ideas and strategies for teaching grammar in context as well as student samples of the results will be presented. 

Teaching Grammar in Context

The purpose of this presentation is to illustrate some ways to help people feel confident about the process of writing, and to provide strategies for extending the reach of people who write on a regular basis. Especially for non-English teachers who want try writing ideas and activities but are tentative.

Paving the Path with Birds, Bones and Blood: On Our Way to Writing Freely

Presentation of an intense and different senior project that has students writing an autobiography over the course of five-six weeks.

Senior Project Autobiography

Based on a year long fifth and sixth grade exchange between students and parents through letter writing but can be adapted to almost any environment.

Letter writing between students and parents

A Writing Center is a place where students and staff go to obtain assistance with their writing or work on a writing project. Trained Writing Center staff members aid clients in all phases of the writing process, including prewriting, drafting, revising, editing and publishing.  The main objective of a Writing Center is to help writers become more effective writers. From Richard Kent's A Guide to Creating Student-staffed Writing CentersMy demonstration guided teachers through a discussion on if writing centers are needed, what is needed for a writing center and how to create the space for a writing center; then together we pursue how to find and train writing coaches.  

Creating a Student Writing Center: Students as Coaches

Focus grades 2-8.  Demonstration explains the difference between autobiography and memoir, focusing on how to spark memories in students that can be used for memoir as well as how to select details for the form.

writing memoirs

Elementary Grade Level / Struggling older students. Using picture books as models of good writing. Using graphic organizers to help with the writing process. Research from Graves, Hillocks, Wilhelm and others...

Scaffolding Writing Instruction for Success

Creating writing assignments that matter to students, assignments with real audiences, etc.  I could also present on "Personal Creed"--a semester assignment following the work of Jon Cregor that asks students to complete 15 page-long personal reflections followed by a public presentation.  (I love the way this project has turned my 10th graders into enthusiastic reflectors.)

writing that matters

Students write poetry that helps to identify them and write reflections on the writing process and the meaning of their poems.

Going Inside: Helping students to stake an identity and reflect on their learning

Includes stories, reports, poems

Teaching Writing to 2nd Graders

Student Identity and the Writing Workshop

This demonstration promotes the use of a debate format to encourage students to refute positions within a persuasive essay. Participants will participate in an actual debate and then transfer their experiences into a written format.

The Power of Persuasion: (Using Debate to Enhance a Persuasive Essay)

As an accompaniment to To Kill a Mockingbird, students undertake an ethnographic study of their own culture, complete a multi-genre reflection, and present their pieces at a Night of Writing.

The Sea We Swim In: (using ethnography to improve student motivation and writing)

The demonstration provides a rationale for publishing student work in the classroom and beyond. It explores strategies for creating an authentic audience for student writing and its impact on the enthusiasm and professionalism that students bring to their writing.

Writing for the World: (An Authentic Audience: What Every Writer Needs)