If you have read my blog for any time at all, you know I love, love, LOVE Writer's Workshop. I could list fifteen hundred reasons why I love it, but here are my top 3.
1. It gives kids a voice.
All dang day kids are trying to express themselves...through chatting, playing, dancing... and we are trying to reign them in. Writer's Workshop is that time where you say "Be YOU!" Write about what you want! They are NOT, absolutely not responding to prompts in writer's workshop. They are taking the skills that you are teaching them and applying it to the topic of their choosing. They feel empowered because they have so much control over what and how they write!
2. Reader's and Writer's Workshop work SO beautifully together.
When I read a book for Reader's Workshop I talk about ways we as readers analyze the text, what gives us mental images, how it makes us feel. Then a couple of days later I pull that SAME book out and discuss how the author gave us clues, how he SHOWED us feeling instead of telling us, and how the author made powerful choices with their verbs.
3, The kids LOVE it.
My reluctant writers become involved. My kids look forward to it. We can't wait for Writer's Workshop. They aren't scared to make mistakes. They know I won't take a red pen to their work, because I respect their art and their ownership of it.
Now I can feel you saying "Okay, okay, Katie! Now what???"
First and foremost- beg your principal to buy you Lucy Caulkins Units of Study for your grade level.
Next step INUNDATE your students with quality literature.
Then focus on setting up your workshop. This is the first year that I didn't jump into a unit of study right away. Instead my students wrote about whatever their hearts desired, just to get used to the format of workshop.
They wrote, and wrote, and wrote! I have never had kids so excited for workshop.... kids were writing non-fiction pieces, mysteries, narratives...you name it, they wrote it!
This past week we began personal narratives! I am seeing some GREAT stufff
I have made a lot of changes in how I am running/organizing Writer's Workshop this year!
I have decided to keep all our writing tools in one spot for each table.
In this draw we keep our actual folders and little student dictionaries. See below!
These books are provided by my school and travel with our kids to each grade level. They have sight words and any other words that they add. These are important for my kids, because I don't spell for them. Period. I do not want my students in a line waiting for me to spell for them OR dependent on me. I want them to use what they know about sounds to stretch words out OR to use the word wall.
Here is my Tiny Topics Notebook. I use this to list ideas for my Narratives. My kids each have one of their own. They were THRILLED to get them!
We keep them in our caddies so we can grab them whenever we have an idea to write down!
Here is a peek at the books that I will constantly reference throughout our narrative writing. I will share more with y'all and my kids soon!
Here is a look at what my Writer's Workshop board looks like for school this week! The punctuation posters are from my Convention Camp post in my TPT store.
If you take just ONE thing from this post, than I spent my Monday evening well! Good night friends!