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3RD Space overview page

Written by Ralph Cordova
July 17, 2012

Hi Ralph … here is a space for an overview/context setting piece. Let me know if you need assistance in creating more pages or connecting another resource.

MWP Connects (draft)

Minnesota Writers Project

University of Minnesota

Minneapolis, MN

Serving rural and urban districts throughout Minnesota

Our Site Need:  We need to create casual and formal environments that allow current, past, future, active, and passive teachers to grow and feel empowered as a community, and share our identity with the broader community.

Philadelphia Writing Project – Seeks 3rdSpace to work with museums and other community resources (draft)

Site  Context:

The Philadelphia Writing Project is over 25 years and serves the students and  teachers of the city of Philadelphia. Over time, we have been active in addressing challenges in urban education, second language learners,  teacher research, and arts in education. Educators explore literacy, writing, teaching, and learning in their classrooms and schools regardless of grade or discipline.  The Philadelphia Writing Project has a network of over 700 teacher consultants

Emergent Need Statement:

The Philadelphia Writing Project needs a way to explore education programs at local museums or community arts organizations and to share what we know about teaching and learning in order to  design a “co-partnership” that draws on the knowledge, experience and learning of diverse organizations. Through this collaboration we believe that the partnership will yield greater learning about about student engagement than we could accomplish separately.


Glass Classrooms: Making learning transparent (draft)

Glass Classrooms are school-embedded, collaboratory hubs for teaching and professional learning in the Park Hill School District.

Four Window Panes:





Things to do now:

Set up Blog.

Decide on project name (Is Glass Classroom too brittle?)

Brainstorm links to other entities (colleges, universities, business and industry)

Develop print materials (QR Codes and Look For sheets)

Access streaming video and distance learning technologies to use within district.

Develop invitations for participation.

Conduct needs discussions with teachers of 8th grade Reading, 9/10 Science and others.

Things to do during implementation:

Start with one 8th grade Reading (Congress Middle) and one 9/10th grade Science (PH South HS) and explore other venues.

Foster participation for in-person visits and collaboration.

Foster participation in real-time by streaming video.

Foster planning.

Foster reflection and idea sharing.


Advisory Committee

Thinking partners/ambassador at each secondary building

Principal Buy-In

Central Office Administrator Buy-In

Data collection (start and during and finish)


Japanese lesson study


Oklahoma State University is located in Stillwater Oklahoma, with satellites in Tulsa and Oklahoma City, serving rural, and urban teachers, kindergarten to college. This fall OSUWP will celebrate twenty years since our first Summer Institute in 1992.  Our plan is to combine the 2012 SI reunion, our advisory council meeting, and the 20 year celebration on a single weekend.


OSUWP needs active TCs to name site needs and design entrepreneurial projects.

On October 5 – 6 we will have an anniversary celebration, which will include

1.  a survey of TCs

What one thing could OSUWP do to support your professional development?

What are your professional goals for the next five years?

What professional conferences do you attend, if any?

Scale question on past activities: How important to future development of OSUWP

1/unimportant  2/minor importance  3/major importance  4/essential


Core Curriculum



Writing Retreats

teacher inquiry

annual meeting

writing center


book talk




writing groups

council meetings

Jewish Federation

Reconciliation Park (Tulsa)


2.  feature class of SI2012

3.  writing activity at OSU Botannical Gardens

4.  an engaging (latex)  community building experience

5.  historical highlights, (1992 – 2012)

6.  dream time (donations to support teacher inquiry)

participants would respond to ths questionnairre:

a.  What if you could design a project for

our site

a group of teachers

in your classroom

b.  What would it be called?

c.  Describe what you would want to do.

d.  List any needs

e.  How would you share your findings?

f.  Does the project include collaborations with another WP site?

7.  building partnerships (money-making and otherwise museums, botannnical gardens)

TCS leave wanting to stay connected (writers and projects, inquiry groups, writing center, invitations to colleagues building the network, participating in fund raising

DCAWP Renewal

DC Area Writing Project is based in Washington, DC, an urban metropolitan area.

Needs Statement:

DC Area Writing Project needs a way to co-construct a vision that values the perspectives, needs, and diversity while providing a unifying purpose that reaches out to the community and inspires excitement, creates opportunities for nurturing leadership, and unifies the old and new membership.

The prototype includes:

  1. Member Buy-in
  2. Rewriting the Vision & Mission statement
  3. Restructuring leadership & the delegation of responsibilities (based on areas of expertise)
  4. Re-establishing a community presence
  5. Community Outreach
  6. Community Engagement

Questions that could emerge:

  • WHO is our membership?
  • What is important in defining our collective vision and mission?
  • Is it possible to look at leadership through a different lense?
  • Who can and should handle our social media presence and in how many forums?
  • Who are our community partners?
  • How do we reach out to them and establish or reestalish relationships?
  • What does community engagement look like?

Prototyping SCWriP Leadership

The South Coast Writing Project was founded in 1979 by Sheridan Blau and other dedicated teachers. Our writing

Designing Continuity (draft)

The Piasa Bluffs Writing Project (PBWP) calls Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville home. SIUE sits on Mississippi River bluffs about 30 miles east of St. Louis, MO. SIUE’s service area includes both large suburban schools as well as smaller rural schools  PBWP just completed its 5th summer institute minting 16 new writing project fellows bringing our total to over 80 fellows and potential TC’s.

The needs statement which emerged as a result of our 3rd Space exploration phase of ResponsiveDesign concerns these 80 fellows. We asked ourselves what is most powerful about our summer institute. What do our fellows most value during our summer work?  We concluded that our iimp process (formerly demo) and the strong community possess the transformative power we want to nurture and amplify through our continuity model. With the help of 3rd space collaborators we drafted this needs statement: PBWP needs a way to involve fellows in further inquiries into practice (iimp) once back in their home school contexts and to enact those inquiries with the support of the summer institute community.

Our emerging prototype utilizes various digital technologies in order to maintain fidelity to our iimp process. In other words, digital spaces such as Skype, Twitter, Facebook could be used for the pre-brief exploration/envisoning phase.

A video record of the enactment or an ethnographic narrative written directly after enactment would provide data for the debrief. As with the pre-brief, this reflection could happen in a digital space.

One question to surface for us as we shaped this model, as we glopped on the laytex and smooshed in the cheese cloth, was “what happens with this digital trail of data produced. Is it only for the iimper – private? Video and other digital data of this iimp process could be used to make a “telling case” for administrators or colleagues interested in nurturing creative collaboration in their schools or classrooms.

Gateway Writing Project Design Challenge (draft)

The Gateway Writing Project has been serving the St. Louis metropolitan area since 1978.

GWP needs a way to communicate within itself and with the public.  We need to articulate our goals, and the roles and duties of leaders and TCs.   We need to develop an explicit understanding of the site’s infrastructure. This overarching need cannot be met without consistent operational support for the site and its directors.  Site directors are currently over-burdened with operation management, subverting their efforts of helping TCs create a “professional home” in Gateway.

Our prototype to address the need of consistent operational support is:

  • Reaching out to the various academic communities in St. Louis

    • Create official internship opportunities for graduate students

      • MBA
      • Computer Science
      • English
      • Social Work
      • Education

    • Proposing a capstone project to individual professors as a way to provide hands-on experiences to classes or individuals

  • Consulting other writing project sites who utilize a successful model in addressing this need

Our prototype to address the needs of communication and definition is to engage our community in a responsive design challenge.  Site leaders, selected TCs, committee chairs, and any interested committee members will be invited to collaborate.

  • Inviting Ralph Cordova to facilitate a 3rdspace forum

    • Define overarching goals for the site
    • Establish clearly defined roles for directors, committee chairs, and TCs
    • Integrate social media throughout the program
    • Investigate effective modes of promotion


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