Writing Workshops Help Teachers Learn Best Practices

Merced - Kindergarten through community college teachers are invited to the UC Merced Writing Project's 2007-2008 Saturday Outreach Series to learn more about best practices for teaching to the California State Writing Standards.

More than 100 teachers county-wide have already taken part in previous SOS sessions. The first session in the new series will be held from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, September 15, at the Merced Tri-College Center, Community College Dr. and "G" St., Bldg TC-1 (on G St., make a left at first light north of Yosemite Ave.) The Saturday Outreach Series will continue one Saturday a month through April 2008. Teachers can participate in any or all sessions, and parking is free.

The workshops are designed to help teachers implement teaching practices that address state writing standards and increase students' academic success. Workshop leaders share ideas to help teachers at every grade level and in any subject area integrate meaningful writing instruction into their curricula. Example topics include: writing in varied points of view to learn content, identifying and analyzing character traits, writing descriptively and developing voice, and helping students self-revise, and multiple-genre writing.

Lynn Kahn Parker, associate director of the UC Merced Writing Project, coordinates the program. All workshop presenters are local teacher consultants for the university's Writing Project, whose goal is to create informed teachers by bringing together research and practice in the teaching of writing.

"We believe teachers are the best teachers of other teachers," Parker said. "They have the classroom experience to help other teachers understand what works best."

Each monthly session runs from 8 a.m. to noon and costs $50. One unit for three Saturdays or two units for a minimum of six sessions are available at a reasonable price. Federal funding or other grant funding at individual school sites may be available for registration cost. Teachers are advised to contact their school administrators for more information.

For additional information on workshop dates and topics, please contact the UC Merced Writing Project at (209) 381-6559 or e-mail lneely@ucmerced.edu.

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