NPWP Summer Institute begins
The Northern Plains Writing Project launched its summer program May 30 with a Pre-Institute attended by nine teachers. The Summer Institute begins July 8 and runs through Aug. 2, while the Advanced Summer Institute is from July 15 to Aug. 2. NPWP is in its 10th year, with five returning teachers and four new teachers.
"At the Pre-Institute, we gave them a taste of what the Summer Institute is like. We started with a writing prompt; then we presented templates and information on how to build a Common Core Unit for Language Arts Instruction," said Ron Fischer, associate English professor and NPWP director. "We want all the teachers to walk away at summer's end with a binder full of units and lessons."
Past participants served as facilitators. Leslie Knutson led the newcomers through a "demo" or writing lessons. Tyler Hancock gave an overview of the National Writing Project and showed a YouTube interview with Jeffrey Wilhelm, co-author of the summer reading. Holly Eidsness explained the different writing styles (teaching reflection, creative writing, memoir and an inquiry piece) prepared for their writing portfolios. She then entertained them with "Uncle Elmer," the creative piece she wrote last summer. KiMar Gartman explained how to make inquiry writing into personally significant research.
For their summer reading, new teachers received three books on argumentative writing, informative writing and narrative writing. All three books, co-authored by Wilhelm, James Frederickson and Michael Smith, provide strategies for implementing the new Common Core Standards for teaching language arts.
"It hasn't been easy this year. We survived budget cuts and sequestration, but we are still here," Fischer said.
For questions about NPWP, contact Fischer at firstname.lastname@example.org.