The Minnesota Writing Project aims to improve K–college literacy in Minnesota. Housed within the Center for Writing at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, MWP is the local site of the National Writing Project, an authorized provider of No Child Left Behind.
Showcasing MWP teachers:
Much of what we read in the local education section of the newspaper describes shifting tests scores or school closings. It is infrequent that we are offered a peek into the mind and heart of teachers. Our new Teacher Showcase feature will give our recent ISI participants a chance to speak their mind about the teaching of writing and the need for quality professional development. Return often to read these profiles.
Grade you teach:
St. Paul Central High School
Summer Institute Writing: The Tiny Woman Who Was a Giant in Our Lives
Summer Institute Demonstration: Character Journeys in Othello
Reflections on teaching:
How has the MWP experience impacted your teaching?
The MWP experience has impacted my teaching in many different ways. I learned a variety of new activities and lessons from my peers through the demonstration lessons. That was such a valuable experience because so often as teachers we are too busy to spend time watching other teachers teach and we can learn so much from one another. Reading Kelly Gallagher’s Teaching Adolescent Writers
was a great part of the MWP experience this summer. That book has changed the way I view the teaching of writing. Most importantly, being a part of this community of teachers/writers has helped me to remember that I enjoy writing and that it is important for me to write with my students.
What are your beliefs about writing?
These are Kelly Gallagher’s beliefs about writing and I agree with KG. Always.
Everyone needs more writing practice
Everyone needs people who model good writing
Everyone needs the opportunity to read and study other writers
Everyone needs choice when it comes to writing topics
Everyone needs to write for authentic purposes and for authentic audiences
Everyone needs meaningful feedback
What is a book on writing or the teaching of writing that you would recommend (and why)?
I would recommend Linda Christensen’s Teaching for Joy and Justice
because it is a book that inspires you to teach social justice writing and provides practical and meaningful writing activities and lessons that you can easily implement in your classroom. Christensen writes as if she is a collaborative colleague instead of an expert preaching to classroom teachers.
Believing that teachers can empower other teachers, members provide an environment in which teachers can learn from one another and then share that learning with others in their classrooms, departments, schools, and districts. MWP is committed to improving the literacy of all students, strengthening university and school collaboration on reading and writing instruction, and increasing the professional power of teachers in meeting state standards and the curricular demands of NCLB.
Identifies exemplary teachers who can teach other teachers
Encourages teachers to write
Assists schools and districts in identifying their literacy needs and supports them in meeting those needs through pertinent staff development
Supports long-term reform and improvement in literacy instruction through classroom-based, action research
Maintains partnerships between schools and the University
Promotes cultural, racial, and ethnic diversity and understanding within MWP
For additional information, see About MWP.
Muriel Thompson, Director
The Minnesota Writing Project is funded in part by the Center for Writing, the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota, and the National Writing Project.
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Assignments Matter Workshop, Wednesday, 5 August 2015
If you are a middle or high school teacher, you'll want to look into this free workshop. Register soon! It's filling fast.