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Oregon Writing Project

Inservice Programs

Effective professional development programs provide frequent and ongoing opportunities for teachers to write and to examine theory, research, and practice systematically. Collectively, teacher-leaders are our greatest resource for educational reform. —NWP Core Principle

In the last decade, professional development programs have included the following districts: David Douglas, Evergreen, Gladstone, MESD (East county schools—Centennial, Gresham), Newberg, North Clackamas, Parkrose, Portland, Reynolds, Riverdale, Scio, West Linn/Wilsonville, and Woodburn.

The Oregon Writing Project has been a model of professional development, teacher leadership, and school reform. OWP’s course and professional development opportunities have helped teachers use writing across the curriculum and grade levels to improve student writing, thinking, learning, and, based on Common Core State Standards, academic achievement in a global society.

District-wide inservices are offered, along with professional development institutes for individual teachers at all educational levels. An affiliate of the National Writing Project, the Oregon Writing Project is approved as a professional development provider.

Please refer to the sections below for more information about our inservice programs that can be held in your school or district. Workshops are usually held on the school site and offered at times most convenient for the school, usually after school. OWP also offers workshops during staff inservice days, Saturdays, or during the summer months. A brochure that outlines costs is available.

Each program is designed to suit the needs and interests of individual schools and districts, including the previous experience the teachers may have had with OWP’s professional development programs.

What Kinds of Professional Programs Does OWP Offer?

1. Multiple-session series of interactive workshops, generally about three hours long. These hands-on workshops focus on successful classroom-tested, research-based approaches to the teaching of writing and using writing to learn.

2. School-site coaching. Coaching is usually done in conjunction with a series of workshops. OWP coaches can provide services such as in-class teaching demonstrations, classroom observations followed by conferences and facilitation of teacher inquiry groups, curriculum work groups, and the study of student work.

3. On-site summer programs. OWP provides intensive summer programs where teachers learn more about teaching writing, explore and discuss current research, embed writing into curriculum units, and participate in their own writing. These programs can be designed to support school-site programs for students as well.

Sample Programs

On-site, supportive professional development activities available throughout the school year and summer, including:

Five- to Ten-Week, After-School Classes:  All OWP classes focus on practical, immediately usable classroom practices that help increase student achievement in writing and literacy. Topics vary from session to session and are co-constructed with administrators and faculty. Optional credit is available.

Professional Development Embedded in the School Day:  OWP Teacher Leaders can come to your school site and facilitate team or content-area meetings that focus on the development of writing in the content areas, writing craft lessons, revisions, and editing.

Summer Writing Academies for High-Priority Students:  OWP writing coaches partner with summer school faculty in a two- to five-week intensive program to improve student writing as well as the teaching of writing. Previous OWP summer programs have focused on grade 5 - 6 students or on incoming 9th graders.

Writing Curriculum Summer Institutes:  This three- to five-day workshop begins with morning demonstration lessons on teaching the writing process, including craft lessons and revision strategies. These lessons are followed by guided development of curriculum, embedding these strategies in themes presented across the content areas or in novel study. Teachers have created curriculum units on The Kite Runner, Persepolis, Of Mice and Men, Reading Poverty, and Immigration, as well as units integrating science, social studies, and language arts. 

Administrator Comments

“Thank you so much for the continued support and inspiration [OWP is] providing our teachers as they craft their own readers’ writers’ workshops for our students. We look forward to having you at each middle school this winter for a day’s residency. Winter Writing Workshop will help people think about ”¦ teaching spelling, grammar, and conventions within the workshop. [OWP] and our teachers are doing wonderful work together and nurturing our own professional culture as learners.”
- District Administrator, West Linn/Wilsonville School District

“The Oregon Writing Project provided our teachers with tools to dissect writing into pieces and address writing challenges. It provided an opportunity for teachers to meet on a monthly basis to share and discuss both frustrations and successes. With the scaffolding of the writing process, relevant lessons could be used immediately.

The staff was open and accepting of the OWP staff and we, as a team, moved forward in our ability to improve and enhance student writing. The instructors from the OWP brought middle school and high school experience to the table which allowed for stronger articulation of what students would need to know at the high school level.

Our middle school had an 18% increase in its writing scores after we worked with the Oregon Writing Project. With such success, this school year we have signed on for level two training, which includes peer observations and discussions, to continue this great progress.”
- Middle School Administrator, Portland Public Schools

“Thank you for the incredible experiences that you created yesterday with our language arts team. The craft lessons, the review of our current practices next to our new learnings, and the view of 6th/7th/8th grades was very powerful. We have a clear roadmap of our work together as a team.”
- Middle School Administrator, West Linn/Wilsonville School District

Participant Comments

“The examples presented and the direct application of strategies exposed me to a lot of new ideas and also identified ‘gaps’ I have in teaching writing.”
- Teacher, Beaverton School District

“The things from this curriculum development have inspired me to reframe old units and approaches. Through guided and focused writing activities, this institute has encouraged me to be more innovative and targeted in my teachings.”
- Teacher, David Douglas School District

“Never before in 27 years have I had an opportunity like this one—to create curriculum with colleagues for a single unit. All of it worked.”
- Teacher, North Clackamas School District

“When we do peer observations, I see how my colleagues do things that make it all come together. I pretend to be an ELL student in a language arts class and can understand how lost they might be. I took some ideas I observed today and am already considering how they will work for me.”
- Teacher, Portland Public Schools

“I enjoyed seeing my colleagues outside of my content area, to see how they do group work and other kinds of teacher skills.”
- Teacher, Woodburn School District

“In the morning workshops, modeling gave me not just ideas to use but helped me to understand my students’ processing of classroom information and lessons. These morning sessions were perfect models for our later collaborative work sessions—not too much, but very rich.”
- Teacher, North Clackamas School District

“During peer observations I especially appreciated teachers’ use of protocols, their daily interaction with students, strategies for moving students in and out of groups, and the use of literacy strategies. I will now be more mindful of offering support and reinforcement through a variety of activities in my class.”
- Teacher, Portland Public Schools

“I am happy to work with Linda and to have her in our district, helping teachers. She is compassionate and an intuitive teacher and writer; her thoughts just make sense as she says them, and they help us rethink our prior practice and habits. With her, writers grow as humans and as storytellers, not as essay-producing automatons.”
- Teacher, West Linn/Wilsonville School District

“This is hands on, practical, and I can see strategies that work in the classroom. Some of my practices are reinforced, and I also learn better strategies, respect for my colleagues, and have time to reflect.”
-Teacher, Woodburn School District

“As a new teacher to the school, it was helpful to observe teacher’s protocols, and how teachers work with students in this particular school. Plus, there was time in the afternoon to put things into practice.”
- Teacher, Portland Public Schools

Oregon Writing Project

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