What is Writer's Workshop?
Writing Workshop creates an
environment where students
can acquire skills, along with
fluency, confidence, and desire
to see themselves as writers.
Students are put in charge and
are actively involved with
creating their own texts. The
writing workshop puts students
on the spot and makes them
responsible for their learning.
Why Writer's Workshop?
● The increased focus on writing comes in part from the
technological revolution that has transformed our lives.
● As the Internet and text messaging seep into every
nook and cranny of our day, we are writing more than
● In today's Information Age, it has become increasingly
important that all children are given an education that
enables them to synthesize, organize, reflect on, and
respond to data in their world.
● Three years ago, a National Writing Commission called
for a Writing Revolution, suggesting that children need
to double the amount of time they spend writing in their
Writing Workshop Overview
● 4-5 Days per week
○ 45-60 minutes per session (4-6)
○ 80 minutes every other day (7/8)
● Mini Lesson
○ 5-15 minutes
● Independent Work Time
○ 30-45 minutes
○ Students write, teachers confer
● Share Time
○ 5-15 minutes
Writing Workshop Overview
● Short lesson on one component of writing
● Lessons are part of a larger unit of study
● Curriculum and needs based
● Students write independently
● Students explore concept from mini lesson and apply skill to
their own writing
● Students are rough drafting, planning, rereading,
proofreading, or conferring with other students
● Teacher confers with students one on one or in small groups
● Oral presentation skills will be taught and practiced
● Develops community and facilitates writing identity
Writer's Workshop is an invitation to write. Each writer will
collect ideas, then organize and develop their writing from
the topic generation stage to publication.
● Participate in Mini Lessons
● Use work time to write
● Be prepared for conferences with teacher
● Collaborate and confer with other writers
● Choose topics of interest
● Respect their own and each other's writing
● Invest in their work
● Prepare for assessments
● Celebrate growth and success
Teachers create a writing community in the classroom.
● Teach mini lessons and teaching points
● Teach/model idea generating strategies
● Conferring with students daily
● Encourage collaboration
● Identify needs of students
● Move around the classroom, examining,
complementing, asking questions, or making
suggestions while students are involved in writing
● Assess student work
● Hold writers accountable for their own writing and
learning in Writer's Workshop
● Model strategies by sharing their own writing
Parent support is an essential part of a successful Writer's
Workshop. Parents should...
● Encourage your child to write
● Ask your child what they are doing in Writer's Workshop
● Ask them to share and reflect on their writing
● Develop your child as a writer rather than the written
● Review work in progress and assessed pieces with your
● Check Skyward with your child to monitor progress
● Contact your child's teacher if you have questions about
your child's academic development or questions about
Class work looks like...
● Identify and explore teaching points
● Participate in mini lessons
● Independent writing
● Confer with teacher
● Collaboration with student writers
● Editing, revising, publishing
● Grammar and spelling
● Oral presentation skills
demonstrated and practiced
Homework looks like...
● Independent writing
● Mini lesson practice
● Revising, editing, and publishing
● Find inspirations for future writing pieces
● Preparation for assessments
Assessments look like...
Assessments are based on grade level writing standards
● Assessments based on concepts taught during mini
lessons and practiced during Writer's Workshop
● Assessment of student progress
● Final assessment of published pieces
Netbooks and Chromebooks will be used during Writer's
Workshop for the following activities...
● Daily reflections (Moodle forums)
● Google (Docs, Presentations, Apps)
● Sharing with the global community (Kidsblog)
● Web 2.0 tools
What's the Difference?
We have moved to the Writing Workshop model because it already
encompases all the effective teaching and learning practices at Merton, and
more. It will make us better. It will make us more consistent. It will help us
align our writing program K-8. This is essential as we transition to the Common
Core State Standards.
● Do we already have wonderful, independent writers at Merton? YES
● Do teachers already teach mini lessons and teaching points? YES
● Do our students already pre write, draft, edit and publish their work? YES
● Do teachers and students already conference about student work? YES
● Do teachers already help struggling learners based on conferences and
● Do our students already have writing assessments based on state
● Do students already collaborate and celebrate their writing? YES
● Do students have choices about their writing? YES
● Do we integrate technology into our writing lessons and classroom
● Common Core State Standards Language Arts alignment
● Create mini lessons and assessments based on the CCSS
● Collaborate with other districts that use the Writer's Workshop model and
use best practices to determine appropriate assessments for CCSS
● Reflect on our experience with Writer's Workshop, and celebrate student
● Explore and implement best practices for technology integration with the
Writer's Workshop model
"Lifting the level of writing instruction matters because
writing matters. We write to hold on to the moments in our
lives and to make them matter."
Special thanks to Sarah Lang, Oconomowoc School District and Katie
O'Brien, Franklin School District, for sharing information, ideas and
Beach Computer. Digital Image. Homeschool Happymess. Web. 20 August 2012. http:
Calkins, Lucy. (2009). A Guide to the Writing Workshop, Grades 3-5. New Hampshire: Heinemann
Once Upon a Time. Digital Image. My Life In Writing. Web. 20 August 2012. http://dstracywrites.
Pencils. Digital Image. Writing. Web. 20 August 2012. http://www.publicdomainpictures.net.
Pencil Sharpener. Digital Image. Writing. Web. 20 August 2012. http://www.publicdomainpictures.net.
Writer's Paradise. Digital Image. Writing. Web. 20 August 2012. http://www.publicdomainpictures.net.
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