July Workshops 2017-05-12T15:19:43+00:00
Summer 2017

July 9 – 14, 2017 Writing and Thinking Workshops

Register Here Now!

Early-bird fee: $1,350
The early-bird payment deadline is June 1, 2017.

Regular fee (after June 1): $1,500

Early-bird Commuter fee*: $1,050
Regular Commuter fee* (after June 1): $1,200

Registration fees must be paid in full before or at workshop check-in on July 9.

Fees include tuition, materials, a single-occupancy room on the Bard campus, and meals beginning with Sunday dinner and ending with Saturday breakfast.

*Commuter fee includes tuition, materials, and week-day lunches only.

Academic Credit: IWT and the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program at Bard College have established a strong partnership in which we work collaboratively with schools and teachers. Workshop participants may earn two graduate credits for completing the July weeklong workshop and writing a process reflection paper and lesson plan on using writing in the classroom. We encourage you to consider this credit option. Additional fees are required. For further information, contact MAT Program Administrator Cecilia Maple at 845-758-7145 or cmaple@bard.edu.

Cancellation Policy: For cancellations up to a week before the workshop, IWT will refund the full workshop fee, minus the $100 non-refundable deposit required at registration.

No refunds can be given for cancellations made later than a week before the event.

Discounted fees for prospective teachers: Scholarships are available for those studying to become teachers (i.e., those registered in Bard’s MAT program or another accredited undergraduate or graduate program in education), as well as for undergraduates considering teaching as a career.

Group discounts: To support teacher collaboration on revising writing curriculum, IWT offers a 10 percent discount to teams of three or more teachers from the same school.

See List of Workshops Offered

“I’ve seen 12 new ways to think about this text–as technology, as evolution, as modern art, etc. I’ve also seen how I can have deep conversations with the texts as a whole by looking at just one short passage.”

–from a participant in “Teaching the Academic Paper”


he July weeklong workshops offer teachers an opportunity to develop an understanding of “writing-based teaching,” its theory and practices, and its application in the classroom. Each workshop will focus on writing methods that deepen learning across all subject areas–literature, history, grammar, and STEM.

The July workshops offer a retreat in which participants learn new writing practices, read diverse texts, and talk with teachers from around the world on the Bard College campus. The luxury of time helps us envision how we might make these new practices our own–how we might tweak the writing prompts, change the readings, figure out ways to accommodate collaborative learning in larger classes, and explore how poetry, for instance, might inspire students from ethnically and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

During the workshops, teachers live in single rooms on the Bard campus, eat meals together, and enjoy the beautiful setting and lively atmosphere of Annandale-on-Hudson in the summer. During the course of the week, workshop groups meet for thirteen 90-minute sessions, beginning Sunday evening, July 9, and continuing every day from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., except Wednesday, when classes end at 1:00 p.m. The week’s workshops will conclude on Friday, July 14, at 1:00 p.m.

The schedule allows participants time to explore the scenic Mid-Hudson Valley and take advantage of lovely walking paths and Bard’s recreational facilities: the Stevenson Athletic Center’s swimming pool, tennis and squash courts, and fitness center. The week includes opportunites for informal socializing and a guest author reading from a recent work. Also on campus in July, Bard’s SummerScape brings together an extraordinary schedule of performing arts, featuring an international roster of acclaimed artists in a range of performances. For more information and to reserve tickets, visit fishercenter.bard.edu/summerscape.

Rehearsal image for Demolishing Everything with Amazing Speed, photo by Todd Norwood.
Rehearsal image for Demolishing Everything with Amazing Speed, photo by Todd Norwood. Presented by SummerScape 2016

Click individual workshop titles below to read their descriptions.


Thinking Historically through Writing From Abolition to Black Lives Matter: African American Intersectional Feminism in Documents


Immediately following the ratification of the U.S. Constitution, enslaved African American women began petitioning for freedom. In the antebellum period, Maria Stewart and other Black women risked violence and imprisonment for speaking in public against slavery, articulating a fundamentally American critique of inequities and injustices based on race and gender. Harriet Jacobs and Sojourner Truth [...]


Writing Retreat for Teachers


This workshop is offered in response to requests from teachers who would like to give time to their own writing within a congenial community. Working independently, with partners, or in writing groups, on fiction, nonfiction, or poetry, participants have an opportunity to write, read, and reflect in beautiful surroundings. Anyone who would like to generate [...]


Thinking Historically through Writing: Justice and the Courts in American Democracy

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“Civics” is defined as the “…study of the theoretical and practical aspects of citizenship, its rights and duties; the duties of citizens to each other as members of a political body and to the government.”  How do we teach these theoretical and practical underpinnings to our students in a way that is intellectually honest, [...]


Writing to Learn in the STEM Disciplines

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With its focus on mathematical and scientific texts, this workshop presents writing strategies that help students gain a better understanding of complex ideas. Specific STEM-related writing practices, which can be used in the classroom or homework assignments, support close reading of texts of all genres—lab reports, word problems, geometrical equations, etc. -- and allow students [...]


Revolutionary Grammar

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Everyone—inside and outside the academic community—has an opinion about grammar. Parents, CEOs, and, of course, teachers worry that students graduate from high school and college without understanding the rules of grammar. But what does it mean to know grammar? If it were simply a matter of learning rules, teachers would not be struggling to [...]


Poetry: Lyric Investigations Across Disciplines (Not offered July 2017)

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Poetry: Lyric Investigation Across Disciplines encourages teachers from all disciplines to investigate the many ways that poetry can be used in classrooms. Participants in this workshop will consider how poetry helps students engage with biology, grammar, math, science texts, and more.  We'll consider how the imagination in particular helps students excel at a higher [...]


Inquiry into Essay

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This workshop is designed for teachers who are familiar with the invention strategies introduced in “Writing and Thinking” or “Writing to Learn” (or in similar workshops elsewhere) and who want to concentrate on helping students write essays. More than other IWT workshops, “Inquiry into Essay” focuses on the analytic essay as a finished product, emphasizing [...]


Creative Nonfiction: Telling the Truth

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Creative nonfiction reports back to us from what we call the real world, its subject matter “documentable. . . as opposed to ‘invented’ from the writer’s mind,” as Barbara Lounsberry puts it. Its subgenres are many: the personal essay; the essay of place; nature writing; family portraits; memoir; and writing about war, travel, adventure, food, [...]


Applying the Practices

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Teachers see the potential of IWT practices for improving student writing, thinking, and learning and they look forward to using them in their classrooms, but teachers can also leave the workshop with questions about applications: How do I sequence several writing practices—such as focused free writing, double-entry notebooks, believing and doubting—around a text or group [...]


Teaching the Academic Paper

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Teaching the Academic Paper While we can all recognize good academic writing, especially in our own disciplines, it is more difficult to establish reasonable and professionally-responsible standards for students’ academic papers. This workshop helps to bridge that gap. This workshop explores what we value in academic writing, re-examines how we define it, and offers writing to [...]


Writing and Thinking through Technology

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Writing and Thinking through Technology This version of the weeklong Writing and Thinking workshop invites participants to immerse themselves in IWT’s basic writing practices, reflect on their own experiences as teachers, and consider the impact that technology now undeniably has on the way we conceive and use writing both inside and outside the classroom. This [...]


Writing to Learn

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This workshop presents writing strategies that help students gain a better understanding of complex ideas, historical documents, literary texts, and mathematical problems.