Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Scoring Conference-NWP in Denver, CO June 18-21

Dear fellow OWP TCs,

Well, it has been a week and a few days since I (Thomas was there too!) returned home from helping 44 other high school teachers score approximately 4250 student essays. Needless to say, the process was incredibly demanding and rewarding. I am looking forward to using what I learned in my classroom.

The process by which we graded these thousands of papers involved an introduction to the rubric, which is based on the 6 traits, but adapted to the Writing Project by NWP people for research purposes. following the introduction we spent nearly an entire day looking at anchor papers and talking about why each recieved the score it did. This calibration was the basis for beginning the actual scoring. For the next two days, we began the day recalibrating by looking at samples, and then we got very busy.

Of course the evening consisted of shopping on the 16th Street Mall, eating really good food, and drinking fine wine. What more could a girl ask for? ;)

Anyway, the HS room had the most papers to score, and we were done the fastest, finishing Saturday morning before lunch.

Personally, I am excited to find a rubric that meets most of what is important in a good piece of writing, and I know that if I use this in my clasroom (which I will), it will make writing more pleasant for my students and grading more efficient for myself.

Having said all this, it will be necessary for our site to find a way to train teachers in the OWP to use this rubric in their own classrooms. (NWP requires the training before use of the rubric.) This kind of scoring will make collecting data on the success of having Writing Project teachers in the classroom an easy task.

This probably all sounds very confusing. So please ask if you have a question, or talk to Keri about attending a scoring conference for yourself. I know that I would like to do it again!

I hope that the 2008 Summer Institute is going well. I can't wait to hear about it from Debbie, Dana, and Rachel. Go BHS!!!

Take care.
Julie Schreffler

Monday, June 30, 2008

Josh's Minutes/Lyrics

Read this document on Scribd: Say PowerPoint

Week Three of the Summer Institute

We began the first day of the third week today. Time has been flying. Rachel shared a play script of the minutes from Thursday. Genesis presented her demonstration about collaborative writing techniques that she uses to mimic blogging in her classroom, and Sarah shared reading strategies/reader response strategies that she's incorporated successfully in her classroom.

We also had two guests today. Dr. Matt Pearce, a principal from Cherokee Middle School, and Mr. Marty Marsh, principal from Jarrett Middle School. They were very good sports, and they joined us in writing about and discussing Because Writing Matters. We began by writing about what we wished the ideal administrator would know about effective writing instruction, and we picked one line from Because Writing Matters that we wanted to share with our own administrator. It was a great discussion. It's wonderful to bring in new perspectives to our conversations about writing.

Marty suggested that as teachers we needed to be ambassadors or advocates of effective writing instruction with our colleagues across the curriculum. I challenged everyone to share their Ozarks Writing Project experiences with science, social studies, and physical education colleagues. If writing across the curriculum is as important as we say, we need to work on bringing in more fellows from different content areas. Writing isn't just about English teachers. Hopefully, our guests will nominate teachers from theirs schools for the 2009 Summer Institute, and I hope that the 2008 TC's nominate their colleagues as well.

Once again, it was another great day. I'm anxious to see Debbie's minutes tomorrow. I'm sure it will be on the blog. It's likely she has something up her sleeve! :)

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Just for Fun

Here is a video I shot a few days before this summer's institute.