The monthly newsletter of the National Writing Project
at Kent State University
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October 2016
ALI Ripples Outward:
An Awesome Leadership Project

by Tammy Anfang


My participation in the NWP-KSU Advanced Leadership Institute (ALI) last school year was such a gift!  A gift that keeps on giving!  My leadership project and the shared demo lessons of fellow TC’s continue to fuel my growth as a teacher-leader and to foster my enthusiasm after 23 years of teaching.  After a successful professional book study with my colleagues at Crestwood Middle School, my leadership project continues to flourish this year with increasing support from my principal. For my project we read Notice & Note: Strategies for Close Reading  and Reading Nonfiction: Notice & Note Stances, Signposts, and Strategies, both written by Kylene Beers and Robert E. Probst, with the goals to create a common vocabulary across the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade language arts classes using the terminology from the book. My principal Julie Schmidt purchased the books not covered by my ALI stipend and provided valuable time on Waiver Day for our book club to meet. I wrote an NWP mini-grant to purchase and preview several books suggested in my ALI, and my principal once again purchased copies of several professional books for our growing book study group.

     My principal also helped me financially to purchase The Book of Awesome by Neil Pasricha.

    Click here to learn how Tammy developed a unit using The Book of Awesome, based on a demo by TC Cindy Schnellbach, and also applied for and received a grant to implement the unit in her classroom.
Mahoning Valley Book Club
Time: 6 to 8:30 p.m.
Place: Stonebridge Grill & Tavern (next to Handel's) on Rt. 224,
1497 Boardman-Canfield Rd.

Monday, October 10: Counting by 7s
by Holly Goldberg Sloan

"Willow Chance is a 12-year-old genius, obsessed with nature and diagnosing medical conditions, who finds it comforting to count by 7s. It has never been easy for her to connect with anyone other than her adoptive parents, but that hasn’t kept her from leading a quietly happy life . . . until now. Suddenly Willow’s world is tragically changed when her parents both die in a car crash, leaving her alone in a baffling world. The triumph of this book is that it is not a tragedy. This extraordinarily odd, but extraordinarily endearing, girl manages to push through her grief. Her journey to find a fascinatingly diverse and fully believable surrogate family is a joy and a revelation to read." ~

We also will finish any discussion from our September book, For a Little While by Rick Bass.

Monday, November 7: Because We Say So by Noam Chomsky

Monday, December 5: Towers Falling by Jewell Parker Rhodes

Monday, January 9, 2017: Bring your ideas to the next three meetings!

Riverside Book Club

Wednesday, November 9
Time: 6:15 p.m.
Location: TBD
Book Pick: America's First Daughter
by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie
    "In a compelling, richly researched novel that draws from thousands of letters and original sources, bestselling authors Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie tell the fascinating, untold story of Thomas Jefferson's eldest daughter, Martha "Patsy" Jefferson Randolph--a woman who kept the secrets of our most enigmatic founding father and shaped an American legacy." ~

Send an email to if you would like help getting a book club started in your area.
Write Like This
     I’ve had Write Like This by Kelly Gallagher for years.  This was a book I used and would search for specific strategies. (The “radar” strategy was one that seemed to be referenced often.) However, this summer, while attending the NWP-KSU Invitational Summer Institute, this was my research group book. I’m so thankful.
     This book is real.  Almost too real.  There were so many times our group said...there’s so much!! It was overwhelming in a really good way.
     I feel like Kelly Gallagher has a pulse on education. He gives real examples, with real strategies. “The teachers should model by writing —- and think out loud while writing — in front of the class” (Gallagher 15). Gallagher believes that teachers should be writers with the students.
     All ideas are practical and very well explained.  I would recommend this book to all high school ELA teachers.  Many of the strategies are also appropriate for grades as low as sixth grade.

~ Nicole Mathias

National Writing Project and KQED Host
"Letters to the Next President 2.0"
     While candidates and media concentrate on issues that matter to voters in this election season, teachers and students in our nation’s schools will be concentrating on issues that matter to the next generation of voters. How can they have a voice? How can we support the mission of schools to engage youth as productive and active citizens?
    Letters to the Next President 2.0 (L2P 2.0) — hosted by the National Writing Project and KQED — is an initiative that empowers young people (13–18) to voice their opinions and ideas on the issues that matter to them in the 2016 presidential election. The focal point of the program is a massive, open online publishing platform where any educator or youth mentor gives their students a safe place to voice their opinions about key election issues that they believe the next president — whoever he or she may be — needs to address. The site also offers a dynamic repository of resources, ideas, how-to’s, and other helpful information for educators to make the L2P 2.0 project engaging and powerful for their students.
     L2P 2.0 is being built by teachers for teachers and students, but you can help the organization reach as many youth as possible so that their voices can be heard. Sign up for resources and opportunities.
Copyright © 2016 NWP-KSU, All rights reserved.

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Room 404 White Hall
Department of Teaching, Leadership, and Curriculum Studies

Kent State University
Kent, Ohio  44242

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Kent State University National Writing Project · Room 404 White Hall · Kent State University · Kent, OH 44242 · USA

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