If you are going to the CCIRA conference, we hope you will attend a CWP reunion on Thursday, Feb. 2nd, in the Iris Room starting at 5:00.
Come by and say hello. We’d love to see you.
Please RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m a long-time veteran of the CWP (I did all the offerings, including the summer seminar in Greeley in 1991 or ’92), and I still tell teachers they should enroll.
This will be my thirty-fifth year of teaching in western Colorado, and I was looking back at all the classes, seminars, and workshops I attended. None of them did as much for me as the CWP. When I took the summer course, I’d just finished my masters at U.C. Davis in Creative Writing. I didn’t need to be sold on the idea of teachers as writers, but it was nice to see an entire movement devoted to the idea that all teachers should write, not just so they can teach it, but because writing is a way for individuals to explore themselves.
That’s a powerful learning tool for the teachers to examine their inner lives, and it’s a powerful teaching tool to bring to the classroom.
Thank you for the work that you and all the instructional coaches bring to Colorado teachers in this powerful program.
Read Van Pelt’s latest novel, Pandora’s Gun, or find out more at jamesvanpelt.com
The Colorado Writing Project forever changed the way I taught (and learned) writing in my classroom. Our young people have so much to say, and the writers workshop not only gives them a voice, but shapes them into articulate, well-crafted writers and thinkers who can use a variety of text types and audiences to articulate their ideas most effectively. I highly recommend going through the CWP experience!
This is Christina Pierson’s CWP 1 Connections Project, a work of art about the writing process that she will hang in her classroom at Louisville Elementary School in Louisville, Colorado. This is hand-dyed silk. Christina completed CWP 1 in June of 2015.
A fourth grade teacher sits at her desk, the first rays of morning sunshine cutting through the blinds and striping the stained carpet. Her eyes move swiftly across the screen of her computer, open to a student’s writing from yesterday. The only sounds are the click of keys and scribble of a pen as she types comments into the document and makes notes on a chart next to her.
The bell rings, jolting her out of concentration. She quickly switches the document to a morning message to display on the screen for her students. The teacher proceeds to the door, opening it with a smile. She greets her students with a “Good morning” in a cheery voice. The quiet room becomes a hubbub of children’s voices and movements as they unpack backpacks, sharpen pencils, and recount stories of yesterday’s adventures to their friends.
The teacher joins the hubbub, moving quickly, but unhurried around the room. She stops at a student’s desk and discreetly gives him a graphic organizer to help with his morning spelling assignment. “I hope your sentences make me laugh again today,” she tells another student with a wink. A student struggling to hang up a backpack gets a hand from the teacher and a gentle point to remind him to read the morning message. An energetic girl runs up to her, eyes lit with excitement.
“Guess what!” she exclaims. Continue reading
Molly Kirk teaches 5th grade at Foothill Elementary in Boulder. For her CWP 2 research project, she created a database of mentor texts to use with her students. In her research paper, Molly explained the resource she wanted:
I have been using mentor texts for writing for the past two years and love how quickly my students connect to them and how they return to them over and over again. My teaching partner and I thought it might be most useful to use those mentor texts for two reasons – for guiding writing and for guiding souls. What if every text we used was not just laced with amazing writing craft but also with great life advice? What if we focused on CCSS AND helping our students find connection, compassion and character while they are learning? I set out to create a resource that was tailored to meet both of those criteria.
You can find the database she built here.
Molly completed CWP 1 in June of 2013 and CWP 2 in June of 2015.
I live with Aliens.
They’ve been with us for millennium,
but they are not like you and me.
With me they walk around on their
seven toed feet.
Hemingway loved them.
These aliens come from that Hemingway line.
Perhaps there’s something of Ernest in them.
They are dramatic after all.
Crying out at odd times.
Not too clear about what they’re trying to communicate.
Saying it regardless.
Staggering there and then here
seven toed feet.
Willing to do anything to remain, the
Center of Attention.
Piles left in hidden places
to be found
when others are present,
or stepped on in the middle of the night.
Perhaps Hemingway was an Alien.
I can see him flicking his tail,
Certainty in his Being.
I provide for my aliens and they ignore me.
I put treats in their food to help their
and they stare me down.
I’m not necessarily afraid of them, mind you,
even though I wake to see them sitting above me,
but it’s not like they’re my friends either.
They’re nothing like you and me.
That’s really all there is to say about it.
Holly Hughes teaches at Community Montessori in Boulder and completed CWP 1 in June of 2015.
We had an awesome last day celebration today. We laughed, we cried, we reveled in each other’s words. Thank you to the entire group–I loved every moment working with you over the last two weeks.