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 The RPS 205 Writing Warriors

1/7/2020 12:00 AM

​In June I attended a weeklong writing institute at the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project (TCRWP) in New York City. Throughout the week I texted and shared ideas with my friend and fellow writing enthusiast Dana Long, a kindergarten teacher at Spring Creek Elementary School, who was back home in Rockford. Our excitement over the summer was too good to let go. So we hatched a plan to keep the vibe going throughout the school year. The result: the Rockford Public Schools Writing Warriors!

The Writing Warriors is a group of passionate RPS 205 writing teachers and instructional coaches who meet monthly to dig into the implementation of units of study. Nine elementary schools are represented. We have classroom teachers from kindergarten and first, third, fourth and fifth grades; instructional coaches from six buildings; and special education and English language learner staff. 

So far the Writing Warriors have talked about:
-How to deliver a quick, focused mini-lesson

  • -How to identify groups of students with similar needs

  • -How to use the mid-workshop teaching point and small groups to do more strategy work

  • -Ways to use pieces of the rubric for short cycle goals

  • -How to find resources online with Heinemann and the TCRWP Facebook page

  • -Celebrations – both big and small 

  • -Favorite mentor texts

  • -See Saw and sharing out

  • -Organization of materials – both teacher and student

  • -How bends work together and the different lesson types

  • -Using texts to help us learn more: "The Unstoppable Writing Teacher" by M. Colleen Cruz and "The Writing Strategies Book" by Jennifer Serravallo

  • -Problem solving issues

  • Our group of approximately 15 teachers and coaches meets on the first Saturday of each month from 8:30-9:30 a.m. at Spring Creek Elementary School. Our goal is to become unstoppable writing teachers. Anyone can join at any time! If you're interested in joining us, send me an email:

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