University of Minnesota
minnesota writing project
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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 teacherLee Fisher
Grade you teach:
School: Robbinsdale Armstrong High School
Summer Institute Writing: D is for Dough
Summer Institute Demonstration: Student Choice and Photo Essays (.pdf file)

Reflections on teaching:
How has the MWP experience impacted your teaching? More so than any professional development that I have experienced, MWP has connected me with like-minded individuals with a variety of experiences and breadth of knowledge that I can call on and contribute to at anytime. The experiences have helped me to understand how students may feel during the writing process and given me a wealth of tools to help them. Equally valuable has been the practice of becoming more of a writer myself, for the writing group process has been illuminated in a way that will allow me to set them up in my classroom to help students learn from one another, giving them the ability to see themselves as experts and keepers of knowledge, as subjects instead of objects in their learning.

What are your beliefs about writing? Writing is the mathematics of human emotion. It is a way that, with enough practice and the right words, we can communicate with others what would otherwise be a solitary experience or thought. Writing allows us to communicate and, through communication, build communities based on knowledge, empathy, and understanding. Doors are unlocked, walls are taken down, confidence is built through one’s success in writing, and no one person should be denied that power. Though it does not level the playing field, it is an invitation to play and participate, and a chance to succeed.

book coverWhat is a book on writing or the teaching of writing that you would recommend (and why)? Teaching Adolescent Writers by Kelly Gallagher is a wonderfully practical resource for the teacher who knows students need to write as much as possible but would like strategies to supplement the ones already being used and a framework through which to structure constructive, timely, and meaningful feedback in a way that helps students develop as writers instead of judges of student writing ability.


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.


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.

Join us on Twitter link to MWP twitter page

We are still accepting applications for the 2015 Invitational Summer Institute. Please encourage good candidates to apply!

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.