Writer's Workshop - what do you think

Discussion in 'Middle School / Junior High' started by coreteacher, Mar 28, 2009.

  1. coreteacher

    coreteacher New Member

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    Mar 28, 2009

    We are having a big push in our district on using Writer's Workshop as our teaching methodology for writing. The elementary schools are basing their methods on Lucy Caulkins, and the middle school using a combo of Nancy Atwell and lessons from local writing coach. Not everyone is on board. Is anyone out there in a similar position? What do you think about writer's workshop?
     
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  3. hojalata

    hojalata Comrade

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    What are people's reasons against it? I use it in first and think it's great. Most importantly, my kids love writing.
     
  4. MJH

    MJH Companion

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    Mar 28, 2009

    I use it

    I have purchased Lucy Caulkins Units of Study and I use the Writer's Workshop in my room. I began using the Writer's Workshop last year and noticed a big improvement in my student's writing.

    This year after I purchased Units of Study another teacher decided to work with me on planning. She teaches ELL students. It's worked wonderfully. Both of us have noticed a huge improvement in their attitudes about writing and their overall writitng. We both teach second and IMO our students write better than most of our third graders and some of our fourth graders.

    I even throw in the 6+1 triats during some of the mini lessons. Writer's Workshop in my opinion is more of a management of writing time. I do a 15-20 minute lesson, the kids write for 30 minutes, I work with small groups and conference with kids while the others are writing. My students can not handle more than 30 minutes of free writing so my whole writing time is about 50 minutes.

    They plan, write, revise, and edit during their 30 minutes. They must turn in at least one piece of writing each week. They get to pick which piece to "fancy up", publish. On Friday's we celebrate and those who want to can read their writing to the class. I also give them time to draw pictures to go with the piece they turn in for a grade. They have a copy of the rubric so they know what I expect.
     
  5. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    I love it and my kids do, too. We incorporate 6 trait writing and I have an interactive bullitin board for writing. I teach first though, so, yeah...not too relevent for middle school.
     
  6. coreteacher

    coreteacher New Member

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    Yes - I think its a little different in middle school. But not a ton - we pattern ourselves the same way - 20 - 30 minutes lesson 30 minutes writing. Our trouble is time - so many things to squeeze because kids leave to another class... I think the teacher who don't like it don't want to change what they are doing - a bit stuck int heir ways. Its very teacher driven, which isn't different for 1st grade but sometimes in 6th you just need to let them go.
     
  7. shelceygirl

    shelceygirl Rookie

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    I wouldn't teach writing any other way.
     
  8. crayonfan

    crayonfan Companion

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    Mar 31, 2009

    I use writer's workshop in my 7th grade room using lessons from Nancy Atwell as well some philosophy from Penny Kittle. Maybe the teachers who are resistant are hesitant to change. I must confess that time constraints are a huge issue if you don't have block classes or separate reading and writing classes.
     
  9. coreteacher

    coreteacher New Member

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    How many days a week do you do it? Do you have a two period core teaching social studies as well?
     
  10. shelceygirl

    shelceygirl Rookie

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    I teach 7th grade writing, so five 55 minute periods every day.
     
  11. WinJo

    WinJo New Member

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    Aug 16, 2009

    What rubric do they use?
     
  12. WinJo

    WinJo New Member

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    What rubric do you use? I would love a copy of it!
     
  13. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    Aug 16, 2009

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