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    Teacher to Teacher 2014

    July 24, 2014

    IMG_7419On April 5, 2014, the New York City Writing Project hosted its 16th Annual Teacher to Teacher Conference at Lehman College.  This all-day event boasted over 30 teacher-created and teacher-presented workshops focused around the teaching of reading and writing.  Workshops addressed the needs of teachers in a variety of settings, content areas and grade-levels while often concentrating on additional components of education including but not limited to collaborative learning, use of technology in the classroom and open-space learning, arts-integration, the Common Core Standards and the particular challenges of teaching in an urban environment.  This year’s keynote speaker was author Justin Torres (We The Animals ), who was recently listed as one of the National Book Association’s 5-under-35.  The Teacher to Teacher conference is always a highlight of the NYCWP’s year.


    Here are some additional photos from the day:

    The following workshops were offered at the 2014 Teacher To Teacher Conference:

    • The Power of Memoir: Writing the “I” Into the ELA Curriculum – HS (Andrew Ahn; Marcus McArthur)
    • Youth Voices – MS/HS (Paul Alison)
    • Text-Based Debate, CCSS-Style, Where Fun Masks Rigor – ES/MS/HS (Loretta Brady)
    • Global Citizenship Education and Common Core – ES/MS/HS (Richard Capozzi)
    • One Question, Multiple Entry Points – MS/HS (Ayette Carrasco; Jamie Selip-Dyasi)
    • Generating Through Emulating: Mentor Texts as Muse Along the Journey of Writing – ES/MS (Tricia Clarke)
    • Interactive Activities to Engage Readers – ES/MS/HS (Theresa Devore)
    • Using Superheroes in the Classroom – ES/MS/HS (Jason Fischedick)
    • Social Action Picture Books – ES/MS/HS (Denise Galang)
    • Hands-On Writing Toolbox! – HS (Georgia Giannikouris)
    • Youth Communication: Engaging Struggling Teens with Non-Fiction Text to Promote
    • Literacy and Social and Emotional Learning – ES/MS/HS (Keith Hefner, Founder and Executive Director; Elizabeth Johnson, Education Director)
    • The Power of Conversation: Strengthening Critical Reading and Writing Skills through the Harkness Method – MS/HS (Vanessa Kabash)
    • Forming Questions from Readings: Student-Made Study Guides – MS/HS (Christopher Kelly)
    • Low-Stakes and Content Area Writing in the Primary Grades – ES (Danielle Kramer)
    • Writing in the Digital Age – MS/HS (Scott Larsen)
    • Watercolors Through History – ES/MS (Marina Lombardo)
    • Higher Order Discussions: Expanding Students’ Roles in Literature Circles – ES/MS/HS (Kevin Marquez)
    • Paraphrasing Across the Curriculum – HS (Jennifer Martin)
    • Talk Used to Share Knowledge: Accountable Talk in the HS Science Classroom – HS (Pamela Meyer)
    • A Writer’s Survival Guide – MS/HS (Ann Neary)
    • Making History Come Alive: A Case for Simulations in the SS Classroom – MS/HS (Thomas Ng)
    • 25 Recent Picture Books You MUST Have In Your Classroom Library – ES/MS/HS (Jennifer Ochoa)
    • Don’t Wait: Poetry All Year – ES (Catlin Preston)
    • Book Club Discussion Maps – ES/MS (Valerie Sawicki)
    • Revision – MS/HS (Elizabeth Schurman)
    • Beginning at the End – ES/MS/HS (lisa schaffner)
    • Keeping It Creative – MS/HS (Molly Sherman; Priscilla Thomas)
    • Individualized Modifications for Emergent Bilinguals – HS (Keri Twente)
    • The Creativity Core – HS (Daniel Weinstein)
    • The Monologue Project – MS/HS (Zara Zuckerman)

    Teacher to Teacher 2015 will take place at Lehman College on March 28, 2015. Please save the date for this wonderful event!


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    Invitational Summer Institute 2014

    July 24, 2014

    ISI 2014


    The 2014 Invitational Summer Institute ran from July 8 – 31, 2014.

    Congratulations to all of our wonderful participants and, as always, thank you for sharing.

    NYCWP Summer Institutes offer teachers a leadership experience in the teaching of writing and reading. Participants explore ways to improve the teaching of writing in the classroom, and prepare to disseminate strategies and methods to larger audiences of teachers. These institutes bring together ELA and content-area teachers from elementary, middle, and high schools across the city. All institutes balance theoretical, practical, and experiential components and encourage adaptation of sound literacy education practices and applications. Teachers leave summer institutes with new lessons and resources, and with draft action plans that inform their curriculum and instruction in the coming year.


    Summer 2014 Facilitators:

    Jennifer Ochoa
    Priscilla Thomas

    Summer 2014 Fellows:

    Sharon Alvandi 
    Chris Antonicelli 
    Dorka Bautista 
    Erika Bogdany 
    Ashley Cruz
    Jennifer Kurland 
    Elizabeth Marouk-Coe 
    Steve May 
    Emily Palumbo 
    Shirley Phillips 
    Elizabeth Rosario
    Hannah Whang-Brancato
    Anya Wislocki
    Leighanne Zdrodowski
    Lucy Zhang

    Summer 2014 Second Year Fellows/Coaches:

    Jenny Adelman
    Marina Lombardo
    Melicca McCormick
    Marta Reyes-Stewart
    Molly Sherman

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    For Students

    July 24, 2014

    Student Programs and Initiatives


    The New York City Writing Project is currently in the process of expanding its options for student participation within the project.  We never charge students to participate in our programming.

    Our programming is typically geared for students in grades 9-12, though some exceptions may be made.  Please note that not all programs are offered at all times; for more information, follow the links to the programs below:

    • Youth VoicesThe Youth Voices Inquiry Project provides the opportunity for students and teachers to re-make themselves into social-media power users while connecting students’ academic learning with their personal passions and wider concerns. Students and teachers co-learn in a 3:1 ratio to immerse participants in a low-risk, high-gain  experience related to youth culture, interest and technology usage. Among other things, the Youth Voices Inquiry Project will support the development of open curriculum projects created by teachers, Youth-Voices-centric episodes of BronxNet’s Open 2.0 and new understandings about badging. The Youth Voices program has been successful as both an outside-of-the-classroom summer and/or Saturday program, as well as a school-based inquiry. We are currently in the process of exploring the uses of Youth Voices as a classroom curriculum for social justice, Advisory and technology-based classes.
    • Student Readings:  The NYCWP organizes and hosts readings of student writing at different points throughout the years.  Student readers are typically middle- and high-school aged students who are enrolled at a school where there is an NYCWP on-site presence. While the writings are entirely the students’ own, they are born from Writing Project classrooms and, as such, from Writing Project methodology. Past readings have been hosted at historic venues such as the Bowery Poetry Club and the Nuyorican Poets Cafe.
    • Elementary Writing Clubs:  During the 2015-2016 school year, the NYCWP received a grant from a private funder in response to our desire to do more direct work with students in grades K-5. The result of this grant has been the design of three writing clubs at different school sites in Manhattan and the Bronx. These clubs will be facilitated by two NYCWP teacher leaders with mentorship from past NYCWP Second Year Fellows (2YFs) from 2014 and 2015; NYCWP staff will also support the design and implementation of the work that will be done with students at each site. If your school is interested in an Elementary Writing Club, please contact the NYCWP to find out more about how you can get students from your school involved.
    • Teens Take the Met:  The NYCWP is thrilled to partner with the Metropolitan Museum of Art to produce more teen-facing programs. As a participant in Teens Take the Met, the NYCWP leads teens through an art- and writing-based scavenger hunt. Students travel to different galleries to find NYCWP staff and volunteers, who will direct them to a work or works of art and provide writing prompts related to the work(s) and gallery(ies). Teens then write 140-character Twitter Fiction to post to social media and/or create SnapChat Stories to share with friends.

    If you are interested in participating in NYCWP Student Programming, please contact admin@nycwritingproject.org.

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    For Teachers

    July 24, 2014

    Programs & Seminars


    The NYCWP offers a variety of on- and off-site Professional Development opportunities for teachers.  While some of our options must be hosted by your school, other programming is available to all interested parties.  Below is a list of some of our most popular offerings:

    • Invitational Summer Institutes offer teachers a leadership experience in the teaching of writing and reading. Participants explore ways to improve the teaching of writing in the classroom, and prepare to disseminate strategies and methods to larger audiences of teachers. These institutes bring together ELA and content-area teachers from elementary, middle, and high schools across the city. All institutes balance theoretical, practical, and experiential components and encourage adaptation of sound literacy education practices and applications. Teachers leave summer institutes with new lessons and resources, and with draft action plans that inform their curriculum and instruction in the coming year.
    • Summer Open Institutes consist of four full-day workshops for teachers interested in learning more about the NYCWP’s student-centered approaches to teaching literacy. While these courses are appropriate for all teachers, they are specifically designed for those with little prior NYCWP experience, those who are new to the classroom or who have recently changed grade or content area, or for anyone who would like a refresher course about the NYCWP’s methodology and pedagogy.
    • Our Teacher-to-Teacher Conference is one of the highlights of the NYCWP’s year.  The conference features keynote and plenary addresses as well as a wide variety of teacher-run workshops.  The NYCWP believes that teachers teaching teachers is one of the most powerful tools that we have and, as such, supports and coaches teachers in designing their own workshops for presentation.  Past Teacher-to-Teacher keynote speakers have included Justin Torres (We The Animals), Peter Elbow (Writing with Power; Writing Without Teachers), Ernest Morell (Director of the Institute for Urban and Minority Education), and Walter Dean Meyers (Monster; Bad Boy; Scorpions).  
    • Graduate Seminars are designed for groups of teachers of all disciplines, staff developers, coaches, and administrators from a school or network and are customized to address specific instructional or curricular needs and goals. Seminars are offered after the school day or on Saturdays, either at a school site or at Lehman College. The format and extended time of a graduate seminar allow teachers to develop and apply a theoretical foundation in literacy development for specific grade levels. Seminars help to form networks within and across schools and promote communities of practice.
    • Study Groups and Facilitated Inquiries are designed for a group of educators to explore topics relevant to the specific context of their school or network. Participants work collaboratively within or across grade levels to study current issues and challenges, such as the expectations of the CCLS, text complexity, the teaching of argument, or writing from evidence. Participants engage in professional reading, teacher research, review of student work, and discussion of emerging school-based issues. Study groups are offered after-school, on-site or on a series of Saturdays. These groups are often formed to address the needs of particular audiences such as new teachers, ELL teachers, or educators in specific content areas.
    • Day-long Institutes focus on special topics in literacy instruction, chosen in collaboration with school or network staff. Institutes are held at Lehman College or at a school site, either during the school day (for participants who are released to attend) or on Saturdays. Possible institute topics include: using student work to inform instruction; writing and reading in the ELL classroom; supporting student achievement through the integration of writing and reading in the social studies classroom; or using writing as a tool for thinking and learning across the curriculum. The NYCWP typically hosts day-long institutes at Lehman College on NYC DOC Chancellor’s PD days (Election Day, Brooklyn-Queens Day, and so on), but may also offer sessions on days when school is in session, as well.
    • Professional Development Workshops are offered at Lehman College and can be attended in lieu of professional development at your school on Chancellor’s Days (Election Day, Brooklyn-Queens Day, etc).  Some Professional Development Workshops are also offered during the school day.  While these workshops address a wide variety of topics, instructional or curricular needs and goals, all of our professional development workshops qualify for the 175 hours of PD that are required by some NYS licenses.
    • Hybrid Workshops are tailored to meet the needs of teachers whose outside of school commitments may prevent them from participating in longer workshop series or graduate seminars.  These workshops, which cover content similar to those of our graduate workshops, study groups and workshop series, consist of a combination of in-person sessions and online meetings.
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    For Schools

    July 22, 2014

    School Programs and Initiatives……..

    The New York City Writing Project’s model of professional development is based on three mutually-reinforcing components, all of which are designed to support teachers and school/network leaders to expand and strengthen their capacities to implement effective literacy education in classrooms and schools throughout New York City.  These components are: 1) on-site consulting; 2) graduate seminars, study groups and/or workshop series, and 3) strategic planning and direct support to school/network administrators focused on their literacy goals.

    The foundation of our services resides in the on-site work that our staff developers (“teacher-consultants”) provide alongside teachers and students in classrooms.  NYCWP teacher-consultants have been exemplary teachers, assistant principals, and literacy education staff developers.  The NYCWP model for coaching and consulting rests on a belief that “teachers teaching teachers” builds local capacity and leadership.

    The services of NYCWP teacher consultants are provided during school hours, after school hours, and in the summer; these services are co-constructed with schools, clusters, networks, teachers, and school leaders. During the school year, coaching and consulting services are offered at school sites during the week with additional professional development opportunities offered after school hours, on the weekends or during the summer either at the school site or at Lehman College.

    The NYCWP offers a large menu of services to schools, districts and networks.  An overview of some of our most popular services can be found below:

    • On-Site Teacher Consultants are available to spend full days in your school building working with your staff.  Teacher consultants can be staffed from anywhere from once a week to four times weekly; you can tailor the number of dates and weeks to suit your school’s needs.  The NYCWP’s consultation and coaching services are designed to be practical, theoretical and experiential and are explicitly aligned with local and State education policy, including the Common Core Learning Standards, the DOE’s annual instructional expectations, and the Advance teacher evaluation system.  The components of our work plan are co-constructed and designed with principals, network leaders, teachers and ILS evaluation staff.  They are customized to meet the varying experiences, levels of professional training, school structures, sizes and grade levels, and priorities of students, teachers and schools to engage in continuous school improvement and student achievement.
    • Leadership Workshops are designed as a forum for coaches, lead teachers, assistant principals, and/or principals to enrich their repertoire of professional development strategies: team teaching, demonstrations, facilitating meetings, conducting workshops. In leadership workshops, participants consider theory and practice in literacy education in relation to leadership themes.  They experience and apply a variety of protocols that encourage discussion and promote close examination of student work. They share experiences working with teachers and adapt approaches for particular student populations including English language learners and special needs students. They explore ways to examine student work for data to be used in guiding teachers to plan instruction. Leadership workshops will also relate NYCWP coaching for teachers to specific competencies in Advance, the new teacher evaluation and development system.
    • Workshop Series are designed to address the needs of particular audiences such as new teachers, ELL teachers, or educators of specific content areas. These series can also focus on topics of special interest within a school or across a network. These might include: strategies for supporting readers in content areas, essay writing, using computer technology to support literacy, or the development of a writing-intensive curriculum. Within these workshops, educators have opportunities to collaborate on the design of classroom projects and activities.

    For more information about the services that the NYCWP can provide for your school community, please contact newyorkcitywritingproject@gmail.com.