National Writing Project

National Reading Initiative Project

NRI Advancing Literacy: Expanding Our Offerings, Cohort Two

In 2009, nine writing project sites with a shared interest in providing high-quality professional development in reading to content area teachers participated in a summer institute to study, refine, and expand their professional development offerings for teachers across the curriculum in middle and high school.

Focusing on understanding the literacy demands of the content areas and honoring the knowledge and expertise of content area teachers, these sites are using NRI minigrant funds to develop programming that expands their offerings for content area teachers.

Nine Participating Sites

Upstate Writing Project, South Carolina

The Upstate Writing Project (USWP) will deliver professional development in content area literacy to a middle school with which it has an established partnership. Twelve social studies and science teachers will participate, along with USWP leaders, in a yearlong inquiry into content area literacies. The content area literacy team will develop and offer demonstration lessons, and in subsequent meetings they will examine student work and the results of the demonstration lessons. They will create resources to support demonstration lessons.

Denver Writing Project, Colorado

Involving a middle and a high school, the Denver Writing Project cohort will create a demonstration lesson to explore how teachers think of and facilitate literacy in their disciplines. The goal of this demonstration is to recruit teachers for a research team. The research team's goal will be to share knowledge about cross-content literacy among and within disciplines. This work will begin with an online book study using Jeff Wilhelm's Engaging Readers and Writers Through Inquiry. Looking ahead to their second year, site leaders are making plans for a conference and for publishing tools, strategies, and reflections.

Great Valley Writing Project, California

Great Valley Writing Project will hold a one-day institute involving six content area teacher-consultants. The goals of this institute are to broaden these teachers' knowledge of content area literacy and to build site leadership with content area teacher-consultants, preparing them to deliver high-quality professional development in content area literacy.

Louisville Writing Project, Kentucky

The Louisville Writing Project will sponsor an inquiry group with content area teacher-consultants, hoping to reengage them in the leadership and work of the site. The group will meet five times to share and examine practices in light of professional readings and demonstrations by colleagues. The fifth meeting will be open to content area specialists from surrounding districts, with the goal of recruiting new content area teachers for the following year.

Prairie Lands Writing Project, Missouri

Prairie Lands Writing Project will form a study group of content area teachers from three high schools, investigating the question, "What does it take to be literate in your subject?" The study group will share strategies, best practices, and student work. They will also explore teachers' own reading and writing practices as learners in their own content areas. Site leaders plan to compile work from the four study group meetings and schedule content area presentations for their summer institute.

Rhode Island Writing Project, Rhode Island

Rhode Island Writing Project (RIWP) will form a content area inquiry group of six content area teachers and four site leaders. The group will meet five times to read, write, and discuss texts about content area literacy, and also to examine teacher practices. They will create a blog through which to extend, document, and share this work. RIWP will share this work with Rhode Island College and the Rhode Island Department of Education.

Southern Colorado Writing Project, Colorado

Southern Colorado Writing Project will design and facilitate study groups at two high schools. The study groups' participants will research approaches to content area literacy, implement new strategies in their classrooms, and develop model lessons. Participants will produce teaching logs and reflections.

South Mississippi Writing Project, Mississippi

South Mississippi Writing Project teacher-leaders aim to broaden and deepen their understanding of content area literacy by launching a study group with local content area teachers. They will form a partnership to provide professional development to local middle school content area teachers. They will host a content area strategies conference to attract more content area teachers to their summer institute. They will also work with the Mississippi State Writing Project Network to share insights they have garnered and to establish state network support for content area literacy work.

Sun Belt Writing Project, Alabama

Sun Belt Writing Project will establish two research teams, one at a high school, a second at a junior high, each composed of teachers from across the content areas. The research teams will inquire into what literacy is in the represented content areas and in their own classrooms. These research groups' work will culminate in a panel discussion to disseminate their work. The panel discussion will be advertised widely and open to participants from Auburn (GA) City Schools.


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