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In Celebration of Digital Learning Day at Connecticut Writing Project @ Fairfield

In Celebration of Digital Learning Day at Connecticut Writing Project @ Fairfield

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Written by Bryan Ripley Crandall
February 05, 2014

To celebrate Digital Learning Day, CWP@Fairfield tapped into the brilliance of Ms. Megan O’Neill’s 1st graders at Hill Central Academy in New Haven, Connecticut. The yearlong professional development made availalbe through a 2013-2014 High Needs grant has helped teachers to focus on the importance of community in writing activity systems and exploring digital tools for 21st century success. The work has also benefited from the expertise of NYC’s Eric Komoroff, Community of Unityand the mission to help school-aged children in finding their song – that is, their unique potential to be great! 

Yesterday, Director Bryan Ripley Crandall led a workshop with Ms. O’Neill’s 1st graders on argumentative writing (a new task for fledgling writers resulting from Common Core State Standards). The mini-project was documented in digital form by Crandall at Kreativitet

Happy Digital Learning Day, 2014 – Digital Work with Hill Central 1st Grade Writers @OfficialDLDay @digitalis @writingproject

Since the video debuted, teacher O’Neill already began to think ahead to next steps. In her words,

“I am sitting here on this snow day thinking about how I can turn the work from yesterday into a follow-up – a more meaningful lesson versus the fabulous one day guest appearance. Here is what I came up with: I have been working with my students all year on the idea that writing is a process. Sometimes we have great, fully developed ideas on our first attempt, but more often we have to stop, think, edit, revise, etc.  


I am going to take the idea of Hill Central through the writing process entirely.  We will build on the brainstorm the first graders did with CWP@Fairfield and come up with arguments for what Hill Central is (i.e. awesome, fun, etc).  They will also brainstorm information (reasons) for their argument like “Fun Friday” and “reading books.”  We will take the pieces through the drafting, revising (elaborating on our reasons), editing, and publishing processes.  

We have data on the creative and writing abilities of first graders on the spot, but I want to see what they are able to accomplish through more explicit teaching and further development of ideas.”

This is the Model At Work. This is Teachers Teaching Teachers. This is what Digital Is. And this is what being an Educator Innovater is all about. The National Writing Project remains the greatest gift to teacher leaders in the nation.