2018 ISI – Week 1 Recap

April 26 & 28, June 9, 2018

The Kennesaw Mountain Writing Project’s Summer Institute started off strong during their first few meetings on April 26th, April 28th, and June 9th. Past and present fellows, directors, and guest speakers alike got to know one another and explored what was to come in the next two weeks.

The first meeting began with getting to know one another through “Random Autobiographies.”  Fellows were challenged to write as many “I remember” statements as they could in 5-7 minutes.  They then created 6 word descriptions of themselves based on these statements.  Sharing these 6 word statements allowed the fellows to make connections and get to know one another in a unique and challenging way.  The meeting was concluded with a look at the handbook and a preview of the presentations they were about to experience from the previous Summer Institute fellows.

On April 28th, the past and present fellows met over breakfast to share some advice and stories from their institute experience.  The day was then broken into three sets of sessions where previous Summer Institute fellows presented their teaching demonstrations.  Some of the presentations included topics on podcasting, empowering students with communication disorders, poetry as rebellion, narrative writing using table top games, and self-care for teachers.  These sessions allowed previous and current fellows to explore various topics in Reading and Writing education while also giving the next set of fellows a concrete example of the work they will be diving in to over the next year.  The day ended with a debrief session where all fellows provided the directors with feedback on the new conference style of teaching demonstration presentation.

The June 9th meeting saw an engaging start to our Summer Institute work.  Fellows began their day learning each others’ names and then setting up their writing composition notebooks.  The fellows listed writing territories they want to engage with this year.  This list will be used each morning during their individual writing time to guide them toward more authentic use of that space.  Fellows then delved into their own cultural knapsack, writing about the pieces of their culture that make them unique or connect them together.  A boisterous conversation was had by all as they made connections between their own perceived cultures and the cultures of others.

The day ended with an engaging model demonstration from past fellow, Chrissy Harris. She led the fellows outside of the classroom and into the art room to explore how art, reading, and writing connect and aid one another.  Fellows visited KSU’s Zuckerman Art museum and wrote about a piece of art that connected or intrigued them.  Everyone was challenged to describe their chosen piece of art in minute detail and then write a poem inspired by their choice.

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