The University of Massachusetts Amherst

WMWP Spring Symposium


It is with sadness that we, the Western Massachusetts Writing Project, will need to cancel the April 2nd, 2020 Spring Symposium. As WMWP is affiliated with the UMass system we will be following their decision to cancelled in-person instruction and events from March 23rd to April 3rd. 


Refunds have been requested for those who have already paid by credit card. If you have sent a check to pay for the registration fee by mail, it will not be cashed.


Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns. You can reach us at



The theme for this year's symposium is Rewriting the Script: How to Make Change in Classrooms, Schools, and Communities. We are focusing on the challenges of making change in our classrooms, schools, and communities, with the hope that sharing stories, strategies, and successes will inspire and energize our participants.






UMass Center in Springfield



Registration fee (including appetizers): $20.

Full-time undergraduate students: $10.

Presenters: $10



4:00    Registration and refreshments 

4:30    Workshops 

5:30    Appetizers and Keynote with Patty Bode 

6:00    Optional Writing Time 


Participants can choose between four workshops to attend and will have the opportunity to hear a keynote address from the remarkable Patty Bode, a veteran teacher and leader who focuses on innovative teaching, curriculum transformation, and social justice leadership through art integration and community partnerships. For more information, visit Dr. Bode's website



Teaching Resources and Cultures of Collaboration (Kate Jylkka)

This workshop addresses the importance of sharing teaching resources within and even between academic departments, particularly at the college level. Even though research has shown the benefits of teacher collaboration in student learning, it can be difficult to implement. This workshop explores these difficulties and some potential models for collaboration.


Using Google Sheets for Assessment and Analysis (Tom Fanning, Nicole Goddard, Kevin McKenna)

Participants will learn how to use Google Sheets and Google Add-Ons to attach rubrics to assignments, embed rubrics into assignments, collect data about student performance, analyze data for further instruction, and easily communicate with parents about student progress.


Teaching Students to Write for Real: Real Audiences, Real Purposes, and Real Genres (Jen DiGrazia, Catherine Savini)

How can we get students excited about writing and teach them to write in a variety of contexts? One avenue for this is to provide students the opportunity to write in a variety of genres, for a variety of audiences and purposes. The focus of this workshop will be on teaching students how to conduct genre analyses.  Students who learn how to gain access to unfamiliar genres and who understand how genre, audience and purpose shape discourse, are better prepared for college and beyond. Participants in this workshop will leave with a useful exercise that they can easily adapt for their classrooms.