Writer’s Workshop for Dummies

Category: Education

Presentation Description

What is a writer's workshop and how do I get started? A quick look at writer's workshop and a few new thoughts on the method.


Presentation Transcript

Writer’s Workshop:

Writer’s Workshop By Jami Elliott and Ellaysa Newton Literature Education 6212

Slide 2:

“ Literacy is not a luxury, it is a right and a responsibility. If our world is to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century we must harness the energy and creativity of all our citizens. ” - President Clinton on International Literacy Day, September 8th 1994

What is a writing workshop?:

What is a writing workshop? A philosophy of writing instruction where students explore topics of interest, confer with a teacher and other students, revise their ideas and then publish their work.

How does it work?:

How does it work? First, the workshop begins with detailed instruction from the teacher. Next, the students engage in independent writing. Afterward and during independent writing, there is a conferencing period where students get input from other students and also the teacher can give creative criticism to make the student think. Finally, the students PUBLISH their work and share with their peers the final product. (10-30 minutes). Most writing workshops last between 45-90 minutes.

Detailed Instruction:

Detailed Instruction The detailed instruction given at the beginning of the workshop is often referred to as mini or focus lessons. These lessons focus on a specific techniques and last only about 5 – 10 minutes. The four major types of instruction are: Routines (Procedures and organization for the classroom) Skills Strategies Craft and Techniques

Teacher’s role:

Teacher’s role After giving instruction at the beginning of the workshop, the teacher’s role becomes one of facilitator. What does that look like? Circulating the room Creating the atmosphere and providing the resources to encourage risk taking on the part of the students. Constant monitoring Conferencing with students, providing encouragement & scaffolding

Independent writing:

Independent writing Students choose topics that interest them and pursue them through writing. Students are responsible for organizing their writing in a designated place. Students work at their own pace within the guidelines given by the instructor.


conferencing Conferencing takes place during independent writing time and can extend a few minutes beyond that time, if the time is used productively. Teachers may take this time to work with students on an individual basis. Critical to this time, is peer evaluation. Students seek responses and input from their peers. This should not extend more than 10-20 minutes beyond the independent writing time.

Sharing/Publishing work!:

Sharing/Publishing work! Students love being able to share their final product with their peers. This allows students to practice public speaking and reading aloud and also learn from each other about topics they may never have explored. CREATIVITY! Create a book from the submissions Have stories published online on a class blog The sky is the limit!

Writing workshop with a Twist:

Writing workshop with a Twist Consider a writing workshop online. Expands upon the traditional premise and allows students to create using Web 2.0 tools They still conference with other students And PUBLISH their final project online for everyone to see.

Online writer’s workshop:

Online writer’s workshop Gives students the opportunity to use the multimodal communication tools available through computers and the internet. The students will engage in researching, planning, and composing, all with the tool of computers.

Upside of Writer’s Workshop:

Upside of Writer’s Workshop Children develop a love for writing as they are allowed to have the power to determine topics. Allows for differentiated instruction. Puts writing instruction in an order and terms that students can understand. All the time used during the workshop is used productively. The students don’t have “’down” time.

Upside of writer’s workshop :

Upside of writer’s workshop Students develop independence and motivation to be more engaged writers. Students learn to evaluate their own writing in order to improve it Helps establish an atmosphere of collaboration in the classroom

Appeal for the students:

Appeal for the students They are allowed an opportunity to engage in the writing of texts that reflect their own interests and choices.

Final Thought…:

Final Thought… “ Literacy arouses hopes, not only in society as a whole but also in the individual who is striving for fulfillment, happiness and personal benefit by learning how to read and write. Literacy... means far more than learning how to read and write... The aim is to transmit... knowledge and promote social participation. ” - UNESCO Institute for Education, Hamburg, Germany


Resources Ayres, R. Shubitz, S. Anderson, C. (2010) Day by Day: Refining Writing Workshop Through 180 Days of Reflective Practice Calkins, L. (1986). The art of teaching writing . Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. Donnelly, D. (2010) Does The Writing Workshop Still Work? Flower, L., & Hayes, J.R. (1981). A cognitive process theory of writing. College Composition and Communication , 32, 365-387. Herrington, A., Hodgson, K. & Moran, C. (2009) Teaching the new writing: Technology, change and assessment in the 21st century classroom. Teachers College Press, Columbia University, New York. Hicks, T. (2009) The Digital Writing Workshop . Portsmouth, NH Leograndis, D. (2008) Launching the Writing Workshop: A Step by Step Guide in Photographs Ray, K., Laminack, L. (2001). Writing Workshop: The Working Through the Hard Parts Robinson, R.D., McKenna, M.C., & Wedeman, J.M. (2000). Issues and Trends in Literacy Education . 2nd Ed. Allyn and Bacon, Boston, MA. Photos from Creative Commons

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