Monday, March 20, 2017

CRWP Success Story: Becky Fisher

 About Becky Fisher, M.Ed

Becky Fisher is a middle school English teacher at Discovery Middle School in Fargo, North Dakota. She earned a Master’s of Teaching and Technology from Valley City State and two  degrees from the University of Houston:  Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies, specializing in Reading and Math, and Bachelor of Business Administration (Finance).  Her classroom experience has also included elementary, middle school science, gifted and talented, and Starlab.  She enjoys reading and writing with her students.  Prior to her teaching career, Becky worked in the financial industry and brings her business perspective to her classroom.
CRWP Success Story
            Attending the National Writing Project Summer Institute changed my writing practice.  When the advanced institute Creating College-Ready Writers (CRWP) was offered, I wanted to attend, even though I teach at the sixth grade level.  Our school motto is “Building a Foundation for Success.”  I am helping to build a foundation for success by providing English instruction to the newest class of our school that can be built on by my peers to help prepare our students for the writing rigor of high school and college.
            The biggest change to my classroom has been in the sequence of my instruction.  Prior to the CRWP, argumentative writing was delegated to a unit at the end of the school year, which was
molded to fit into the time remaining.  This year, argumentative writing has been integrated into the first quarter through developing a routine of writing sprints utilizing argumentative prompts to learning and using vocabulary such as claim, warrant and evidence.  My students are building their knowledge base of argumentative writing. We recently put Sponge Bob Squarepants on trial.  Students assumed the role of prosecutor or defense attorney, used a closed set of evidence and made a case in the judge’s chambers.  They were surprised to learn that the judge ruled on their presentation of evidence and not from a teacher’s edition.

The changes in my classroom are not due to my own accomplishments.  I am fortunate to have support from my sixth grade English cohort and the district coach.  We connect about lessons and resources.  My students are the ones who have benefitted from this collaboration.