Thursday, May 15, 2014

I am a Squid...or at least this is how I saw myself to kick of Young Adult Literacy Labs @FairfieldU @writingproject

Last night, thanks to the stellar organization and commitment of Ellen Israel, my assistant, we hosted a workshop for partnering teachers who will be leading one-week genre labs for young writers. The redesign of our program pairs writers with teachers (and the other way around) so that young people get a weeklong experience composing on a genre they love.

Why a squid? Well, I see my role this summer as somewhere between teacher and youth institutes - a multi-phalanged monster with tentacles that are involved in best practices for teaching writing and with a genuine interest for the written outcomes that result from stellar instruction in the young adult literacy labs (You Gotta Write, Y'All). The goal is to publish the work of students and teachers in the second edition of POW!

We asked the instructors to reflect on what they were thinking how we could best assist them. I did my reflection as a doodle on the chalkboard: me as an eight-armed sea creature asking questions about how we might should think like researchers, teachers, and writers simultaneously. I wondered if the lead teachers might see the summer work as a catalyst for conducting future workshops at their school, for local communities, and with national conferences (perhaps the only parts of the drawing that are accurate are the tremendous bags under my eyes).

The write-up for the summer labs can be found on our CWP website and I encourage everyone to spread the word to friends and neighbors. I know each lab will be a tremendous success because, after the orientation was finished, teachers stayed another 45 minutes to share ideas and to think creatively about all the possibilities. Our goal is to have greater insight on what works for young people and how they can teach us to be better teachers of writing during the school year.
  • Little Lab for Big Imaginations: a Young(er) Writers’ Workshop July 7 – 11, grades 3 – 6
  • It Was a Dark and Stormy Night: Writing Your Novel (Or At Least the First Chapter) July 7 – 11, grades 6 – 8 and 9 – 12
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Televised: Exploring Poetry, Rap & Spoken Word July 14 – 18, grades 6 – 8 and 9 – 12
  • What’s a Picture Worth? The Graphic Novel Lab July 21 – 25, grades 6 – 8 and 9 – 12
  • Stop the Presses! Writing for Print, Online & Broadcast July 28 – August 1, grades 6 – 8 and 9 – 12
  • eStories: Digital Composition & Podcasting July 28 – August 1, grades 7 – 12
  • Who Do You Think You Are? The College Essay & Other Personal Narratives August 4 – 8, grades 9 – 12 (esp. rising juniors)

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