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Writing Workshop developed by Lucy Calkins
Transcript of Writing Workshop developed by Lucy Calkins
This method of instruction focuses on the goal of fostering lifelong writers.
It is based upon four principles:
students will write about their own lives
students will use a consistent writing process
students will work in authentic ways
this method will foster independence
It is a K-8 system of writing instruction.
The Workshop Approach
Writing Workshop is designed for use in all grade levels with the primary focus on grades K-8. Each grade level has specific units of study tailored to meet developmental and curricular needs. Students have a large amount of choice in their topic and style of writing. The teacher acts as a mentor author, modeling writing techniques and conferring with students as they move through the writing process. Direct writing instruction takes place in the form of a mini-lesson at the beginning of each workshop and is followed by a minimum of 45 minutes of active writing time. Each workshop ends with a sharing of student work.
Establishing a consistent writing process that the students work through is one of the main principles of the Writing Workshop. Each student moves through the process at his/her own rate. Each unit or workshop takes about 1 month to complete.
1.Generating Ideas (1–2 days)
2.Collecting writing entries (5–10 days)
3.Choosing a seed idea (2–3 days)
4.Planning the draft (1–2 days)
5.Revising to change the content and quality (1–3 days)
6.Editing to improve grammar (1–2 days)
7.Publishing the piece to share it with the world (1–3 days)
8.Writing Celebration (1 day)
Structure of the Writing Workshop
1. Signal the beginning of Writing Workshop
Use a consistent signal to begin workshop. Some ideas are chimes, a bell, turning on small Christmas lights, signing a song or using a special clap.
2. Direct, explicit mini-lesson
3. Writing time
During this time the teacher guides the young authors through writing conferences, meets with small groups to teach specific writing techniques and/or works one-on-one with authors. Students may also work with a partner during this time with teacher permission.
4. Sharing of student work
Students that have tried out the concept from the mini-lesson are highlighted.
Conferring in the Writing Workshop takes place during the time when students are actively writing. The teacher circulates around the room, meeting with individual students or student groups to discuss their writing progress. The conferences are usually short and typically lasting anywhere from two to seven minutes.
This curriculum reflects the genres for writing that are spelled out by the Common Core Standards and gives students opportunities to write in the genres of narrative, persuasive, informational, and poetry writing.
Developed by Lucy Calkins and Collegues from the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project
Mini-lessons should be about 10–15 minutes in length.
Follow the same structure each time
Make a connection to a previous lesson
Teach a new writing technique or if needed reteach a previously taught technique
Have the students practice the technique right there with teacher guidance
Calkins describes conferring as, “the heart of our teaching”.
using dialog to show an action
stretching out actions
elaborating on physical descriptions
starting a story with an action
starting a story with dialog
end with a sound
creating imagery through words
narrowing a story/making it more focused
choosing a seed idea
creating a strong ending
Possible Mini-Lesson Topics:
Firsthand: Units of Study for Teaching Writing, Grade by Grade. (2014).
Retrieved September 21, 2014, from http://www.unitsofstudy.com/writing-grade-by-grade/default.asp
Units of Study in Opinion/Argument, Information, and Narrative Writing
A Common Core Workshop Curriculum