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.
MWP video: Teachers Celebrate MWP’s Invitational Summer Institute
From our first institute in 1991 to 2016, teachers share their experiences of participating. Enjoy this short video featuring several teachers identifying the impact the institute has had on their personal and professional lives.
Ann Thompson, Producer
Charlie McCarron, Videographer
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 Teacher Showcase feature gives 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.
How has the MWP experience impacted your teaching? I have enjoyed being a part of the MWP community and meeting with like-minded teachers who are passionate about education as well as writing. The teaching demonstrations, writing groups, book study groups, and ongoing thoughtful conversations have inspired many new ideas that I plan on incorporating into my teaching practice in the fall.
What are your beliefs about writing? Writing is equal parts art and craft. As teachers, we have the complex role of teaching the craft to our students in the hopes that they will be able to add their own voices and tell their own experiences to make the art.
What is a book on writing or the teaching of writing that you would recommend (and why)? I would recommend Crafting Writers by Elizabeth Hale because it breaks the task of teaching writing down into small, manageable teaching points that Hale labels as specific craft. The book contains many examples of specific craft as well as how to teach them to students. I have found her explanation of the mini-lesson and how to use it routinely in the classroom to be especially helpful.
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
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