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Writing Institute

Jul 8 - Jul 11
11:00 AM - 4:00 PM
K-5
$850
Virtual

Dates: Monday, July 8, 2024 - Thursday, July 11, 2024 

Time: 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM ET

Location: Virtual

Grades: K-5 teachers, coaches, and administrators

Cost: $850

There is no organization that has devoted more time and care to thinking through essential progression and methods for teaching writing. Come and learn state-of-the-art ways to nurture your students to become enthusiastic and proficient writers who can write across genres, for many purposes, and with independence and joy.

The Reading Writing Project at Mossflower has recently completed a decade-long project to streamline and deepen writing instruction and has now released the new K-5 Writing Units of Study. We are bursting with excitement and eager to share fresh ideas and new methods, armloads of practical tips, high-leverage tools, and favorite new mentor texts. We can’t wait for you to join us for an inspirational week of learning. Whether you have the new units or not, this institute will turbo-charge your teaching.

Many of you will spend mornings in grade-specific groups that help you teach a systematic joyful curriculum in argument, informative, and narrative writing. Others of you may opt for a cross-grade group that supports you to lead implementation of the new Units of Study, including grammar and spelling work.   

In the morning sections, kindergarten educators will learn to:

  • Help students draw on their early drawing and letter-sound knowledge, their phonemic awareness, and their oral language to progress from emergent to beginning writers.

  • Nurture children’s abilities to storytell, argue and teach, helping them to orally rehearse for writing in every genre, and then to transfer the richness of their oral language onto the page.

  • Support their students as they move across the stages of the writing process, ultimately working with enough independence to participate in effective small group work.

  • Introduce very young writers to early versions of narrative, information and opinion writing, helping them write in a range of genres for different audiences and purposes.


In the morning sections, first grade educators will learn to:

  • Move writers across a continuum of lessons that develop their understanding of narrative, information and opinion writing, as well as writing about reading.

  • Help students work with over 50 new charts, tools and assessments, and use these with agency and growing independence.

  • Guide students to gain the benefits of all-new mentor texts, and learn to use AI to develop locally responsive exemplar texts.

  • Tap new insights and tools in ways that help writers draw on their growing knowledge of phonics and language conventions.

  • Support writing partnerships and clubs, creating a culture of care so students help each other set goals, address learning targets, problem-solve, and offer feedback across the writing process.


In the morning sections, second grade educators will learn to: 

  • Guide students to generate ideas, plan, draft, revise, and edit as they engage in writing across a range of genres, including opinion and research-based expository writing.

  • Establish habits that help students draw on and extend their phonics knowledge as they spell and edit.

  • Understand the qualities of effective and engaging grammar lessons and learn ways to support students in transferring that knowledge to their writing.

  • Nurture writing partnerships and research clubs to help students effectively collaborate, ask questions, give feedback, and set goals.

  • Support evidence-based writing and research projects through effective note-taking and planning.

  • Consider the power of authentic audiences and splashy writing celebrations that help cement students’ identities as authors.


In the morning sections, the cross-grade K-2 educators will learn to:

  • Understand the rationale behind revisions and additions to the new units, and the practical application of new storylines, strategies and tools.

  • Discover ways to use learning targets, unit maps, and new assessments to create systems that support cross-grade writing development.

  • Bring the Science of Reading into writing instruction, including an emphasis on PA, phonics, vocabulary and knowledge generation.

  • Tap the power of 20+ new mentor texts that help writers learn from mentors in various ways,  including sparking new ideas and new craft moves, as well as proper punctuation and capitalization.

  • Use a new system for assessment, including learning ways to harness the power of AI to track students’ progress.


In the morning sections, third grade educators will learn to: 

  • Support a unit in which students write information books that contain topic sentences, strong introductions and conclusions, and that incorporate a variety of specific research-based information and purposeful text features.

  • Develop ways to make argument writing and text-based writing accessible and empowering for students.

  • Explore a brand new unit that launches students into the work of text-based writing about reading, including writing essays about stories and  biographies. 

  • Help students write narratives in ways that highlight story structure and reading-writing connections.

  • Teach child-centered, joyful (and brief) grammar and spelling lessons.


In the morning sections, fourth grade educators will learn to:

  • Explore the qualities and strategies for writing in history and science.

  • Examine ideas for bringing new vitality and power into the familiar boxes and bullets unit, helping students to move beyond cookie-cutter essays.

  • Use effective strategies for teaching text-based research and argument writing.

  • Develop ways to lift the level of narrative writing, helping students create a deeper link to their fiction reading and understand author’s craft and purpose with new depth.

  • Support students learning a progression of text structures to empower them to write literary essays on character, relationships, theme and author’s craft.


In the morning sections, fifth grade educators will learn to:

  • Help students use all they know as readers of fiction to write narratives in ways that develop characters, support story structure and forward a theme.

  • Support students craft text-based, literary essays, moving from character and thematic essays to analytic essays that explore author’s craft.

  • Develop students’ ability to engage in text-based research in order to write arguments with relevant, convincing and varied evidence.

  • Lean on a toolkit of strategies for supporting information writing, including attention to structure and craft and ways to incorporate research from primary and secondary sources.

  • Weave work around grammar across any unit, so as to help students write with increasing and sophisticated syntax.


In the morning sections, the cross-grade 3-5 educators will learn to:

  • Understand the rationale behind revisions and additions to the new units, and the practical application of new storylines, strategies and tools.

  • Tap the power of 20+ new mentor texts that help writers learn from mentors in various ways,  including sparking idea generation and new craft moves, as well as proper punctuation and capitalization.

  • Teach child-centered, joyful (and brief) grammar and spelling lessons.

  • Study a new system for assessment, including learning ways to harness the power of AI to track students’ progress and provide feedback.


The afternoon sections will support assessment-based small groups. In these sections, you will learn to use an array of potent methods, high-leverage tools, and mentor texts to accelerate student progress.  


More specifically, educators will learn to:

  • Develop high leverage assessment based small groups that accelerate students’ progress in narrative, argument, and information writing and literary essays.

  • Become deeply familiar with a new resource, Supporting All Writers, which is a compendium of over 200 small groups and tools that are designed to help students write across the genres.

  • Use rubrics, checklists and benchmark texts to study your students’ writing and determine responsive assessment-based ways to move them forward.

  • Study the architecture of small groups through role play, modeling and coaching to finesse delivery of small groups.

  • Tap into the power of new mentor texts and a host of small groups and tools.


Bonus Foundational Section: In addition, we have added a special section designed for teachers who are brand new to teaching and/or to working within a workshop structure; this section will extend before and/or after the regular institute hours. If you are interested in this section, please indicate this on your application form, and we will provide further information.

In this section, new K-5 educators will learn to: 

  • Understand the essential progression, methods, and research for the teaching of writing.

  • Plan and deliver engaging, effective minilessons with efficiency.

  • Use new tools, curriculum, mentor texts, and teaching methods with expertise.

  • Study progressions and toolkits to inform conferring and small group work.

  • Replicate the small, implicit moves that make a writing workshop magical.