Monthly Archives: February 2012

March 6 — Free Virtual Field Trip to Folger Shakespeare Library

The Ashbourne portrait was reproduced in the 1...

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English: The Folger Shakespeare Library behind...

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If you’re studying a Shakespearean play with your students, you may want to register for this free virtual field trip on March 6 with the Folger Shakespeare Library:

Experiencing Shakespeare | Electronic Field Trip


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Filed under Student Opportunities, Teacher Opportunities

Creative Writing Opportunity for Grade 11 Students

From Princeton University–for more information, please visit

Leonard Milberg ’53 High School Poetry Prize

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Upcoming Opportunity

Here’s an opportunity to learn more about teaching writing. Applications are due March 1.

Past participants from Greece Central include MR Maier (a co-facilitator), Alaina DeSiena, Andrew Farmer, Jan Marchetti, Jeanmarie McLaughlin, and Jean Zannie.

From the University of Rochester’s Warner School website:

Genesee Valley Writing Project Summer Institute

July 9 – 27, 2012
8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.
University of Rochester’s River Campus
Download the Summer Institute Brochure

About the Summer Institute
The GVWP offers a three-week annual invitational Summer Institute, which is the centerpiece of the Writing Project experience. The GVWP awards fellowships to a group of teachers from all disciplines and at all levels of instruction, pre-kindergarten through university. Teachers participating in this three-week Institute will have the opportunity to study successful classroom strategies for teaching writing by participating in teacher demonstration workshops. They will read and discuss research in self-selected reading research groups and improve their knowledge of writing by engaging in a collaborative community of writers. Presentations and field trips during the Institute will highlight the local and national resources and expertise available through the National Writing Project network.

The 2012 Summer Institute will be held on the University of Rochester’s River Campus from July 9 through 27, five days each week, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fellows must attend one mandatory Pre-Institute meeting scheduled for Saturday, June 2 and one Pre-Institute coaching session scheduled for Saturday, June 16,  both to be held on the University of Rochester’s River Campus.

Eligible Participants
The GVWP will accept up to 12 Fellows for the 2012 Summer Institute. Applicants must be practicing teachers from any subject or grade level (pre-kindergarten through college level) who embrace writing and literacy as central components of learning in the classroom and who are looking for innovative ways to integrate literacy practices into student learning. We invite educators from urban, suburban, and rural regions of Monroe and surrounding counties to apply for the Summer Institute.

Benefits of a Fellowship
Three graduate credit hours at the Warner School of Education (participants will be required to first use any employee tuition benefits or other applicable scholarships and tuition waivers, with the remainder to be covered by a Warner School tuition waiver – offer not applicable to currently matriculated Warner students); the chance to collaborate with outstanding colleagues; membership in a local and national network of Writing Project Fellows; and approximately 100 hours of professional development may be used toward your district’s PD hours requirement.

Criteria for Selection
Attendance at the Summer Institute is limited by invitation. Those selected will demonstrate:
• Successful classroom teaching
• Commitment to using writing in the classroom
• Openness to new ideas and approaches to teaching
• Willingness to write

How to Apply
Applications for the 2012 Summer Institute should be sent to the following address by March 1:

Joanne Larson, Director, Genesee Valley Writing Project
University of Rochester
Warner School of Education
1-160E Dewey Hall  RC 270425
Rochester, New York 14627

Download the Application
Application packets should include the following: (1) application cover page; (2) one to two page personal statement based on the prompts provided in the application; (3) sample writing assignments and/or student work samples to support the personal statement. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Qualified applicants will be invited for a 30-minute interview with the director/co-directors at the University of Rochester’s River Campus. All interviews will be scheduled by March 31. The final notification of the Summer Institute Fellows will be issued by April 15.  For more information about the 2012 Summer Institute, please call Joanne Larson at (585) 275-0900 or e-mail her

GVWP Follow-up Programs
The community of teacher leaders formed during the Summer Institute becomes the foundation for the continuing work of the GVWP. Writing Project Fellows are encouraged to stay involved with our local and national Writing Project network and are supported in developing community outreach programs, school-based inservice workshops, collaborative partnerships, and teacher study groups to support the goals of the National Writing Project in the Greater Rochester community.

GVWP Leadership Team
Joanne Larson, Director
Professor of Teaching and Curriculum,
Warner School of Education
Maryrita Maier, Co-Director
First grade teacher and Warner doctoral student
Jennifer Smith LaPointe, Co-Director
College writing teacher and Warner doctoral student

Learn more about the Genesee Valley Writing Project

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Filed under Professional Development, Teacher Opportunities

Trying a new genre

I’m taking the plunge. Here’s my first post in a blog that will be dedicated to secondary ELA teaching and learning. I’m hoping this blog will serve as a resource to you for all things ELA (curriculum, assessments, teaching highlights from around the district, tips I come across, etc.), and I hope it will be a support to you in  transitioning to implementation of the Common Core Learning Standards.

While I’ve dabbled in blogging to stay connected with family and friends and to complete assignments for grad classes, I’ve never tried blogging for an audience of professional colleagues. Not until now. Trying this new genre is intimidating! I hope you will be patient with me as I learn to write in this mode.

As I read through the February issue of NCTE’s English Leadership Quarterly this past week, an article on the titles most frequently used in high school English classrooms caught my eye. According to a survey done of high school English teachers in the Southeast, the top 5 titles are

  1. The Great Gatsby
  2. Romeo and Juliet
  3. The Crucible & The Odyssey (tied)
  4. To Kill a Mockingbird
  5. Night

These titles also continue to be frequently taught in our district. However, the authors of the article encourage us as English educators to continue to study our choices and our students so that we can best meet students’ needs and interests — and the demands of our new standards. Trying literary nonfiction selections may help us in this endeavor. I hope you will share the titles of literary nonfiction pieces you’ve tried with your students that complement these frequently taught texts–as well as other literary nonfiction pieces you’ve tried. Please leave a comment, or email me if you would like me to mention something you’ve tried.


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