Writer's Workshop

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by TeacherBug08, Dec 4, 2015.

  1. TeacherBug08

    TeacherBug08 Companion

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    Dec 4, 2015

    Any tips or great resources for writer's workshop? My school started using Lucy Calkin's Units of Study. I just find that meeting each child's needs when it comes to writing overwhelming. There never seems like enough time. I teach 2nd grade. I feel like I am always trying to help them with their capitals and punctuation we never get to adding great details or ending with an excellent conclusion. Any suggestions?
     
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  3. Mr. Radiohead

    Mr. Radiohead Rookie

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    Dec 4, 2015

    I am in the process of embracing a workshop model for my ELA block. For writing I have got it down to an hour block that looks like this:

    One of the following (10-15 minutes)
    A) Grammar- embedded into the quick write that follows (I highly recommend Mechanically Inclined by Jeff Anderson to really help you with grammar ideas)
    B) Mentor text study to look at craft
    C) I model writing by writing in front of them
    D) Read Aloud- similar to mentor text study but without the text visible to them, just listening, lots of time this is done with poetry

    It really just depends on the need that day

    Followed by 10 minute quick write. Allow 2-3 minutes for students to share their favorite line they have written.

    30-35 minutes writers workshop

    Students get independent time to work on their writing pieces. I use a clipboard and go down my class list trying to meet with at least 5 students a day. The conference depends on the student's need.

    I highly recommend Write Beside Them by Penny Kittle. It also includes a DVD of her in action in her own classroom. I know you have Lucy Calkins units to follow or as a resource- I do too. The two books I recommend really supplement and follows the workshop model. They helped me wrap my brain around the whole idea.

    Hope I've been some help.
     
  4. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    Dec 8, 2015

    Mr. Radiohead has excellent suggestions. My 2 cents would be to make sure every 2nd grade student completes a writing project within a week. Otherwise they can get stalled and work on one piece for weeks or months. You may have to redefine what is "finished" for some of your low achieving students. Using a mentor text allows you to really challenge your high flyers. See if they can stretch themselves to write in the style of their mentor.
     
  5. TeacherBug08

    TeacherBug08 Companion

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    Dec 8, 2015

    Thank you for the advice! Another problem I have is I only have 30 minutes for writers workshop!! That includes the mini lesson, independent time, conferring time, and sharing. It just isn't enough time and I don't feel like I can really meet/make a difference with my kids.
     

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