Open Programs

WOW Workshops (Workshops on Writing)

We are pleased to announce our 2017-18 WOW Workshops. These workshops focus on different aspects of writing instruction and are applicable to all teachers, including pre-service teachers, new and experienced teachers, and SJVWP Teacher Consultants.

During this academic year, our workshops will focus on the needs of students in the Central Valley, including students in foster care and those who are English language learners. Our fall workshops will include a Saturday session in September that builds our knowledge about issues local students face and an October session that examines how ideas about growth mindset can influence our writing curriculum. In the spring, we’ll have a special after school session that will help us shape experiences with writing that encourage students to intervene in public discussions. Our last workshop, in February, will explore creative ways that student writing can be grounded in our community.

  • September 30, 2017 (Saturday morning): Writing Curriculum for At-Risk Students, using writing to empower students with special needs, including those who are in foster care
  • October 28, 2017 (Saturday morning): Fostering a Growth Mindset through Writing Curriculum, designing curriculum with an eye towards mindfulness/growth mindset
  • January 25, 2018 (Thursday after school): Using Writing to Engage with the Central Valley, place-based writing–writing about nature, place, and issues related to the Central Valley
  • February 24, 2018 (Saturday morning): Moving Writing Beyond the Classroom, helping students take their writing public in meaningful ways and develop communication skills they will need outside our classrooms

The cost of these workshops is $20 for each or $75 for all four. Undergraduate and credential program students can attend for free.

One unit of credit is available for those who attend all workshops–however, you must register by Oct. 15, 2017 to earn the unit. Please contact Dr. Wahleithner ( for registration information.

We hope you’ll join us for this exciting series that will focus on local issues related to writing instruction. Hover over each date for the link to the registration site. Please be sure to fill out the registration form for each workshop you’d like to attend so that we can notify you about location, times, parking, and other details.

Book Club, Zaretta Hammond

From Jackie Smith, Associate Director, SJVWP:

The California Writing Project and the San Joaquin Valley Writing Project invite you to join us in studying Zaretta Hammond’s book Culturally Responsive Teaching & the Brain. Of Hammond’s book, an Amazon reviewer says, “[Culturally Responsive Teaching] is about understanding how students view the world through the lens of their culture, which in turns influences their own decisions in a classroom. This book can help teachers identify how students’ culture and assets can be leveraged to help them succeed” (Whitinger, John D. “Potentially Transformative.” 3 Feb 2017).

Book clubs are not new. You have most likely participated in them, and many of you have created book clubs for your students at your school and in your classroom. What may be slightly different is that this is an invitation to join an ONLINE book club focusing on social justice and anti-bias and their essential connections to literacy, writing, and learning. Our book club will take place between September 2017 and March 2018, culminating in the CWP Pre-Convention Day on March 8, 2018. You do not need to attend the Pre-Convention Day to participate in the book club (but we hope to see you there!).

Ways to get involved:

  1. Ask your principal/school leader to sponsor a site-based book club. Discuss the chapter questions in person, and then post responses online to join the larger discussion. (A link to the questions will be posted in our Google Classroom.)
  2. Join together with teachers from your area. Meet informally at a coffee shop or school to discuss Hammond’s work.
  3. Join our book study online. Interact with fellow teachers around the Valley to learn together about culturally responsive teaching.

I encourage you to to share this information with your administrators when school starts and ask for funding to invest in book clubs and support a team for the CWP Pre-Convention Day on March 8, 2018, in San Diego, where Zaretta Hammond will be a keynote speaker. The theme of the CWP and CATE Convention is “With Literacy and Justice for ALL.” Teacher leaders from around the state will also be sharing how they implement social justice and anti-bias work in their learning spaces.

If you’d like to participate, please register on the Google Form and order your copy of Hammond’s book. Registration is free, of course. After you register you’ll receive a code for the Google Classroom.

New Teachers Writing Collaborative

Our next offering of the New Teachers Writing Collaborative will be in June 2018.

The San Joaquin Valley Writing Project is pleased to open registration for our annual workshop for new teachers, the New Teachers Writing Collaborative (NTWC). Through inquiry, participants will develop a deeper understanding of the three genres of writing associated with the Common Core: narrative, informational, and argument/opinion. We will discuss the overlap between reading and writing instruction, focusing particularly on how to integrate writing instruction into unit design. Participants also will take part in writing groups, develop their skills for collaboration, and, well, WRITE! We believe that the best teachers of writing are those who write, who haven’t forgotten the demands of producing all types of writing.

Any new teacher, K-university in any discipline is welcome. We’ve decided to define “new teacher” as anyone with less than 4 years of experience.

We hope you’ll join us for this exciting workshop. We will be limiting the group to just 25 participants, so please be sure to sign up and pay the $350 fee early. We urge school and district administrators to find funds to support their new teachers’ participation–and to encourage teachers to sign up.

Dates: June 18-28, 2018

Times: 8:45-3:30

Location: Fresno State campus

Participants can also purchase 3 units of Fresno State credit for an additional $225 ($75 dollars per unit).

Possible funding sources: ESEA, Title I, II, III, V; Investing in Innovation I3; College Readiness Block Grant; LCAP funding

If you have any questions, please email Jackie Smith at jaclynsmith345 (at)

Testimonials from NTWC participants:

ELA TEACHER, 2016 PARTICIPANT: The New Teachers’ Writing Collaborative taught me strategies to get creative with my instruction, empower my students with and through writing, and integrate inquiry and movement into various learning experiences. It reminded me that my students are capable of taking risks, and that I am capable of guiding them.

SOCIAL STUDIES TEACHER, 2015 PARTICIPANT: I was at first daunted by the idea of involving so much writing into my social science classroom, but with these tools I am very excited and less scared to incorporate writing and meet those Common Core standards.

SPANISH TEACHER, 2015 PARTICIPANT: [A student’s writing] process may be unique but I want to teach them to embrace that and to see how they can improve it so that they can become great writers.


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