I like new frontiers. That’s why I’m excited to be participating in Karen’s attempt to create a School of Ed at P2P University this fall. It should be a neat opportunity to fiddle with what it means to do PD.
I couldn’t be more excited to be facilitating a course we’re calling “Common Core & Writing: Deeper Learning for All.” I pitched the course as “a course on writing to learn for non-English teachers” and that’s almost exactly what I’ll be teaching1. Better yet – some of my friends from the National Writing Project will be helping me to develop the course.
The six week course, which will begin mid-October, is going to begin with a deep look at the Common Core State Standards, and particularly the section of the standards that addresses the role of writing across the curriculum.2 Then,’ we’ll tackle writing in the classroom from two distinct lenses:
1. Writing to Learn – the habits and bits of writing that you do to make sense of whatever it is that you’re learning and exploring.
2. Writing for the Disciplines – the writing that’s specific to content areas other than language arts. How do historians write for each other? Scientists? Mathematicians? And why does that matter? How can we help our students to write in these ways?
As a final project, participants in the course will use this protocol from the NWP to help them develop some writing assignments for their own classrooms that should result in some thoughtful writing for and with students. We should all get some good ideas.
As I’m developing the collection of resources, I know that NWP’s Digital Is will be an important text for the group. And I’m also reminded of Peter Elbow and Donald Murray and their essential contributions to writing as process and writing as something that teachers just, you know, do.
But I could use your help.
I’d sure be grateful if you’d offer your favorites and help keep me honest by pointing participants to actual examples of the two areas I outlined above.
And of course, this entire experience is, for me, first draft thinking. I’d be open to your ideas, suggestions, and feedback as I’m working to construct an experience that’s ultimately useful to teachers and results in increased use of writing in their practice.
Thanks in advance. And perhaps I’ll see you in class? Sign up opens soon.
- Er. Facilitating. Teaching. Guiding. Whatever. The participants and I will experience it together. And we’ll all take turns. [↩]
- Yes, technically, this is a rather large section. Pretty much the entire language arts section. But we’ll hone in on the specifics of writing for the disciplines other than language arts. [↩]
- Remember – a targeted audience of non-language arts teachers. [↩]