Bearswrite: From Pencils to Pixels

The UCA Department of Teaching and Learning and Department of Writing hosted the second annual Bearswrite Writing Camp for local middle school students. The camp was held June 24-June 28, 2013 and included 35 middle school writers.

The Bearswrite camp was designed for aspiring authors entering grades 4 to 6. Bearswriters were involved in five action-packed days of writing using both traditional methods and writing with technology. Campers studied how to use voice, setting, word choice, character traits, point-of -view, journaling, and poetry. Campers also learned how to blog as well as how to use Aurasma and Toon-Doo.

Campers were inspired to write through fieldtrips on campus and a one day field trip to the Heifer International Center where they toured the facilities. Campers also interacted with published author Spelile Rivas who held a writing workshop and a book signing.

Campers created individual, digital portfolios of their best work, and a camp digital anthology was assembled. A final authors’ reception and closing ceremony was held on Friday June 28th in Mashburn Hall. Campers shared their work in public performance with parents and community members.

In addition to Stephanie Vanderslice, Donna Wake, and Jeff Whittingham of the UCA Department of Writing and the UCA Department of Teaching and Learning respectively, Janie Brown and Elizabeth Rollans of the Conway Public Schools and Vickie Rogers from the Vilonia Public Schools participated as teachers in this camp. Faculty were teacher consultants for the National Writing Project (NWP). Classroom writing assistants included current undergraduate and graduate teacher education candidates.