Super Saturday #1

On Saturday morning we kicked off the Summer Institute in grand fashion, convening in Old Main for our first Super Saturday. It was a day full of writing and introductions and more writing. Suzanne led off the morning with her R&R (Reading and Reflection) sharing of Marge Piercy's "To Be of Use."

Introductions followed, and fellows developed writing topic list and met in their writing groups for the first time.

Katrina shared the year's first teaching demonstration, walking us through "Cozy Cushions on the Couch of Poetry." (Note: I have uploaded Katrina's teaching demonstration.) It was a wonderful presentation with multiple opportunities to try write poetry, both independently and collaboratively. The presentation had magical qualities...at one point a group verbally wished the sun would emerge, and it did immediately afterward. Shouts of "I wish I had more money" and "I wish for world peace quickly followed." The presentation ended with a "Poetry Walk" and our sharing of poetry utilizing sensory imagery. As is the norm, we followed with feedback via a reflection pool.

Before lunch, we met in our Workshop Development Groups and discussed ground rules and preliminary ideas for teaching demonstrations. After a delicious lunch of hot dogs and pasta salad (and Grey Poupon!), we reconvened to give further discussion of writing groups. Jon, Jessica, Keri, and Katrina demonstrated the typical writing group, while the group shared observations about the nature of the groups, culminating in a document titled "What Happens in Writing Groups."

To end the day, Jon introduced the Red Carpet Inquiry project and shared some...ummm...eye opening films created by last year's fellows. We watched "Grammar Man"; the result of an inquiry into effective grammar instruction, and a movie looking at the adverse effects of NCLB on ESL students. Here's "Grammar Man."

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