Nationwide conversations have sparked a transformational moment in our schools of education. At Rider University, we have heard and responded to the call for transformation.
Engaging the ‘digital natives’ who are growing up with computers, cell phones, iPods, video game, and the Internet means that we must learn to communicate and educate in different ways.
Join us in one of our engaging, interactive workshops and learn how to incorporate technology, build interdisciplinary connections, and infuse global perspectives in your classroom as you implement current state and national standards.
To register, visit www.rider.edu/summer.
National Writing Project
The National Writing Project at Rider University works with area educators to improve writing and literacy learning across disciplines at all levels. We provide high quality professional development in writing and the teaching of literacy to K-12 educators, develop and share resources in writing, generate and contribute to research, and work with teachers to strengthen student achievement and literacy learning in this digital, interconnected world.
Founded in 2000 as the Trenton Area Writing Project, NWP@RU is affiliated with the National Writing Project, a network of university-based professional learning communities. Each July between 12 and 20 teachers attend our four-week Invitational Summer Institute (ISI) at Rider University, where they rediscover the power of personal writing, examine research and theory in teaching literacy, present demonstration lessons for critique and sharing, and connect digitally with NWP teachers across the nation to give and receive feedback on writing and to share teaching strategies. These teachers become leaders in literacy education in their schools and districts and are supported by NWP@RU as they continue to develop their skills. Other teachers participate in our Open Institutes such as Yes, Grammar Should Be Taught, Designing Teacher Websites, Enhancing the Writing Process with Video and Animation, Implementing Guided Reading, Guided Reading Classroom Support and Writing Workshop Classroom Support.
NWP@RU has over 200 teacher consultants in the Trenton region. They teach in public and private schools in kindergarten through high school, in content areas, such as social studies, English, mathematics, and the sciences, in specialist areas, such as art and physical education, and in supervisory areas, such as language arts and mathematics. Their students benefit from their enthusiasm, skill, and continued collaboration with other writing project teachers. A conservative estimate of the number of students who have been served by NWP@RU teachers since our first ISI in July of 2000 is 24,000 students.
Although the complexities of K-12 classrooms necessarily limit claims of success, in elementary schools in the city of Trenton where writing project teachers have taught for two years or more, student achievement in writing on standardized tests has risen. Visitors to these classrooms see students actively engaged in literacy learning. Student writing fills hallways and bulletin boards, is read to peers and younger students, and sent to newspapers. Students hold poetry nights, student/parent reading groups, letter writing campaigns and publishing parties, and participate in play writing with local theater troupes, investigate colleges and visit campus.
NWP@Rider continues to support area teachers and schools through grants that create significant partnerships between individual teachers, schools and districts. Most recently, NWP@Rider is the proud recipient of three competitive grants that bring pre-k - 12 teachers to the Rider campus and NWP@Rider teacher consultants to area schools to offer ongoing support in the areas of literacy instruction. Through thorough, embedded campus and school based professional development NWP@Rider is able to use these grant funds to support the integration of new literacy standards and assessments in ways that continue to honor best practices in literacy instruction. In addition, funds secured through a Teacher Leadership grant allow NWP@Rider to support individual teachers who are developing classroom based literacy projects while developing the requisite leadership skills to be a teacher leader in the classroom, school and educational community.
NWP@RU teachers deeply value their writing project association. As one teacher put it, “With my colleagues I am smarter, I can go deeper and create new knowledge. I don’t have to do this alone.”
Teacher Leadership Community Institute
Rider University hosted the first Teacher Leadership Community Institute in June 2010. This two day event focuses on professional development for teacher leaders, mentors, and cooperating teachers.
Please visit www.rider.edu/summer for more information about registering for the summer institute.