What is Writing Workshop

What is Writing Workshop?

Writing Workshop is a predictable component of each day. It begins with a mini lesson, which is determined by curriculum, but also by the needs of students. Writing typically begins with a whole group lesson, which could be on a spelling pattern, how to use a certain kind of punctuation, or emulating the craft of a published author. It might be how to set up a paragraph, or how to replace a weak word with a strong one. Using "mentor texts" is a key component of workshop, which is using published authors to help guide us as writers. Sometimes, I ask a student to share something that he/she has done that could benefit the class. It is common for me to share my own personal writing, as well. I do not ask my students to do something that I am not willing to do myself.

The key component of workshop is for students to write for an extensive period of time, preferably 30-45 minutes. However, it takes time to build up to this kind of stamina for writing. While students are in their quiet place working with words, I confer with individual students, or meet with small groups.

At the conclusion of workshop, we take time to share and celebrate. Throughout the year students will produce several polished pieces of narrative and expository writing.

Each student has his/her own writer's notebook, which is a composition notebook. This notebook is a place to be "playful" as a writer. I will read the notebooks occasionally; however, I will never mark in them. Once a piece is going into draft form, which is on loose leaf paper outside the notebook, I will make comments, suggestions, or editing marks.

Students will soon have a poetry book. We just designed our covers and they are ready for binding. We will read, write, recite, interpret and enjoy poetry throughout the year.