Sunday, March 2, 2014

The Summer Institute--What to expect

Here is the schedule for a typical day at the CAWP Summer Institute: 

8:00-8:30 Business and Daily Rehash
8:30-9:30 Writing Prompt
9:30-11:30 Writing/Writing Groups
11:30-12:30 Lunch
12:30-1:00 Ten minutes of theory/research to enjoy
1:00-3:00 Collaborative inquiry/lessons
3:00-3:30 Read Around
3:30-4:00 Ink Shed—reflecting on the day

 It looks like a standard workshop day—ordinary, unexciting, business as usual. However, don’t let that orderly schedule mislead you. These days are packed with experimenting, risk-taking, talking, wondering, laughing, crying….So, perhaps the schedule should look like this: 


8-11:30 A morning filled with teachers writing to find their voices: risking in new genres, writing deeply about their passions, reflecting and revisiting what has been written, listening to the writing of others.


An hour for lunch on your own—a time to feed the body

and network with new friends.




12:30-4 An afternoon for teachers of writing to explore ways to support and enable their students to find their voices through writing: to make a difference in the world, to speak out for themselves, to find passion in the act of writing.

“What better way to while away the summer - reading, writing and breathing (and sharing a few lies that you don't have to defend),” says Jen (2011).

Not reflected in the daily schedule is how the Summer Institute begins with The Retreat at Kenyon College. For three days and two nights you experience the beautiful campus of Kenyon, becoming acquainted with your new community, visiting the pub and the bookstore, and, of course, writing. You will stay in the North Campus housing, new apartment-like dorms where each person has a separate bedroom; you will eat in the Pierce Hall dining room which will remind you of a Harry Potter set; and you will be inspired by the places and people surrounding you.

What will you have at the end of the Summer Institute? Because this is a graduate level course, there are some expectations for what will be produced. Firstly, at the Retreat, you will publicly share an Archeological Literacy Dig so we all come to know each other as writers.

Once we return to OSU, you and a partner will be responsible for one Rehash (a useful instructional tool that reviews the work of the day before) that will be presented to the whole group. The other projects that you will be expected to complete are a lesson, series of lessons or unit that will be shared with the community as part of an Instructional Portfolio, and a final written multigenre project based on the idea of community which is also presented to the whole group during our last days together. Further we will put together an anthology with some of your favorite pieces that you have written during the Summer Institute.

Finally, when the Summer Institute is over, we will be connected with the larger network of the National Writing Project as well as your local writing project. Gretchen (2008) comments on this on-going connection:
“CAWP's Summer Institute has connected me with so many wonderful and inspiring teachers. I have yet to meet a Writing Project person who wasn't a kindred spirit!” 

So….are you ready?

To risk?

To find your voice?

To make new friends?

To write?
To have some fun?