Monday, November 30, 2020

ND Scholastic Art & Writing Awards

There are only 12 days till North Dakota’s Scholastic Art & Writing Awards submission deadline on December 11th. How to Enter!   

There are cash prizes available for the top five writers and artists, as well as two $1500 scholarships for students attending NDSU as visual art majors and one $600 scholarship for a student attending as an English major.

🛑 Attention! 🛑

There will be an informational session on December 1 from 6:00 - 7:00 pm. Please stop in and see what this contest is all about. I am happy to answer questions you may have, show you past winners in both art and writing, introduce you to the website and how to find information about submissions and awards, or just talk to you about creative writing. This is a very informal get together via Zoom, so please come and go as needed.  

Zoom link: Informational Sessions: 

Meeting ID: 976 0926 1447 

Passcode: 056505 


We will also be having our final revision workshop on December 5th from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm. I will be leading the workshop along with members of my creative writing group here at NDSU, and together we will help students generate new ideas and/or polish existing work. The workshop is informal. 


Zoom link: Revision Sessions 

Meeting ID: 996 6006 5843 

Passcode: 043509 


Please feel free to email with any questions you may have. We look forward to seeing creative student work!

Friday, November 20, 2020

Scholastic Art & Writing Awards: Deadlines Approaching!


Click here (or the image above) for information on the prestigious art & writing awards. NDSU will give TWO $1500 scholarships to art winners and ONE $600 scholarship to a writing winner. Additionally, the top five in each category will receive gift cards for $50. Encourage your North Dakota teenage writers and artists to submit before the deadline on December 11th!

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Resources for Supporting Colleagues in Emergency and Remote Learning


 Throughout August and September, NWP’s Write Now featured reflections, advice, and CoLabs focused on online, remote, hybrid, and distance learning with an emphasis on writing. The collection page now serves as a resource to the power of the network to support colleagues across the country during this difficult start to the school year. We hope you will continue to amplify the posts and extend the content through your comments. Read More

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Writing Instruction in the Remote Classroom

As teachers of writing and ELA, what do we value? Kids as creators, critical thinkers, and conversationalists. So what can we do to enact that, and what tools can we use to get them there? 


Remote Learning | Fox Lake Grade School District 114 


In the shift to more hybrid, remote, and virtual learning environments, our primary focus as educators should be helping students to create, think, and converse. This involves a courageous shift away from teacher-generated content, passive clicking and consuming, and text-speak chat boxes.


OMG! textspeak in schoolwork ;-) -

Sometimes new technologies and platforms (Pear Deck, Flipgrid, Edpuzzle) can provide creative new ways for accomplishing our goals, but sometimes they can be more of a shiny new toy or yet another new technology to learn. This can be both a distraction and a limit on accessibility (for teachers and students).


To achieve our goal with minimal involvement of new technologies and platforms, here are some best practices in a remote/hybrid/virtual teaching ecosystem:


1. Write together and talk together.  A simple writing prompt and google doc can be used for collaborative notes and writing. Follow up with sharing and discussing (in pairs, small groups, or large group "reading").


2. Move around the (remote) classroom. Minimize frontal teaching at students by moving in and out of breakout rooms. Create opportunities for students to listen to and learn from each other.


3. Create a culture of face-to-face dialogue. Provide a clear rationale for when and why 'text speak,' 'mute buttons,' and 'black screens' interfere with a teacher's ability to teach and a student's ability to learn. Sometimes we need to see each other, hear each other, and have a fully fleshed out conversation. Explain why this is true and most students will get on board.

Best Practices for Online Professional Development

Online professional development is certainly here to stay (regardless of the pandemic). It offers convenience, access, connections, and community without the same limitations of time and space.


At a recent NWP “Connecting the Network” event, we discussed Hanover Research’s ‘best practices’ for online PD and what challenges people face:


We then went over a step-by-step guide for how to deliver online PD:


PD Cycle of Instruction


  1. Survey to teachers (determine technology)
  2. Create Synchronous/Asynchronous presentation

a.              TCs record demo lessons using Loom, Zoom, Screencastify, iMovie, etc.

b.              Collaborative documents embedded into demo (Jamboard, shared Google Docs, Padlet, etc.; polls like Mentimeter and Polls everywhere), interactive slides (move to breakout rooms, Save the Last Word, chat, Flipgrid, forms)

  1. Teacher Consultants Record Classroom Model Lessons

 .               Face-to-Face or Virtual classroom lesson recorded

a.              TC works with tech facilitator to refine video lesson (Storyboard)

b.              TC writes lesson plan to accompany model lesson

c.              TC provides slideshow for lesson and student samples

  1. Schedule Thinking Partner Session with TC and partner teacher(s)

 .               Review and reflect on PD

a.              Review student data (UST)

b.              Plan for next cycle of writing

c.              Share Model Classroom Lesson links


Synchronous Online PD

  • 3-hour synchronous delivery with teachers present via Zoom
  • Slide show presentation
  • PD Facilitators guide the presentation and discussion
  • Embedded PD demonstrations by Teacher Consultants
  • Students samples included
  • Opportunities for collaboration
  • Breakout Rooms for small group
  • Chat is utilized
  • Opportunities for reflection (Exit Slips)
  • Thinking Partner one-hour Zoom meeting


Asynchronous Online PD 

  • Teachers view on their own time
  • Slide show presentation
  • Teachers are guided by instructions within presentation
  • Embedded PD demonstrations by Teacher Consultants
  • Student samples included
  • Collaborative documents
  • Opportunities for reflection (Exit Slips)
  • Thinking Partner one-hour Zoom meeting

Write Learn Lead – A National Writing Project professional development  knowledge base.