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Upcoming Programs/Courses:

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    Click here for a PDF version of the WMWP Symposium Flyer.
    Click here to register for the symposium.

    English 712: Writing and the Teaching of Writing

    Mondays: February 9, March 2, March 23, April 13, May 11, June 1, 4 – 7 p.m. (6 meetings)

    Monday – Friday: July 6 – 10, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. (5 meetings)

    UMass Center at Springfield, Tower Square, Room 003

    $225 registration fee.  Register online.  $345 additional for 3 graduate credits (see explanation below).

    Instructors: Anne Herrington and Bruce M. Penniman

    This course is designed for K-16 writing teachers and all other teachers who use writing as a teaching tool.  It will focus on theoretical and practical questions related to the nature of writing process and the challenges of teaching writing, particularly in light of the new Common Core literacy standards.  The aim of the course will be to provide participants opportunities to reflect on their own literacy learning and teaching experiences, to explore composition theory and research, and to examine current issues in the teaching of writing.  Readings and research projects will focus on writing process and its linguistic, psychological, and socio-cultural underpinnings.  Concepts such as audience, voice, identity, and dialect – as well as practical matters such as teaching grammar, working with English Language Learners, and incorporating technology – will all be considered.  A key assumption of this course is that the best way to learn about writing is to write – in a variety of modes and for a range of purposes – and to reflect on the complex processes involved in that act.  Participants can expect to write regularly: low-stakes experiments in different genres, informal reading responses, reflections, a literacy self-study, and a well-documented research essay will all be part of the mix. Class meetings will include discussions, workshops, response groups, and informal presentations. 

    The course carries 3 graduate credits (or 67.5 PDPs).  If taken for credit, it fulfills a core requirement for the WMWP Certificate in the Teaching of Writing, but it is open to all.  Limit: 16.  You must pay the $225 WMWP registration fee before registering for UMass graduate credit.  The UMass registration fee is $100 per credit plus $45 registration fee.  Thus the total cost to take the course for graduate credit is $225 + $345 = $570.  Books will cost an additional $50-75.  NOTE: Only those who register with WMWP will be authorized to enroll for credit.  Registration deadline: January 15, 2015.  Questions?  E-mail

Summer Programs 2015

Summer Institute 2015
June 29 - July 17, 2015 (Monday through Friday), 8:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m. daily
Orientation Day, June 6, 2015

The Western Massachusetts Writing Project's 22nd annual Summer Institute will run June 29 - July 17, 2015 (Mon. to Fri.) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. It will be facilitated by WMWP co-directors, technology liaison, and teacher consultants. Teachers in all subjects, grades K-12, are eligible to apply. Teams of teachers from the same school or district are encouraged to apply. Deadline for applications is March 1st.

The Institute's goals:

- to help participating teachers reflect upon their own expertise as teachers of writing and share this knowledge with their peers;

- to help participating teachers organize and prepare ways of presenting this expertise to teachers outside WMWP;

- to make available to participating teachers the latest theory and research in the field;

  • - to help participating teachers see themselves as writers.

The Summer Institute program embodies these four goals, which reflect the philosophy of the National Writing Project. Participants will prepare and present professional workshops, read current theory and research in their chosen area, conduct informal action research projects in their classrooms, do their own self-directed writing, and help their colleagues with this writing through writing response groups.

The Schedule:

The Summer Institute is scheduled five days per week (Monday through Friday). Days run from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. A major part of each day will be devoted to developing and participating in workshops in preparation for possible future work as a teacher-consultant; other portions of the day will be devoted to personal writing and to a classroom-based research project.

There will be an orientation day in June and follow-up meetings during the 2015-2016 academic year (dates TBA).

Participants will receive a $400 stipend, 112 PDP units, and free parking, and will be eligible to register for 6 graduate credits.

If you have any questions about the institute, please contact institute director Alicia Lopez or call the office at 413-545-5466.

Apply to the Summer Institute

Know someone who might be interested? Download the brochure.

WMWP Teachers as Writers Institute
Monday-Friday, July 20-24, 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m (Mon. - Thurs), and 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Friday).  UMass Amherst.  $150 registration fee. 30 PDPs; 1 graduate credit available. Register at by June 25.
Join teacher-author Lucile Burt and other teacher writers during this workshop that builds on the premise that teachers of writing benefit from working on their own writing and identities as writers. Participants will generate new material, complete unfinished work, develop writing habits, and foster support through ongoing groups.  The group will write together in the morning, take private writing time midday, and share and respond in the afternoon. Open to new participants and alumni.

Holocaust Education Network Institute: Teaching Social Justice through the Lens of the Holocaust

Monday-Friday, July 27-31, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; Saturday, August 1, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.  Fall follow-up TBD.  University of Massachusetts Amherst.  $100 registration fee includes housing (refundable for those not staying on campus.  PDPs, 3 graduate credits available. Rolling admnissions. E-mail for details.
Hosted by WMWP and facilitated by Cara Crandall and Paula Mercier, the New England Holocaust Educators Network Summer Seminar will ask teachers to assume the roles of student and teacher of the Holocaust. Participants will deepen knowledge of the Holocaust and Jewish culture and refine teaching practice to include social justice, focused potentially on a local issue. Facilitators will share lessons aligned with the Common Core. Apply at


Click here to revisit our 20th Anniversary Celebration!

Anne Marie Bettencourt featured in the Hampshire Gazette!
Click here to read the article, "Chalk Talk."

Kevin Hodgson featured in the Hampshire Gazette!

Click here to read the article, "Chalk Talk."

Jack Czajkowski featured in the Hampshire Gazette!
Click here to read the article, "Chalk Talk."

Michele Turner Bernhard featured in the Hampshire Gazette!
Click here to read the article, "Chalk Talk."

Lauren Mattone featured in the Hampshire Gazette!
Click here to read the article, "A Teacher's Voice."

Dawn Fontaine honored on MassLive!
Click here to read the article.

Dawn Fontaine receives Pat Hunter Award!
Click here to see photo, and click here to read about her award on the Springfield Public Schools website.

For past Hampshire Gazette articles featuring Momodou Sarr, Kevin Hodgson, Alicia Lopez, Julia Spencer Robinson, Michael Braidman, and Leslie Skantz Hodgson, click here.