Teachers Boost their Writing Confidence

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Contributed by Darlene Fujimoto and Hope Espinda HWP Teacher-Consultants, Co-Facilitators of the 2010 Invitational Summer Institute

What Participants are Saying

The first day summer institute participants get to know each other is at the annual Hawai`i Writing Project Orientation Meeting in May, where teachers receive their binder of reading material (gasp!) and participate while an exemplary HWP fellow shares a demo lesson on writing (wow!). Immersion into the HWP Invitational Summer Institute (EDCS 604), thus, begins.

Here’s what a few teachers claimed in their final evaluations:

“Overall, I think the HWP Institute was intensive but very rewarding in terms of building confidence as writers.”

“Elbow groups really boosted my confidence as a writer.”

“I LOVED LOVED LOVED my elbow group! They really helped to focus my writing and see how to make my writing better.”

What We Do at HWP Summer Institute

Nightly reading and reflection, daily writing, note taking, listening, discussion, observation, participation—these engagements provide models for the way all classrooms that support writing should be - immersion in the ideal setting to produce accomplished writers.

Peer writing groups provide support, suggestions, and synergy. Classmates turn into friends, offer a variety of expertise and resources, and share delicious foods and snacks (…ah, immersion of the best kind). Everyone learns and everyone gains so much—including the facilitators—proving what is true of all HWP institutes - the learning environment is conducive to high levels of both camaraderie and accomplishment.

More Feedback from Participants

“The personal writing experience has been an inspiring and insightful experience as well. Learning from the first person point of view has been eye opening. What we teach our students has been experienced by us so that we can know what we are expecting out of our students. Our growth, our thoughts, our challenges, and our successes will, in turn, lead us to be better teachers in writing. The use of Elbow Groups proved invaluable as well. I love our group…. We acknowledge each other’s talents and work together to help build our writing skills. I feel safe in our group and respected, fulfilling the real purpose of the Elbow groups.”

“Now that I am in Week 3 of the Invitation Summer Institute, I am burned with desire to expose students to various author styles through read alouds to give them models on how they can write to express themselves. There have been at least five lessons in class where a teacher has used literature as a means to show what good writers do. I think this is a much more engaging method to teach good writing patterns. Also, picture books have been the primary genre to model good writing.”