Moments from Sept. 30 Saturday Seminar

Warming Up for Writing

Teacher consultant and instructional coach, Jane Gilmore, coordinates the warm up writing activities, led by student teachers for students while the teachers preview the day’s lesson.  Today’s activity, ” Rainbow Storytelling Poker. ” got students thinking about essential elements of story in a way that was kinesthetic, fun, and challenging.

Jane Gilmore talking with SJAWP Director, Jonathan Lovell

There was quite a buzz in the room as students got started. 

Jane was surprised and pleased that some of the students began collaborating on the oral stories rather than stay with their own deck.

Teacher Previews


SJAWP is proud to share that seminars for K-2 teachers have returned to Saturdays.  Jennifer Kim is a lively teacher consultant who brings an abundance of ideas, strategies and fun to the writing classroom.


Alexis Doucette expertly models the process for developing small moment narratives around the biographical memories associated with place, namely mapping one’s neighborhood.

Middle and High School

Visiting author and teacher, Margaret McMullen, co-led the preview for teachers with Kate Flowers.  Kate is an associate director of SJAWP, teaches at Santa Clara High, and studied with Margaret McMullen for her MFA.

Middle and High School Teachers and Students in Margaret McMullan’s Presentation


Margaret’s presentation included time to do thoughtful writing, of course.  Teachers and students wrote responses to read aloud account and then a photograph of one of the sit-ins for civil rights at the Woolworth’s lunch counter in Greensboro North Carolina, 1960.

After reading and discussing the poem, My Mother Washes Her Feet in the Sink of the Bathroom at Sears, Margaret set the group up to do an observation.  Just view a scene and report, report, report.  At the end use one I-statement to lend the significance.

Participants read Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy’s Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota then went outside for ten minutes to write.

Returning to the auditorium some students read their descriptions ending with a surprising I-statement.

Elementary Presentation:  Mapping My Hood



Parents Wrote and Talked, Too

Student Admin Assistants Coordinated

Reserve your space in the next Saturday Seminar, October 21st

TEACHERS Register Online


STUDENTS: Register Online

San Jose Area Writing Project

The SJAWP is a California Subject Matter Project, an affiliate of the National Writing Project and the California Writing Project. We are a non-profit organization of, by, and for teachers dedicated to improving the teaching and uses of writing at all grade levels (K-16) and in all disciplines.






Super Saturdays are for students and teachers


One compelling reason to come to the Saturday Seminars is to see your writing friends

Reconnect with peers from Writing Workshop, Creative Writing Camp, or the Teen Writing Institute. There are opportunities in Saturday Seminars to collaborate and socialize.

Save the dates for Fall 2019

September 28, 2019 – October 19, 2019 – November 16, 2019

For further information visit