Writer's Workshop - What exactly are they writing...??

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by 773 Miles Away, May 23, 2010.

  1. 773 Miles Away

    773 Miles Away Comrade

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    May 23, 2010

    So i'm thinking of trying the writer's workshop method next year (4th grade)... but I'm a bit stuck on the actual writing part... lol.

    I understand you do a mini lesson .. then they write for about 35 or 45 minutes while I conference... then they share. The mini lesson and the sharing part is clear... but while I'm conferencing... what exactly are the other students writing about?

    It's not suppose to be a journal of what they did or what they're feeling, correct? So are they just starting some sort of fictional narrative? Do they write a small moment from their own lives? Are they working on persuasive pieces or more formal essays? If I do a mini lesson on sentence variety, for example, they can certainly apply that to their writing... but what is the overall topic of what they're writing about?

    Also, on the next day, do they start a brand new piece? Continue from the day before?

    I think what would help me understand it more would be if I could actually see an example of a student's writer's notebook. It's mainly a concern for how to start it. Are there any examples online?
     
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  3. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

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    May 23, 2010

    Here's how my workshop works... we do genre studies, so we are reading and writing in a particular genre. For example, during our study of memoirs, we read excerpts from memoirs as our shared texts and students work on writing their own memoirs. Sometimes during their crafting time they are working on a specific task for me ("Find three examples of great first lines in the memoirs we've shared; explain what makes them great.") in their writing notebooks OR they are working on their own writing. Students may also be conferring with each other while I am conferring, too.

    As for the writer's notebooks, they are NOT journals. The two books that helped me the most were Notebook Know-How by Amy Buckner and Lessons for the Writer's Notebook by Ralph Fletcher.
     
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    May 23, 2010

    While I'm conferring, my students are writing within the unit of study we are in. So right now, we're in a unit of study on poetry-everyone is writing poety in their notebooks, or revising old pieces, copying poems from their notebooks onto 'poetry paper'....
     

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