Free Event for Arts Educators

Posted March 15, 2013 & filed under Notebook.

hap logoJoin Houston Arts Partners at its first professional development event for teaching artists!

What: “Cracking the Code: TEKS, TAKS, and STAAR Tools for Artists in the Classroom,” a free workshop for arts educators

When: 1-5 PM on Saturday, April 6, 2013

Where: Houston Hobby Center, 800 Bagby, Houston, TX, 77002

This seminar will show teaching artists how to match their strengths with objectives from core foundation subjects.  There will be an opportunity for artists to share successful techniques and ideas with one another.

Don’t miss this workshop!  For more information and to register, visit Houston Arts Partners website.  

Deadline to register for this free event is April 4, 2013.


Second Saturdays Series Launches This Weekend

Posted October 11, 2012 & filed under Notebook.

Second Saturdays is a series of writing workshops held on the second Saturday of the month and designed for classroom teachers who want to enhance their own skills as writers as well as those of their students.  Taught by professional writers, each interactive workshop provides concrete and innovative strategies and lessons that teachers can take directly into their classrooms–transforming classrooms into incubators for creativity and innovation.

FALL 2012

Creativity and the Personal Narrative (October 13)

Creativity and the Expository Essay (November 10)

 Writing the Short Story (December 8)

Click here for detailed information

For more information contact Tina Angelo at 713-523-3877 or [email protected]

“WITS is the only professional development I’ve ever looked forward to. Finally, someone taught me to teach writing the way I always envisioned I could.” — 7th grade teacher

“The WITS program has saved my life as a teacher and has reminded me that writing is enjoyable.” — 11th grade teacher

“WITS makes you want to teach writing because you have concrete ways to do writing in your classroom.” — 5th grade teacher

Teachers to Develop New Ideas on Digital Learning Day

Posted January 18, 2012 & filed under Notebook.

Schools across the nation are signing up for Digital Learning Day, a national campaign that celebrates innovation in the classrooms on February 1st. On this day, administrators, teachers, parents, and students everywhere will unite to discuss the ways in which technology has revolutionized the curriculum and exchange ideas on how to improve computer literacy.

Started by the Alliance for Excellent Education, Digital Learning Day empowers members of the education community with a number of resources and tool kits that are available on the group’s website. Their professional development offerings include interdisciplinary lesson plans, digital learning examples by district, and webinars.

Individuals are encouraged to participate in this free event no matter what their technical skill level. Best of all, colleagues who spread the word about Digital Learning Day can win a $100 grant for their classroom. Be the first Houston school to get on board with Digital Learning Day by signing up today!

WITS to Present at Inaugural Houston Arts Partners Conference

Posted September 7, 2011 & filed under Notebook.

Writers in the Schools is a proud sponsor of the Houston Arts Partners inaugural conference, Shaping the Future of Education & Creating 21st Century Leaders, taking place on September 13, 2011 at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston as part of National Arts in Educations Week. The conference will bring together a diverse representation of 300 educators, administrators, researchers, and teaching artists for an inspiring and revealing hands-on experience in today’s best practices in arts integrated science, math, english and social studies curriculum.  WITS will present 2 sessions on Teaching Writing the WITS Way covering curricula and pedagogy for students in grades K-12.

Young Audiences of Houston created Houston Arts Partners in response to a specific request from Houston area arts administrators for a more efficient and effective method to access arts educational resources in Houston. Steering committees comprised of arts organizations and school districts formed to help the nonprofit achieve its mission and purpose.

A primary goal of the Houston Arts Partners is to provide a suite of services through a unique website, This site fulfills the needs of arts educators with services ranging from centralized, online booking, to full service grant writing and customized collaborative program support. Visit the site today to learn more about the 16 arts organizations that are currently collaborating and to find out how you can become an arts advocate. While you are there, be sure to visit the WITS program page.

For more information about Houston Arts Partners, call 713.552.9345. To learn more about WITS’ professional development services, click here.

WITS Writers Head Back to School

Posted August 22, 2011 & filed under Notebook.

WITS  welcomes new and returning writers to the 2011-2012 school year with two exciting afternoons of training on Friday, August 26th, and Saturday, August 27th. Renee Watson, author, actress, and teaching artist for Community Word Project, will kick off orientation with a workshop on Talking Back to the World: Empowering Students to Define Themselves through Writing and Visual Art. The WITS orientation is designed to inspire and prepare writers with new ideas for developing their teaching skills. To get a WITS writer in your class today, email Long Chu at [email protected] or call 713-523-3877.

More about Renee

Renée Watson is the author of two children’s picture books, A Place Where Hurricanes Happen and What Momma Left Me, which were both selected for the 2011 Cooperative Children’s Book Center’s (CCBC) Choices list. Her poetry and articles have been published in Rethinking Schools, Theatre of the Mind and With Hearts Ablaze.

When Renée is not writing and performing, she is teaching. Renée has worked in public schools and community organizations as an artist in residence for several years, teaching poetry, fiction, and theater in Oregon, Louisiana, and in New York City, where she currently resides. Visit Renee’s website here.

5 Reasons to Get WITS in your School

Posted August 10, 2011 & filed under Notebook.

WITS Writer Dr. Melanie Malinowski and her student Deandrea Stevens at this year's Blooms reading.

5) Students gain self-esteem through authorship and public performances.

4)  In 10 years of data, WITS students show marked improvement in literacy skills and higher standardized test scores.

3) We tailor the project to match your students’ needs and your school’s budget.

2) WITS in-services and professional development workshops have changed teachers’ lives.

1) WITS is ranked the #1 literary program in Texas by the Texas Commission on the Arts.

Call Writers in the Schools today at 713-523-3877 or email Long Chu at [email protected] to sign up for the 2011-2012 school year.