University of Minnesota
student writing support
center for writing

Student Writing Support.Center for Writing's home page.

2018 Minnesota Secondary Writing Centers Summit

The Minnesota E-12 Writing Centers Collective hosted the first-ever Minnesota Secondary Writing Centers Summit on Friday, April 13, 2018, at Shattuck St. Mary's School in Faribault, MN. Student writing coaches from Burnsville High School, Hastings High School, Minnetonka High School, and Robbinsdale Armstrong High School presented workshops, roundtables, and posters to their peers. Coaches from Edina High School and Shattuck St. Mary's School also attended.

Printable booklet of conference program

Map of conference site

Summit Schedule

8:30–9:00 Arrival | The Inn

9:00–9:25 Welcome Activity | The Inn Ballroom

9:45–10:45 Breakout Session A

A.1 Promoting Writing Centers | Dobbin 5

The First Year of a Writing Center

Megan Blaha, Jenna McGuire, Kai Waterhouse, Jennifer Claflin (Hastings)
A collaborative discussion between different writing center programs, where coaches and advisers will talk about the variety of methods used to start a writing center, recruit writing coaches, and execute promotion ideas.

A Novel Approach to Writing Center Promotions

Claire Johnson, Claire Salmi, Molly Smerillo, Wyatt Mosiman (Minnetonka)
Would you like to learn more about what you can do to get students to visit your writing center? This roundtable will discuss creative tactics to get students to visit their school's writing center.

A.2 Using Digital Tools in the Writing Center | Dobbin 7

Like, Retweet, and Follow (Please): Twitter and the Writing Center

Luke Bunday, Jai Chadha, Saahil Chadha, Preston Chan (Minnetonka)
Nowadays, having a presence on social media is essentially a requirement for all organizations of any kind, including the writing center. Come to this roundtable to discuss the ins and outs of using Twitter as a platform with which to engage students and broadcast the writing center’s message.

Digital Consultation Tools

Felicia Peterson, Armond Isaak (Robbinsdale Armstrong)
Digital consultations have the connotation that "the screen" blocks meaningful and candid conversation. However, the trick to facilitating a connection to real human beings is knowing and understanding the tricks to the site and how to maximize its efficiency.

A.3 Workshop: Exploring the Blogosphere | student lounge

Meili Gong, Anna Heinen, Priscilla Trinh (Minnetonka)
Bring your writing center into the online world! This interactive workshop, led by blog editors of Minnetonka High School, will serve as a springboard in establishing your writing center’s voice online. Topics will range from writing center blog practices, expansion opportunities, topic brainstorming, and troubleshooting. Schools with blogs welcome, too!

10:55–11:20 Outdoor writing activity | outdoor plaza

11:30–12:30 Breakout Session B

B.1 Perils and Struggles in the Writing Center | Dobbin 5

The Perils of Online Consultancy

Leah Baker, Claire Floersch (Robbinsdale Armstrong)
The Armstrong Writing Center is in the midst of our third year, but this is only the second year of online consulting via our website. Since we are still so new, we do have some kinks to iron out. However, we wish to continue to utilize the technology at our disposal, and hope to encourage more face-to-face time with the students.

Working with Unmotivated Students

Alex Gude, Thomas Ryan (Burnsville)
An expert panel of students from Burnsville will be discussing strategies for dealing with students who are not motivated to improve their writing both inside and outside the classroom.

B.2 From Big to Small Writing Concerns | Dobbin 7

Narrative Know-How

Bailey Pekar, Tessa Lattery (Burnsville)
A discussion about improving upon the presentation of students' creative ideas without compromising their original intent and vision.

Fighting the Grammar Scaries

Anna Warmka, Maggie Hennessy, Lauren Borchart, Katie Lyon (Burnsville)
We will discuss how to instill proper grammar techniques into students who do not remember basic grammar rules. We will specifically target the use of punctuation, especially proper use of quotations.

B.3 Hands-On Approaches to Coaching Writers | student lounge

The Revision Process through Visual Representation

Emily Reynolds, Courtney Funk, Hayley Ladwig (Burnsville)
We are going to present on how to facilitate the revision process through the use of chunking and color-coordination. This technique can be used to compare types of information in an essay and to find an effective balance of evidence and analysis. We will use highlighters on an example text to show how to revise an essay.

Show Don’t Tell: Using Legos to Model Writer Integrity

Anne Malloy, Kate Schiltz, Mari Ferrer-Lugo, Addie Gill (Minnetonka)
As peer tutors it can be difficult to hold back our own voices and help the writer fix their work themselves. Of course we could take a paper, fix it, and hand it back, but that doesn’t aid the writer. How can we show not tell our peers what to do? Come explore some ideas and play with LEGOs while you’re at it.

12:45–1:45 Lunch and Poster Presentations | art gallery and dining hall

Application of Audio Recordings in the Writing Center

Alexa Vos, Isabella Milacnik (Minnetonka)
Our poster addresses the effects of an audio recording of a writing center conference. It will outline the benefits of how recordings will aid students beyond the conference and act as additional notes for the student. Our goal is to spread the application of recording conferences in writing centers.

Armstrong Writing Center

Jehdessa Borreson, Rachel Brown (Robbinsdale Armstrong)
Our poster demonstrates the work ethic and brainstorming that goes on in our writing center. With pictures and captions, it depicts general problem-solving, guidance, and collaboration, as well highlighting the online portion of our collaborative process.

Camaraderie in the Writing Center

Ethan Mirman, Christian Hilgemann, Becca Schumacher (Minnetonka)
Camaraderie among writing coaches can be vital to the atmosphere and effectiveness of a writing center. Learn more about the importance of relationships between writing coaches and how to build it within the writing center.

Creative Writing in the Writing Center

Alex Arnold, Karsten Johnson (Minnetonka)
Our poster will discuss how encouraging students to conference on creative writing would affect the writing center, as well as how we can increase the number of students who do conference on creative writing.

Developing a Bilingual Writing Center

Sophia Hicks, Julia Ruelle, Alexis Zucker (Minnetonka)
This presentation explores the potential for bilingual writing centers to cater to the needs of students who are fluent and writing in a second language.

The Effects of Being a Writing Coach

Faith Quist (Minnetonka)
Being a writing coach could be more beneficial for you than you think! Come to this poster presentation to learn about the effects that being a writing coach has on someone both personally and academically.

Providing Optimal Feedback

Ellie McRae, Maya Schrof (Minnetonka)
Do you want to learn more about providing effective feedback? This poster session explores strategies on how tutors can optimize the delivery and content of their feedback for the best effect on writers.

Supporting Immersion Writers in the Writing Center

Daniluz Schueller (Minnetonka)
This poster explores how high school immersion students approach the writing process in a second language and how the writing center can provide adequate support for those students.

Why Do YOU Go to the Writing Center?

Max Meyer, Jai Chadha (Minnetonka)
Student motivation to conference in the writing center can come from a number of different sources. This poster and project explore this motivation and how knowledge about its various sources can be implemented in the writing center.

1:45–2:00pm Closing | The Inn


Summit Organizing Committee

Marie Hansen (Burnsville High School)
Krista Hitchcock (Minnetonka High School)
Kirsten Jamsen (University of MinnesotaTwin Cities)
Robert Maas (Robbinsdale Armstrong High School)
Laura Newton (Hastings High School)
Kristen Nichols-Besel (Bethel University)
Shannon Puechner (Minnetonka High School)
Laura Stelter (Shattuck-St. Mary's School)
Jasmine Kar Tang (University of MinnesotaTwin Cities)


Contact Kirsten Jamsen at