Incorporating Writer’s Workshop into the Elementary Classroom Erik Wittmer 5th Grade Teacher Park Hills Elementary
Setting The Foundation What is your definition of Writer’s Workshop? What is your opinion about Writer's Workshop? What questions do you have about Writer’s Workshop?
What is Writer's Workshop according to Erik? DAILY, structured time Teacher provides explicit instruction Students select their own topics to write about Students are encouraged to be risk takers as they develop their own individual writing style A community to share and learn from one another
Framework for Writer’s Workshop The Mini-Lesson
Components of Mini-Lessons Pulling students together Setting the tone “Show and Tell” the objective Get students involved 5 -10 Minutes
Components of Independent Writing Initially just write for extended period of time Free writing Play with writing Reading Staring off into space Drafting a writing project Conversing Publishing 20 -30 Minutes
What’s In? What’s Out? In the Notebook Daily Entries Strategies for launching the notebook. Finding Patterns Rereading and marking patterns in writing. Collecting Around A Topic Strategies for thinking about a topic. Revision Strategies Trying different things for a draft. Editing, Grammar Notes Class notes on grammar and editing skills. Out of the Notebook Drafts The whole piece is written out on yellow legal-pad paper. Revisions Revisions the author wants to use are added or deleted from the piece. Editing Editing the actual piece before writing the final copy is done right on the draft. Final Copy Final copies of writing pieces are done on white paper or another published format.
Goals: What We Hope To See Students Developing Over Time In Their Notebooks… A sense of self as writers and personal writing processes that work for them. Ways of reading the world like writers. Collecting ideas with variety, volume and thoughtfulness. Each student possesses personal writing processes that work for him/her. Boxes and bullets Stream of consciousness writing T-charts Katie Wood Ray, Wondrous Words, 215
Goals, continued… A sense of thoughtful, deliberate purpose about their work as writers, and a willingness to linger with those purposes. Following an idea through to publication. “Living with” a topic over time. Katie Wood Ray, Wondrous Words, 215
Goals, continued… Becoming members of a responsive, literate community. Working with “editors.” Family Members Friends Teachers Katie Wood Ray, Wondrous Words, 213
Goals, continued… Ways of reading texts like writers (for both structure and ways with words). Developing a sense of craft, genre and form. Studying a variety of genres. Studying one writer’s body of work. Author Studies Writer’s Craft Studies Katie Wood Ray, Wondrous Words, 216
Goals, continued… A sense of audience. Understanding of how to prepare writing to share with the “world.” Learning about publishing opportunities for young writers. Focusing on what happens during the publishing process. Katie Wood Ray, Wondrous Words, 216
Mini -Lessons Connection Teaching Active Engagement Link
Connection Students learn why today’s lesson is so important and how it relates to their prior work Opens the mini-lesson Teacher repeats previous day’s teaching point Teacher names today’s teaching point
Teaching Children are taught a new skill and strategy that they can use often when they write: Tell/State the teaching point and explain when and why a writer might use it Show (method of delivery)Demonstration (modeled or shared writing) Explicitly tell and show an example Inquiry (notice techniques authors use) Guided practice (scaffolding)
Active Engagement Children briefly use the strategy taught while the teacher is there to provide support: Tell: Repeat the teaching point to get students ready for what they will practice Coach: (practice)Can be practiced by having students try a quick example in a writing notebook Can verbally try it with “Turn and Talk” strategy Can practice this strategy using a piece of mentor text
Link This is not a closing but a launch! Make the transition from the mini- Lesson to independent writing: Restate the teaching point into clear language that students will remember Get students excited to try what they learned, if it applies Remind students that this teaching point can be used in the future, when needed
Talk Time Turn to a Partner and Talk Mini-Lessons What are the four main parts of these short, powerful lessons?
Selecting the Focus of the Lesson Mini-lesson may be based on: Procedures during Writer’s Workshop Genres Writing process Traits of good writing Resources to assist with planning: PA State Standards Observing students’ work while roaming the room and conversing Collecting student writing to evaluate
Independent Writing Time Students write on their own to: Practice skills and strategies previously taught Develop understanding of multiple genres of writing/reading Gain writing fluency and stamina Share their experiences through topic choice
Guided Writing Students write and attempt to apply what has been previously demonstrated and practiced Teacher guides, responds, and extends the students’ thinking Groups of 2-6 students with similar needs based on data and observations
Conversing Research Compliment Decide and Teach Link
Research Determine what the child is beginning to do well and what you want to teach them to do better by: Observing Reading the student’s work Asking open-ended questions “How’s it going?” “Can you tell me what you are working on as a writer today?”
Research Continued Consider what you already know about the writer using conference notes Research the same skill and/or strategy until you know the writer can use it independently
Compliment React like a reader: “Wow! Your details really helped me to picture what was happening!” Clearly state the skill and strategy used and show where they used it Explain why it is important to continue using it
Decide and Teach Of all the things that I could teach this child, what is the one thing likely to make the most difference on this piece and in future pieces?
Decide and Teach Cont… “How will I teach this to the child?”State the skill and/or strategy Explain when and why to use it Show how to successfully use it Coach as they practice it in their own writing Comments and questions to ask: I have one suggestion to make. Can I show you one thing? Can you try?
Link Repeat the teaching point Name what the child has done Remind him that this skill and/or strategy can be used in the future, as needed
Components of Sharing Based on conferences and guided writing groups, the teacher stops writers to quickly share: A need of the majority of students An extension of the mini-lesson, revisit something taught earlier in the year, or a new concept Something great seen in a student’s piece that she wants to strategically point out
Sharing Cont. Points to remember: The share always includes teaching: State the skill and/or strategy Explain when and why to use it Show what it looks like to successfully use the strategy Use student work as much as possible or a teacher created piece
Talk Time Think about all the different types of shares that were presented. Do you use one that wasn’t mentioned? How important is this portion of writer’s workshop?
Ticket Out the Door 3 – New Ideas you can use next year within your writing community 2- Sharing ideas that were new to you 1 – Something you would like to see covered tomorrow
Setting Up the Process Expectations Materials Peer Conferencing Completed Papers Conversations Reflections Writer's Notebook Mini - Lessons Status of the Class
Status of the Class Before/After Mini – Lesson Easy way to check in with every student Lets them know you are “watching” each one of them Can be one of the following: Clothespins Board 3 x 5 cards Anything that shows the writing process
Materials Paper Staplers 3 Hold Punch Colored Pencils Any material that can help to make the students move papers on
Peer Conferencing Student giving advice to Student Not about anything but writing Effective? Alternative ways?
Day # 2 Think about all that we covered yesterday. What are you still unclear on or need help clarifying? Writer’s Notebooks Stages of Writer’s Workshop Most important part? Conversations instead of conferencing Different type of sharing Units of Study
Agenda Mentor Text Sample Lessons using Mentor text with 6 Traits in Mind Find some of your own Mentor text 6 Traits and How the language can be used Setting up the entire workshop ABCD of writing (Kelly Gallagher and Amy Tarbell) Graphic Organizers
Routines and ExpectationsRoutines give students something to count on, a place to hang knowledge, a place to share and explore every day. Done through mini – lessons Takes at least three to four weeks May need to repeat lessons Moving from desks to writing areas Moving around during writing Status of the Class Expectations Publishing papers
Model Lesson on Routines Moving from mini- lesson to writing When I say, “Go ahead and write” you have 1 minute to get in the zone When you hear this signal, that means it is time to be writing Let’s try it now. Same goes for when writer’s workshop is over. Play music to key students to wrap it up and come to the sharing area
Why Mentor Text? Mentor text are pieces of literature that students can relate to Mentor text are pieces of literature that are studied and imitated Mentor text provide students with powerful connections Mentor text help students take risks and try new strategies Mentor text are the literature that students can relate to and can read independently Provided by Rose Cappelli and Lynne Dorfman, 6/28/11
Katie Ray on using Mentor Text “I often think that when I watch a really good teacher of writing, it’s almost like there are life-size cardboard cutouts of authors all around the room. Jane Olen is standing by the chalkboard and Eloise Greenfield is just by the door to welcome students as they enter… With a room full of authors to help us, teaching writing doesn’t have to be so lonely.”
Choosing a Mentor Text You must connect with the book and love it Subject matter Author Illustrations Genre How does it serve your student’s needs and connect with your curriculum Can students relate and/or read alone
Choosing a Mentor Text Continued Balance of genre Fiction, nonfiction, memoir, and poetry Just like most things in writer’s workshop, it comes down to a personal decision
Introducing Mentor Text First time through complete as read aloud: Appreciate the story and characters Message, rhythm Second time through using eyes of writer Teach to read like writers when using mentor text Demonstrate reading-writing connection
What Do We Learn by Using Mentor Text Craft of writing They there are places from which writers gather ideas Help students find ideas Breathe courage into their writing by helping them take risks
Your Turn Lesson Hook Purpose Brainstorm Model Shared/Guided Writing Independent Writing Reflection
Modeled Lesson Hook -When I was Five by Author Howard Purpose – Taking Big Idea and Making into one you KNOW Brainstorm –What can you add to your writing territories/seeds now that we read this story? Model – Inverted Triangle Shared/Guided Writing – Students try triangle Independent Writing- Continue Reflection - How did this strategy work for you as a writer?
Reflection + Talk Time What was going through your mind as this lesson was being taught? How do you see yourself using a lesson format like this? Different and bit longer than mini-lesson Talk to your table about the positives and negatives you would see doing something like this in our classroom
Modeled Lesson Hook –Lily’s Purple Purse by Kevin Henkes Purpose – Adding Details through questioning Brainstorm –Recent things you did at night, on the weekend Model – Share my list Shared/Guided Writing – Bring two students to front of room and have a discussion Independent Writing- Question marks in their writing Reflection – How did this strategy work for you as a writer?
Other Ideas for The Writer’s Notebook Memory Chain using Letter to the Lake Every Picture Tells a Story = Gallery Walk
Setting the Stage Reading Like a Writer Notice something about the craft Talk about it and make a theory about why a writer might use this craft Give it a name Have you seen this craft in other books? Try to imagine how you could use this craft in your own writing
Notice something about the craft Often general statements i.e – “Puts pictures in my mind Need to get right on top of either the words, the way the words are put together (including punctuation and marks) Structure of the text to help envision the craft of their own writing
Talk about it and make a theory about why a writer might use this craft A writer’s conversation about why the author might have done what they did. Specific questions about the craft Think about the why
Name Give it a class name Doesn’t need to be from a grammar book As long as students remember it within the walls of the classroom If the craft has a name, call it by that particular name Personification
Other Text Have you noticed this craft in another text Becomes easier as we understand this process Try to have set so other text have similar craft early on
Envision using the craft Don’t force it so students must use it Envision it so they can use the technique in the future What would it sound and look like in a writing piece “So, if I am writing and I want to ____ , then I can use this technique.
Reflections Very important Used throughout the process Students see themselves as writers Helps develop the revision process Brainstorming Drafting Memory Chain Inverted Triangle
Craft Lesson on Talking Bubbles Hook –Magic Tree House Series by Joanne Cole Purpose – Add discussions into stories Brainstorm –What are some conversations we might hear at the family dinner table? Model – Draw picture of Aidan and Brielle informing about their trip to Dutch Wonderland Shared/Guided Writing – Students look at their stories Independent Writing- Try it out with speech bubble Reflection - How did this strategy work for you as a writer?
6 Traits of Writing Ideas Sentence Fluency Organization Word Choice Voice Conventions Presentation
The Language of 6 Traits Take writers where they are and move them forward one step at a time Matches specific needs and abilities Appropriate scoring guide is key to successful teaching
Examples of what students can say during revisions or to start a conversations? Ideas Does my writing make sense? Does my writing show that I understand my topic? Is my writing interesting? Organization Do I start off strong Are all my details in the best possible order? Are similar thoughts grouped together
Examples of what students can say during revisions or to start a conversations? Voice Can the reader here me in the writing? Can the reader tell I care about this idea? Is the voice I’ve chosen right for my audience? Word Choice Do the words I’ve chosen sound and feel just right? Have I painted a picture with words?
Examples of what students can say during revisions or to start a conversations? Sentence Fluency Does my writing sound good when I read it aloud? Do my words and phrases flow together? Have I included sentences of varying lengths and with different beginnings?
Examples of what students can say during editing or to start a conversations? Conventions Is the punctuation correct and does it guide the reader through the text? Did I capitalize all the right words? Is my spelling accurate – especially for words I read and write a lot? Did I follow grammar rules to make my writing clear and readable? Did I indent paragraphs in all the right places?
Student Example What trait are you working on? Focus on just that skill Keeps you grounded in focusing in on one area rather than the entire paper Universal scoring guides are consistent
Publishing Projects How often Everyone Where? Electronically Sticky Notes Rubrics At different times
Mentor Sentences “All Students need to become sentence stalkers , finding them in the literature and the world.” Jeff Anderson, pg 17 Short phrases and a quick process within the mini - lesson “What do you notice?” “What do you like about the sentence?” Wall Charts become the norm
Express Lane Edits Short and to the point Use students 1st draft Come up with a list of grammar rules that have been taught Focus on one or two Students take those and edit their paper Model, Model and Model some more
ABCD For Writing Prompts Helps attach a writing prompt Needs to be modeled, guided A = Attach the prompt B- Brainstorm ideas C- Choose the order of the response D – Detect errors