Sunday, June 23, 2013

GWP Teachers as Writers Group

GWP Writing Marathon Report

The Teachers as Writers group of GWP has held writing marathons exploring various parts of the metro area.  At each event teachers use the time to write and be inspired by the environment.  At the end of the marathon, everyone gathers for lunch and writings are shared on a volunteer basis.  Additionally, all teachers leave the event with a take-away activity they can use in their classes.

On Friday, June 14, a dozen GWP members met at Picasso’s in downtown St. Charles for the spring marathon.  The temperature was in the low 80’s outside, the sky was clear, and there was a general enthusiasm in the air as Angela Muse reviewed the procedures of the activity.  To help inspire creativity, she provided each person with a map of historic Main Street and pointed out a few areas where people could sit and draft. Jeff Church distributed an outline which included times.

Before everyone scattered to write, Kim Gutchewsky shared her takeway: a triolet. She explained that a triolet is an eight-lined poem with one line appearing three times and another one appearing twice.  Her handout broke down how to compose the poem line by line and included three samples.   

For the next two and a half hours, the ideas and environment took center stage as the small crowd broke up so people could explore and write.  At noon, writers regrouped at Winery of the Little Hills to share their writings over lunch.  It’s worth noting more than a few of the participants wrote triolets during the marathon.  I’ve included one of mine at the end of this post.

Caroline Hackemeyer shared a handout outlining how place-based writing aligns with the Common Core. Her handout was a linear flow chart on one side which broke down the steps a teacher can use to facilitate a writing assignment.  On the other side, various components of the Common Core Standards (CCS) were discussed as well as how writing creatively can help prepare students for the performance tasks in the CCS.

Besides their personal writings, full stomachs, the joy of sharing and hearing the works of other teachers, and the classroom activities, everyone received a certificate of attendance to include in their personal portfolios.  As Angela Muse noted, “This is professional development.” 

In the fall, the Teachers as Writers group will have another writing-centered event.  Stay tuned.

Overenthusiastic Tour Guide (a triolet)
A tourist at home showing off
The sights and sounds of her hometown.
She ignores the boredom cough,
A tourist at home showing off.
“Here was So-and-So’s water trough.”
Pleasant smiles slowly turn upside-down.
A tourist at home showing off

The sights and sounds of her hometown.

by Linda Barro
GWP writing marathoner, Kathy Lewis writes by the Missouri River
in Frontier Park in St. Charles

Diane Scollay composes in Frontier Park

Caroline Hackmeyer, explains how creativity fits into the Common Core to the group as
 Kathy Lewis and Donna Nix listen

 Lauren Flecke and Jeff Church look through one of the take-aways from the marathon

1 comment:

  1. If I had not been in KC for a workshop, I definitely would have been there. I don't think I've missed any of Gateway's writing marathons...they're such a great way to spend the day.

    The chance to share with colleagues...get some new ideas...enjoy the luxury of having the time to write--what a fabulous time these marathons always are.