Writer's Workshop

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by laura22, Jun 15, 2009.

  1. laura22

    laura22 Rookie

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    Jun 15, 2009

    I student taught in a first grade classroom in the Spring semester. My teacher and I started a writer's workshop at the end of the year because she saw a presentation during a conference and wanted to try it. The book we read was About the Authors: Writing Workshop with Our Youngest Writers by Katie Wood Ray - FANTASTIC! The majority of our students had previously seen writing as somewhat of a dreadful thing, but they were SO excited to write and share their own books! I was only able to participate in this for a couple of weeks and it was fabulous. I would really like to start off my year (if I teach primary) with this writer's workshop. My question is, when do I teach sentence mechanics? I know I don't want to stifle their creativity and enthusiasm for writing by constantly harping on them for capital letters and periods...I've heard that I kind of need to choose what we're going to focus on, one or the other...Would I take days off of the workshop to work on sentence mechanics or incorporate them into minilessons, or...Does anyone have any experience or advice for this?
     
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  3. teachinvegas

    teachinvegas New Member

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    Jun 15, 2009

    I incorporate this in my mini lessons. I also teach this in my "Morning Message" time. It's a Shared Writing routine. But they get a lot of the conventions and grammar here. Great for differentiation.
     
  4. love_reading

    love_reading Comrade

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    Jun 16, 2009

    I incorporate mechanics into my mini lesson about once a week. I do this by doing a read aloud (for example one that might emphasize nouns). Then with the class we create an anchor chart about nouns. I would then send them off to write and maybe have them highlight the nouns in one of their stories before continuing to write. During share time they would put that story on the ELMO so the class could make sure they located all the nouns. This is just an example of one way I have incorporated mechanics into a mini lesson.
     
  5. mrsleapfrog

    mrsleapfrog Companion

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    Jun 16, 2009

    Every day I have morning work and part of that morning work is D.O.L. (Daily Oral Language) that we go over together. In my Reader's Workshop I would do mini lessons on ending punctuation and practice using them by listening first to see how I read it and then have them practice reading with me. Reading is a good opportunity to put in those type of mini lessons.
     
  6. Youngteacher226

    Youngteacher226 Enthusiast

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    Jun 17, 2009

    I would personally use the "minilesson" time to reinforce writer's crafts instead of mechanics, and use Shared Writing time and Interactive Writing time for mechanics. After doing Writing Workshop for 3-4 years, I truly feel like my 2nd graders benefited from learning about all the smart things writers do and from me modeling writing during the minilesson, and not bother them with nouns, sentence structure etc. during this time. I feel like they were able to let their writing soar and really be creative not worrying about conventions. But, don't get me wrong, I definately reinforce writing conventions throughout the day, during EVERY subject/assignment. I will remind students to capitalize the first letter in every sentence, every sentence needs a "Reading Traffic Sign" (i.e. period, question mark, exclamation mark) and I really model it all during other Balanced Literacy blocks. I will also highlight a child during WW who really was careful to use quotations with dialogue or something like that by doing a Mid-Workshop interruption and bringing attention to those little things to encourage other students to use it.

    Hope this makes sense.
     
  7. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    Jun 17, 2009

    I agree with young teacher. I use morning message for teaching conventions and I work on it throughout the day.

    In writer's workshop, I address conventions at the end of the year and it is the last trait I do. I hardly spend any time on it because I don't have to.

    That said, I certainly don't ignore it throughout the rest of the year in writer's workshop. If we are discussing a book we read from a writer's standpoint, I will definitely draw attention to the author's use of commas in a big long list or talk about why he may have used 11 question marks at the end of a sentence, for example.

    You just need to be careful about harping on conventions at the first grade level when you conference with your kids. It will not build their confidence as writers.
     

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