2016 Agate Writing Workshop

Hand holding fossils

Twelve teachers from across the state joined in the 2016 Agate Teacher’s Workshop June 6th through 8th. This two-year partnership between the NeWP and the National Park Service turned its focus to Exploring the Bones of Place. Park ranger and Fort Union museum curator, Fred MacVaugh and NeWP member, Diana Weis lead interpretive sessions and place-based writing activities. Follow the workshop’s story and see participant writing here.

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Spring Gathering 2016

Stacey Waite

On Friday, May 6th, the Nebraska Writing Project gathered together TCs from all over the state to celebrate the State of NeWP. Stacey Waite, acting director, opened up the ceremony by declaring the state of NeWP to be strong, and jokingly pointing out that she didn’t manage to “sink any of the Nebraska Writing Project ships” during Robert Brooke’s sabbatical.

Her good humor was followed by entertainment provided by high school slam poets who competed in Louder than a Bomb this year and also represent members of the Young Writers Camp. They were Jack Buchanan from Lincoln High School, Ashley Marco from Waverly High School, and Tiara Crites and Rose Gaffner from Lincoln Southwest.

After the Slam Poets wowed the audience with their rhythmic riffs, the military veterans of the Lincoln Warrior Writers group shared three of their pieces.

Finally, after a break, Stacey continued the program by presenting Paula Baker from Pyrtle Elementary with the NeWP Administrator of the Year Award of Recognition for her commitment to writing education in her district.

Paula Baker
Paula Baker

The final award of the evening was the Carol MacDaniels Teacher of the Year Award which Dr. Robert Brooke presented to Jeff Grinvalds of Westside High School.

Jeff Grinvalds and Robert Brooke
Jeff Grinvalds and Robert Brooke

Finally, here is a gallery of some other images from the evening. Hopefully, we’ll see all of you at the Spring Gathering in 2017! Two quilts were raffled off at the end of the night!

 

 

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NeWP @ NETA 2016

NETA Participants

The Nebraska Writing Project continued its partnership with NETA for the second year in a row by attending the April 21-22 NETA Conference and sharing four presentations.

The NeWP NETA representatives for this year were Jeff Grinvalds, Technology Liaison; Brenda Larabee, Co-Director; Jodie Morgenson, Waverly High School; and Tiffany Young who teamed up with Amy Johnson both from Pyrtle Elementary.

Check out the presentation reviews below!

Jodie Morgenson
Jodie Morgenson

Jodie Morgenson presented her “Blog Magic: A Versatile Tool for the Classroom and Beyond” session on Thursday afternoon.

She discussed ways that blogs can be useful for both students and teachers, as well as things that have worked and NOT worked for her. The session seemed to perk up when Jodie mentioned that her blog had received attention from a European news station and ultimately landed her students and her some airtime on European television. Euronews reached out to Jodie when they did a Google search for “Vine in Education” and her post about using Vines to teach Shakespeare’s Macbeth popped up in the results. Jodie also gave tips for how to set-up and manage student blogs and comments and shared resources for student and teacher blogs. If you are interested in these resources, you can view the links here: bit.ly/1r2u2oL If you’re interested in reading her blog, you can find it here: morgetron.edublogs.org

Tiffany and Amy
Tiffany and Amy

Tiffany Young and Amy Johnson presented on Friday afternoon. 

They demonstrated one way to use a wordpress.com website to communicate with parents and publish student writing. They also provided how-to documents for creating and maintaining the website.  Participants had the opportunity to either begin creation of their own website or practice on a pre-made website created by Tiffany and Amy.   If you want to know more about using wordpress.com websites to communicate with parents or publish student writing, contact Tiffany attiffanytairayoung@gmail.com or Amy at akjohn100@gmail.com. You can access the how-to documents at the following website: https://websitesthatwork.wordpress.com/

Brenda Larabee
Brenda Larabee

Brenda Larabee showed about 10 teachers who attended her session at NETA on Friday afternoon how to bring authenticity into their classrooms, by creating for a real-world audience using Adobe Slate.

She showed how her own students flourished after studying a book and creating their stories using multiple apps and presenting them through Adobe Slate. She also demonstrated step-by-step how to create a Slate from beginning to end.  Participants were able to create their own stories worthy of publication prior to leaving the 45 minute session. Brenda would welcome questions or comments about Adobe Slate or Adobe Voice at blarabee@stuartbroncos.org.  The notes for her presentation can be accessed at http://goo.gl/c3Ecw5

Jeff Grinvalds
Jeff Grinvalds

 Jeff Grinvalds presented on Friday afternoon as well.

He taught a group of fifty teachers how to use Doctopus and Goobric to streamline their grading. Doctopus and Goobric are add-ons for Google Chrome that make grading Google Classroom assignments quick and easy. The session went well with most of the teachers following along and trying it out or taking pictures and notes. If you want to learn more about Doctopus and Goobric, feel free to contact Jeff at grinvalds.jeff@westside66.net. You can access instructions here

In addition to presenting, NeWP representatives met with hundreds of potential participants for our Summer Institutes. The enthusiasm of teachers at NETA is nothing short of awesome! We hope to be back next year!

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