Qualities of Powerful Information Writing Institute: Grades K-8

Sunday, October 6 - Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Grade: K-8
Featuring: Lucy Calkins, Valerie Geschwind, Mike Ochs, and Annie Taranto

Every fall for the past few years, a team at TCRWP has gathered to lead an institute that focuses on a different kind of writing. This year’s institute will focus on information writing broadly defined. That is, the institute will help you teach students to write all-about books, brochures, research reports, lab reports, feature articles, websites, nonfiction books—and it will teach YOU how to talk and think with power and precision about the qualities of strong information writing. Ideally, you’ll come away from this institute hankering to do some of your own nonfiction writing!

We’ve chosen this focus because we know that when kids’ skills at writing information texts increase, they’ll be able to write far more effectively in every discipline—social studies, science, math. Their summaries of a textbook chapter will be more proficient, their notes on a science experiment will be worlds better. But equally importantly, we know that as kids learn to write in ways that advance central ideas, that use text boxes, that incorporates a variety of information, that uses charts and graphs and first-hand research, they’ll also be learning to read with an insider’s perspective. This institute will help you develop a toolkit of strategies to explicitly support this kind of transference.

Then, too, we know that by focusing on becoming a far more skilled teacher of one genre, you learn to advance teaching skills that will pay off in every genre. You’ll role play powerful techniques for accelerating students’ writing, including oral rehearsal, repeated practice, goal setting, flash drafting, and large-scale revision. You’ll hear about some of the newest nonfiction texts that can serve as mentors for your writers, and you’ll role play conferences and small groups that help you bring those texts to your students. You’ll learn about cutting edge ways to teach grammar and conventions within writing units of study. And, you’ll walk away with a bevy of ideas for celebrations that engage students with authentic publications and audiences.

These three days will leave you eager to return to your classrooms and begin teaching all that you learned to your students—and your colleagues.


$650/$600 NYC DOE


This institute will take place at the Teachers College campus.
Teachers College, Columbia University
525 W 120th Street
New York, NY