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More than I Could Ever Imagine...

Written by Keia Pannell
November 08, 2011

As it turned out inspiration comes in many forms. I was asked to do a week long summer workshop with Cindy Urbanski for teachers. The workshop focused primarily on the writing workshop and thus, authentic writing. In co-leading this workshop I realized that my off the cuff assignment as well as many others is the type we need in order to help students see that writing can be authentic and fun.

Publishing was the theme for UNCC’s NWP spring conference and this seemed to work well. It was suggested that me and two other SI participants, Steve and Dana, work together and do a session. We did a session and I showed how this assignment made the writing real for students. The inspiration did not stop there. We also did a session at the NCETA Conference with this publishing strand. I was proud of the work my students and I thought it was a great way to highlight writing. Lil attended the NCETA conference and my session. She liked the idea of the “Three Words.” Lil was in the NCETA session and it sparked an idea for her too. She thought the idea was interesting and she wanted to know the details. Over the course of the next year I heard Lil say she saw me do this cool thing with “3 words.” Then this past summer during SI, Lil, the participants and Sally did one of their own. She said, “Keia, we used your 3 words idea for summer institute.” I thought that was pretty neat. Two years later it still seems to spark an interest for others. At one of our NWP professional development meetings this year, Lil was looped the video on the computer. I finally got a chance to see how she used it in summer institute. My reaction was the same it put a smile on my face and I was fascinated to see how people viewed their lives in just 3 words.

Want to know more about the people and ideas behind this resource? Click the image below to link to Digital Is (K)not, a resource to tie resources together, created by the UNC Charlotte Writing Project.