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Developing Writers: A Workshop for High School Teachers

This video workshop presents practical and philosophical advice for teaching writing in high school.

A video workshop for high school teachers; 8 one-hour video programs, workshop guide, and website.

Developing Writers: A Workshop for High School Teachers presents practical and philosophical advice for teaching writing, while examining issues every teacher faces — such as high-stakes assessments and dealing with differently abled students. Eight video programs feature teachers in diverse classrooms around the country who are helping their students grow as skilled and effective writers. Participants will observe how the teachers and their students work together to create writing communities. Professional writers will share their processes as they move from initial concepts to publication, and comments from researchers, theorists, students, and teachers add context. A workshop guide and website provide activities and additional information to help participants develop effective instructional strategies to bring back to the classroom.

Workshop Overview

Developing Writers: A Workshop for High School Teachers is a video workshop for grade 9-12 writing and language arts teachers, consisting of eight video programs, a print guide, and website. Use these components for professional development in two-hour weekly group sessions, or on your own. If you participate in this workshop, you will grow professionally as you:

  • Watch videos of your peers working to create classrooms where students actively learn to write.
  • Keep a workshop journal, where you can reflect on your own progress toward creating the kinds of writing community you see in the videos.
  • Begin to use activities and ideas presented in the workshop in your own classes.

See sections below to learn more about:

  • The eight, hour-long videos in this workshop
  • The standards and learning objectives that support this workshop
  • The people who contributed to this workshop
  • Using workshop materials

Workshop Audience

Developing Writers: A Workshop for High School Teachers is a video workshop for grade 9-12 writing and language arts teachers.

Workshop Components

Each one-hour workshop video is divided into two half-hour sections. You can watch each section in a separate workshop session if you wish.

Each workshop features:

  • Four current high school teachers talking together about their concept of a writing community and how they encourage students to grow as writers.
  • Visits to classrooms throughout the country, featuring students of all ability levels writing and talking about writing.
  • Excerpts from a writer’s workshop in which the four key teachers in the series participated, led by Judith Ortiz Cofer.
  • Commentary from noted educators and authors about writing and encouraging young writers.

Individual Workshop Descriptions

Workshop 1. First Steps

This session provides an overview of the first steps teachers should take when working with student writers. The educators, researchers, and writers featured in the video programs talk about specific goals they share with their students, recognizing the local, state, and national standards that serve as a floor, not a ceiling, for their work. They also express the benefits and value student writers find as they grow as writers, communicators, and thinkers. Visits to classrooms throughout the country underscore their thoughts. Noted author Judith Ortiz Cofer leads the featured teachers in a writer’s workshop activity focused on word triggers and their place in the processes of writing.

Workshop 2. A Shared Path

What kind of atmosphere do students need to grow as writers? This session concentrates on the “hows” and “whys” that answer that question. The featured teachers talk about the physical set-up of a writing community, the importance of reading in a writing classroom, and their own roles as co-writers in the community, showing how these practicalities and philosophies actually work in setting up communities where trust and mutual respect are the hallmarks. In a writer’s workshop, the teachers react in writing to Judith Ortiz Cofer’s assignment: hiding and revealing through language.

Workshop 3. Different Audiences

This session begins by examining the “self” most writers address, showing how the concept of writing for an audience is threaded throughout the dynamic and nonlinear processes of writing. From there, the session looks to a wider range of audiences, examining the demands the student writer encounters in addressing audiences in language arts and other disciplines, and audiences on other levels, such as those encountered in college and the job world. Classroom experiences show how writing community members think about, plan around, and address audience expectations. The teachers tackle the same theme for different audiences in a writer’s workshop led by Judith Ortiz Cofer.

Workshop 4. Different Purposes

Purpose directly relates to the form or genre selected to express writers’ ideas. In this session, the teachers examine this relationship, presenting classroom examples of students working in many genres, including persuasive writing, memoir, and poetry. Their subsequent analysis underscores what students can learn by examining commonalities and differences among genres and the value of multigenre projects. In the writer’s workshop, the teachers tackle this question as well, selecting a genre or a combination of genres to share vivid events from their lives.

Workshop 5. Usage and Mechanics

This session focuses directly on key questions of grammar and mechanics: When should student writers and reviewers of student work pay attention to usage and mechanics? Does teaching grammar in context really work? Why should these things matter? Grammar experts add to the conversation, analyzing its role in communication and providing ways to bridge the connection between message and mechanics. In the writer’s workshop, Judith Ortiz Cofer challenges the teachers to use only one sentence form to tell a story.

Workshop 6. Providing Feedback on Student Writing

Student writing demands reaction — from both teachers and other members of the writing community. But what kind of interaction is most powerful and rewarding? The teachers, researchers, and authors tackle this issue in this session, talking about and demonstrating effective ways to conference and comment on student work and direct other members of the writing community to do the same. While offering great tips on structuring peer review, Judith Ortiz Cofer directs the teachers as they comment on each others’ work during this session.

Workshop 7. Learning From Professional Writers

What can young writers learn from those who make their living through writing? Educators, researchers, and noted authors consider this question, offering innovative ways to bring the voice of the professional into the classroom. Teachers show how professional works by favorite writers can be the seeds for engaging classroom activities, while authors talk about their own writing processes and writing heroes. Maxine Hong Kingston, Patrick Jennings, Margo Jefferson, Christopher Meyers, Amy Tan, Ruthanne Lum McCunn, and Tracy Mack appear in this session’s video. Another noted author, Judith Ortiz Cofer, guides the teachers through an exercise triggered by a line from one of her favorite poets, Richard Hugo.

Workshop 8. Writing in the 21st Century

Evolving technology has expanded the tools available to all writers. It has also opened new venues — with new requirements — for their work. How can teachers make the best use of these new resources? The teachers show some beginning steps they have taken to integrate technology into their instruction and their professional lives, and talk about the benefits and challenges evolving media present to them and their students. In the writer’s workshop, Judith Ortiz Cofer leads the teachers as they reflect on the effect of technology in their lives.

Standards

  • Students learn to write well by writing often. The writing classroom offers students numerous opportunities to write, to reflect on their writing, and to share their writing with others.
  • Writing is an important tool for learning. The writing classroom offers students opportunities to experience the generative and connective powers of their written language.
  • A finished piece of writing is the result of a series of complex, often recursive processes which typically vary from writer to writer and even from composing event to composing event for the same writer. The writing classroom offers students numerous approaches to different processes such as invention (generating topics and content), organization (shaping and ordering content), drafting (getting words on paper or disk), revision (rethinking and reworking a piece based on demands of purpose and audience), and editing (attending to stylistic concerns and usage conventions).
  • Student writers have different experiential and cultural backgrounds. The writing classroom makes room for all writers, and celebrates their differences.
  • Purpose and audience are two central concerns of all writers. The writing classroom gives students experience writing for many different purposes and numerous authentic audiences.
  • Form follows function. The writing classroom introduces students to multiple genres (fiction and nonfiction, poetry, prose, and drama) and organizational modes (e.g. description, narration, analysis, argument) and helps them choose appropriate forms for different purposes and audiences.

In addition, all materials developed for this workshop reflect the Standards for the English Language Arts developed by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) and the International Reading Association (IRA).Other important explorations of objectives and standards of teaching writing:

How to Use This Workshop

The video programs are broadcast free online. The facilitator guide is available as a PDF under Support Materials on this website. If you are participating in a group session, your facilitator will give you a copy of the print guide or request that you print the PDF for yourself from this website. Your facilitator will give you any instructions concerning meeting time and place, what you should bring to sessions, and work you should do outside the group sessions.

The guide and website provide background, activities, discussion questions, homework assignments, and resources to supplement the video programs and provide a robust professional development experience. They also provide information for facilitators to plan and structure group sessions. Workshop sessions generally are held weekly for at least two hours. The workshop guide describes pre- and post-viewing activities and discussion to fill out the remainder of the session. The guide also provides homework to expand on what you have learned and prepare you for the next session.

If you are leading a group session, read our Facilitator Guide and the Support Materials below for more information on planning and facilitating this workshop.

The People Who Contributed to This Workshop

For more biographical information on our contributors, please consult the Introduction to Developing Writers: A Workshop for High School Teachers guide.

Teachers Featured in the Videos

  • Joan Cone, Ph.D.
  • MaryCarmen Cruz
  • Charles Ellenbogen
  • Susie Lebryk-Chao
  • Robyn Jackson, Ph.D.
  • Lori Mayo
  • Kelly Quintero
  • Renee Spencer

Other Voices in the Conversation

Educators

  • Kylene Beers. Ed.D.
  • Lucy McCormick Calkins, Ph.D.
  • Amy Benjamin
  • Brock Haussamen
  • Martha Kolln
  • Rebecca Wheeler, Ph.D.

Authors

  • Kevin Brooks
  • Rafael Jesús González
  • Maxine Hong Kingston
  • Margo Jefferson
  • Patrick Jennings
  • Ruthanne Lum McCunn
  • Christopher Myers
  • Judith Ortiz Cofer
  • Tracy Mack
  • Amy Tan

National Advisory Panel

  • Dale Allender
  • Sheridan Blau, Ph.D.
  • Azalie Brown Hightower
  • Valerie Kinloch, Ph.D.
  • Tennessee Reed
  • Paula Simon
  • Victor Villanueva, Ph.D.

Production Credits

Executive in Charge of Production

Gail Porter Long

Executive Producer

Carol Jackson

Content Development

Ann Chatterton Klimas

Producers

Darcy Corcoran

Maura Daly Phinney

Christine Nusbaum

Writers

Darcy Corcoran

Lauren Abbey Greenberg

Ann Chatterton Klimas

Christine Nusbaum

Editors

Maryland Public Television

Kathy Pugh

Kit and Kaboodle Productions

Neil Beller

Associate Producers

William Beustring

Maggie Stevens

Assistant Producer

Katie Klimas

Intern

Nathan Avant-Pybas

Narrator

Christopher Graybill

Program Participants

Teachers

Joan Cone
El Cerrito High School
El Cerrito, California

MaryCarmen Cruz
Cholla High Magnet School
Tucson, Arizona

Charles Ellenbogen
Baltimore City College High School
Baltimore, Maryland

Susie Lebryk-Chao
Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology
Alexandria, Virginia

Robyn Jackson
Gaithersburg High School
Gaithersburg, Maryland

Lori Mayo
Far Rockaway High School
Queens, New York

Kelly Quintero
Huntington High School
Long Island, New York

Renee Spencer
Woodrow Wilson High School
Portsmouth, Virginia

Educators

Kyleen Beers
Senior Reading Researcher, School Development Program, Yale University

Lucy McCormick Calkins
Founding Director, Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, Teachers College, Columbia University

Amy Benjamin
Chair, English Department
Hendrick Hudson High School in Montrose, New York

Brock Haussamen
Professor of English
Raritan Valley Community College of New Jersey

Martha Kolln
Former Associate Professor of English
Pennsylvania State University

Rebecca Wheeler, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of English and Teacher Education
Christopher Newport University

Authors

Kevin Brooks

Rafael Jesús González

Maxine Hong Kingston

Margo Jefferson

Patrick Jennings

Ruthanne Lum McCunn

Christopher Myers

Judith Ortiz Cofer

Tracy Mack

Amy Tan

Special thanks to Kendra Jones, Salisbury University, Salisbury, Maryland

National Advisory Panel

Dale Allender
Associate Executive Director, National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE)

Sheridan Blau, Ph.D.
Director, South Coast Writing Project and the Literature Institute for Teachers

Azalie Brown Hightower
English teacher, Calvin Coolidge Senior High School, Washington, D.C.

Valerie Kinloch, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor in the English Education/Teaching of English Program, Teachers College, Columbia University

Tennessee Reed
Author

Paula Simon
Coordinator of English and Reading, Secondary Programs, Baltimore County Public Schools, Maryland

Victor Villanueva, Ph.D.
Author and chair, English Department, Washington State University

Video Production

Opening Titles

William Beustring, Producer

Stephen Smith, Editor

Lead Field Videographers

Frank Leung

Kim Moir

Tim Pugh

Marlene Rodman

Henry Bautista

David Earnest

Additional Field Videographers

A Million Images – Christopher Million

Beyond Our Reality Productions – Todd Schoenberger

Kevin Cloutier

Ed Fabry

Studio B Films – David Collier

Stone Mountain Productions – Richard Copley

TV Crews USA – Bob Peterson

Field Sound

TV Crews USA – Jim Peterson – Bob Peterson

Ken Lane

Mark Kaplan

Gordon Masters

Post Production Sound

John Davidson

Closed Captioning

Judi Mann

Robin Gautney

Special Thanks

Columbia University School of Journalism

Columbia University Teacher’s College

The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE)

NCTE Annual Convention

The Peabody Hotel – Memphis

Online/Print Supporting Materials

Project Manager

Bill Gonzalez

Online Design

ByteJam

Technical Support

Chris Klimas, Associate Online Producer, MPT

Writers

Ann Chatterton Klimas

Kathleen Dudden Rowlands

For MPT
Director of Business Affairs

Joan Foley

For Annenberg Media
Project Officer

Deborah A. Batiste

Contributor Bios

Teachers Featured in the Videos

Joan Cone, Ph.D.

  • Has been teaching for almost 40 years
  • Teaches advanced essay writing, the Advanced Placement Language and Composition course, Film and Literature, and 9th Grade English at El Cerrito High School, El Cerrito, California
  • Professionally active as:
    • Fellow in the Carnegie Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning 2001-03,
    • a member of the National Conference on Research in Language and Literacy,
    • a reader for the Advanced Placement examination in English Language and Composition, and
    • an active member of both the National Council of Teachers of English and the National Writing Project.

MaryCarmen Cruz

  • Has been teaching for more than 20 years
  • Currently teaches at Cholla High Magnet School in Tucson, Arizona
  • Professionally active as:
    • a current member of the Executive Committee of NCTE,
    • past co-chair of the NCTE’s Latino Caucus and 2002 chair of its Committee on Racism and Bias in the Teaching of English, and
    • a contributing author to Writing Across the Curriculum in Secondary Classrooms: Teaching From a Diverse Perspective (Merrill, 2000).

Charles Ellenbogen

  • Has been teaching for more than 10 years, including three years at the American School in London
  • Currently teaches 11th grade College Prep English and 12th grade International Baccalaureate English at Baltimore City College, in Baltimore, Maryland

Professional books that have made a difference in Charles’s teaching:

  • In the Middle: New Understanding About Writing, Reading, and Learning by Nancie Atwell (Boynton/Cook; 2nd edition; ISBN: 0867093749)
  • Sin and Syntax: How to Craft Wickedly Effective Prose by Constance Hale (Broadway Books, ISBN: 0767903099)
  • Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne LaMott (Anchor, ISBN: 0385480016)
  • Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within by Natalie Goldberg (Shambhala, ISBN: 0877733759)

Charles’s recommendations for books every young writer should have:

  • Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr., E. B. White, Roger Angell (Foreword) (Pearson Allyn & Bacon; 4th edition, ISBN: 020530902X) Read an online version of this classic text
  • Woe Is I: The Grammarphobe’s Guide to Better English in Plain English (Expanded) by Patricia T. O’Connor (Riverhead Books, ISBN: 1573222526)

Susie Lebryk-Chao

  • Has been teaching English for almost fifteen years
  • Currently teaches 12th grade Advanced Placement Language and Advanced Placement Literature at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Virginia

Professional books that have made a difference in Susie’s teaching-with annotations:

  • The English Teacher’s Companion: A complete guide to Classroom, Curriculum, and the Profession by Jim Burke (Heinemann, ISBN: 0325005389)
    “A practical, easy to read book about opening up and developing a substantive English class. Comes with companion website.”
  • Illuminating Texts: How to Teach Students to Read the World by Jim Burke (Heinemann, 2001, ISBN: 0867094974)
    “Focus on reading a range of texts in various ways for different purposes and integrating literary texts to support essential conversations in the classroom. May be read by chapter or in bits and pieces.”
  • Writing With Power: Techniques for Mastering the Writing Process by Peter Elbow (Oxford University Press, ISBN: 0195120183)
  • Writing Without Teachers by Peter Elbow (Oxford University Press, Paperback ISBN: 0195120167)
  • For the Good of the Earth and Sun: Teaching Poetry by Georgia Heard (Heinemann, ISBN: 043508495X)
    “Makes writing poetry in a poetry workshop setting sound inviting and accessible. Focus on elementary years but many ideas (e.g. revision, conferencing) translate to secondary level.
  • Making Your Own Days: The Pleasures of Reading and Writing Poetry by Kenneth Koch (Scribner, ISBN: 068482438)
    “A beautifully written book that inspires love for poetry and its special language.”
  • Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne LaMott (Anchor, ISBN: 0385480016)
    “An entertaining and accessible approach to fiction writing.”
  • Writing to Be Read by Ken Macrorie (Boynton-Cook, ISBN: 0867091339)
  • Write to Learn by Donald Murray (Heinle, ISBN: 0155065122)
  • Seeking Diversity: Language Arts with Adolescents by Linda Rief (Heinemann, ISBN: 0435085980)
    “Makes a persuasive case for reading and writing workshop.”
  • Blending Genre, Altering Style: Writing Multigenre Papers by Tom Romano (Boynton/Cook, ISBN: 0867094788)
    “Why teachers should consider assigning multigenre papers and how to include them in English classes. Contains many mini-lessons to help students develop different genres and persuasive student models”.
  • Writing Analytically by Jill Stephen Rosenwasser, David Rosenwasser (Harcourt, ASIN: 0155018892) “How to move way beyond the five-paragraph essay!”
  • The English Language Arts Handbook: Classroom Strategies for Teachers by Stephen N. Tchudi and Susan J. Tchudi (Boynton/Cook, ISBN: 086709463X)

Robyn Jackson, Ph.D.

  • Has been teaching at Gaithersburg High School in Gaithersburg, Maryland since 1993, teaching Advanced Placement language and composition courses
  • Currently serves Montgomery Public Schools, Maryland students as an English/staff development teacher
  • Professionally active as:
    • an active member of the Maryland Writing Project, and
    • an independent educational consultant.

Lori Mayo

  • Currently serves as a member of the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) Teacher Center Staff, working at Far Rockaway High School in Queens, New York. The UFT is New York City’s teacher union, which is part of the American Federation of Teachers.
  • Professionally active as a member of the National Council of Teachers of English
  • Professional honors:
    • 2000 New York City Poetry Teacher of the Year Award
    • 2000 New York State Model Schools Teacher Integration Award

Professional books that have made a difference in Lori’s teaching:

  • Words, Words, Words: Teaching Vocabulary in Grades 4-12 by Janet Allen (Stenhouse, ISBN: 1571100857)
  • In the Middle: New Understanding About Writing, Reading, and Learning by Nancie Atwell (Boynton/Cook, 2nd edition, ISBN: 0867093749)
  • Time for Meaning: Crafting Literate Lives in Middle and High School by Randy Bomer (Heinemann, ISBN: 0435088491)
  • The Art of Teaching Writing by Lucy McCormick Calkins (Heinemann, ISBN: 0435088173
  • The Revision Toolbox: Teaching Techniques That Work by Georgia Heard (Heinemann, ISBN: 0325004609)
  • Writing Toward Home: Tales and Lessons To Find Your Way by Georgia Heard (Heinemann Publishing, ISBN: 0435081241)
  • Room 109: The Promise of a Portfolio Classroom by Richard Kent (Boynton/Cook, ISBN: 086709429X)
  • Write to Learn by Donald Murray (Heinle, ISBN: 0155065122)
  • The Writing Workshop: Working through the Hard Parts (And They’re All Hard Parts) by Katie Wood Ray (National Council of Teachers of English, ISBN: 0814113176)
  • Seeking Diversity: Language Arts with Adolescents by Linda Rief (Heinemann, ISBN: 0435085980)

Kelly Quintero

  • Has been teaching for about ten years
  • Currently teaches Advanced Placement Literature, Composition, and 9th and 11th grade English at Huntington High School on Long Island, New York
  • Professionally active as:
    • department editor, NCTE’s Voices in the Middle,
    • 2002 – 2003 chair, NCTE’s Middle Level Section Nominating Committee, and
    • NCTE speaker on literacy and critical literacy

Renee Spencer

  • Currently retired following a 30-year career in teaching
  • In the video, Renee was teaching at Woodrow Wilson High School in Portsmouth, Virginia.
  • Professionally active as:
    • a presenter of professional development seminars for Portsmouth City Schools, and
    • a member of Delta Kappa Gamma Society International.

Other Voices in the Conversation

Educators

Kylene Beers. Ed.D.

  • Senior Reading Researcher, School Development Program, Yale University
  • A researcher involved in the Lanier Middle School Research Project
  • An active member of NCTE (Editor, Voices from the Middle; Middle Level Section Steering Committee; and State of the Profession Committee)
  • An active member of the International Reading Association, Assembly on Adolescent Literature, Texas Council of Teachers of English, Texas State Reading Association, and the California Association of Teachers of English

Recent honors:

  • 2001-2002 NCTE Richard Halle Award, for outstanding contributions to the field of middle grade literacy education
  • 2001 Harrington Literacy Symposium Scholar Award, for outstanding contributions to the filed of secondary literacy
  • 1999-2000 President’s Publishing Award, for outstanding publications in the field of secondary literacy
  • 1999 Ann Martin Book Award, for outstanding service in the field of literacy education
  • 1999 Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA) Recognition for Outstanding Contribution to Literacy for Into Focus: Understanding and Creating Middle School Readers (Christopher-Gordon publishers, 1998)

Her books:

  • Reading Matters: Lessons that Create Readers (Heinemann, fall 2004)
  • All Together Now: Literacy Leaders Speak Out; editor (Heinemann, fall 2003)
  • When Kids Can’t Read-What Teachers Can Do, A Guide for Teachers grades 6-12. (Heinemann, ISBN: 0867095199)
  • Holt Literature and Language Arts: Grades 6-12; with Lee Odell (Holt, Rinehart and Winston)
  • Reading Strategies Handbook for High School (Holt, Rinehart and Winston)
  • Reading Strategies Handbook for Middle School (Holt, Rinehart and Winston)
  • Books for You: An Annotated Booklist for High School Students; co-edited with Teri Lesesne (National Council of Teachers of English, ISBN 0-8141-0372-3)
  • Into Focus: Understanding and Creating Middle School Readers; co-edited with Barbara G. Samuels (Christopher-Gordon Publishers, ISBN: 0926842641)
  • Your Reading: An Annotated Booklist for Middle School and Junior High Students; co-edited Barbara G. Samuels (National Council of Teachers of English, 1995-96 edition)
  • Lucy McCormick Calkins, Ph.D.
  • Founding Director, The Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, Columbia University
  • Professor of Education, Department of Curriculum and Teaching and Department of Languages, Literature and Social Studies, Teachers College, Columbia University
  • Consulting Editor, Learning Magazine
  • Reviewer, Heinemann Educational Books; Holt, Rinehart, and Winston; and HarperCollins
  • Consultant, The United Nations, Sesame Street, Hazen Foundation
  • Active member of the National Council of Teachers of English and several of its commissions, International Reading Association, National Conference on Research in English, and The Whole Language Umbrella

Lucy McCormick Calkins, Ph.D.

  • Founding Director, The Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, Columbia University
  • Professor of Education, Department of Curriculum and Teaching and Department of Languages, Literature and Social Studies, Teachers College, Columbia University
  • Consulting Editor, Learning Magazine
  • Reviewer, Heinemann Educational Books; Holt, Rinehart, and Winston; and HarperCollins
  • Consultant, The United Nations, Sesame Street, Hazen Foundation
  • Active member of the National Council of Teachers of English and several of its commissions, International Reading Association, National Conference on Research in English, and The Whole Language Umbrella

Recent honors:

  • Williams College 1993 Bicentennial Medal, honoring alumni for their significant achievements, as an “innovator and pioneer in the field of childhood reading instruction”
  • 1989 Education Administrators Association Leadership Award

Her books:

  • The Art of Teaching Reading (Allyn and Bacon, ISBN: 0321080599 [paperback])
  • A Teacher’s Guide to Standardized Reading Tests: Knowledge is Power; with Donna Santman and Kate Montgomery (Heinemann, ISBN: 032500000X)
  • Raising Lifelong Learners: A Parents’ Guide (Pearson Learning, ASIN: 0201127490)
  • The Art of Teaching Writing (Heinemann, ISBN: 0435088173)
  • A Writer’s Shelf: Literature in the Writing Workshop; with K. Bearden (HarperCollins Books, 1992)
  • Living Between the Lines; with Shelley Harwayne (Heinemann, ISBN: 0435085387 [paperback])
  • Lessons from a Child, (Heinemann, ISBN: 043508206X [paperback])
  • The Writing Workshop: A World of Difference; with Shelley Harwayne (Heinemann, ISBN: 043508450X)

Amy Benjamin

  • Chair of the English Department, Hendrick Hudson High School in Montrose, New York
  • Curriculum consultant who shares her innovative teaching ideas at workshops around the country

Recent honors:

  • Recognized by the New York State Council of English Teachers as a Teacher of Excellence

Her books:

  • Differentiated Instruction: A Guide for Middle and High School(Eye on Education, ISBN: ISBN: 193055639X)
  • An English Teacher’s Guide to Performance Tasks and Rubrics: High School (Eye on Education, ISBN: 1883001935)
  • Writing in the Content Areas (Eye on Education, ISBN: 1883001773)

Brock Haussamen

His books:

  • Revising the Rules: Traditional Grammar and Modern Linguistics(Kendall/Hunt, ISBN: 0840390327)
  • Grammar Alive! A Guide for Teachers; with Amy Benjamin, Martha Kolln, and Rebecca Wheeler (NCTE, ISBN: 0814118720)

Martha Kolln

  • Founding member of NCTE’s Assembly for the Teaching of English Grammar
  • Retired Associate professor, Pennsylvania State University’s English Department, teaching composition, grammar, and rhetoric for 22 years

Her books:

  • Understanding English Grammar, 6th edition; with Robert Funk (Pearson Longman, ISBN: 0205336221)
  • Rhetorical Grammar: Grammatical Choices, Rhetorical Effects, 4th Ed. (Pearson Longman, ISBN: 0321103386)
  • Exercises for Understanding English Grammar; with Robert Funk (Pearson Allyn and Bacon, ISBN: 0205336280)
  • Grammar Alive! A Guide for Teachers; with Amy Benjamin, Martha Kolln, and Rebecca Wheeler (NCTE, ISBN: 0814118720)

Rebecca Wheeler, Ph.D. 

  • Associate Professor in the Department of English and Teacher Education at Christopher Newport University, Newport News, Virginia
  • Pioneering work in “code switching” (using student vernacular to teach differences between informal and formal language and grammar)
  • Editor, Syntax in the Schools, the quarterly journal of the Assembly for the Teaching of English Grammar (ATEG), an assembly of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) (2000-2005)
  • Executive Committee, Assembly for the Teaching of English Grammar (ATEG), an assembly of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), (2000-ongoing).
  • Language Media on the Web Committee of the Linguistic Society of America (LSA), Chair (2002-2004).

Her books:

  • Grammar Alive! A Guide for Teachers; with Amy Benjamin, Martha Kolln, and Rebecca Wheeler (NCTE, ISBN: 0814118720)
  • Language Alive in the Classroom (Praeger, ISBN: 0275960560)
  • The Workings of Language: From Prescriptions to Perspectives(Praeger, ISBN: 0275962466)

 


Authors

Kevin Brooks

  • . . . “I think the only way you can really learn how to write is from reading.”A selected list of his writing:
  • Lucas: A Story of Love and Hate (Chicken House; 1st American Edition, 2003)
  • Martyn Pig (Chicken House; Reprint edition, April 1, 2003)

Rafael Jesús González

 . .” I grew up with two languages, and so I’m heir to two muses who speak different languages . . . Sometimes they get along with each other, and I never know which one is going to grant me her favors.”

His poems have appeared in:

  • In Praise of Fertile Land: An Anthology of Poetry, Parable, and Story edited by Claudia Mauro (Whit Press, 2003)
  • Mirrors Beneath the Earth: Short Fiction by Chicano Writers(Curbstone Press, 1992)
  • The Mid-American Review
  • Grrrrr: A Collection Of Poems About Bears (Arctos Press, January 10, 2000)
  • Our Mothers’ Spirits: On the Death of Mothers and the Grief of Men: An Anthology (HarperCollins, 1998)

Maxine Hong Kingston

. . .” I never made a decision to be a writer. It seems like the muse or writing itself chose me.”

A selected list of her writing:

  • Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts (Chivers North America, 1976)
  • China Men (Knopf, 1980)
  • The Fifth Book of Peace (Knopf, 2003)
  • To Be the Poet (Harvard University Press, 2002)
  • Tripmaster Monkey: His Fake Book (Vintage, reprint edition 1990)

Margo Jefferson

 . . “Those who write best about America take in all the implications of this fact: the brutalities, the traumas, the griefs; but those occasions for gentleness, too, and even respect.”

  • Cultural critic for The New York Times, writing columns for the Sunday Book Review and arts reviews for the daily Culture section
  • Awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1995 for her criticism
  • Has taught literature, popular culture, critical writing, and journalism at Columbia, The New School, and New York Universities
  • Her essays have appeared in O: The Oprah Magazine, Elle, Allure, The Village Voice Literary Supplement, Grand Street, and Harper’s.

Patrick Jennings

 . .” The thing I struggle with is getting my characters to do what I want them to do. The problem is that you develop a character and you start to breathe life into them, and then they get really pig-headed and they started acting like Frankenstein’s monster.”

A selected list if his writings:

  • Faith and the Electric Dogs (Scholastic, 1998)
  • Faith and the Rocket Cat (Scholastic, 1998)
  • The Beastly Arms (Scholastic, 2003)
  • The Wolving Time (Scholastic, 2003)

Ruthanne Lum McCunn

 . . I think writing is key to operating in one’s life. And I think it helps you to articulate your deepest heart feelings. And so-even if it’s not necessary for your job, even if it’s not necessary for you to get out of high school-I think it’s just necessary for one’s self.”

A selected list of her writing:

  • The Moon Pearl (Beacon Press, 2001)
  • Sole Survivor: A Story of Record Endurance at Sea (Beacon Press, 1999)
  • Thousand Pieces of Gold (Beacon Press; reissue 1989)
  • Wooden Fish Songs (Beacon Press, 2000)

Christopher Myers

 . .” [My advice] for young writers [is] to understand that good writing is about getting across what they’re trying to say. So often when people teach writing to young writers, they focus on what the buzz words are of good writing. Detail. Scene. Setting. Descriptions. Adjectives. And often times they forget that writing is, in essence, about communication. And I think that that is a hallmark of all the writing I love. It communicates a point or an idea.”

A selected list of his writing:

  • Wings (Scholastic, 2000)
  • Black Cat (Scholastic, 1999)
  • Fly! (Jump Sun, 2001)

A selected list of books he illustrated:

  • Blues Journey by Walter Dean Myers (Holiday House, 2003)
  • Harlem: A Poem by Walter Dean Myers (Scholastic, 1997)
  • Monster (HarperCollins, 2001)

Judith Ortiz Cofer

. . . ” Well, a question that people who don’t practice writing everyday ask me often is, “Where do you get your ideas?” It’s a funny question to me because I have many more ideas than I have years to live or time to write, you know.”

A selected list of her writing:

  • Woman in Front of the Sun: On Becoming A Writer (University of Georgia Press, 2000)
  • Sleeping With One Eye Open: Women Writers and the Art of Survival; edited with Marilyn Kallet (University of Georgia Press, 1999)
  • The Year of Our Revolution: Selected and New Prose and Poetry(Arte Publico Press, 1998)
  • An Island Like You: Stories of the Barrio (Penguin, U.S.A., 1998)
  • The Latin Deli (University of Georgia Press, 1993)
  • Silent Dancing: A Partial Remembrance of a Puerto Rican Childhood (Arte Publico Press, 1990)
  • The Line of the Sun (University of Georgia Press, 1989)
  • Reaching for the Mainland (Bilingual Review Press, 1987)
  • Reaching for the Mainland and Selected new Poems, new edition of 1987 book (Bilingual Review Press, 1995)
  • Terms of Survival (Arte Publico Press, 1987)
  • Peregrina (Riverstone Press, 1986)

Tracy Mack

. . .” The easiest part of writing is getting myself to do it. It’s something I love so passionately that, for me to have a morning or a day at my desk is the biggest treat I can think of. It’s me and my imagination and I can go anywhere. And I’m in control. You know, I have the ability to create a world of my own design.”

A selected list of her writing:

  • Drawing Lessons (Scholastic, 2000)
  • Birdland (Scholastic, 2003)

Amy Tan

“‘When I wrote these stories, it was as much a discovery to me as to any reader reading them for the first time,” she said. ”Things would surprise me. I would sit there laughing and I would say, ‘Oh, you’re kidding!’ It was like people telling me the stories, and I would write them down as fast as I could.”

A selected list of her writing:

  • The Opposite of Fate: A Book of Musings (Putnam, 2003)
  • The Bonesetter’s Daughter (Putnam, 2000)
  • The Hundred Secret Senses (Vintage Books, 1995)
  • The Chinese Siamese Cat (Simon & Schuster, 1994) Read an online version of this children’s story
  • Moon Lady (Aladdin Library, 1992)
  • The Kitchen God’s Wife (Ivy Books, 1992)
  • The Joy Luck Club (Putnam, 1989)

 


National Advisory Panel

Dale Allender

  • Associate Executive Director of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) and Director of NCTE West at UC-Berkeley
  • Chief Content Advisor for Developing Writers: A Workshop for High School Teachers
  • Publications include:
    • “Deep Reading: Building a Schematic Bridge Across World Mythology and Multicultural Literature,” Multicultural Review,
    • “African and African American Voices and Experiences,” Adventuring With Books,
    • Trends and Issues in the Teaching of Secondary English 1999,
    • Trends and Issues in the Teaching of Secondary English 2000, and
    • “Literary Guerillas, Canon Keepers, and Empire Institutions: A Black Teacher’s Narrative,” for Ishmael Reed’s KONCH Magazine.
  • Professionally active as:
    • content expert and curriculum development for a number of media projects, including The Expanding Canon, an eight-part professional development series on teaching mutlicultural literature in high school,
    • an editorial board member of The New Advocate,
    • Chair of the Alliance for Curriculum Reform, and
    • a board member for Arte Publico Press’s Rediscovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage High School Project for Cable in the Classroom.

Sheridan Blau, Ph.D.

  • Senior lecturer, Gervitz Graduate School of Education, University of California, Santa Barbara, teaching in both the English and graduate education departments
  • Founder and Director, South Coast Writing Project
  • Founder and Director, National Literature Project
  • Former president, National Council of Teachers of English
  • Most recent publication is The Literature Workshop: Teaching Texts and Their Readers (Heinemann, 2003)

Azalie Brown Hightower

  • Currently in her 30th year of teaching English, working with students at Calvin Coolidge Senior High school in Washington, D.C.
  • Serves as a cooperating teacher for preservice teachers from Howard, American, and George Washington Universities
  • Professionally active as a member of NCTE and the National Writing Project

Valerie Kinloch, Ph.D.

  • Assistant Professor in the English Education/Teaching of English Program at Teachers College, Columbia University
  • Published in Word, Journal of Advanced Composition, and Developmental Education, and Urban Literacy Monograph
  • Extensive experience teaching middle and high school students in writing and projects such as Upward Bound

Tennessee Reed

  • Published her first book of poetry at age 11; her fourth book of poetry is forthcoming
  • Currently a graduate student at Mills College, an independent liberal arts college in Oakland, California

Paula Simon

  • Coordinator of English and Reading, Secondary Programs for the Baltimore County Public Schools in Maryland since 1993
  • Fifteen years’ experience as a classroom teacher in both middle and high school
  • Former Specialist in Oral and Written Composition and Supervisor of English For Baltimore County Public Schools, Maryland.
  • Active member of NCTE

Victor Villanueva, Ph.D.

  • Chair of the English department at Washington State University
  • Selected publications include:
  • Bootstraps: From an American Academic of Color
  • Editor, Cross-Talk in Comp Theory: A Reader
  • Co-editor, Language Diversity in the Classroom: From Intention to Practice (Studies in Writing and Rhetoric)
  • “On the Rhetoric and Precedents of Racism,” Trends and Issues in Postsecondary English Studies (2000)
  • 1999 chair of the NCTE’s Conference on College Composition and Communication
  • 1994 winner of NCTE’s Richard A. Meade Award, given to given to recognize published research that investigates English/Language Arts teacher development

Support Materials

The support materials for Developing Writers: A Workshop for High School Teachers serve as a guide as you watch and talk about each workshop session. They also include suggestions for ways in which workshop principles and ideas can be applied in your classroom. All support materials are available as PDF files. You’ll need a copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader to read and/or print them. Acrobat Reader is available without charge from adobe.com.

Workshop Support Materials

Workshops