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Writing Workshop

Overview of writing workshop and planning units of study

Melissa Grabske

on 30 September 2013

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Transcript of Writing Workshop

Writing Workshop
Why Writing Workshop?
What are units of study?
What happens in Writing Workshop?
Mini-lesson (5-15 min.)
Student writing and work time (20-30 min.)
Share (5-10 min.)
Students need time to write to...
build stamina
experience all parts of the process
get better by practicing
Whole class teaching
Focus on one skill or idea
Time for inquiry
Expectations - Students need to know...
what the writing work entails
what a finished piece of writing should contain
Teach the writer not the writing.
individual or small group
focused share - only 2 or 3 students
another teaching point
relates to mini-lesson
talk about process and decision making of the author
Students are constantly immersed in reading/writing.
Students constantly receive feedback and have interaction with other writers.
Real writing encourages risk-taking.
Students have choices.
Builds ownership and independence.
critical thinking
purposeful collaboration
cogent communication
meaningful creation


differentiation is "built in"
How does this relate to 21st century learning
the Parish Principles?
What is essential for Writing Workshop?
What are students reading that is like what they are trying to write? - cannot be revision without "vision"
Do students have choices of topic, genre, etc?
How long are students writing each day?
Are students talking about writing?
Are there high expectations? Are they clear?
Questions to ask:
A unit of study is a series of whole class conversations, demonstrations, and inquiry on a focused topic.
The unit of study may be as short as one week or as long as five or six weeks.
Units of Study
Structure of a Unit of Study
Students read and study examples of the type of writing they are focusing on
Students begin to get a VISION
Close study - mini-lessons and conferencing
Students go through the writing process and produce a one or more published pieces
What can we study?
Genre studies
feature articles
Craft studies
use of punctuation
"I learned to write from writers. I didn't know any personally, but I read." - Cynthia Rylant
"Read widely, read enthusiastically, be guided by instinct and not design. For if you read, you need not become a writer; but if you hope to become a writer, you must read." - Joyce Carol Oates
"Before you write one poem, you need to read at least one hundred." -Ted Kooser, former National Poet Laureate
You can read without writing,
but you cannot write without reading!
Mode vs. Genre
Mode: language of rhetoric - names different ways of using language effectively
the kind of writing that is in the world
what you ask for in the bookstore
A piece of writing can contain several modes of writing.
Plan for the Year - Ideas
Start the year
Launching the workshop
Setting routines
How do writers get ideas?
Kindergarten and First
illustration study
how-to stories
Third or Fourth
feature articles
poetry anthology
non-fiction focus on features, start research
book reviews
punctuation study
author study
small moment
Next Steps
What is Writing Workshop?
It is a scheduled time for students to concentrate on writing, improving their writing, and thinking about how and why they write.
Direct instruction is given based on the type of writing the class is studying and the individual needs of each student.
Students explore what they want to say in writing. They work through their own drafts with the support of teachers and peers.
Full transcript