Making Literacy 2014

Jun 18, 2014   //   by Will Banks   //   For Teachers, News, Outreach, Professional Development  //   //  Comments Off on Making Literacy 2014

Making Literacy Institute

Tar River Writing project cordially invites you to participate in our 2014 Making Literacy teacher professional development institute July 28 – August 1 at East Carolina University.

What is literacy? What does it mean to be literate in a community, a culture, or a network of people? And what role do teachers play in fostering the many and varied types of literacy that people need  in order to have richer, more complex experiences with the world and each other? And how might we go about “making” literacy?  For many educators, the physical acts of creating objects, of tinkering and experimenting, and of writing about those experiences, have been pathways for making many different types of literacy happen in and out of their classrooms.

As teachers, we certainly want our students to learn, to have rich and engaging experiences in our classrooms, but increasing class sizes make many traditional teaching strategies difficult. How do we engage the students who need active-learning strategies while also creating a space for students who work well independently? With Internet and other digital tools playing such an active part in our students’ lives, and given how difficult access can be for students and teachers alike, how do we find ways to engage those tools and help students learn to use them more effectively in both their academic and extra-curricular lives? How do we help ourselves and our students to make literacy a key component of their digital lives?

Making Literacy participants will explore these questions by engaging a variety of low-tech (and low-cost) activities including daybook making, paper circuitry, and basic web coding.  With experienced Tar River Writing Project teacher consultants nearby for support, participants can explore the possibilities and challenges in adopting a maker-centered approach to literacy development with students across age ranges.

Rarely do teachers (or students) have time to engage learning as “play,” to tinker, explore, experiment — all natural parts of the learning process. Making Literacy provides a rich and creative environment, as well as the tools and support necessary to make STEM experiences and STEM literacies more visible and more accessible to all teachers and their students in ENC.

We anticipate that Making Literacy participants and their students will also have opportunities over the 2014-2016 academic years to engage additional STEM-related projects through our grant-funded partnership with the NC Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh, which begins in September 2014.

While our grants are supporting institute tuition, participants are asked to pay a $35 technology fee to cover the costs of materials.  Use the link below to register for Making Literacy and to pay your technology fee.

Making Litearcy Registration

If you have already RSVP’d/registered and just need to pay the $35 technology fee, click here to be directed to an ECU secure website.

If you have any questions about Making Literacy or Tar River Writing Project, contact Stephanie West-Puckett (

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