Sunday, April 30, 2017

May Flowers 
A Spring of Opportunities

WritEL grant opportunity

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College-Ready Writers Program: Spots Still Available

  • Do you have an interest in  argumentative writing? 
  • Have you taught grades 4-12?
  • Join us for an Advanced Institute PD this summer!

The CRWP curriculum has the unique feature of supporting students in arguing from source-material using "text-sets."  Most teaching models of argumentation skip this crucial stage of gathering and integrating data into an argument. This model carries students one step closer to college writing by providing “text-sets” with methods
of incorporating them in argument.

The Program had two years of national field testing and a year of piloting at other NWP sites, including the Eastern Michigan Writing Project in 2016-17. The current phase is known as the "Investing in Innovation (I-3) Scale-up" to expand the curriculum to Grades 4-10. This increases our need for upper-elementary and middle school teachers in this cohort.

The Advanced Institute will consist of three days of orientation/ curriculum development during the summer, and implementation with your students in the Fall/ Winter of 2017-18, while meeting four times during the school year to share student writing and plan formative adjustments to your curriculum.  You would receive approximately $600 as an honorarium for completing the program. 

The ideal participant teaches in a high needs school, defined as a school with 50% of its students eligible for free or reduced lunch (FRPL), but we can accept other teachers up to one-third of the institute membership. If you participate, we will ask you to determine what percentage of students in your school qualify for Free or Reduced lunch. This data is compiled at

If you would like to participate, return the attached application to Bill Tucker and Sarah Lorenz. The dates for all meetings will be determined by consensus as much as possible, probably in early August.  Decisions about the membership of this cohort will be made within the next month. 

You can learn more about the College-Ready Writers Program at 

Complete and send the application to Bill Tucker or Sarah Lorenz. 
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Inkstains Summer Writing Camp for Middle and High School Students

By Aimee Grant

Warm weather is finally here, and that means that preparations for summer are underway. As you stock up on sunscreen and make final choices about which lake you’ll head to for your vacation, please take a moment to share brochures for Inkstains Summer Writing Camp with your middle and high school students.

The middle school camp will meet July 10 - 14, and the high school camp is July 17 – 21. Both camps are held at Eastern’s beautiful Student Center, and students get to spend a week surrounded by other like-minded writers. Campers go on a writing marathon, contribute to a camp blog, try out a fun assortment of creative writing activities, and culminate the week with a reading of their best piece published in the camp anthology.
Applications require a writing sample, often something students produce in class, as well as a short teacher letter of recommendation, so be sure to spread the news well before the June 19 deadline. Find all the details here:

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Social Justice & Poetry

by Shannon McLeod Mound

April is poetry month! I created these lessons for my twelfth grade English students, who attend a technical high school to study auto mechanics, IT, and other career-focused skills. This population is mostly made up of students who say they “hate reading” and are reluctant to write as well. Poetry is not something they’re typically enthusiastic about. I’ve tried to make poetry more relevant to my students by having them research social justice issues that are important to them and make those issues the focus of their original poems. The goal is to introduce poetry with lessons that first expose students to poetry that addresses social issues, then engage students in writing poems that reflect upon their chosen social issues.

Following the Process:

EXPOSURE: Students will define “performance poetry” and “social activism.” Then, they will listen to and read four poems: “Counting Graves” by the Steinmetz High School Slam Poetry Team, “OCD” by Nate Hilborn, “Advice to Rihanna” by Mahogany L. Browne, and “Arroz Poetica” by Arecelis Girmay. After they listen to/read each poem, they will write responses to questions about each poem’s topic, purpose, and success in a graphic organizer. We will discuss each poem and students’ responses as a class. I chose poems that dealt with a mix of both societal and interpersonal issues. Last year, students had mixed reactions, which inspired some interesting dialogue. I saved Girmay’s piece for last because it is the most challenging for students.( They tend to dislike the poems they struggle to understand.)

ENGAGEMENT: students will journal about whether they think writing can promote social justice. Then, they will read “Flint,” a poem about the water crisis by Flint youth poetry group Raise it Up! We discuss the poem, using close-reading strategies. Afterwards, students research social issues of interest and choose an article to read and annotate. This article will provide them with insight and inspiration for their first original poem. A very simple prompt with few stylistic restrictions would not be too intimidating for the class population. Students simply begin with the phrase, “It’s not right…” They can use this phrase for repetition throughout, or simply as a starter for their first line of the poem. For their second original poem, I have students focus on a more personal social issue and write a poem that uses the phrase, “The thing you don’t know about __________.” Prior years I had a few students write poems on police brutality, while another student wrote, “The thing you don’t know about football players.” These prompts allow students to engage in a wide range of topics. With assistance, students revise poems and then they each choose one of their pieces to perform for the class.

Steinmetz High School Slam Poetry Team, “Counting Graves”

Nate Hilborn,

Mahogany L. Browne,
“Advice to Rihanna”
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EMWP's WritEL Grant Recruiting Teachers for Cohort II: Please Help!

The WritEL Grant, a collaboration between EMWP and EMU's Department of World Languages, is recruiting teachers for Cohort II, which begins in August 2017. The grant provides a 40% scholarship for teachers pursing an ESL endorsement via a graduate certificate or MA in TESOL. EL paraprofessionals can also get assistance for a minor in TESOL if they are pursuing a teaching certificate. Please consider joining the WritEL ranks or sharing information with those who may be interested. Some classes will be offered "NWP style," and others online or at EMU's Livonia location. 

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Thursday, February 2, 2017

Midwinter Updates

Welcome back to the eMUSE eZine

Check out the upcoming events in the calendar at the right and the articles below!

Calendar of Upcoming Events
Classroom Research in the Teaching of Literacy K-12
WritEL Grant Launches!
Disciplinary Literacies Showcase
Upcoming Inkstains Summer Camp 
EMWP Summer Institute: Initiatives in Writing

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Launching Our Community

by  Geneva (Marsack) Korytkowski

Last year, was launched as the main site for all EMWP happenings, focusing on parents, administrators, and potential teacher consultants as the audience. There was an EMWP Teacher Consultant Community page which remained unused but had untapped potential. This past semester, the community page has been revised to focus on the current teacher consultants of the EMWP.

Teacher consultants will find pictures of events (perfect for your personal and professional use), archived summer institute websites, the EMWP blog that will launch at the end of the month, professional opportunities (job postings and education), fellow TC blogs, opportunities for teachers to continue being writers, the professional library catalogue, and more.

We hope to involve more of you in building the community site, especially when it comes to writing. The blog that will launch at the end of the month would feature at least one TC’s post which could be a reposting from your own blog. If interested, please contact Geneva at or

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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Everyday Advocacy

An Eastern Michigan Writing Project Summer Institute
                                    June 27 -29, 2017       9am – 3pm each day
Eastern Michigan University Campus, Ypsilanti, MI

Sadly, the ongoing conversation about school reform too often leaves out the voices of teachers—those who are most intimately acquainted with the day-to-day issues that impact students and their learning. We believe that these voices are essential ones for policy makers to hear, but we recognize as well the pressures on teachers to remain silent.

How can teachers safely enter the conversation?  In this workshop, we’ll help you become part of that conversation as you learn how to develop your personal stories into a public narrative, starting from anecdotes and building toward an action plan.  By the end of day 3, you should have an action plan to take back to your classroom and school.

The workshop is facilitated by Dr. Cathy Fleischer, EMWP co-director, author of Teachers Organizing for Change, and lead developer for the Everyday Advocacy website.

Who can apply? To apply, please fill out the online form (link below) by May 1, 2017.  If more than 25 apply, teachers will be selected based on three criteria: (1) commitment to the topic; (2) school and subject area representation (i.e., diversity in grade level; school location; school size, etc.); and (3) connection to the NWP network.

Is there a cost?  $75 for the three days.  Payment is due on the first day of the Institute.

Further questions? Contact Cathy at

Registration link:  Read more!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

2017 Calendar of Upcoming Events! Get the details!

February 11, 2017 -   Disciplinary Literacies Showcase:  How to Really Prepare

Students for College and Career Writing Student Center, 9 am – 2 pm.
Join colleagues from across the disciplines and subject areas at both the secondary and college level to talk about writing—and about how we can help our students make smooth transitions across the grade levels and into the workplace.  Please register for the event here.

March 25, 2017 – Literacy for All – Classroom Research from the Teachers of the EMWP.
Student Center, Third Floor, 8:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. The teacher consultants of the Eastern Michigan Writing Project have a 20-year tradition of conducting research in their own classrooms. They will share findings of literacy research in their classrooms during the 2016-2017 school year.  To register go to: 31301480571

June 27, 28, 29 -  Everyday Advocacy: Student Center, 300. 9- 3 p.m.
In this workshop, we’ll help you become part of the conversation about school reform as you learn how to develop your personal stories into a public narrative, starting from anecdotes and building toward an action plan.  By the end of day 3, you should have an action plan to take back to your classroom and school. The workshop is facilitated by Dr. Cathy Fleischer, EMWP co-director, author of Teachers Organizing for Change, and lead developer for the Everyday Advocacy website. To apply, please fill out the online form by May 1, 2017

July 12-28 – EMWP Summer Institute: Initiatives in Writing – Student Center 320,
8:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m.daily.  Over two weeks of daily meetings and three fall meetings, this course addresses the three crucial roles of K-college teachers: the writer, the researcher, the literacy leader. 3 grad credits or 75 SCECH’s. Find the pre-registration at:

Or call 734-487-0997 (weekdays after 4:00 p.m.)
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EMWP Summer Institute: Initiatives in Writing

by Bill Tucker, Director

What’s new to the 2017 Summer Institute?

·         It starts the day after Nerdcamp
·         It will be led by teacher consultants: Angela Knight and Kris Gedeon
·         It will be supported by EMWP Director Bill Tucker
·         It will require continuity meetings to qualify for credit or SCECH’s

What’s familiar in the 2017 Summer Institute?

·         It emphasizes writing, research, and leadership
·         It invites teachers of all subjects and levels, K-16
·         It invites returning teachers from previous summer institutes
·         It takes place in the familiar confines of the Student Center

A primary goal of the grant that funds our summer institutes is developing teacher leaders, so we are planning to make the EMWP more and more teacher-driven. If you’re looking for a leadership role or have ideas for expanding our reach, you should come with those ideas and prepare to step forward to help us achieve them.

If you just want to grow in depth and versatility as a teacher and writer, that’s fine, too. Rejuvenation is essential to leadership.

Application consists of pre-registration then final registration. Pre-register by submitting the attached, familiar application. This will set up a priority list for registration: first come, first served.

After March 1 we will invite the first 15 pre-registered to register officially with Extended Programs. You will be billed $550, but the National Writing Project will provide a $400 scholarship. This may be a reimbursement, but I am working to get you the $400 up front. It’s all in the bureaucracy.

We are excited to see what else will be new this summer. While we try to preserve the best of the summer institute, we also know that growth means change. Come grow with us!

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Classroom Research in the Teaching of Literacy K-college

by Bill Tucker

Our first local showcase of teacher research will be presented in the Student Center, March 25 from 8:45 a.m. to noon. This is our only Literacy for Life offering in 2016-17.

The EMWP has a 20-year tradition of classroom research. It began during the summer institute of 1997 when half of the teachers in the Institute proposed that we begin a teacher research group. Cathy Fleischer did not have to be asked twice.  She has held group meetings in her house monthly since that illustrious day.

This occasion will feature teachers from the summer institute of 2016, as well as experienced teacher researchers and, hopefully, teachers who are developing argumentative writers as part of the College-Ready Writers Program that began last summer.  Continental Breakfast will be served at 8:45 a.m. followed by an introduction and two sessions of research presentations.

Teacher Research should be celebrated, and with strong participation, we might make this conference an annual event. There is no charge, but please register at 31301480571 so we know how many to expect.


Literacy for Life Schedule

Classroom Research in the Teaching of Literacy K-college

Location: Eastern Michigan University,
Student Center 300, 301, 310A SC 310B, 330 Mtg ; 350 MCL; 352 Mtg Room.
Park in Student Center Lot
Date: March 25, 2017 Time: 8:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
SCECH’s available
8:45 a.m. Registration and Continental Breakfast
9:00 a.m. Welcome and Introduction
9:15 a.m. Session I
10:30 a.m. Session II
11:45 a.m. Wrap-up: Learn more about teacher research.

The teacher consultants of the Eastern Michigan Writing Project have a 20-year tradition of conducting research in their own classrooms.

Teachers (K-college) will share findings of literacy research in their classrooms during the 2016-2017 school year.

No charge for participation.

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WritEL Grant Launches! Please Help Recruit!

by Sarah Lorenz

The WritEL grant has launched! This collaboration between the World Languages Department and EMWP is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education. If you missed all the details earlier in the year, see the announcement below. Cohort I is underway with twelve teachers, but we are ramping up for a much larger group in Cohort II. We are hoping to recruit up to 120 teachers to be randomly assigned to either an August 2017 start or an August 2018 start (with data collection during ’17-18). Please consider joining us and spread the word to teachers and paraprofessionals far and wide.

The U.S. Department of Education has awarded Eastern Michigan University a grant to increase the number of ESL-credentialed teachers in Michigan and study effective professional development for teachers of English learners. The WritEL grant will recruit teachers and paraprofessionals who currently work with English learners who wish to pursue an undergraduate minor, endorsement, or Master of Arts in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). Teachers will be eligible for a scholarship of approximately 40% of their academic program in these areas. They will be involved in a research study of professional development that will examine the effectiveness of strategies for improving argument writing with English learners, as well as pursuing their program of study. The initiative intends to enroll 300 teachers over the program period. The partnering agency is the Washtenaw Intermediate School District and will recruit teachers from all over southeastern Michigan. All teachers and paraprofessionals in the region are invited to apply. The grant is renewable for up to five years, with total funding of over 2.6 million dollars.

WritEL is a collaboration between the Department of World Languages and the Eastern Michigan Writing Project. Dr. Zuzana Tomas is the Principal Investigator and Dr. William Tucker the Assistant Principal Investigator. Sarah Lorenz, Director of Professional Development at EMWP, is the Project Director. Kim Pavlock, EMWP Family Literacy Programming Director, will oversee family writing series at ten partnering schools each year. A community outreach coordinator and two instructional coaches will be hired to assist with program implementation. EMU preservice teachers will be involved with service learning/tutoring in after-school and community programs in Ypsilanti, funded by the grant. EMU’s Dr. Shawn Quilter will conduct the program evaluation, which is a quasi-experimental design. The National Writing Project’s national office at the University of California, Berkeley, has been commissioned to conduct the assessment of student writing.

K-12 teachers and paraprofessionals of all subjects who are/will be working with two or more English learners are eligible to apply, and should anticipate involvement for 2-3 years, or possibly longer, depending on their chosen pace of program completion. Cohorts will begin in January 2017, August 2017, August 2018, August 2019, and August 2020 (final year will be a condensed program). For more information or to apply as a participant, contact Sarah Lorenz, Project Director, at

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Disciplinary Literacies Showcase

by Cathy Fleischer

There’s still time to register for this year’s Disciplinary Literacies Showcase: How to Really Prepare Students for College and Career Writing:  February 11 (Saturday), 9 am – 2 pm at the EMU Student Center.

Join colleagues from across the disciplines and subject areas at both the secondary and college level to talk about writing—and about how we can help our students make smooth transitions across the grade levels and into the workplace

Our day will include:
  •           An introduction to the research base and practical strategies underlying a Disciplinary Literacies approach to writing and writing instruction
  •           Workshops led by EMU faculty and area secondary teachers on approaches to writing in a variety of disciplines
  •           Content-area discussions between university faculty and secondary teachers
  •          Panel discussions with

o   University students sharing anecdotes of their transition from high school to college writing and how teachers can help those transitions
o   Workplace representatives from a variety of fields sharing how professionals in their area write and how we can all better prepare students for the writing they will do in their careers

Please register for the event here.

This workshop is free to all participants.  Please contact Cathy Fleischer ( if you have any questions.

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Inkstains Summer Writing Camp

by Aimee Grant

While teachers everywhere are busy wrapping up the semester and getting ready for the second half of the school year, many parents are already making plans and provisions for summer vacation. If your child or student loves creative writing, you’ll want to pencil in a week at Inkstains Summer Writing Camp. The middle school camp will meet July 10 - 14, 2017, and the high school camp will meet July 17 - 21, 2016.
At Inkstains, campers spend the week exploring creative writing genres, participating in a writing marathon, blogging and engaging in digital communication with fellow campers, and making yearlong, like-minded friends. The camp concludes with a published anthology of writing and a writer’s reception where every camper gets to read her or his piece for an audience of campers, friends, and family.

Find more information, along with a registration brochure, at or find us on Facebook at

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Sunday, October 30, 2016


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