by Anna Gratz Cockerille
Already, the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project June Writing Institute is upon us. Thousands of educators from all over the country have descended upon Teachers College to learn, to talk, and to write. There is nothing quite like a TCRWP Institute. An Institute is a week-long opportunity for participants to completely immerse themselves in one aspect of literacy instruction. It is a chance not only learn invaluable fundamentals and best practices, but perhaps even more importantly, it is a chance to become a learner, to get to know a subject area inside and out because of daily practice and reflection.
This week, first time participants will experience:
Large-group sessions with a TCRWP expert lecturer:
During the large-group sessions, participants gather in an auditorium or lecture hall to grow their knowledge. They are immersed in the terms, practices, and structures that are the foundation of writing workshop. They watch clips of experts in the midst of instruction, and they’ll leave with all of the nuts-and-bolts information they'll need to launch writing workshop in your their classrooms.
Small-group sessions with a TCRWP lead:
During the small group sessions, participants have the opportunity to practice the kind of writing that they'll be asking their students to do. Their group leaders offer practical tips, advice, and knowledge that give them the confidence to lead a writing workshop in both the best and the worst of times. Many past writing institute participants have reported that their greatest learning came from this experience of doing the writing work that they will ask their students to do. Writing daily themselves helped them to understand the angst and struggle and relief and pride that their students feel whey they are asked to write. We hope that this year’s participants feel the same.
Keynotes given by a leader in the field of writing:
In addition to hearing Lucy Calkins herself speak, participants have the opportunity to learn from writers and literacy experts such as Ralph Fletcher, Pam Muñoz Ryan, Matt de la Pena, Kwame Alexander, and Jack Gantos. We don’t blame participants for feeling a bit starstruck. We do too!
Additional workshops given by a TCRWP staff developer:
In addition to all of the above, participants have the opportunity to attend additional workshop sessions on topics of their choice. Whether they want to learn more about integrating writing into social studies and science, or about how to help students to grow more powerful characters in narrative writing, or about how to provision a writing workshop with the best materials possible, there will be a workshop (or five!) for them.
In order to ruminate and retain such a bevy of learning, it helps to chat with others sharing the experience. To this end, TCRWP Staff Developer Katie Wears will lead a chat tomorrow on writing workshop essentials as part of the June Writing Institute. We invite veteran and first time attendees to join the chat, as we hope veteran attendees will share insights and reflections on how to the most out of the wonderful, rigorous, joyful week of learning that is a TCRWP institute.
Each Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. eastern, The Teacher's College Reading and Writing Project hosts a Twitter chat using the hashtag #TCRWP. Join @wearskm to chat about the June Writing Institute tomorrow evening.
Not on Twitter? Take Heinemann’s free Twitter for Educators course here.
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Anna Cockerille is a staff developer, literacy coach, and writer based in New York City. She has taught in K–8 classrooms all over the world in places such as Sydney, Australia; San Pedro Sula, Honduras; and Auckland, New Zealand. Anna has been a staff developer for the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project at Columbia University (TCRWP) and an adjunct instructor for the Literacy Specialist Program at Teachers College. She writes at Two Writing Teachers.
Not on Twitter? New to Twitter? Take Heinemann’s free Twitter for Educators course here.