Writers’ Workshop is an approach to writing instruction that addresses the needs of all students in the class. Writers’ Workshop begins with a focus lesson where the teacher explicitly models the process and conventions of writing. After the focus lesson, students write independently for an extended period of time. During independent writing, the teacher confers with individual students to assess progress and provide 1:1 instruction to help students grow as writers. Sometimes the teacher may work with a small groupof students who share similar writing needs during the independent writing time. Finally, Writers’ Workshop ends with a group share where students discuss and share their writing.
Instruction during Writers’ Workshop is organized around units of study (e.g., personal narrative, poetry, nonfiction). During a unit of study, the teacher may ask students to write in a particular genre, or practice writing techniques related to the unit of study, but specific writing topics are selected by the students based on their personal experiences and interests.
We use the Writers’ Workshop model for a number of reasons, including the following:
¨ The Writers’ Workshop supports and complements Readers’ Workshop
¨ Writing craft and conventions are explicitly modeled
¨ Assessment drives instruction
¨ Students have choice and ownership in their writing
¨ Experiences foster self-expression and a love of writing
Each workshop begins with a meeting in which a skill or strategy is modeled.I use this resource: Units of Study for Primary Writers written by Lucy Caulkins. (10 Minutes)
Students have a chance to practice using the new skills taught during the meeting during this personal writing time. Writing folders contain writing Writer's Notebooks, personal word walls, and writing projects. The children can continue working on unfinished projects, adding to previous pieces, or editing. During this time, the teacher can confer with individuals regarding skills that they are working on. (25 to 30 minutes)
Time is utilized at the end of writing workshop for children to share what they have practiced. By allowing a time to showcase, all children are engaged in learning from each other. (5 to 10 minutes)