Endless Mountains Writing Project

the National Writing Project at Mansfield University

Teachers and Writing at the Center

Since 2005, the Department of Education and Special Education at MU has been the regional home for the NWP. MU's site, the EMWP, is one of about two hundred across the United States. Federally-funded, this grant-based initiative is focused on improving the teaching of writing. We develop teacher leaders and provide professional development in the areas of writing and literacy.

EMWP awarded grant for the College Ready Writing Program!

The CRWP is designed to improve the argument writing skills of middle and high school students. Independent evaluators at the Stanford Research Institute have found that this program has a positive, statistically significant effect on the four attributes of student argument writing—content, structure, stance, and conventions—and produced greater proficiency in the quality of reasoning and use of evidence in student writing.

The CRWP mini-units are designed as 4- to 6-day instructional sequences through which students form their own arguments and write multi-paragraph pieces. Each unit engages students in reading multiple nonfiction texts and is intended to help students improve one or more key argument writing skills.

We are currently recruiting teacher consultants! The one-credit, graduate institute will kick of May 20th and then meet Aug.2-4th. Work in your classroom and monthly online reporting will continue through the year...stipends are available! SHOUT OUTS to teachers on North Tioga School District, Southern Tioga, Wellsboro, and Elmira City Schools for already coming on board. Interested? Contact Nanci Werner-Burke at nwernerb@mansfield.edu

The 2016-2017 Invitational Leadership Institute (ILI) is underway!

The ILI has been meeting on different Saturdays throughout the school year. We will be working in July to share writing-based teaching activities and to offer a writer's camp for grades 5-8 on the Mansfield University campus!

Summer 2015-Spring 2016

Science, Technology, Engineering, ARTS, and Math

Our site has wrapped our current SEED grant in partnership with the Southern Tioga School District. Three teacher leaders (Julie Weaver, John Hoover, and Lauren Sargent) were involved in initiatives that focused on teacher collaboration, and the Connected Learning framework. (One of these initiatives was heavily influenced by Educator Innovator's CLMOOC.) These TCs shared highlights from these initiatives at the EMWP spring retreat on April 2nd on the MU campus. Teacher consultants from five different districts came together for the event.

TCs also had the opportunity to share classroom innovations and district initiatives, and to write, of course! We are also laying the groundwork for an summer institute for next year's Invitational Leadership Institute and the group provided some key insight on how this could be organized effectively.

Three EMWP teacher consultants joined forces with a new MU grad this summer to organize and offer the area's first ever STEAM camp. Click to visit our website!

Connected Learning MOOC

Three EMWP teacher consultants are pursuing professional development this summer with the plan to bring it back to our area schools. One such initiative is the CLMOOC. Membership and points of access are open!

Spring 2015: • Endless Mountains Rural Places, Rural Lives: An Exhibit of Reflections on Sense of Place and Cultural Landmarks

This exhibit was organized by Northern Tier Cultural Alliance (NCTA) director Ruth Tonachel, who developed the idea while in an Endless Mountains Writing Project Summer Institute. The exhibit included numerous writing samples from the 2011-2012 Voices of the Twin Tiers writing contest, and was held in multiple places in the Twin Tiers. The interview is from when the exhibit was at the Gmeiner Arts Center in Wellsboro, PA, in January 2015.
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Fall 2014: Go beyond the walls of your classroom to build literacy and achievement!

In this insightful book, you’ll discover how you can better meet the rigorous goals of the Common Core by opening new lines of communication with colleagues, parents, and students. Each chapter centers around an action project that was designed to help teachers improve literacy by moving beyond the typical class lessons and worksheets.

The projects include...

  • A book club for families of kindergarten and first grade students, to help students build foundational literacy skills
  • A book club designed to engage middle school students with young adult literature using digital forums
  • "Write with your child" evenings to help parents connect with their middle school children
  • An instructional team’s challenge to use a range of mentor texts in their classrooms
  • And more!

As you read each project, you’ll come away with ideas and inspiration that you can apply to your own teaching. By challenging yourself to connect with parents and colleagues on a deeper level, you will be better able to align your work, adjust for your students, and achieve your teaching goals.

All proceeds benefit the Mansfield Public Library!

Spring 2014: Rebuilding Research Writing: Strategies for Sparking Informational Inquiry

Our students must become skilled at finding answers and using information to succeed in college, careers, and daily life. Using inquiry, writing, and technology to infuse passion into the classroom research paper motivates students and results in deeper learning. In this practical, research-based book, authors Werner-Burke, Knaus, and DeCamp encourage you to toss the old index cards and jump-start the classroom research paper so that it is more meaningful, manageable, and effective. Explore innovative ways to help students find engaging topics, collect and evaluate information, and write, rethink, and revise to truly impact their audience. The book is filled with tools and student samples to help you implement the ideas in your own classroom.
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Voices of the Twin Tiers: A Celebration of Writing Contest Winners

The Twin Tiers is half northern Pennsylvania, half southern New York. Those who live there are shaped by the beauty and rigors of the land; and by one another. In our annual writing contest books are personal narratives, true and fanciful, happy endings, dark musings and open, simple realism from a spectrum of young authors at the first steps in their craft to seasoned writers.
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Looking for quality professional development? The EMWP has a long history of providing workshops and book studies for area teachers:

  • Southern Tioga School District: Connected Learning through Teacher Leadership: June 2015-May 2016
  • Northern Tioga School District: Best Practices in Teaching Writing. May 2013-February 2015
  • Southern Tioga School District: The Core Six: Essential Strategies for Achieving Excellence by Silver, Dewing, and Perini. October 11, 2013.
  • Southern Tioga School District: Writing to Learn Science. September 2013 – March 2014.
  • Southern Tioga School District: Book Study Series for Using Technology to Improve Adolescent Writing: Digital Make-Overs for Writing Lessons by Liz C. Stephens and Kerry H. Ballast, 2011-2012 school year
  • English Language Learners in American Classrooms: Book Study, facilitated online, 2010-2011 school year.
  • Literacy: The Painted Word – A Conference for Teachers. August 12, 2011
  • The EMWP jointly sponsored this event with the Endless Mountains Reading Council, with is the regional chapter of the Keystone State Reading Association.
  • Southern Tioga School District: Book Study Series for Mentor Texts: Teaching Writing Through Children's Literature, K-6 by Lynne R. Dorfman and Rose Cappelli (2007). Fall 2010.
  • Northern Tioga School District: Reading Like A Writer: Trade Books as Mentor Texts. Spring 2010.
  • Northern Tioga School District: Best Practices in Teaching Vocabulary, Book Study Series. Fall 2009.
  • Southern Tioga School District Professional Development Day, October 2009
  • Towanda School District: Write for Insight. Book Study Series. Spring 2009.
  • Campbell Savona School District Professional Development Workshop, May 2009.
  • · Wellsboro Area School District Professional Development Day. August 2008
  • Northern Tioga School District Summer Academy. July 2008
  • Educators Unleashing Research, Experience, and Knowledge Application (EUREKA!): An after school professional development program connecting science and writing. Warren L. Miller Elementary School, Mansfield, PA, Spring 2008.
  • Troy High School In-Service Day. October 2007
  • Athens Area School District In-Service. February 2007
  • Northern Tioga School District Summer Academy. July 2006
  • Southern Tioga School District Full-Day In-service Writing Workshop. March 2006
  • Athens Area School Full District In-Service Writing Workshops. October 2005

We are also active providers of writing-based professional development at state and national literacy conferences!

Our teacher consultants have presented more than a dozen sessions at the following conferences: