You do exceptional things in the classroom every single day. NCTE is here to recognize them.
NCTE Donald H. Graves Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Writing
No Award Given in 2018
Nomination Deadline: May 1
Purpose: Annually recognize teachers in grades K-6 who, through the teaching of writing, demonstrate an understanding of student improvement in writing.
Award Criteria: Applicants should submit the following:
- Reflective Essay: An introductory essay of 1,500–2,000 words addressing your thoughts about writing and teaching writing, as well as discussing what you see as significant improvements in the children’s texts and insight into the reasons for those improvements.
- Two portfolios of student writing each of which contain three to five selections showing change from earlier to later in the year. Take care that each required item in the application is included and clearly labeled. Papers are to be dated, the names of the children removed, and each coded as child A and B. The two students’ work should represent a range of ability.
For each student, include a commentary (200-word maximum) on the specific growth you see in this student’s work over time, predictions of where this student might go from here as a writer, and what further instruction you could provide.
Writing samples from three students for the same assignment. For each sample, explain the strengths and needs of each student based on the writing, and what your next steps would be (200-word maximum).
- Information Sheet including contact information (home/school address, phone numbers, email, etc.)
Application Review Criteria:
Reflective Essay. As we read your essay we will be looking for your thoughts and philosophy about writing and the teaching of writing, a view into your writing classroom and how this corresponds to your thoughts/philosophy on writing, specific information on how you assess students, and strategies you use to address students’ individual needs.
We will consider your own writing in this application, looking for a sense of your voice and an awareness of the audience who might want to read this essay—teachers and others who would want to know about what you believe about writing and how you go about supporting student growth in writing.
Student Samples and Commentary. We want to look across multiple students of varying writing abilities. Commentary should address students’ strengths and needs based on each writing sample, and how you will support each student as they move forward as writers.
For full consideration all materials must be received by May 1 and sent to email@example.com or by postal mail to NCTE Graves Writing Award, 1111 W. Kenyon Road, Urbana, IL 61801-1096.
The NCTE Elementary Section Steering Committee selects an award recipient from the essays and materials submitted during the year. If the Committee feels that no significant portfolios or essays have been submitted, the award may be postponed until the next year.
The award recipient is presented a certificate and honorarium at the Elementary Section Get-Together during the NCTE Annual Convention.
This award was established in 2001 by Donald H. Graves (1930-2010), professor emeritus in the early childhood program at the University of New Hampshire and renowned educator, researcher, and author on writing.
Read about the influence of Donald H. Graves in the School Talk issue “A Tribute to Donald H. Graves: Teacher, Writer, Friend” and the Language Arts article “Don Graves Remembered,” with a podcast from the authors Tom Romano and Penny Kittle.
NCTE Donald H. Graves Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Writing Recipients
Michelle Doyle, Potspring Elementary, Timonium, MD
Laura Fuhrman, Potspring Elementary, Timonium, MD
Jenna Loomis, Seventh District Elementary, Parkton, MD
Elizabeth Soper, Potspring Elementary, Timonium, MD
Robbie Stout, Franklin Elementary, Reisterstown, MD (Reflective Essay)
2016 Lily Diamond from The School at Columbia University, NY (Reflective Essay)
2015 Emily Elizabeth Smith, Cunningham Elementary, Austin, TX (Reflective Essay)