In light of the profound dialogue surrounding Ferguson, I wanted to redirect people’s attention to Walter Dean Myer’s essay, “Where are the People of Color in Children’s Books?" The essay was published this March, just four months before Myer’s passing.
Myers left a rich legacy of providing young people of color, especially urban youth, with stories and characters in which they could recognize themselves. Why is work like his important?
All too often, young students of color can find few stories that are resonant with their own experiences. Neither can young white students find narratives with perspectives different from their own. The level of identification lost when only one point of view is elevated is tragic. It’s even dangerous.
At the Weekly Writing Workshop, we believe in the importance of helping our students find their voices. Here’s what we are trying to do, and what you can do, too.
1. Read books with perspectives different from your own, and encourage others to do the same. Our series of handwritten book reviews might be a good place for students to start. Just check out the posts tagged with #what we’re reading.
2. Ask for more diverse representation in books. #weneeddiversebooks is a great hashtag to follow. 
3. Teach students how to write from their own experiences.What we often see in our weekly writing class is that our students (mostly Latino) write in a default white voice, because that’s the only voice they’re regularly exposed to. We teach students how to write creative essays from their own experience, and encourage students to write stories that could happen in their own neighborhoods, too.
As some of you may know, the Weekly Writing Workshop (3W) is releasing its first ever anthology of student writing on Monday, August 25. A big reason why we’re doing this is because we want to show our students that their voices matter. We hope you do, too! If you want to read their work, like, follow, or reblog us, and we’ll send you a digital copy when the anthology is released.
If you are a college student, and you’re interested in taking an active role to promote young voices in writing, we encourage you to consider starting a chapter of the Weekly Writing Workshop. Our applications are released on the same day as the anthology—this Monday. By starting a chapter of 3W, you’ll receive training on how to start a creative writing program for grade-school students from under-resourced backgrounds. It’s a great opportunity to learn more about the communities around you, and to be part of developing a new generation of young writers.
Cheers!

In light of the profound dialogue surrounding Ferguson, I wanted to redirect people’s attention to Walter Dean Myer’s essay, “Where are the People of Color in Children’s Books?" The essay was published this March, just four months before Myer’s passing.

Myers left a rich legacy of providing young people of color, especially urban youth, with stories and characters in which they could recognize themselves. Why is work like his important?

All too often, young students of color can find few stories that are resonant with their own experiences. Neither can young white students find narratives with perspectives different from their own. The level of identification lost when only one point of view is elevated is tragic. It’s even dangerous.

At the Weekly Writing Workshop, we believe in the importance of helping our students find their voices. Here’s what we are trying to do, and what you can do, too.

1. Read books with perspectives different from your own, and encourage others to do the same. Our series of handwritten book reviews might be a good place for students to start. Just check out the posts tagged with #what we’re reading.

2. Ask for more diverse representation in books. #weneeddiversebooks is a great hashtag to follow

3. Teach students how to write from their own experiences.
What we often see in our weekly writing class is that our students (mostly Latino) write in a default white voice, because that’s the only voice they’re regularly exposed to. We teach students how to write creative essays from their own experience, and encourage students to write stories that could happen in their own neighborhoods, too.

As some of you may know, the Weekly Writing Workshop (3W) is releasing its first ever anthology of student writing on Monday, August 25. A big reason why we’re doing this is because we want to show our students that their voices matter. We hope you do, too! If you want to read their work, like, follow, or reblog us, and we’ll send you a digital copy when the anthology is released.

If you are a college student, and you’re interested in taking an active role to promote young voices in writing, we encourage you to consider starting a chapter of the Weekly Writing Workshop. Our applications are released on the same day as the anthology—this Monday. By starting a chapter of 3W, you’ll receive training on how to start a creative writing program for grade-school students from under-resourced backgrounds. It’s a great opportunity to learn more about the communities around you, and to be part of developing a new generation of young writers.

Cheers!

The cover of our beautiful anthology, coming out this Monday (August 25)! Here’s an old blog post where you can read a student story (about an alien!) and check out one of the illustrations that will be included.
If you’d like a digital copy when the anthology is released, simply like us, follow us on Tumblr or Twitter, or reblog/share any of our stuff! We think you’ll enjoy it very much. :)

The cover of our beautiful anthology, coming out this Monday (August 25)! Here’s an old blog post where you can read a student story (about an alien!) and check out one of the illustrations that will be included.

If you’d like a digital copy when the anthology is released, simply like us, follow us on Tumblr or Twitter, or reblog/share any of our stuff! We think you’ll enjoy it very much. :)

TL;DR? Albert Chang made us this spiffy info video, and on Monday, August 25, we’re launching our application process for college students to start their own Weekly Writing Workshop chapter AND releasing our professionally illustrated anthology of student writing! Like us, follow us, or reblog to get a digital copy.

Want to learn more about what we do at the Weekly Writing Workshop? This video, made by the incredibly talented Albert Chang, will give you a little taste of what we do and how we got started.

Guess what? You, too, can be part of 3W! We are launching our application process for current college students on August 25, which will give you and your team the opportunity to start your own creative writing class for students from under-resourced communities.

Joining the 3W network is valuable in many ways—the opportunity to collaborate nationally gives us access to opportunities and resources that we couldn’t otherwise achieve. We’re passionate about working together with others to elevate our students’ voices.

With that in mind, we will be releasing our national anthology of student writing, also on Monday, August 25! This is a project that has been in motion for a long time. With illustrations from over 30 artists, articles from 3W Chapter Coordinators and, of course, writing by our 4th-9th grade students, we expect it to be an absolute pleasure to read.

If you’d like a digital copy on or after the release date, just like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or follow us here on Tumblr! You could also alternatively share any of our stuff.

More posts and sneak peeks will be coming this week! Do enjoy.

One Simple Way to Write Better Lessons

My lesson plan template is pretty standard: materials, agenda, objective, proving behavior, purpose, and the actual description of what I’m doing during the lesson. But recently I learned a (probably old) trick that has helped me make my lesson plans much stronger.

That trick is to include a column describing what students are doing during the lesson. I tend to get wrapped up in my own head when I’m teaching, so having this column to show student engagement forces me to see the proportion of my actions to their actions. I realized that I talk way too much and don’t always give students a chance to digest and do something with that new skill or piece of knowledge. 

Here’s to lessons that engage students! 

(Note: For 3W classes, add a column for what mentors are doing too. You’ve got volunteers, so make them useful!)

What We’re Reading | Serafina’s Promise by Ann E. Burg | Grade Level: 5 & up
Here at the Weekly Writing Workshop, we love to encourage our students to read. Our weekly Wednesday post What We’re Reading highlights a recommended YA book with diverse representation.

What We’re Reading | Serafina’s Promise by Ann E. Burg | Grade Level: 5 & up

Here at the Weekly Writing Workshop, we love to encourage our students to read. Our weekly Wednesday post What We’re Reading highlights a recommended YA book with diverse representation.

Exercise the writing muscle every day, even if it is only a letter, notes, a title list, a character sketch, a journal entry. Writers are like dancers, like athletes. Without that exercise, the muscles seize up.

Jane Yolen (via maxkirin)

If this is the case I guess I do write every day, I’m always writing long emails (for work or to friends) or jotting down thoughts or bits of stories or editing or writing posts on here. Why do we beat ourselves up for doing anything but writing new words of a story?

(via yeahwriters)

(via yeahwriters)