Tuesday, July 29, 2008

WNYWP Daily Log for Tuesday, July 29, 2008


“A day without carbs is like a day without sunshine,” Ruth exclaimed as Brenda, Mulu, and Sean set out a sumptuous spread of bagels, coffee cake, bagels, fruit, juice, and (did I mention?) bagels. Suzanne proudly shared photos taken at Hawk’s Creek brought in for Patty’s demo lesson this afternoon.

Reading and Reflection

Missy read a selection from a novel by Tim O’Brien, The Things They Carried. This reading described not only the physical, but emotional load these soldiers in Vietnam carried with them into battle.

This thought-provoking passage led Patty to share a description of her 98-year-old grandmother, and what she carries from her long, productive life. Angela shared the wisdom her boyfriend gained from a tour in Afghanistan; always carry cigarettes and baby wipes. The death of one of the novel’s characters inspired Sean to describe what he considers worse than death.

Writing Groups

This was our last official day to meet with writing groups. Our group decided to work on a letter to Oprah, extolling the virtues of everyone in Summer Institute, hoping this would earn us an invitation to be on her show. For some reason, we quickly ran out of virtues to extol. If you can help us out, send your suggestions to me.
I will greatly miss the time we had together. Our group was incredibly supportive of each other. I know everyone else thinks their writing group was best, but I know that ours is tops!

Demo Lesson 1

The final two demo lessons were scheduled for today. Mulu presented a thought-provoking lesson entitled, “Mistakes Across Cultures. Educating English Language Learners.” Mulu explained that the number of students with limited English proficiency is growing rapidly. We became her ELL students as she led us through activities that helped illustrate the difficulties these students face understanding language and culture. We all gained an awareness of the need to accept the cultures these students bring, and the importance of helping them gain proficiency in our very difficult English language.

When asked to retell an experience we had with “cultural clash,” Angela recalled an unpleasant dining experience that made us all vow to keep our dogs on a close watch.


We have all reveled in the uncommon (for teachers) luxury of a one-hour lunch. We all agreed we would miss the opportunity we had to chew, swallow, digest, soak in the sun, and engage in conversations that ranged from the mundane to the philosophical. This day included the added bonus of watching science camp students enjoy recess on the lawn.

Demo Lesson 2

Last, and by no means least, Patty presented the very last demo lesson of Summer Institute ’08. Her lesson, “Sensational Writing,” started off with exploring “senses” stations and finished with an opportunity to write a personal narrative using our own pictures. It was obviously an engaging lesson, as many of us planned to continue working on our narratives. We also learned that we would never look at a Hershey’s kiss in quite the same way.

Inquiry Groups

We had a brief time to plan how we would present our research and iMovie on Thursday. Some groups used this time to fine-tune the research papers, while others listened to music from the Muppets. Scott graciously volunteered to speak for our group. You rock, Scott!

New Fellow Liaison

Jessica described the duties of the new fellow liaison, and asked for nominations. Beth, Tom, and Karen are candidates for this important position. The results of our vote will be revealed tomorrow. And the winner is….

Writing Folders

We received folders to fill with any writing we have completed this summer. We will all get the opportunity to read our fellow writers’ contributions during the Gallery Walk Thursday morning.


Address envelopes for the letters describing your participation in WNYWP. These could be sent to principals, superintendents, curriculum coordinators, or anyone else of your choice.
Submitted by Ellen

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