WMWP News

This page includes occasional articles about WMWP initiatives and programs, as well as the work of WMWP Teacher-Consultants. To submit an item for the page, e-mail wmwp@english.umass.edu or use the online form on the Contact page.

For other WMWP news, please see our current newsletter, subscribe to our e-mail list, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram – see links in the right-hand column.

Teacher Story: The impact of C3WP in the Classroom

Harriet Kulig
Thursday, September 6, 2018

I teach in East Longmeadow Massachusetts, a sleepy little suburb of Springfield located in the Connecticut River Valley of Western Massachusetts. School has begun, but I am feeling in control of it all. This is indeed a change from last year when I embarked on a new venture, to add “claim writing” to the seventh grade geography curriculum.

I had recently completed the week long College, Career, and Community Writers Program (C3WP) with the the Western Massachusetts Writing Project. The program  provides mini-units on skills students needed to write well thought out and supported claims. There were also text sets on a variety of topics that worked with the mini-units. There were meetings and webinars scheduled across the year and a group of wonderful experts to support the teachers. However, the truth was that, very shortly, it would be me and 115 middle schoolers and claim writing. 

Project-Based Learning Transforms Practice at Two Elementary Schools

Thursday, September 6, 2018

By Jane Baer-Leighton, Karen Diaz, Karen Miele, and Diana Roy

During the 2017-18 school year eight WMWP teacher-consultants worked with two Franklin County elementary schools, Sanderson Academy and Buckland- Shelburne Elementary School (BSE), to implement Project-Based Learning curriculum units. Here are a few of the highlights of their work:

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WMWP Launches New Pathways to Teacher Leadership

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Like all other local NWP sites, WMWP offers teachers in grades PK-college what many call a career-transforming professional growth opportunity in its annual Summer Leadership Institute. (Our 25th annual SLI is currently in progress!) Supported by the WMWP facilitators and each other, participants spend several weeks immersed in personal writing, professional reading, and reflective inquiry into their own teaching practices. During the following school year, they conduct action-research projects in their own classrooms and reunite to share their findings. At the end of this process, they emerge as WMWP Teacher-Consultants (TCs), well qualified to take on leadership roles in professional learning and curriculum development.

To make the transformative Summer Leadership Institute (SLI) experience accessible and relevant to more teachers, WMWP has created three additional pathways to teacher leadership. These inquiry-based institutes include the strands of the SLI—teacher as presenter, teacher as writer, teacher as researcher—and participants still earn the TC credential, but they are offered during the school year, and they address specific content areas:

  • Science Literacy Leadership Institute (PK-12). Focus: the new STE framework

  • Civics Literacy Leadership Institute (PK-12). Focus: the new H&SS framework

  • College, Career & Community Writers Institute (6-12). Focus: teaching argument across content areas

Celebrating Teachers as Writers

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

It is an article of faith the the National Writing Project that "teachers who write are better teachers of writing." That's one reason why all WMWP programs begin with "writing into the day" and include many other opportunities for writing. As another school year comes to an end, we take this opportunity to celebrate some special teacher-writers who have shared their ideas with the larger community in the WMWP's monthly "Chalk Talk" column in the Daily Hampshire Gazette, edited by Outreach Co-Director Kevin Hodgson.

Take a minute to browse through the quotations from the past year's Chalk Talk articles below, and follow the links to read one or two. These are inspiring stories by thoughtful, dedicated teacher-leaders.

And please consider joining the chorus of WMWP's Chalk Talk voices! Kevin is always on the lookout for new writers, especially those who live or teach in the Gazette's publication area. If you have an idea for an article or just want to learn more, contact Kevin at dogtrax@gmail.com.

Crowdfunding Creativity: WMWP’s Youth Writing Adventure Inspires Young Writers

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Every March for many years, up to 200 students from multiple schools, especially underserved urban and rural public schools, gathered on the UMass Amherst campus to participate in the Western Massachusetts Writing Project’s Youth Writing Adventure, including interactive writing workshop sessions spanning genres from short stories to poetry to screenplays to songs.

Every year, that is, until funding cuts discontinued the program for a decade. However, two years ago, generous supporters revived the Youth Writing Adventure through crowdfunding. Popular among students, this program offers creative and exploratory literacy experiences for underserved youth, who often lack similar opportunities in their regular educational programs.

The impact of WMWP’s Youth Writing Adventure lasts far beyond the day of the program. A full-day college campus experience with lunch and materials introduces a sense of confidence and belonging within campus scholarship for students who may never have imagined a place in college, and after the workshop students polish their pieces for publication and receive a paperback anthology of their writing.

In order to make the 2018 Youth Writing Adventure a possibility, WMWP has launched a MinuteFund crowdfunding  campaign with a goal of $5,000 by the end of 2017 to fund the program, including workshops, lunches, and publications. We have reached 11% of that goal on the first few days of the campaign. Can you help put us over?

Check out this short video to learn more about the program: 

 

Chalk Talk Revisited: Elizabeth Devlin

Friday, September 1, 2017

Chalk Talk is a monthly column in the Daily Hampshire Gazette that gives voice to educators. This summer we have been featuring some past columns by WMWP teachers who have written about their students, education, and themselves. We invite you to read what teachers are saying and to encourage awareness of educators in the public sphere.

This week's offering is by Elizabeth Devlin, who writes about connecting with families and inviting parents to share their hopes and dreams and dreams for their children. To read the full story, click on the quotation.

Chalk Talk Revisited: Leslie Skantz-Hodgson

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Chalk Talk is a monthly column in the Daily Hampshire Gazette that gives voice to educators. This summer we're featuring some past columns by WMWP teachers who have written about their students, education, and themselves. We invite you to read what teachers are saying and to encourage awareness of educators in the public sphere.

This week's offering is by librarian and professional development coordinator Leslie Skantz-Hodgson, who writes about the importance of teaching argumentation across the disciplines. To read the full story, click on the quotation.

Chalk Talk Revisited: Anne Marie Osheyack

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Chalk Talk is a monthly column in the Daily Hampshire Gazette that gives voice to educators. This summer we're featuring some past columns by WMWP teachers who have written about their students, education, and themselves. We invite you to read what teachers are saying and to encourage awareness of educators in the public sphere.

This week's offering is by ELA teacher Anne Marie Osheyack, who writes about "the art of purposeful personal teaching." To read the full story, click on the quotation.

Chalk Talk Revisited: Katie Richardson

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Chalk Talk is a monthly column in the Daily Hampshire Gazette that gives voice to educators. This summer we're featuring some past columns by WMWP teachers who have written about their students, education, and themselves. We invite you to read what teachers are saying and to encourage awareness of educators in the public sphere.

This week's offering is by ELL teacher Katie Richardson, who writes that teachers must be "willing to be disturbed" to respond to changing needs in schools. To read the full story, click on the quotation.

Chalk Talk Revisited: Will Bangs

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Chalk Talk is a monthly column in the Daily Hampshire Gazette that gives voice to educators. This summer we're featuring some past columns by WMWP teachers who have written about their students, education, and themselves. We invite you to read what teachers are saying and to encourage awareness of educators in the public sphere.

This week's offering is by middle school teacher Will Bangs, who writes about "staying gold" in the classroom. To read the full story, click on the quotation.

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