Bearswrite: From Pencils to Pixels

July 5, 2012 at 11:56am

The UCA Department of Teaching and Learning and Department of Writing hosted the first annual Bearswrite Writing Camp for local middle school students. The camp was held June 25-June 29, 2012 and included 36 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, how to create a prezi or glogster, and how to work with voki and blabberize.


Campers were inspired to write through fieldtrips on campus and a one day field trip to the Arkansas Arts Center where they viewed the exhibit The New Materiality: Digital Dialogues at the Boundaries of Contemporary Craft . Campers also interacted with published author Carla McClafferty 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 29th 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.