4th,5th, currently 2nd/3rd
Design39Campus, Poway Unified School District
Local Writing Project:
San Marcos Writing Project (SMWP)
Awards & Recognition
- SMWP Teacher Consultant
SMWP has given me the opportunity to learn and grow as a professional alongside colleagues from all over San Diego County. I am grateful for the gatherings, book studies, collaborative learning time, and sharing of literacy experiences.
Becoming a part of SMWP was the best thing I could’ve done as a teacher. I was introduced to a variety of writing strategies, studies, authors, and incredible writing teachers. The knowledge I gained and continue to gain is priceless. My classroom writing instruction is rich and purposeful because of the work that I have done with SMWP. The value that I have for writing has been deeply rooted in all that I have learned through the project, and I continue to share my passion for writing with my students.
I’ve been so fortunate to work with our Director, Laurie Stowell, who has guided and encouraged me and so many others to continue learning. I appreciate the shared love of learning and continue to promote and share this passion with everyone I meet. The work done within the SMWP has given me the confidence to speak up and do more. I love to take the learning that we do within the project and share out with others. I go back to my site and district ready to share! For the past two years, I’ve been so fortunate to blog for Scholastic and share much of what I’ve learned from the project with the world. I’ve also started presenting at other school sites and districts and am looking into starting a Writing Project Camp that is centered on design thinking for students. I spend a great amount of time on Twitter connecting and learning from educators all over the world. I value the connection that can be made beyond the classroom walls.
I believe that everyone can write. I believe that you have to find that “buy in” from students and create a writing environment where everyone will flourish. I celebrate student writing as often as possible and invite any and all forms of writing during our writing time. I believe that the best writing comes from instruction on how to read like a writer, and I use mentor texts to guide writing lessons. I believe there is so much to learn from those that do it professionally and even students can make that connection early in their learning. I value conferencing with students and focusing on what students did well. I don’t point out what they did wrong. We celebrate accomplishments and then discuss what goals the student would like to achieve in their next pieces of writing. Students’ ownership of their writing is key.
I am a big fan of The Writing Thief by Ruth Culham. Besides the many resources that she provides, this book takes writing to that level of deeper learning. Ruth Culham shares practices that help teachers guide students on the path of becoming thieves as they read and study texts and then stealing bits and pieces to use when they write across all genres.