Overview of Teachers College Reading and Writing Project (TCRWP)
The Hewlett-Woodmere School District has been affiliated with TCRWP for over ten years in the areas of reading and writing. Teachers at Ogden Elementary School are part of lead teacher groups and specialty teacher groups. They represent Ogden at various professional development days at participating districts throughout Nassau County. Ogden has hosted several days when other districts visited us to observe the outstanding work of both teachers and students. In addition, teachers receive intensive training by a senior staff developer from the Project as well as attend specific training days at Columbia University based on the school focus each year. We are highly dedicated to the success of literacy at Ogden.
The mission of the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project is to help young people become avid and skilled readers, writers, and inquirers. They accomplish this goal through research, curriculum development, and through working shoulder-to-shoulder with students, teachers, and school leaders. The organization has developed state-of-the-art tools and methods for teaching reading and writing, for using performance assessments and learning progressions to accelerate progress, and for literacy-rich content-area instruction. Thousands of teachers regard the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project as a continual source of professional renewal and education.
The Knowledge Base
The Teachers College Reading and Writing Project was founded and is directed by Lucy Calkins, The Robinson Professor of Children’s Literature at Teachers College. Lucy is the author or co-author of over two score of books, including Pathways to the Common Core (with Ehrenworth and Lehman) which was recently listed as #8 in the New York Times list of best-selling education books. She has also authored/co-authored The Art of Teaching Writing, The Art of Teaching Reading, Writing Pathways, and a series of books titled Units of Study in Reading and the recently releasedUnits of Study in Opinion/Argument, Information and Narrative Writing: A K-8 Common Core Curriculum. These books, as well as those by current and former staff members and TCRWP teachers, create a portfolio of texts which is foundational to reading and writing workshop instruction across the globe.
The TCRWP functions both as a think tank and a community of practice. Every Thursday for thirty years, the staff developers and leaders devote the entire day to participating in an intense, collaborative think-tank. Meanwhile lead teachers participate in many think tanks that last across years and contribute in important ways to the organization’s knowledge base. Because the TCRWP places high value on maintaining long-term and close affiliations with schools and districts, this means that the organization, like its schools, is continually adapting to new pressures and challenges while holding tight to a longstanding commitment to joyous, purposeful, lifelong literacy. The result is that the TCRWP is deeply engaged in finding reasonable (and sometimes state-of-the-art) solutions to calls for more data-based, standards-based instruction and more alignment with teacher-effectiveness frameworks.
The trajectory of this learning community is strengthened by close links to national literacy leaders and school reform experts, over 20 of whom work on site with us each year. Recently we (and the teachers with whom we work) have learned from Peter Johnston, Dick Allington, Tim Rasinski, Tony Wagner, Kylene Beers, Yvonne Rodriquez, Stephanie Harvey, Ellin Keene, Michael Fullan, James Comer, Katherine Bomer, Heidi Hayes Jacobs, Diane Ravitch, and Alfred Tatum. New York City’s location at the publishing capital of the world allows us to bring children’s authors to Teachers College. During recent years, visiting children’s authors include Katherine Paterson, Kate DiCamillo, James Howe, Pam Muñoz Ryan, Avi, Walter Dean Meyers, Jon Scieszka and others.