TTT#377 Dasani: Invisible Child Conversations w/ Marina Lombardo, Maribeth Whitehouse, Stephanie West-Puckett, Al Elliott 1.8.14

On this episode of TTT we offer a conversation about the NY Times articles on Dasani: Invisible Child

We are joined by:

Marina Lombardo Maribeth Whitehouse Stephanie West-Puckett Al Elliott

We were moved the NY Times articles and the issues they raise. Many of us teach students similar to Dasani, and this Times series gives us a great opportunity to talk about the issues that students like her present in our classrooms.

This is our third conversation about Dasani and students who face similar challenges, and what it’s like to be teachers in schools with students facing the challenges of poverty. Also see:

We’d love to know what your perspectives are on the issues raised in the Times series.

Click Read more to see the chat that was happening during this live webcast,
and to find links to several of the resources shared during this episode of TTT.

TTT #297 Margaret Simon on her Young Adult novel, Blessen – 05.15.12

On this special Meet the Authors episode of Teachers Teaching Teachers, Paul Allison, Valerie Burton, and Gail Desler have a conversation with two teachers and recently published authors from New Iberia, Louisiana,+Margaret Simon and +Stephanie Judice/@sagaofthesetti.

Margaret has been a frequent guest on Teachers Teaching Teachers since the BP Oil Spill. Her elementary school school students published memorable poems and multimedia commentary on Voices on the Gulf, and Ms. Simons' students continue to publish on Youth Voices

On this episode of TTT, we celebrate and explore the recent publication of Margaret Simon's Young Adult novel, Blessen

In this highlight from TTT#297, Margaret Simon explains that Blessen was born in a Writing Marathon led by Richard Louth, a director of the Southeastern Louisiana Writing Project [ and ]. The character, Blessen grew real in a workshop with Sharon Arms Doucet [ and after meeting a lot of Blessens as a teacher in New Iberia.

It may be a YA novel or a first-chapter book, but I agree with one Amazon reviewer who writes that Blessen is "a book for young readers, but an old reader like me can enjoy it just as well."

In this highlight from the videocast, Margaret reads "Piggly Wiggly," a chapter from her book, Blessen.

Margaret Simon is a teacher-consultant with the National Writing Project of Acadiana, Louisiana. In this podcast we explore Margaret's creative process, her use of a writing group, and her journey in publication. What questions do you have? Please add your comments below.

Margaret's friend and writing partner, Stephanie Judice, joins us as well. She published Rising last year and is working on Book 2. Margaret writes, "She's the one who pushed me to publish."

An interesting review of Blessen

Stephanie Judice's Saga of Setti on Facebook:!/pages/Saga-of-the-Setti/203566846334918

Margaret Simon's Blessen on Facebook:


Click Read more to see a copy of the chat that was happening during the webcast.

Teachers Teaching Teachers 247 High School-College Transition and the “Framework for Success in Post-secondary Writing” 5.18.11

On this week’s Teachers Teaching Teachers, we have some of our current and former students on the podcast to talk about the high school-college transition. We are also joined by a couple of National Writing Project teachers who have been involved with the “Framework for Success in Post-secondary Writing” that came out a few months ago. These frameworks include this amazing list that we invite you to explore:

Habits of Mind

The Framework identifies eight habits of mind essential for success in college writing—ways of approaching learning that are both intellectual and practical and will support students’ success in a variety of fields and disciplines:

  • Curiosity: the desire to know more about the world.
  • Openness: the willingness to consider new ways of being and thinking in the world.
  • Engagement: a sense of investment and involvement in learning.
  • Creativity: the ability to use novel approaches for generating, investigating, and representing ideas.
  • Persistence: the ability to sustain interest in and attention to short- and long-term projects.
  • Responsibility: the ability to take ownership of one’s actions and
    understand the consequences of those actions for oneself and others.
  • Flexibility: the ability to adapt to situations, expectations, or dema157118nds.
  • Metacognition: the ability to reflect on one’s own thinking as well
    as on the individual and cultural processes used to structure knowledge.

Our guests on this podcast include:

What is College Readiness in Writing? and How Do We Get There? 

Every year, we have far too many students like Ian. They aren’t the AP kids (though they might be), and they aren’t the students who fail our classes. They do OK, even sometimes receiving excellent grades in our high school classrooms. But when they get to college, they place into Developmental English classes, or worse (like Ian) they crash and burn and drop out of college. They fall off the bridge between high school and college. This site is devoted to local efforts to help more students graduating from high school place directly into college level writing classes, and importantly—do well in freshman composition. It is meant both as a resource and a professional community of practice dedicated to doing more to prepare our students for college and for helping these students do well once they are in college, for “college readiness” and “student success” in college are really two sides of the same coin.

  • Kirsten Jamsen whose affiliations include being the co-director of the Minnesota Writing Project.
    Kirsten 278172presented on the “Frameworks for Success in Postsecondary Writing” at the National Writing Project’s Annual Meeting in November, where she discussed the statement’s purpose, and recounted the process of composing it. We’ll ask her do some of that again. We’ll also use some of her questions from that session to guide our discussion on Wednesday evening: “What is your response to the statement? How might you use it to promote effective writing instruction at your school? How could this statement help you design thoughtful professional development?”

  • David Pulling whose students at Louisiana State University, Eunice, have been posting Musique+de+Bayou+Techeon Voices on the Gulf this year. David is the Director of Continuing Education at LSU Eunice, and will share his insights into what it takes to be a successful college writer as well. David is also an active member of the The National Writing Project of Acadiana.


Click Read more to see a copy of the chat that was happening during the webcast.

Teachers Teaching Teachers #203 – Visualizing information and Envisioning New Schools – 06.02.10

For this episode of Teachers Teaching Teachers, we asked Suzie Boss to come on to help us have a conversation with:

  • an amazing young high school student who has developed his own project-based learning by creating info-graphics.
  • a dynamic teacher who has been working all year to help open a new public school in East Brooklyn.

We learned a lot, both about visualizing information and about integrating technology into a new, alternative school.

Michael, Amazing Student
Chris Sloan joined us with one of his amazing students, Michael, from Judge Memorial High School in Salt Lake City. Michael has a blog called Graph the Info.

Click on this image to see a recent post where Michael explains his creative process:


Charlie, Dynamic Teacher

We were also joined by Charlie Freij a teacher we meet in the New York City Writing Project’s Advanced Summer Institute last year. Charlie has been working this year to create a new school, East Brooklyn Community High School, in Canarsie. And his students have been using Youth Voices.

East Brooklyn Community High School is a small, academically rigorous high school that is committed to preparing students for college, meaningful employment, healthy personal and family relationships and participation in the life of their communities. East Brooklyn Community High School is a transfer school that is designed to help students who have fallen behind in credit accumulation get back on track and earn a high school diploma. East Brooklyn Community HS is a collaboration between the DOE and SCO Family Services; our curriculum and programs build on SCO’s comprehensive range of neighborhood and community based services that sustain families and children. The academic program will utilize innovative and project based instructional strategies that prepare students to pass Regents exams and develop the skills needed for post secondary options.

We hope you enjoy this podcast, and that you will join us each Wednesday this summer as we develop curriculum together that will address the BP Gulf Oil Atrocity.

Click Read more to see a copy of the chat that was happening during the webcast.

Teachers Teaching Teachers #60 – Why Technology Matters

On this weeks Teaching Teaching Teachers webcast, we were joined by four National Writing Project teachers who were selected last summer to participate in Tech Matters — a 4-day summer institute sponsored by the Tech Liaison Network of the National Writing Project.  Joe Bellino, Bonnie Kaplan, Kevin Hodgson, and Donna Bragg discussed moments they remember from Tech Matters`06, and they talked about five issues they faced after they returned from Tech Matters. These teachers talked about learning to turn these separate challenges into strands of a web of support for change in their teaching and in their local Writing Projects:

  • creating a personal learning system to continue learning about important new technologies
  • bringing personal learning and experiences with Web 2.0 technologies into their classrooms
  • working with other teachers in their buildings and in other schools in their area to them to begin their learning about Web 2.0 as well.
  • staying connected with other teachers in the National Writing Project’s Tech Liaison network, developing projects for their own learning together
  • working alongside the leadership team of their local Writing Projects, helping these leaders to take their own personal next steps with important technologies.

Thats an outline of what these teachers learned last summer. What did you learn last summer? Did it make a difference in your classroom? How are you learning this summer? Join us to share one of your memories about summer learning.

For example, here is a part of Cynthia Calvert’s story:

Being at TM 06 was one of the best things that ever happened to me both professionally and personally. If I had not been invited to TM06, I would not have met Jason, Tracey, and Paige–my fellow Common Threads collaborators and my life would not have been as full. I now count them among my closest and dearest friends. Then I wouldn’t have met Kevin who inspires me to take risks and try new technology tools that until TM06 I did not know existed. I could go on about each and every person who was involved in TM06. I am a better person and a better TL for having been a part of the institute. I know this sounds corny, but it’s true. Finally, I have a better handle on what my job as Alcorn WP’s TL is. I have more confidence and speak with more authority when I talk about technology. I’ve learned to take baby steps, thanks to Peter and Betty, and not try to do everything at once, so I’m less overwhelmed.

Tech Matters`07 starts within hours. We have already invited all former TM participants to join the Technology Matters website (a DrupalEd site that Bill Fitzgerald and Will Banks have been helping us to build). If you were a Tech Matters participant in  `03, `04,`05, or `06, and we missed you. Please register on our site now:

We would also like to invite anybody who is reading this now to subscribe to the work of Tech Matters`07. We want you to hear the podcasts, see the videos and pictures, and read the texts published by this years invited participants of Technology Matters.

  Subscribe to Technology Matters in a reader (and receive all text, audio, and video that is made public.)

Add Technology Matters Podcast (audio only) to your iTunes


Subscribe to Technology Matters Videocast (video only).


Finally we want to invite you to join us live on webcasts that we will be streaming from Chico, California through the help of Susan Ettenheim, Jeff Lebow, Dave Cormier and others connected with Here are the times when we want you to join us. All you need is Skype, a microphone, and a headset of ear buds to join us on any of these afternoons:

  • Tuesday, July 17 – 5:00-5:45 Pacific / 8:00-8:45 Eastern
  • Wednesday, July 18 – 4:00-5:00 pm Pacific / 7:00-8:00 pm Eastern
  • Thursday, July 19 – 4:00-5:00 pm Pacific/ 7:00-8:00 pm Eastern
  • Friday, July 20 – 4:00-5:00 pm Pacific / 7:00-8:00 pm Eastern
  • Saturday, July 21- To Be Announced

Please join us at Help us to widen the conversations we are having at Technology Matters `07.