The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Welcome to the Western Massachusetts Writing Project!

WMWP is a local site of the National Writing Project, sponsored by the University of Massachusetts Amherst Department of English and College of Humanities and Fine Arts. WMWP provides professional development and literacy leadership programs by teachers for teachers. A growing number of educators in the region call WMWP their professional home.

Youth Writing Adventure 2019

Monday, April 1, 2019

The 2019 Youth Writing Adventure, sponsored by the Western Massachusetts Writing Project, was held on the campus of the University of Massachusetts in March. Students from visiting schools were led in writing sessions led by WMWP teacher consultants. Young writer were immersed in experience of writing together, on the grounds of the university.

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This I Believe: Voices from the Youth Writing Adventure at UMass

Monday, March 25, 2019

Back in 1951, when describing his new radio series, journalist Edward R. Murrow wrote, "This I Believe. By that name, we present the personal philosophies of thoughtful men and women in all walks of life. In this brief space, a banker or a butcher, a painter or a social worker, people of all kinds who need have nothing more in common than integrity, a real honesty, will write about the rules they live by, the things they have found to be the basic values in their lives." 

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Chalk Talk: Remember the Ladies

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Smith Vocational Agricultural High School History teacher Shannon Brisbois, in the March Chalk Talk at the Daily Hampshire Gazette, explores the role of women in history, and how often they get left out of the history books. Read her piece - Remember the Ladies, All Year Long -- and peruse the entire Chalk Talk archives for inspirational stories from WMWP educators.

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Language, Culture and Diversity: Culturally Responsive Teaching

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

This presentation is an introduction to the intersection of UDL frameworks and Cultually Responsive Teaching. It is a short presentation meant to introduce educators to taking another look at the diversity of their students through their cultural identities beyond language and ethnicity. It also shares ways to deliver content so it is accessible to all students in a meaningful way by addressing the cultural variability in the classroom.

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When The Springfield Armory Is The Classroom

Refections from Teachers at the Springfield Armory
Saturday, February 9, 2019

Educators from kindergarten through high school in the Pioneer Valley joined together to explore local history, primary sources, literacies and the Springfield Armory National Historic Site. All participants used the Springfield Armory as the course classroom, and then worked on lesson plans and units that focused on local history. A focus was on innovation and technology, as the group explored how the Springfield Armory long served as a hub of manufacturing and history in our region, and beyond.

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Project-Based Learning Rolls Out in South Hadley

Teachers Sharing Project-Based Learning
Saturday, February 9, 2019

by Karen Diaz and Diana Roy

Teachers are continually looking for teaching methods that engage their students and leave them with the skills and habits of mind that will make them lifelong learners and productive citizens. English teachers and special education teachers at Michael E. Smith Middle School in South Hadley are working with Western Massachusetts Writing Project teacher consultants during their professional development time this school year to learn about Project-Based Learning and develop units that will accomplish just that.

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Maestra Teacher: Going Above and Beyond

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

By Grace Dugan

At this year’s Best Practices in the Teaching of Writing Conference, Bruce Penniman, WMWP’s Site Director, presented the Pat Hunter Award for Outstanding Teacher Leadership as he usually does. Pat Hunter was one of the founding co-directors of  the Western Massachusetts Writing Project. As an educator and professional development leader in the Springfield Public Schools, she was a fierce advocate for teachers and students, recognizing them as our best hope for improving education. Rightfully so, this award annually recognizes a member of the WMWP community who has contributed substantially to the work of WMWP and who best exemplifies the values that Pat embodied in her work with teachers and writers. This year, Bruce presented the award to a truly inspiring educator and member of our WMWP community who is known for her outstanding teacher leadership and ability to embody “teacher as writer”: Alicia Lopez.

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