Monday, November 16, 2015

Monday Announcements

I hope everyone had a chance to enjoy the unseasonably warm weather this weekend. What is happening this week is the National Writing Project Annual Meeting, which takes place in Minneapolis this year. Next year it is in Atlanta, so I am glad that 12 people from the Red River Valley Writing Project (that I know of) have chosen to attend this year's meeting.
Karen Taylor writing with NWP teachers from around the country

The meeting kicks off with a reception on Wednesday evening. On Thursday, we will gather together for a continental breakfast before choosing round table sessions to attend. Two of our TCs, Lori Hieserich and Jenna Trosvik, will be presenting, along with me, about the SEED grant for High-Needs School project at Circle of Nations. We will be presenting with Michael Thompson of the Biste Writing Project in New Mexico. The day ends with a social and game jam, "part workshop, part hangout, all fun." The fun continues the next day.

On Friday there are several working group meetings. I will be co-leading a retreat for new directors with Mark Dziedzic of the Greater Madison Writing Project.  The big workshop that day is "Teaching How to Read, Write, and Participate on the Web: Web Literacy for Educators." Participants will have the opportunity to practice and learn web literacy skills, and be introduced to information on how to teach others to read, write, and participate on the Web. Free activities include step-by-step instructions created by educators and technologists, and have been tested in schools, after-school programs, libraries, and community centers around the globe. Participating teachers can use the open-source resources and activities to teach their students how to read, write, and participate on the Web.

On Saturday, RRVWP co-director Karen Taylor will participate in more Assignments Matter training. Others will be presenting or attending sessions at the NCTE Annual Convention. RRVWP TCs Angie Hase, Karen Taylor, Isaac Lundberg, and Erika Dyk are presenting at 8am. Their session is titled "Sustaining Teachers through Writing on the High Plains." I will serve as chair for this session.

Olivia Edwardson will be meeting with the staff of the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards to find out how other sites run their programs. Hopefully, she will come back with good ideas for developing our work in this area. Meanwhile, everyone is encouraging their students to submit work by January 1st, right? Send your students to this site to create an account: Scholastic Art and Writing Awards.

Other RRVWP attendees include Ben Scallon from Lakota, Adam Ching from Wahpeton, Aryelle Jones from Fargo, and Dan Dooher from Moorhead. We hope that everyone does a lot of networking with other TCs and comes back with ideas to share about developing our writing project site. There will be several important grant announcements at the NWP Annual Meeting, so we can get a head start on thinking about how to make the most of new opportunities to improve the teaching of writing in our region.

To share our learning with the rest of the site, attendees are encouraged to write blogposts (send to, post to our facebook page, and tweet with this hashtag: #RRVWPdoesNWP2015.

It's going to be a great week!
-Kelly Sassi