University of Minnesota
minnesota writing project
center for writing
mwp.umn.edu


Minnesota Writing Project.Center for Writing's home page.

Minnesota Writing Project

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.

photo of teacherDaniel Muro LaMere
Grade you teach:
10th
School: Humbolt High School, Saint Paul
Summer Institute Writing: “Sanford Florida Public Works” and “I am Fong Lee”
Summer Institute Demonstration: Argument Writing: Generating a Thesis (.pdf file)
Reflections on teaching:
How has the MWP experience impacted your teaching? More than anything, it has caused me to think more deliberately about writing instruction. While certainly a part of my practice, the term “mentor text” wasn’t necessarily on my radar prior to the summer institute, during which I heard it at least a dozen times a day. That’s just one example of the ways in which immersing myself in a thoughtful exploration of the teaching of writing has changed me, and ultimately, how I approach what I do in the classroom.

What are your beliefs about writing? I believe that everyone has a story to tell, and that everyone else can learn from that story. I also believe that such a statement doesn’t have to be limited to the sort of personal/narrative/memoir writing that we’re all so familiar with. Writing is a powerful means of communication—to be able to communicate an idea, publish it in the world, and put your name on it, this is power. This is the kind of power that can be transformative in a life, and so then in a family, and so then in a community.

image of book coverWhat is a book on writing or the teaching of writing that you would recommend (and why)?

In Teaching for Joy and Justice, Linda Christensen uses writing as a means to empower her students, young people who often come to her feeling as though they have very little power in the world.

 

Image of book coverMy Reflective Practice Group book for the summer institute was Kimberly Hill Campbell and Kristi Latimer’s Beyond the Five Paragraph Essay. While the title is maybe a bit misleading (Campbell and Latimer don’t quite take readers all the way “beyond” and into what an alternative formal summative assessment might look like), they do a good job of pointing out the flaws in the 5-paragraph essay, as well as providing resources for teachers who are interested in creating a real culture of writing in their classrooms. They talk about writing to explore ideas, something that’s not often taught. Most interesting to me was their reworking of the writing process, which placed thesis generation near the end.

 

link to past showcases page


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.

mwp

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.

Contact

Muriel Thompson, Director
612.625.6323
murielt@umn.edu

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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MWP teacher consultants:

The MWP Book Club will begin discussing Pat Conroy's My Reading Life on Monday, April 14.

For more information, go to our News & Events page.


Check out Candance Doerr-Stevens' profile on our Center for Writing alumni pages!

photo of Candance Doerr-Stevens