My Reflections – TCRWP Summer Writing Institute

From July 31-August 4, I had the pleasure of learning from Lucy Calkins and her staff developers at the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project during their Summer August Writing Institute.

Each day I got to sit and be inspired by a different Keynote Speaker.
Day One – Lucy!!!   I wrote about it HERE.
Day Two – Katherine Paterson; Day Three – Daniel Beaty; Day Four – Carmen Agra Deedy and then a bonus, Kwame Alexander was in NYC relasing his newest book. I wrote about all this HERE.

Each day I spend 2 hours in a small group advance section learning with Mary Ehrenworth who got me to generate LOTS of story ideas and take two of them through the writing process and share one at the publishing party on Friday. I wrote about it HERE.

Each day I also spend 2 hours in a small group advance section learning with Hannah Arlone who got me to understand the power of Mentor Text in writing workshop. I wrote about it HERE.

I feel so grateful to have had this week! I now am reading and rereading my Units of Study kit books, especially the Guide and the Pathways book with fresh eyes, ready to be as strong a cheerleader and coach as ever for my students as Lucy, Mary, and Hannah were for me. I’m motivated to stand on their shoulders and guide my students to be the best readers and writers they can be. Then, they will read and understand how to live and will write to change their world.

Thanks to TCRWP. You helped me make a plan for this upcoming year.
Specifically, I will work on these three things.

1. grow strong partnerships in my classroom, providing them with lots of talk time and helping all to realize that they need to be a strong partner because I can NOT be the only teacher in the room.

2. work to make my classroom library look more like a bookstore, enticing readers to pick books to read and then also use these books to mentor them as writers.

3. use Pathway progressions with students to help them set goals to grow their reading skills.

What are your 2017-18 goals as a teacher?

13 thoughts on “My Reflections – TCRWP Summer Writing Institute

  1. Mary Stallings says:




  2. Ms Victor Reads says:

    I (of course) read and loved your reflections all along! I enjoyed learning from your posts. I love your goals and will use a similar partner goal as it looks like there will be lots of differentiation needed this year. I am trying to focus on feedback that moves writers along, so this ties in nicely (reading McGhee now and excited to try out lots).


  3. Michelle Haseltine says:

    I have your posts about your time at TCRWP bookmarked to read. I have set some goals though after experiencing the homegrown institute. 1. Incorporate vocabulary instruction in a meaningful, authentic, and fun way!. 2. Make reading notebooks as important and fun as our writing notebooks are. Thanks for the reminder, friend!


    • sallydonnelly11 says:

      And thanks so reminding me about vocab! Maybe we can share the things we do.
      I know we are both doing to have a great year at our new schools!
      I still am so appreciative of the day you allowed me to spend with you.
      You inspired me to make the MS move. Thanks!!


  4. Laura Allen says:

    Love your post and all the links. I attended the institute too and need to go back over my notes and do what you did. Thanks for the motivation!


  5. maryannreilly says:

    Well you surely are productive ! I have no overt goals perhaps because I realized as I read your post that I don’t organize time via a school year calendar anymore or I may simply not be at a place that is alliws me to be as organized as you are. I do still want to paint as much as possible (daily if I can do it) and see my son situated at college. I also plan to finish a memoir this year for publication.

    I thought about the many ways that experience and community were/are foundational in the development of your goals. This seems far more important than any set of progress indicators when generating goals. I hope the students you teach benefit from the lived experience among community. Forge your own path and at the very least it is worthy of your foot prints.

    Best of luck as you open the school year.


    • sallydonnelly11 says:

      WOW! Finish a memoir, son and college and painting. Yourself, your family and writing, too! I like your goals.
      I also appreciate you naming the umbrella hovering over my goals – experience and community.
      Best of luck with your year, too!


    • sallydonnelly11 says:

      I was in Hannah’s class where she shared so many wonderful things from your Mentor Text book giving you credit!
      And in Mary’s group. So we never had lunch or keynote together. Bummer.
      So glad we both could have that week!! I’m feeling recharged and I got many stories started and 2 taken through the entire writing process.
      Have a great school year and I look forward to “seeing” you on Tuesdays and every day in March!!


  6. Maureen says:

    I have heard that this is a fabulous week! You got so much out of it – love all the different reflections that you wrote. I am going to share your blogpost with my colleagues, so they can learn as well. Thanks for sharing!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s