Monday, February 27, 2017


Reclaiming Purpose & Passion

All Write Summer Institute

Thursday, June 22nd, 8am to 3:30 PM

Friday, June 23rd, 8am to 3:30 PM                  

1 Tiger Lane

Warsaw, IN

Registration Times
6/21 -- 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
6/22 -- 7:30 am - 8:15 am

Send Payment To:
All Write/East Noble School Corporation
Mindy Hoffar
126 W. Rush St.
Kendallville, IN 46755
Conference Schedule                       
Thursday (6/22/2016)
8:30 Keynote: Lester Laminack
9:30-11:30: Morning Sessions
11:30 - 1:00: Lunch Break*
*12:00 - 1:00: Optional Lunch Sessions
1:00 - 3:30: Afternoon Sessions

Friday (6/23/2016)
8:00 - 11:20: Morning Sessions
11:20 - 12:50: Lunch Break*
*12:00 - 1:00: Optional Lunch Sessions
1:00 - 2:00: Afternoon Sessions
2:10 - 3:10: Closing Keynote
3:10 - 3:30: Give Aways (10 Free Registrations are up for grabs! You must be present to win.)



Lester is Professor Emeritus from Western Carolina University where he taught writing workshop, children's literature, and reading. His professional books include Learning Under the Influence of Language and Literatureand Reading Aloud Across the Curriculum: How to Build Bridges in Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies. He is also author of six children’s books: The Sunsets of Miss Olivia Wiggins, Trevor’s Wiggly-Wobbly Tooth, Saturdays and Tea Cakes, Jake’s 100th Day of School, Snow Day! and Three Hens and a Peacock, (2012 Children’s Choice K-2 Book of the Year Award) all from Peachtree Publishers. His newest book, Writers ARE Readers: Flipping Reading Instruction Into Writing Opportunities (Heinemann) is now available.

Jennifer Serravallo

Jennifer Serravallo is the author of New York Times bestseller The Reading Strategies Book as well as other popular Heinemann titles, including Teaching Reading in Small Groups; Conferring with Readers; and The Literacy Teacher's Playbook, Grades K–2 and Grades 3–6. Her newest book is The Writing Strategies Book. Jen began her career in education as a teacher in NYC and later joined the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project at Columbia University. Through TCRWP and now as an independent consultant, she has spent over a decade helping teachers across the country to create literacy classrooms where students are joyfully engaged and the instruction is meaningfully individualized to students' goals.                           

Franki Sibberson

Franki is a third grade teacher. She believes that students need authentic experiences as readers and that intentional classroom design and thoughtful planning are critical for these readers to become lifelong readers. She is also the author of Beyond Leveled Books (Stenhouse), Still Learning to Read (Stenhouse), Day-to-Day Assessment in the Reading Workshop (Scholastic) and The Joy of Planning (Choice Literacy). She is also a regular contributor to Choice Literacy.

Peter Lourie

For Peter, research is another word for exploration!

It's Peter's love of mystery and of what he will discover that compels him toward his next adventure. A book about an Arctic whale scientist who works with the Inupiaq Eskimos on the North Slope of Alaska (Whaling Season: A Year in the Life of an Arctic Whale Scientist) was followed by another book (The Manatee Scientists: Saving Vulnerable Species) about manatees in West Africa, the Amazon, Mexico and Florida. He published a book on polar bears, Polar Bear Scientists, and his new book with Henry Holt will be about Jack London in the Klondike Gold Rush. For teachers, Peter, along with New Mexican 5th-grade teacher Dave Somoza, has co-written Writing to Explore: Discovering Adventure in the Research Paper (see video below). And Peter is now working on a book about Norwegian Polar Explorer Fridtjof Nansen.

Peter holds a BA in classics from New York University, an MA in English Literature from the University of Maine, and an MFA in creative writing from Columbia University. He has taught writing at Columbia College and the University of Vermont, and is now teaching Adventure Writing & Digital Storytelling at Middlebury College.

He makes his living traveling, writing and photographing. He also visits schools to share his adventures with students and teachers.

David Somoza

David teaches fifth grade in Burnt Hills, NY; he and his family live near Saratoga Springs. David loves teaching all subjects, but most enjoys teaching writing. He says, "Working with kids is always unpredictable, and that's the best part. If you give the kids parameters but let them go off and explore on their own, you never know what they'll come up with. This is particularly true with writing. Every time they write there's a chance that they'll create something new and beautiful. Even after all these years of teaching, I'm still blown away by their insight, their perspective, their creative use of language, and the genuine passion that comes out in their essays. At times, I think they even surprise themselves. It's often through their writing that I really get to know and understand my kids." David and Peter wrote Writing to Explore (Stenhouse).

Troy Hicks

A former middle school teacher, Troy is currently a professor of Literacy and Technology at Central Michigan University focusing his work on the teaching of writing, literacy and technology and teacher education. Troy’s passion is collaborating with K-12 educators exploring how to implement newer literacies in the classrooms. He is director of CMU’s Chippewa Writing Project and author of the Heinemann titles Crafting Digital Writing (2013) and The Digital Writing Workshop (2009), as well as a co-author of Because Digital Writing Matters (Jossey-Bass, 2010) and Create, Compose, Connect! (Routledge/Eye on Education, 2014). Most importantly, he is the father of six digital natives and is always learning something new about writing and technology from them.

FRIDAY SPEAKERS                  


Ruth Ayres

Ruth is smitten by the way writers work, loves learning alongside teachers, and believes everyone has a story that matters. She is an instructional coach for Wawasee School Corporation and a contributor to Choice Literacy & Lead Literacy. Ruth is the co-author of Day by Day and Celebrating Writers (Stenhouse Publishers). Her newest book, Enticing Writers, is expected in 2017. Check out her resources for making teaching writers manageable and enjoyable at her website, Discover. Play. Build.

Tammy Mulligan & Clare Landrigan

Clare and Tammy have worked together for the past eighteen years. They began their work together coteaching an integrated first- and second-grade classroom at the Eliot Pearson Children's School in Medford, Massachusetts.

Clare and Tammy now run a private staff development business, Teachers to Teachers. They work with varied school systems to implement best practices in the field of literacy and to engage in institutional change. They are contributors to Choice Literacy and Lead Literacy and wrote Assessment in Perspective (Stenhouse).


Franki is a third grade teacher. She believes that students need authentic experiences as readers and that intentional classroom design and thoughtful planning are critical for these readers to become lifelong readers. She is also the author of Beyond Leveled Books (Stenhouse), Still Learning to Read (Stenhouse), Day-to-Day Assessment in the Reading Workshop (Scholastic) and The Joy of Planning (Choice Literacy). She is also a regular contributor to Choice Literacy.


A National Board Certified Teacher, Lee Ann Spillane teaches English at Cypress Creek High School in Florida. "I love the everyday epiphanies of the classroom," Lee Ann says about her teaching life. "It is the rare student that strikes a poker face in class when understanding dawns -- I love the expression, the wonder, the buildup of curiosity, the magic of being in the classroom. I love the moments of community when students come together over a topic or shared piece of writing, when they burst into spontaneous applause after someone reads a piece of writing, or secretly look up so that they don't cry -- teenagers amaze me. I love being someone they can count on."

In addition to teaching English, Lee Ann is an avid technology mentor, providing one-on-one technology help or tech-infused workshops to teachers in her district and beyond. She often presents at local, state, and national conferences and seeks out learning opportunities that help her refine her own instructional practices.


Ruth is currently a contributor and Writing Department Editor for the professional journal Reading Teacher. She’s president of the Culham Writing Company and former Unit Manager of the Assessment Program at Education Northwest in Portland, Oregon. She was English Teacher of the Year in Montana, one of the highlights of her 19-year teaching career. Culham holds specialty degrees in Library Science and Elementary, Middle, and Secondary English Education.

Ruth has written 6+1 Traits of Writing: The Complete Guide, Grades 3 and Up, followed by 6+1 Traits of Writing: The Complete Guide for the Primary Grades and Traits of Writing: The Complete Guide for Middle School, winner of the 2011 Teacher’s Choice award. Most recently, Ruth has published the bestselling The Writing Thief: Using Mentor Texts to Teach the Craft of Writing that demonstrates how to read with a writer’s eye to lift the best writing techniques from favorite authors. Ruth has also penned What Principals Need to Know About Teaching and Learning Writing for all school leaders and literacy coaches.


Deborah Hopkinson is the author of more than 40 books for young readers including picture books, middle grade fiction, and nonfiction. In her presentations at schools and conferences, she helps bring history and research alive. She also is frequent instructor at writing workshops for adults. Her work is especially well-suited for STEM and CCSS connections.

Her nonfiction includes Courage & Defiance, Stories of Spies, Saboteurs and Survivors in WWII Denmark, Titanic: Voices from the Disaster, a Robert F. Sibert Award honor book and YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction honor book, and Shutting out the Sky, Life in the Tenements of New York 1880-1924, an NCTE Orbis Pictus award honor book and Jane Addams Award honor book.
Deborah’s award-winning picture books include Sky Boys, How They Built the Empire State Building, an ALA Notable and Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor book and Apples to Oregon won the Golden Kite Award and Spur Storytelling Award. A four-time Oregon Book Award finalist, Deborah won in 2009 for Keep On! The Story of Matthew Henson, Co-Discoverer of the North Pole. Her most recent historical fiction title, The Great Trouble: A Mystery of London, the Blue Death, and a Boy Called Eel was an Oregon Book Award finalist which won the OCTE Oregon Spirit Award.
A former professional in fundraising for colleges and universities, Deborah received a B.A. in English from the University of Massachusetts and an M.A. in Asian Studies from the University of Hawai'i at Manoa. She lives near Portland, Oregon.

Debbie Miller

Debbie Miller taught and learned from children in The Denver Public Schools for thirty years. Author of Reading with Meaning: Teaching Comprehension in the Primary Grades, 2nd edition(Stenhouse, 2012) and the video series, Happy Reading! and the Joy of Conferring, Debbie now presents workshops and works extensively with schools and districts on long-range planning and development of literacy programs.

She worked for many years with the Denver-based Public Education and Business Coalition (PEBC), a nonprofit group committed to providing ongoing support and leadership for schools in the Denver area and nationally. Debbie has also been an adjunct professor at The University of Denver and Regis University.



As a former elementary teacher, reading specialist, and math coach, Sue knows what it’s like in the classroom and her background is evident throughout her work as she unpacks best practices in a clear, practical, and upbeat way.
She is the lead author of Math in Practice, a new grade-by-grade K-5 professional learning resource. She is also coauthor of the bestselling Putting the Practices Into Action, Mastering the Basic Math Facts in Addition and Subtraction, and Mastering the Basic Math Facts in Multiplication and Division. She served as editor of Heinemann’s popular Math Process Standards series and also wrote the bestselling Now I Get It.


Wednesday, June 21st, 7pm to Thursday, June 22nd, 7pm

Warsaw, IN, United States

Warsaw, IN

After registration, you will receive an invitation to both Heinemann and Scholastic receptions.

*Times subject to change. Please refer to your invitation.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Today's reflection:

Why Conferring Matters

I looked at Maria (name changed). I couldn’t stop the tears pooling in my eyes and she could not stop hers. We hugged, sighed, paused, and then began to talk. This writing conference with Maria, I believe, taught her the power of language, the power of her story being heard. It taught me that conferences are sacred. They not only give us a perfect opportunity to teach to the specific needs of individual students, but the conference also provides a window into the lives of our students that helps us connect in ways we can’t do otherwise.
I was working in a sixth-grade language arts classroom during a unit of study on memoir and I was partnering with the teacher, our emphasis on conferring strategies. The students were beginning to draft their pieces.  I met with Maria (name changed) asking her to talk with me about what she was doing as a writer that day.

She explained that this was hard, this memoir she was drafting. She had decided to just write quickly trying to get the story down in her notebook. Then she would go back to revise. She had just finished her initial draft.
“Ok, so you are doing a flash draft. Writers often do that when they just need to get something out. May I see what you have so far?”

“Sure,” she answered, “but it is not very good.”
I began to read her rough draft.

My dream was that me, my mom, my dad, and my little brother Teddy, (Name changed) were going to be together forever never to separate from each other. Our family was little but always happy but now it’s broken don’t know how long is going to last. It all started when I came back from school like always I did my homework, playing with my little brother Teddy. He was two years old I was seven, and seeing dad learn his English I was better than him in speaking English but not as smart like him and learn a little more. Night came dad kissed me and my brother good night. I woke up in the middle of the night. I was surprise that my dad wasn’t in bed and I saw why. Mom wasn’t home she never came home this late at night not even my dad. I worried and went back to bed but couldn’t sleep. I heard the door open and then close. I look at my dad I had a smile on my face but dad a frown. In his hand I saw a belt I don’t know what he was going to do with it. I was scard. Dad went down stairs I heard them talking, then that talking to turn to yelling I covered myself and then I heard my mom scared. I jumped. tears was coming out of my eyes I was scrade I whated everything to stop    the screaming    the yelling    everything around me. I couldn’t stop crying   my eyes   my nose   were red   I whated to go downstairs to stop the fight but I felt that I was frozen right were I was. Why was my dad doing with mom  why the belt? And then I remember   Dad called mom’s boss saying she went out with someone. I stoped crying and then I felt heart-broken. I heard the police siren outside the house. Someone called the police. Fanilly I jump out of bed ran down stairs  I saw a policeman taking photos of mom wounds  I saw red marks on her legs and then I look at the window  two policemen where taking dad to the ploice car  I cried so loud I wanted to run right straight to my dad but someone hold me back  it was one of moms friends the one who called the police she said everything was going to be allright but not for me I knew nothing was going to be the same for me. I felt lonely and a piece of my heart never healed.

It was raw. It was honest. It was painful to read. On this particular day, and this particular conference, I did not offer advice. I simply responded as a reader moved by Maria’s story. We discussed who her audience might be for this piece. She wondered if it might help others who had been in a similar situation as her. Maybe it might help them know they weren’t alone.

 I share this conference for several reasons.
First, conferences take time. We can’t expect to have a lasting effect on students when we confer, if we don’t take the time to know our writers so we can respond in meaningful ways. I believe that the biggest difference we make in the classroom comes when we have built relationships based on trust and caring. Writing conferences are a perfect way to know our students, not just as writers, but also as people.

Second, I can make better decisions in the conference when I take the time to listen to what the student is trying to do, to talk and ask questions to learn more, to read at least a portion of the piece, and then provide a teaching point that makes the most sense for that student at that moment (or in the case above, not teach at all but simply give an honest response).

Conferencing with students truly is the heart of writing workshop. As my favorite conferring guru Carl Anderson Says, “As we get better at conferring, it’s essential that we remember the most important lessons about having good writing conferences.  To confer well, we need to be affected by students, and them by us.”




Friday, November 11, 2016

Today’s reflection was so hard. I truly am sending it knowing it is a work in progress. I just felt a need to send it even though it feels unfinished.  Thank you all for the hard work you do each day to help our students to be the best they can be.

The power of Language

It’s possible. Even today when it seems it’s more popular to insult others and spew hatred, a writing workshop classroom can become a space where everyone feels safe, where words have power, but the power is not used to ridicule, but rather to celebrate and educate, to entertain and persuade, to argue and reflect. Students can rise above petty differences and instead become a community of writers working together to share ideas, and affirmations, disagreements, and challenges to make their voices heard.

Carl Anderson, author of How’s it Going, says you can tell your writing workshop is successful when it feels like a club, a writing club where every student is a member.  This atmosphere is created when students know they can take risks and not be ridiculed.

Everyone in the room appreciates the hard work that goes into writing. The teacher, also a member of the group, shares his writing with the class to show he’s willing to take risks, which encourages the students to become risk takers too. Students are writing coaches in the classroom, not just the teacher.  It’s important they realize that everyone can offer encouragement and positive suggestions to their peers. That is very different from a classroom where the teacher assigns writing projects that are due in a specific number of days with a specific set of requirements, where there is no conversation or talk to fuel ideas and learning and writing.

Our classrooms are microcosms of the world outside. We can choose to ignore the real sense of hurt and fear felt by many of our citizens, or we can choose to help and heal by cultivating empathy, and trust. We can help our students find their voice in ways that bring people together rather than tear people apart. We have a huge job ahead and I believe writing workshop can be an perfect place to do that work.


Friday, September 2, 2016

Rick Wormeli presents

Standards Based Assessment and Grading
Grades K-12
October 4, 2016
East Noble High School Auditorium

Join us for a provocative workshop in which we identify fundamental elements of formative assessment and contrast them with elements of summative judgment. We will take a compelling look at what is and is not standards-based assessment and grading.  We’ll explore what it means to be truly evidence-based in assessing and reporting students’ achievements regarding standards and learner outcomes.  We’ll address the biggest concerns in grading today: averaging, zeroes on the 100-point scale, re-do’s, percentages, grading scales, late work, marking homework, extra credit, gradebook and report card design, formative vs summative assessments, reporting behavior/effort/character elements, disaggregation, and much more. Don’t miss this chance to confront misconceptions and make the most of students’ learning!                       

Cost: *Free to consortium members. 
         * Nonmembers $150 (
Register 5 people and 6th goes free
To register go to the link below.


Friday, July 1, 2016



All Write Presents:


 Greg Tang is coming to Warsaw, IN
August 29, 2016 for a one day workshop grades 1-6!!
Best Practice Workshop
Greg Tang’s new grades 1-6 workshop is on “Best"Best Practices," but not just in the usual way! Greg will start with tips and strategies on "best practices" for teaching math more effectively – from using multiple representations, to using visuals, to moving away from visuals, to effective math talks, to differentiating instruction, to constructive constructivism, to teaching algorithms, to formative assessments, to increasing rigor.
We will then look at "best practices" – but meaning the best ways for students to practice! Greg and his team are working around the clock to develop games, materials and math centers that teach, reinforce, and provide hours and hours of meaningful practice. Our activities help students become fact and procedurally fluent, and target the most important skills, strategies and standards.
Greg’s unique approach to teaching mathematics combines best practices, for both teaching and student practice, is producing top test scores and happy students, teachers and parents across the country. Join us and you’ll come away with practical and proven ideas you can implement immediately in your classroom. Greg will help you make your own practices – the best!
To sign up for this workshop go to the link:


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

All Write Summer Institute 2016 - Finding Joy in the Journey!!

Don't miss this great opportunity to be a part of this wonderful conference. We love it and would love to have you there with us!!
Just click the link!!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

New opportunity!!!


Spend the day  February 2, 2016 with Kylene Beers and Bob Probst learning about the Close Reading of Nonfiction texts.

Stay at the beautiful Potawatomi Inn at Pokagon State Park. To find out more go to the following link: