Professional Learning for Right Now

Contract with our UCLA Writing Project for professional development workshops and coaching at your school site—in-person–or virtually.   We’ll tailor the writing workshops to meet the needs of your teachers and their students. We’ll make sure to weave in extra opportunities for community building through writing and talk. We’ll acknowledge the tough times and also share light-hearted moments. We’ll focus on inclusivity, on anti-racist, multicultural views and content. Everything that we do together as teachers can serve as a model for working with PK-12 students.

The core beliefs that guide our workshops:
  • All students can become good, more-than-competent writers, able to shape and express their thoughts so others have full access.
  • Students thrive when they are encouraged to make use of their rich linguistic repertoires.
  • Classroom teachers have tremendous expertise.  Because of the understandings they gain by working with students every day, they are essential co-planners of their professional development.
  • The teaching of writing is a joyous enterprise!
Current and Recent Professional Development Focus Areas

We all want students to succeed in high-stakes tests.  Giving students opportunities to engage in low and mid-stakes writing, writing that is part of the ritual and routine of everyday classroom experience, builds students’ confidence, stamina and abilities.

The UCLA Writing Project has developed writing opportunities and strategies that lower students’ anxiety and encourage them to engage in collaborative talk, close reading and writing.  Ideally, students will write in all content classes and receive feedback from peers and teachers.

These hands-on workshops focus on all students, those who are already “prized writers,” and those still very much “on the way.”  Throughout the years, we have given special attention to English Learners and Standard English Learners—and will draw on the lessons and approaches that have proved most successful.

This workshop series will address the following questions teachers often raise:

  • How can we use writing as a tool to help students learn in all disciplines?
  • How do we create a classroom environment where students gain confidence as writers?
  • How can teachers in all subjects make writing part of everyday routines without being overwhelmed by the paper load?
  • How can teachers respond to student writing in a way that propels their growth as writers?

The most exciting part of teaching writing is watching students improve! We believe all students can develop their competence and confidence in writing when they engage in instruction tailored to their needs.  We’ll start by considering the funds of knowledge our students bring with them to the classroom.  Then we’ll build on that knowledge.

Among our focus areas are strategies for

  • getting students excited about improving their writing
  • helping students to understand the text and the writing prompt
  • using evidence and examples to develop writing
  • responding to student writers with comments that help them improve
  • revising writing with a focus on improvement

Also included: lessons that acknowledge the strengths and next steps for English Learners, Standard English Learners, and GATE students.

Some of the texts we’ve been offering our students are gems: They mirror students’ lived experiences, and they also present windows to new worlds. They push critical thinking, discussion and writing. They even make use of multiple versions of English and other languages.

After several years of pandemic and social uprising, we know how important it is to help our students to find themselves in our curriculum—and to see themselves in a positive light. In this series of workshops, we’ll identify rich texts that present people of color as complex human beings rather than one-dimensional stereotypes. We’ll read and discuss as a whole group—and collaborate in smaller groups. We’ll share promising teaching strategies and give time to develop lesson ideas that you can use in your classroom with your students.

Our Writing Project has focused on reading and writing about literature written by authors of various ethnicities and races—including but not limited to writers who identify as African/African American, LatinX, Asian & Asian/American Pacific Islander.

Our Goals:

  • To commit to our growing as anti-racist educators
  • To enhance our knowledge of culturally sustaining texts
  • To focus on speaking, listening, reading and writing

It’s time to immerse ourselves in the nitty-gritty of Writer’s Workshop: helping students generate topics important to them, constructing pointed and powerful “mini-lessons,” incorporating mentor texts into your teaching of writing, figuring out the best way to respond to your particular young writers.  We’ll also focus on publishing and celebration options.

Sometimes wearing a teacher hat, other times assuming the role of student, everyone will experience what it feels like to be a writer in a workshop classroom.

Through a hands-on and collaborative approach, participants will

  • experience key rituals and routines of Writer’s Workshop
  • create mini-lessons that teach craft, revision, conventions—and more
  • draft pieces that may serve as teaching tools for mini-lessons
  • dig into touchstone texts as exemplars for craft lessons
  • differentiate for English learners, gifted, and students with IEPs
  • make relevant connections to the Common Core State Standards.

All will leave this workshop series with a wealth of writing strategies and resources—and feel a boost in their own identities as writers.


Upcoming Events for Teachers

Summer Events for Students