Thursday, July 24, 2008

Prairie Lands II

Thanks for posting the pictures with me in them, Debbie! :-) Debbie did an excellent job of giving an overview of the PLWP, and I went through OWP withdrawals as we wrote in the morning. When we arrived, we also saw a demo about using artifacts to inspire stories. Sarah had WWI artifacts and a song to help students write stories from a soldier's point of view. There are many ways to use that idea in classes. We both noticed, too, the sense of community which made us miss our OWP even more. Interestingly, on the walls the fellows had pieces of paper with questions they hoped to have answered by the end of the PLWP, and the questions were many of the same things we had asked during our discussions. I also think the literary lunch idea appealed to some of them. Debbie and I joined in the discussion about assessing reading and writing. Debbie mentioned a conference about coalition schools (I think that's the name.) where they use goals and mastery instead of grades to assess students. Apparently Tom was also there. It was a great time, and Debbie's navigation skills are wonderful. She kept me in stitches with her stories. By the way, Joe, you should still bake the cookies, but write as you eat them. You never have to have a reason to eat AND write. If I don't write, I find that I miss it too. Sadly, I've been writing sans cookies.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Prairie Lands Writing Project

Tuesday, 7/22/08

The day began with writing.

Two fellows recapped the day before.

Reading groups discussed the night's reading assignment.

Then we were treated to a demonstration
that had us all involved, learning, and planning.

The topic?

Revision and Voice.

Sound familiar ???

A week after OWP Summer Institute ended, the familiar routine of the Prairie Lands Writing Project (PLWP) was comforting. Melissa and I were warmly welcomed into the Summer Institute at Missouri Western in St. Joseph, MO.

On Monday, 7/21, we arrived during an afternoon demonstration on Classroom Environment.

On Tuesday we joined table groups and experienced the familiar routine of Summer Institute. (I expected to look up from my writing to see the faces of 2008 OWP fellows! I miss you!!) In addition to the familiar routine, we were invited to talk about OWP. We did so with great enthusiasm before answering and asking questions. We were treated to lunch with Dr. Jane Frick, Site Director, Tom Pankiewicz, Institutes Director, Mary Lee
Meyer, Technology Liaison, and Heidi Mick, Professional
Development Director.

The differences?

PLWP is a smaller group of teachers. They include a business teacher and a FACS (Family and Consumer Sciences) teacher among the Communication Arts teachers. The fellows remain in
table groups for all activities. They do not meet with different fellows for Reading Group and Writing Group. They rarely experience working lunches. The rotating daily responsibilities, in addition to snacks and minutes (daily log), include a day as a photographer and a day of choosing and explaining "The Quote of the Day." Their anthology is on CD, and all paperwork is done on templates available on the web.

Our visit to PLWP Summer Institute gave us the opportunity to experience similarities and differences. I came away with some great ideas, and I was excited to talk about our experience with summer institute.

Oh, by the way, Melissa is a great travel companion!
(Thank you for driving!)

Our thanks to PLWP for their hospitality and to Keri for the opportunity!!