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CTWP: Writer's Workshop
Transcript of CTWP: Writer's Workshop
National Writing Project
Drawing into Writing
Everyone has something that they excel in. Using as much detail as possible, illustrate what this thing is for you.
What is Writer's Workshop?
Time to Write
Role of Responding to Writing
Let's go to the Movies!
Integrating Writer's Workshop
into your Classroom:
Fall Book Study
Revision & Editing
Bracket every first word
Highlight every other sentence
Circle "to be" verbs
list first words
look for repeated words
list sentences as short (S), medium (M), or long (L)
look for patterns
vary sentence structures
get rid of half
You will create a visual representation of a writer's workshop concept.
Children need a place to keep track of their writing: it can be one of the most important tools they have in learning to write! Writer’s notebooks, or journals, are a cornerstone in writer's workshop.
What is a writer's notebook, anyway?
Ralph Fletcher compares the writer’s notebook to a ditch he dug near the edge of the woods when he was a young boy. The next morning he discovered his ditch crawling with a number of small creatures; frogs, toads, and even a turtle. A writer’s notebook is similar to that ditch, “an empty space you dig into your busy life, a space that will fill up with all sorts of fascinating little creatures."
What can go in a writer's notebook?
An excerpt from Ralph Fletcher’s personal notebook…
“I love an iced coffee, with milk and sugar, on a warm summer’s morning. Light and sweet, that’s what I tell the woman at the Dunkin’ Donuts, and she knows what I mean. When I’ve got a cup of iced coffee in my hand, so cold beads of condensation are already gathering on the sides, and I’m getting double-jolted by the surge of caffeine plus the lift, provided by those sugar crystals crunching between my teeth, I know beyond doubt it’s going to be a great summer day.”
“Letters to Young Writers.” Ralph Fletcher, Amy Krouse Rosenthal, and Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg (Sep. 2005)
Additional Quotes About Writer's Notebooks:
Randy Bomer likens the writer’s notebook to the sketchbooks artist carry around with them in case they see something they want to remember and use later in a piece of work. The sketchbook also reminds the artist to observe more closely, to look at things they might otherwise ignore, “In some ways a writer’s notebook works in the same way. They collect things in their notebook, things from their lives…(43)
When writers carry notebooks everywhere, the notebooks nudge us to pay attention to the little moments that normally only flicker into our consciousness (Calkins 43).
Additional Resources for Writer's Notebooks
A Writer’s Notebook by Fletcher
Notebook Know-How by Buckner
Articles written by Randy Bomer
Create a quick list of writing topics:
A moment you were proud
A pet peeve
A moment you were sad
Something you are talented in
The last time you laughed really hard
A frustrating school moment
A time you broke the rules
A time you were surprised
Circle the topic of your choice
to develop learners’ identities of author/writer
●to emphasize that learners' ideas and experiences are worthy of preservation and sharing
●to develop collaborative learning abilities and peer editing skills●
provide an audience for hard work is a motivating force ●
as an active-listening audience member, students develop listening and attention span skills
●both the presenter and the audience member's own writing improves as a result of the reflection and critical thinking that is evoked through the experience
Author's Chair: Purpose
What were your feet doing?
What did you see?
What did you think?
1. When did you start and how did you learn to...?
2. Where do you do it?
3. How do people react to you doing this?
4. How do you know that you are good at it?
5. Why do you do it?
6. What do you look like when you do it?
7. How do you feel when you do it?
8. Tell me about.... (a specific detail in the picture)
NWP sites are co-directed by faculty from the local university and from K–12 schools
Adheres to a national program model that includes the following core principles:
teachers are the primary agents of school reform
writing should be taught at every grade level and in every subject
knowledge about writing comes from many different facets including theory, research, and experience
there is no single correct way to teach writing and teachers who are well informed and effective in their practice can be successful teachers of other teachers as well as partners in educational research, development, and implementation
Is one of 200 sites of the National Writing Project (NWP)
Is part of the NWP’s premier initiative to improve writing in America
Central Texas Writing Project at Texas State
& Comal ISD
What does Writer's Workshop do?
Theory Supporting Writer's Workshop
Writing workshop is rooted in the writing process: planning, writing, revising, editing, and publishing as a recursive process.
Shaped through practice and constructive feedback.
When children write they acquire cognitive strategies for attending, monitoring, searching, evaluating, and self-correcting their actions (Clay, 2001).
Writing workshop is characterized by both freedom and structure: writers experiment but towards a goal.
Teachers guide students to becoming self-regulated writers-this means knowing how to use specific strategies for planning, generating, organizing, and revising writing.
This is accomplished by students becoming “apprentices” to teachers, or more experienced students, who model the writing process.
Writing is a social process because children learn about writing from someone else in the apprenticeship model.
Writing is also a social process because it is a message to be communicated to someone else.
Writing is regarded as craft, not a technical or mechanical exercise (Graves, 1983).
Writing workshop sets the stage for writing to be a lifetime skill for multiple purposes and multiple audiences (Hughley & Slack, 2001).
Giving children choice in and ownership over the writing topic is a driving force behind writing workshop theory (Graves, 1983). Children will learn through making decisions.
Writing workshop occurs in learner-centered classrooms and provides authentic opportunities for children to write in school.
Writing workshop advocates that the writer start writing with self-for some children that is a personal experience and for others that is an interest like comic books, space, or dogs (obsession theory-but not our focus today!).
A fundamental aspect is that children have control over the writing and can choose meaningful topics to them (Dyson, 1997).
Clay, M. (2001). Change over time in children’s literacy development. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.Graves, D. (1983).
Writing: Teachers and children at work. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.Dyson, A.H. (1997).
Writing superheroes: Contemporary childhood, popular culture and classroom literacy. New York: Teachers College Press.
Revision: to look again
Editing: correcting grammar
(spelling, mechanics, usage, punctuation)
Revision is NOT Editing
“My name is Indai Opal Buloni, and last summer my daddy, the preacher, sent me to the store for a box of macaroni-and-cheese, some white rice, and two tomatoes and I came back with a dog. This is what happened: I walked into the produce section of the Winn-Dixie grocery store to pick out my two tomatoes and I almost bumped right into the store manager. He was standing there all red-faced, screaming and waving his arms around.”
-Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
What and how do we teach revision and editing?
How do we know what to teach in a mini-lesson?
What is a mini-lesson?
What is the structure of the time in workshop?
Teaching the Writing Process:
Four Constructs to Consider
Jennifer I. Berne
What assumptions does the author of the text hold?
What do you agree with in the text?
What do you want to argue with in the text?
What parts of the text do you aspire to?
Where was I?
What happened first?
What happened next?
What happened last?
What did I learn?
Tell them something they did well
Ask them a question.
Give them some advice.
so much depends
a red wheel
glazed with rain
beside the white
William Carlos Williams
"I can remember lying awake in a hotel in downtown Washington listening to the sounds of an August night wash in through the open window: sirens, car horns, the thrum of neon from the hotel sign, the swish of traffic, people laughing, people yelling ..."(114; Bill Bryson, The Lost Continent).
Teaching Grammar Through "Noticings"