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“I like how we get to use writing pens and I also like how Ms. Quash explains what we do in writer’s workshop and we can go do it. I really like when I finish my pages.”—Maxine, Kindergartner
“I have seen my students love and embrace writing as a way to express their voice and ideas. Through this powerful tool, students are experiencing the writing process and embracing their new role as real authors.”—Ms. Morrison, Kindergarten Teacher
“I love writer’s workshop, because when I write I can write about what I want. I can choose what my feelings are and I can take my time and do drafts until I’m ready to do my final paper.” —Raiya, Second Grader
“I really like the structure of writing workshop. There are small lessons that set students up to learn something and then try it. Students get an opportunity to practice skills by writing every day, and we are always building on something previously learned. Instruction is authentic, and I am seeing success from all students.” —Ms. Francis, Fourth Grade Teacher and Writing Lead
What is Writing Workshop?
Writing Workshop is a component of balanced literacy. Students write about their own lives, use a consistent process, work in authentic ways, and develop independence as writers. It was developed from the early work of Donald Graves, Donald Murray, and other teacher/researchers who found that coaching students to write for a variety of audiences and purposes was more effective than traditional writing instruction. This approach has been popularized by Lucy Calkins and others involved in the Reading and Writing Project at Columbia University in New York City.
Why Writing Workshop?
Just as students learn to read best by reading, writers learn best by writing. To make the most progress, kids need ownership of their own writing, guidance from an adult writer, and the support of a community of fellow learners. Writing workshop gives kids the time to write by streamlining instructional moments. The workshop is broken into four components: Minilesson, Independent Writing, Conferring, and Share.
Publishing parties are writing celebrations for our young authors. Students showcase a chosen writing piece that they are proud of. This piece has been taken through the writing process during writing workshop. Parents, staff, and other students are invited to read students’ writing, ask questions, and share compliments. Each teacher has their own creative way of hosting publishing parties.