Saturday, July 02, 2011


I have the great luck this summer to participate in the Northern Virginia Writing Project Summer Institute (a piece of the National Writing Project). It's something I've wanted to do for years but it either hasn't worked in my schedule (during our years of being on a modified calendar) or I haven't been able to make the finances work. But this summer we made the scheduling work (with many thanks to my mom for help with the kids) and my principal found funding. I'm thrilled.

I still don't feel like I fully know what I'm getting into, but I know it will be fabulous. It will be four weeks of full days of writing and talking about writing and teaching. In all the ways I define myself, writer has never been on the list. It will be interesting to see if that changes in the next few weeks.

One piece of the Summer Institute is preparing and presenting on a topic of our choice. I've decided to focus on the power of audience - looking at how audiences beyond the teacher can motivate and support kids in their writing and learning about writing.

Somehow it appears I'll be presenting first, just half an hour into our first day together. So, if you have any tips or thoughts for me, please share!

*I've been meaning to write this post for several weeks now and haven't managed to do so for a wide variety of reasons. It seems like it should be easier to write about writing. Hence the title.


Sue VanHattum said...


And I like your topic.

I flunked a college course because I couldn't write the paper to an audience of 1. (That 1 was the prof, who hadn't liked my previous paper because of the position I'd taken.)

I feel myself writing at different reading levels when I'm writing for different audiences. It all has to be real for me, for sure.

Kevin Hodgson said...

Audience is a powerful topic. And welcome into the National Writing Project.
Western Mass WP

Dahlia said...

Your presentation was incredible! In the past few hours, I have thought about audience about 75 times! You are such an amazing addition to the NVWP and NWP! I look forward to learning a lot with/from you!

Rebecca said...

ohhh, I like this topic!

Unknown said...

Very cool! Congratulations! I met some of the National Writing Project folks and it seems like an amazing program.