Awards & Recognition
- UCIWP Teacher Leader
- Finalist, California League of Middle School Region 11 Educator of the Year Award, 2007-2008
The UCI Writing Project has impacted everything I have done since first attending in the summer of 2006. I am inspired by the ideas presented by my co-teachers and the teacher authors whose work and books we read and discuss at the monthly Writing Project meetings.
It has impacted me as a reader as well as a writer. When reading, I am constantly looking for model texts that students can use. Everything I read is a potential model text for students - from newspapers to my children’s picture books. As a writer, it has given me the confidence to start a blog where I share my teaching ideas.
As a new academic coach, I rely on many UCIWP resources to help teachers in all subject areas develop more effective lesson plans, especially reading and writing strategies.
I don’t think that students can ever write enough. They must practice their craft to improve their craft. As I revamped my world history class over the last few years, I tapped into the creative, engaging writing strategies I learned in the Writing Project. To stimulate more writing, I had my history students write summaries, biographies, poetry, letters, newspaper articles, argument essays, and research papers. Students must read and re-read the historical content in order to write accurately about it. They must understand the Middle Ages in order to write a letter as someone suffering from the plague. I just read Kelly Gallagher’s blog (kellygallagher.org) where he states “the volume of writing is the key ingredient.” I concur and I believe that writing must happen all day in all classes for students’ writing to grow.
Although it isn’t a book about writing non-fiction, I was inspired by Harry Noden’s Image Grammar because of the way he uses models to teach students how to craft a sentence. For example, I modified the “Six Sassy Sentences” activity that was based on his brush strokes concept to create a “Serious Sentence” activity for history and science teachers. Students revise their writing to include appositive phrases and dependent clauses. Students need help in explaining and elaborating when writing in content area classes and this has helped them write more informative paragraphs.