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Writers Workshop! By Jason McCoy. Writers workshop…. Allows choice in topic and form Follows through the entire writing process: planning, drafting, revision,

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Presentation on theme: "Writers Workshop! By Jason McCoy. Writers workshop…. Allows choice in topic and form Follows through the entire writing process: planning, drafting, revision,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Writers Workshop! By Jason McCoy

2 Writers workshop…. Allows choice in topic and form Follows through the entire writing process: planning, drafting, revision, proofreading, editing, publishing over many days Does NOT include prompts Simulates the atmosphere in which real writers write and fosters childrens view of themselves as real authors

3 Emphasize meaning! At any grade, to create willing writers you must begin the year by emphasizing meaning and deemphasizing mechanics and perfection. You want to establish in the first few weeks that the important thing about writing is what it says-not how perfectly it says it. (Allington, Classrooms That Work)

4 From your Guide to Big Blocks: If your state test requires students to write a creative narrative as part of assessment, it would only make sense that one of the focused units you teach during the year is creative narrative writing. Having creative narrative writing as one of your genres does not mean you have students responding over and over to creative narrative prompts. Instead, it means spending a considerable amount of time and instruction teaching students in this genre.

5 Personal Narratives or Memoirs are a great place to start: To get reluctant writers involved these are great ways to bring in oral histories Oral production is a necessary and often prerequisite skill to written work Its story-telling…. How fun is that?!




9 In Writers Workshop…. Children are usually writing on topics of their own choosing in whatever form or genre they chose. Once children have received a comfort level with writers workshop, begin to include some focused writing lessons. Building on the basics required by all good writing taught in Writers Workshop, focus your students attention on particular topics, forms and genres.

10 Focused mini-lessons through the writing process Day1: choosing topic and planning only Day2: moving from plan to draft Day3: revising Day4: proofreading Day5: publishing K-1 (and early 2): the entire process in one day

11 A trick for the trade: Monitor and approve plans before drafting begins!

12 Conferencing Allows us to monitor and adjust Over-the-shoulder Small group A suggestion: conference, rove, conference, rove

13 Speaking of monitoring, how do I keep track of all this Checklist Status-checks Setting Expectations with deadlines





18 What about draft-books? These will help you manage the students as they are vary in their phase of the writing process. We should have routines and procedures This is what we take home and grade This is what we use for accountability Its a portfolio assessment showing growth over time

19 Draft-book standards Skip lines (so that we may edit and they can revise) Proofreading conventions (blue pen) Do NOT erase, line out only Date writing each day Include Topic, Audience and Purpose No blood and guts No TV characters


21 Audience and Purpose? These two small, often ignored aspects of writing have a significant interaction with each other and the topic for writing. Help transfer the idea of authenticity and provide motivation for writing. The topic, audience and purpose will also help determine what form the writing takes.

22 Purposes for writing: Inform, persuade, explain, entertain, direct, request, express, share, recount, complain, thank, to vent, etc… Our purposes for writing can be anything. We need children to understand that so that their writing can be most authentic.

23 Audience for writing: Is affected by our topic and purpose or vice-versus Sometimes our audience affects our purpose and topic I may start by identifying my audience and work from there The audience can be very specific or general

24 What Genres? Expository: informational articles, reports, summaries, directions, procedurals, maps, posters, recipes, biographies, journals Fiction: humorous, fantasy, horror, historical, realistic, dramatic, science- fiction, plays, mysteries

25 What Forms? Advertisements Posters Brochures Books Articles Letters Invitations Memos Cards

26 What is Focused Writing instruction? Its our writing demonstrations We model the writing process We model different forms of writing We do this daily Each day we choose a different focus While we want to ensure that the correct form of writing is learned, the emphasis should be kept on the message being communicated


28 Focused writing is meta-cognition! We want the students to see and take on the questions and thought processes that writers go through as they craft a piece of work.

29 Publishing It must be modeled also Every student should be required to publish certain types of writing Then they can choose forms

30 What to publish? 1 st quarter: personal narrative, poem, letter 2 nd quarter: report, creative narrative, procedural 3 rd quarter: poster, brochure, advertisement 4 th quarter: invitation, card, article

31 This planning should be determined by grade level Consider what is developmentally appropriate for your grade-level? Consider your curriculum Does something fit well with your SF unit? Does something fit well with your content areas? Remember, the best start is with personal narratives

32 General rules of thumb A student should not attempt a form of writing you have not yet modeled You must model every form of writing you expect your children to write Once the child has completed their expected form of writing, they can then choose whatever form of writing they wish (from what you have modeled to that point) Has you demonstrate more forms of writing, the children will have more choices They still choose the topic, just not the form

33 Guidelines for writing Should follow schedule as: Mini-lessons Student writing with conferences Authors chair Model DAILY Teachers think aloud during mini-lessons Topics from teachers personal lives Students choose their own topics Journal or writing folder throughout year Varied forms of planning

34 Other expectations A community of writing must be built It takes time They will need support and lots of conversation Conversation happens while conferencing, while sharing or in focused mini-lessons Management is difficult but gets easier You will love it and so will your children

35 Guaranteed!

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