Teacher Consultant, Tim Hillmer, Retires from CWP!

The Colorado Writing Project is sad to say good-bye to teacher/consultant Tim Hillmer.  Tim has been with us for years, but once he retired from Boulder Valley School District, he began to focus on not only CWP, but also on other projects close to his heart.  Tim was a teacher and then an instructional coach and finally a classroom mentor for BVSD.  He was loved by his CWP students not only for his gentle coaching of their writing but for his expertise in teaching writing in the classroom.  He was instrumental in helping us build our curriculum over the years, asking hard questions and helping us develop our vision for CWP.

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Join the Colorado Writing Project Summer 2020!

CWP Online Flyer - summer 2020 website

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Colorado Writing Project is going online this summer. We hope you will make time for your teaching life and your writing life during the summer months, whatever they come to look like for us.  No matter what is going on in the world, you deserve time to read, write and reflect. Knowing how busy our days can be while at home, we are offering CWP as an online course that you can take at your own speed.

You do not have to be from Colorado to join us!  We welcome teachers from around the country and around the world.


Begins July 6

SEMINAR OFFERING:  Writing Your Own Models (1 graduate credit hour)

This seminar will involve a few synchronous mini-lessons/writing conferences over the course of five days (or more, as needed), while mostly being rooted in you just making time for yourself to write.   You will be creating your own examples of the writing you are asking your students to do, which carries extra importance during this time of remote learning.  Participants will be asked to come with lesson plans and rubrics (or rough drafts of both) to guide the writing.  This seminar is about creating whatever pieces of writing you want for using as teaching models in your writing class – whether you are teaching remotely or face to face.



SEMINAR OFFERING #2: Crafting Digital Time Capsules (2 graduate credit hours)

Wondering how you might plan for authentic units of study (very likely remotely) come fall? Join this session to create a digital time capsule project, customizable to your own students and grade level standards. We’ll explore how workshop practices such as writing for real purposes, choice, playfulness with form, and the use of mentor text translate to remote learning, while collaborating to plan a practical unit to teach in your own classroom. This seminar will include both synchronous and asynchronous lessons and opportunities to collaborate over the course of two weeks.

SEMINAR OFFERING #1 – Instant Writing Community

(a.k.a. join a like minded writing group)Begins June 8th – This seminar will provide participants with multiple opportunities for feedback on their own writing, which will generate ideas for providing feedback in the remote learning classroom, as well as face to face.  The seminar will involve synchronous writing conferences over the course of five days (or more, as needed), while mostly being rooted in you just making time for yourself to write.  Participants are asked to come with at least one piece of their own writing that they want to revise – seeking feedback.



(usually called our two week workshop)

60 hours/4 credit course (college credit available through UCD)

The Colorado Writing Project focuses on the teaching of writing and the teacher as writer.  We are putting the first two units of inquiry online on June 15 (there will be 8 inquires in all).  You will work directly with your instructor for writing conferences and with a few other students in workshop groups.  These can be scheduled to meet your needs.

Writing Project 1 folks will need the following books:

  • Primary teachers: About the Authors (Katie Wood Ray, Heinemann)
  • 3rd grade through 8th grade teachers: Writing Workshop  – Working Through the Hard Parts (And They’re All Hard Parts)  (Katie Wood Ray, NCTE)
  • 9th through 12th grade teachers: Write Beside Them  (Penny Kittle, Heinemann)
  • Everyone: What a Writer Needs, Second Edition  (Ralph Fletcher, Heinemann)
  • Heinemann is currently offering free shipping on books!

You will also need a writer’s notebook.

We know times are difficult for everyone, so we are cutting prices for this summer only. The 2-week workshops will be $300.

CWP II/III folks will connect individually with a consultant to determine a plan, including materials – the idea/goal is totally up to you!


Click on PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OFFERINGS and then registration!

We hope to see you online soon!

Summer 2019 Flashback: Oh, the Places You’ll Go With Writers’ Workshop

Note from Karen Hartman: Melissa Tobin, a 3rd grade teacher at University Hill Elementary School in the Boulder Valley School District shared her Connections Project to the Boulder CWP at our celebration. We laughed until we cried!

Congratulations! Today is your day. 

You’re off to Great Places! 

You’re off and away!


You have brains in your head, you have feet in your shoes.

You can teach Writers’ Workshop

Any way that YOU choose.

You’re on your own. And you know what you know.

And YOU are the teacher who’ll decide where to go. Continue reading

Wishing teaching consultant Shari Vandervelde well in her retirement from CWP

ShariShari Vandervelde has been a part of the Colorado Writing Project since 1998. We’ve been lucky to be a part of her decades-long career as an educator, which  included classroom teaching, supervising student teachers for Colorado Mesa University, working as a consultant, and running a business coaching and tutoring students with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.

She is retiring from CWP to take on new life adventures, and we will miss her dearly: Continue reading

Boulder CWP 2019

Boulder’s 2019 CWP celebrates two weeks of writing and learning with a little yoga, sharing of wonderful writing and connection projects, delicious food, laughter, and community.