For School Districts

Nancy Gorrell knows what teachers want. Teachers leave her workshops with portable ideas, portable lessons, and portable materials ready to inspire and motivate students to learn to write and to see the world and themselves with new eyes. All professional development workshops led by Nancy Gorrell have a proven success record with teachers at numerous state and national conventions, universities, colleges, and high schools.

To mention a few venues in particular:

National Council of Teachers of English annual conventions (NCTE)
New Jersey Council Teachers of English annual conventions (NJCTE)
New Jersey Teacher’s Association annual conventions (NJEA)
State Teachers of the Year conventions (STOY)
New Jersey Science Association convention
Morristown High School (Soup, Salad, and Poetry for Dessert program)
Dover High School (Family Write Night program)

Write for You is located in Northern New Jersey. Nancy Gorrell will travel upon request to school districts in the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area at no additional fee.

 

2009-2010 PROGRAM AND WORKSHOP OFFERINGS

CONTENTS

LITERACY-BASED PROGRAMS AND WORKSHOPS

DIVERSITY WRITING PROGRAMS AND WORKSHOPS

PARENT PROGRAMS AND WORKSHOPS

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS AND WORKSHOPS

SPECIAL STUDENT WORKSHOPS

 

PROGRAM AND WORKSHOP DESCRIPTIONS

LITERACY-BASED PROGRAMS AND WORKSHOPS

Family Write Night Program I - Multi-Age
A literacy-based initiative wedded to the philosophy that it takes a whole village to educate a child—the family, the school, and the community. This multi-age, interactive program facilitates the coming together of families—parents and their children—to develop at-home reading and writing skills that celebrate family and heritage. Parents come with their children of all ages to write in 3-5 evening workshops, two hours each. Over the course of several weeks, parents and children write and share their memories of childhood, family, heritage, and place. In each session, they write on a similar topic, and then they share their writings with each other. The goal is to demonstrate for parents how to motivate their children to write for themselves and their families at home. Each family creates a family book of memories and writings as a keepsake to motivate writing at home. (E, MS, HS students)

Family Write Night Program II - High School
Family Write Night Program II is similar to Family Write Night I with the difference that selected writing activities are supported by English teachers in the classroom. Facilitator, Nancy Gorrell, meets with high school English teachers in one professional development workshop to design writing activities appropriate to the required English curriculum. Teachers support and assign the selected writing activity or activities to further develop students’ writing skills. Students get class credit for their writings and participation in Family Write Night. Parents learn how to respond to their students’ at home and school writing. High School Family Write Night culminates in an evening reading of student writings. Each family creates a family book of writings as a keepsake to motivate writing at home. (HS students)

DIVERSITY WRITING PROGRAMS AND WORKSHOPS

Soup, Salad, and Poetry for Dessert—Poetry Diversity Program
Soup, Salad, and Poetry for Dessert brings together the entire student body and the community in celebration of family, school, and heritage. Facilitator, Nancy Gorrell meets with English faculty in one professional development workshop to teach poetry in honor and tribute to family, friends, heritage, and community. Participating English teachers then teach a lesson in “tribute” poetry to their classes. Facilitator, Nancy Gorrell, reads student tribute poems and reacts to them and/or participates in classroom lessons as needed. Interested students and teachers produce a program booklet of selected poems to be read in the evening program. Students invite their family members and friends to the evening program—“soup, salad, and poetry for dessert”—where they will read their poems to their invited honoree. Parents, the school district, or the community provides the diversity metaphors soup (for the melting pot) and salad (for the salad bowl) as well as diverse breads for dinner. This program requires the partnership of students, faculty, parents, and community. Soup, Salad, and Poetry for Dessert is a timely program for the months of January (Martin L. King’s Birthday) or February (Black History Month) or April (National Poetry Month). (MS or HS students)

Teaching Empathy through Ecphrastic Poetry: Entering a Curriculum of Peace

This interdisciplinary professional development workshop demonstrates for English, history, and humanities teachers how ecphrastic poetry—poetry in response to photographs, sculpture, and great works of art—can help students develop empathy. Centering upon an historic photograph from the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, “The Little Polish Boy,” teachers learn the art of ecphrastic poetic response. Facilitator, Nancy Gorrell, shares many student poems demonstrating empathetic responses to historic photographs from the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War, the Oklahoma City bombing, and 9/11 among others. Watch Nancy Gorrell discuss this poem here. (HS students)

Light from the Yellow Star: Teaching the Holocaust

This interdisciplinary professional development workshop introduces English, history, art, and humanities teachers to a unique source of Holocaust and genocide studies education—Light from the Yellow Star—Dr. Robert Fisch’s short memoir recounting his personal experience as a teenager during the Holocaust illustrated by his own artwork. Written especially for students, Dr. Fisch’s words and artwork provide an ideal starting point to engage students with genocide studies. Facilitator, Nancy Gorrell, provides all books and materials. (MS and HS students)

PARENT PROGRAMS AND WORKSHOPS

Parent Workshop I: How to Help Your Child Become an At-Home Writer
In this interactive workshop, parents learn how to help their children become writers with an expressed purpose and specific audience; that is, writing at home for themselves and their families. Parents learn at home, family-centered writing activities to do with their children to motivate authentic writing. Most importantly, they learn to be good listeners and readers of their children’s writings, thereby inspiring their children to develop positive attitudes and better writing skills. (E, MS, HS students)

Parent Workshop II: How to Help Your Child With School Writing
In this interactive workshop, parents learn how to help their children with school generated writing assignments. Parents learn how to respond to their children’s writing assignments, developing strategies to help in revision and the writing process. Most importantly, parents learn how to take on the roles of audience, listener, and reader rather than the roles of editor, judge, or critic. (E, MS, HS students)

Parent Creative Writing Workshop (Bilingual Parents)
Parents are formative models for their children as writers. In this literacy-based, creative writing workshop, parents learn how to write for their children. Parents write notes, letters, stories, and memory poems about their own childhood, families, and heritage for their children to read at home. Such parent-generated writings, “model” for children the joy of writing for oneself and other family members. This workshop is especially designed for bilingual parents interested in writing for their children but just don’t know how to begin. This workshop says to all parents—you can write for your child! (1, 2, or 3 sessions)

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS AND WORKSHOPS

Becoming a Teacher Who Writes: Let Teaching be Your Writing Muse

Research shows that teachers who write themselves are better teachers of writing. This workshop introduces English teachers to the concept that teaching itself can become the inspiration for writing. In this workshop English teachers engage with personal and professional writing strategies designed to foster the transition from teacher to teacher/writer.

Interdisciplinary Literacy: A Workshop for English and Science Teachers
This skill-based workshop is designed to bring together English and science departments in dialogue over common ground objectives—the need to develop critical reasoning and creative thinking skills and the transference of those skills from one discipline to another. To this end, English and science teachers will learn about a new and rarely taught instructional tool—the science poem, and how that tool fosters interdisciplinary literacy, so vital for 21st century education.

Interdisciplinary Literacy: Poetry Across the Curriculum—A Workshop for All Teachers

This skill-based poetry across the curriculum workshop demonstrates for all teachers the pedagogical value of poetry as a tool for instruction in the arts, humanities, and sciences. Teachers learn innovative strategies for facilitating the transference of critical and creative thinking and writing skills across the disciplines of English, history, art, music, languages, math, and science.

Family Write Night Program II: Workshop for English Teachers
This workshop is designed for teachers whose students are participating in Family Write Night Program II. Facilitator, Nancy Gorrell, will meet with high school English teachers to develop parallel writing activities appropriate to the required English curriculum. Classroom teachers will support and assign the selected writing activity or activities to further develop students’ writing skills.
Students will get class credit for their participation in Family Write Night while non-participating students will still benefit from the writing activities.

Creative Writing Workshop for Special Education Teachers
This workshop is for special education teachers whose students are participating in the creative writing workshops for special education students. Teachers will identify writing problems specific to individual students and collaborate with facilitator Nancy Gorrell on developing individual writing improvement plans.

SPECIAL STUDENT WORKSHOPS

Poetry Workshop for At Risk Students (High School)
This poetry workshop for “At Risk” students is designed to give voice to the “voiceless” student who has most likely failed the state testing and has been identified by the school as “at risk” in some way. This workshop may run concurrently within a classroom program or may be conducted as a separated program afterschool or in the evening. Students work to create a book of a minimum of 10 poems, giving voice to those poems in a reading or publication. Students participating in the workshop must receive school credit. Nancy Gorrell, visiting poet, leads this workshop.

Creative Writing Workshop for Special Education Students
This creative writing workshop for special education students is designed to address the specific writing problems of individual students through skill-based, sequential, and motivational writing activities. Facilitator, Nancy Gorrell, will collaborate with special education teachers to evaluate individual problems and to develop individual writing improvement plans through creative writing strategies and lessons. She will implement the strategies and lessons in a demonstration lesson for the teachers. Depending upon district needs, the workshop may be one or more sessions. (High School)