Here’s a glimpse of some of the teaching and writing fun at CWC.
Ms. Elena’s strategically broke stories down into their component parts, modeling moves for writers to try. At a small cue, her class bellowed “whowhatwhenwherewhy!” She smiled and strode around the room, reading through stories and carefully asking one of these crucial Ws when she felt that the author wasn’t addressing it.
Posters on the wall were guides for how to get at these issues, and students provided each other with suggestions for filling those missing pieces. Ms. Elena focused on revision for an entire day, offering multiple strategies.
Ms. Sisco’s class is filled with music and light. She uses Kahoot (an online quiz tool) to help the kids learn facts about some of the most famous authors who ever put an English word to the page. William Butler Yeats, William Wordsworth, and (of course) William Shakespeare all make guest appearances in her class. Students talk about their poetry, their works, and their lives. Ms. Sisco knows that reading well is vital to writing well, and so students do extremely close readings as they design their own projects. These students are reading over the shoulders of giants and writing down what they learn.
Ms. Brennan’s students clustered close around a table filled with curios. She handed them out like an old merchant hocking her wares, instructing her class to closely examine each object. She picked up an old silver teapot and listed how it treated four of her five senses (since she didn’t want to lick it). She helped her students craft detailed sentences that painted a picture in their reader’s mind. Description is a vital part of writing, and Ms. Brennan’s students increased their expertise this week.
There were friendly farewells after sharing writing on Friday.