Saturday, February 22, 2014

Writer´s Workshop

     Girl With Pencil WavingThis is the first year that I have been doing writer´s workshop and I LOVE it! What a difference it has made with my writers. The kids are so motivated to write and love our writer´s workshop time. After trying the workshop style, I don´t think I could ever go back.
     So, what is the workshop? It´s premise is that there is lots of freedom and choice within writing, but, as my friend says, these can be ¨choices with choices.¨ Students are constantly working on their writing and given time to complete pieces, improve pieces, and publish pieces. It is a also a great way to differentiate for all types of writers. I have some students who really struggle to get just one or two sentences written, while others are already writing pages! The workshop approach is fantastic in that all levels of writer´s can be successful and work in their area of comfort and ability, with the potential of growth.
    What does it look like? Writer´s workshop begins with a mini-lesson. This might be grammar based, it might be a shared writing piece, or it might be looking at a specific writing style. Proceeding the mini-lesson students have time in the workshop to work on their own writing, with the idea that they are never finished. That´s right, they are never finished. Early in the workshop training they learn how to add illustration details, sentence details, and new pages when they ¨think¨ they are done. This has helped my students immensely with going back and making pieces even better than they originally were. My students are only 6 and 7 years old, so I really just want them writing, and that is exactly what they are doing.
     Writer´s workshop has proven amazing and such a great way for my writers to progress in their writing skills, while loving writing all at the same time. I recommend anyone ready to try a better way of writing to try the workshop approach. You don´t even need a book because there are so many resources for free online. Here are a few:


 http://www.tips-for-teachers.com/startingwritersworkshop.htm

http://corbettharrison.com/documents/Writing_Workshop.pdf

http://www.thecurriculumcorner.com/thecurriculumcorner123/2012/07/22/launching-writers-workshop/

I wish everyone happy writing in your own classrooms. I would also love to hear others´experiences with writer´s workshop.

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