2019 Invitational Summer Institute – June 2019 Recap

Monday, June 10, 2019:

Amanda Montgomery came and did several presentations throughout the day. The first presentation was about incorporating comics and graphic novels in the classroom. She created a comic book day like a convention for the 4th and 5th grade classes at her school. We were given blank comic strips and had to write the dialogue from the characters. Everyone’s comic was different based on what we interpreted what was happening from the images.

The second presentation had us becoming pocket scavengers. Amanda explained this was a good activity at the end of the year to look at things from a different perspective. We had to pay attention and write down 10 details that we noticed around the room. In class you could have the students do this with the classroom, but also with whatever book they are reading at the time. You can then connect this to character development and what we learn about the different characters in the story.

Amanda’s last presentation was writing with a photographer’s eye. We learned about Image Grammar, and the types of shots a photographer takes. We looked at several pictures through a paper camera to find a different perspective on the world. We took what we noticed and turned it into a piece of writing.

To close out the day, Michelle Goodsite had us work on narrative writing. We made a list of time, place, and people to help us get ideas for our writing time.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019:

We started off the morning at Kennesaw State University with breakfast and individual writing time. We took a field trip to Kennesaw Mountain to explore place-based writing and how we could include that in our classrooms. We had some writing prompts to focus on while we were at Kennesaw Mountain that connected the experience to the history of the area or nature. After we hike/experience, we had a picnic and shared some of what we wrote during the field trip.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019:

Jen Dail came to lead a presentation about using virtual reality in the classroom through using Google Cardboard. She discussed rhetoric between different modalities. We used the virtual reality viewers to look at various images through the Google Expeditions app on our phones. We looked at European street art, and free wrote about it. After our free write, we created poems and posted them on Flipgrid. We also participated in a presentation from Jennifer Bridges titled Plant the Seed – Using Nature to Grow Writers. It was about connecting our students to the outdoors. We were exposed to various types of herbs; we gtt to touch, smell, taste, etc. We wrote down any memories that were associated with that herb. This could create authentic experiences for our students in terms of writing.

We had individual writing time to work on writing for the anthology. Writing groups were created; each group created their own writing group protocols. Time was given to work in their writing groups.

Thursday, June 13, 2019:

Chrissy Harris presented on using found poetry in the classroom. The participants were given a passage to read and highlight words or phrases that they liked or stood out to them. They then took the words and/or phrases and created some sort of poetry without adding anything else to it. She then had them create concrete poetry from their found poetry.

Michelle Goodsite presented a couple of activities from the book Syllabus Writing by Linda Barry. She gave everyone an index card, and she gave each a couple of minutes to draw their own self-portrait. On the other side of the index card, we wrote something related to our picture. This could serve as a way to take attendance and see growth over the school year. Another activity from the book was called Image Word: X Page. This was a good way to get students focused on writing in their classroom.

Steve Goss explained that literacy is a social activity, especially for our students. Our students use their phones and take selfies all the time. We created Selfie-Self Portraits. We took a selfie, and wrote an artist’s statement to go with the selfie. The picture and artist statement will be included in the anthology.

Friday, June 14, 2019:

Chrissy Harris had the participants created music shuffle poetry. This activity is a good way to get student engagement using their phones and their music. For the activity, you shuffle the music on your phone, and write down the first line of each song. Once you’ve got that written down, you use those lines to create a poem. Each participant shared their poems.

Steve and Genevieve Goss presented an activity after lunch called Writing with Food. Genevieve brought and shared various fruits and foods from other countries. We got to take, touch, and smell all of the food, and we wrote about the experience. We also connected one of the foods to a memory and created a poem or haiku about it. Several participants shared their poems.

Monday, June 17, 2019:

The second week of the Kennesaw Mountain Writing Project 2019 Summer Institute began with The Weekend Update and breakfast from Alex and Heather. Chrissy allowed us time to discuss how we approach the difficulty of preparing students for high stakes standardized writing prompts across grade levels. This discussion was both lively and enriching. Conclusions were that skills and processes were important getting students to authentically connect to writing.

Before lunch we visited the Rare Book Museum on Kennesaw State University campus. Fellows experienced a Bronze Collection currently being housed in the museum.  They also had an opportunity to see first editions of several books. Our facilitator talked through how we might approach the thinking and reasoning behind looking at rare books for our students and how this might work across disciplines.

Lunch was followed by Mail Art, presented by Steve Goss.  As part of his description of this letter writing project, Steve walked us through the process of creating black and white photocopied collages that can be used as stationary.  Steve also shared a how to video that explains the process (https://www.pbs.org/video/art-school-mail-art-david-wilson/).

Then we left the English building and visited the library where we digitally scanned images to use for our letters.  After, we returned to the classroom, printed our images, and finally, cut, pasted and composed our Mail Art.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019:

Tuesday fellows visited their school sites and/or the communities of their school sites to consider placed-based writing opportunities.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019:

Wednesday began with the special treat of waffles from Val and Chrissy. Val shared the morning report through a formative assessment app she uses with students. Participants enjoyed some protected individual writing time. Past summer institute fellows visited, sharing  their own experiences and professional growth through opportunities presented to them through the KMWP. Their reflections and advice were enriching and moving for the current group. Just say yes to anything! Participants were then treated to another activity from Syllabus connected to character development. The day concluded with participants writing stuffed poetry.

Thursday, June 20, 2019:

Thursday started with a nutritious breakfast, fresh, cold-pressed juice, and the morning report all served up by Julia, during which yoga was threatened but not enforced. After, we split up for individual writing time.   Then we met as a whole group and discussed writing conference proposals and how to apply to GCTE.   Afterword, we discussed and refreshed our understanding of the teaching demo and the expectations for inquiry and our presentations in the Spring.  We then created Mini-poster presentations and received feedback on our prospective inquire question.

Before lunch, Darren Crovitz visited and gave an in-depth presentation about using grammar in the classroom. He gave us practical ways to incorporate grammar mini-lessons at the point of student need.  We then spent time brainstorming and sharing ways for students to explore the most useful grammatical concepts.

After lunch, Rob Montgomery spoke to our group about English Language Arts Teacher Educators (ELATE), the ELATE blog, and writing up teacher stories.  Rob gave us the opportunity to write about at time we felt the “wobble,” which he described as a feeling of being out of balanced based on something we experienced as teachers.  He wrapped up his session by encouraging us to publish our writing on the ELATE blog.

Friday, June 21, 2019:

Friday began with a Keto friendly egg-bake breakfast prepared by Mel.  At 9 am, Mel started her morning report.  For her report, Mel played a slide show of photos from Thursday arranged alongside a song that she wrote and recorded.  While undeniably humorous, the song gave an in-depth account of our learning experiences from the day before, and also touched upon the close sense of community our group has forged during the past two weeks. Perfect as the final report of the summer institute.

After individual writing time, each participant presented their Shared Placed-Based Writing Experiences.  Presentations included in-situ photos our each of our school contexts. We provided formative feedback to each presenter in the form of written notes documenting what we think would work and what wouldn’t work in our various school contexts.  We all ate lunch together in our meeting room, Kearsten’s personal request that we all happily fulfilled.  We then met in our small writing groups, during which individual groups took mini-fieldtrips to the new KMWP library. After, we all gathered on the KSU lawn for a group photo.  We returned to our meeting space and took the KMWP survey and determined dates for upcoming meetings and conferences.

Comments are closed.