Monday, February 16, 2009


What do you call a 14 day writing symposium for 10th graders? Write-a-Palooza of course! Our own Lee Corey's students came up with the moniker for the event we just concluded at school.

Tenth graders were pulled out of their English classes and sent to a writing classroom for 3 school weeks. Students were scheduled into a writing room based on need and writing test scores. Lead teachers met Saturdays and early mornings to collaborate on curriculum which we then implemented with co-teachers in each of the seven Write-a-Palooza rooms. We had 14 days. 700 minutes.

We started on Inauguration Day and used the event as a springboard to writing. I posted our first day's plans to Scribd (below).

What worked?
  • Meeting and building a writing community with new students mid-year
  • Writing with students nearly every day for 14 days
  • Collaborating with colleagues before, during and after instruction
  • Teaching the D.R.A.P.E.S. strategy and essay planning across the board

What issues were a challenge?
  • attendance
  • substitute teachers
  • students returning from in school suspension or extended absences
Those are just a few things from my own Writer's Notebook. The team is meeting tomorrow to debrief and reflect. I am looking forward to hear what my colleagues have to say.

1 Day