Welcome to Writer’s Workshop! From: " Welcome to Writer's Workshop" by Steve Peha (See the link below.) "The idea behind Writer’s Workshop is simple: if we know from experience that a workshop approach to the teaching of writing works well for aspiring professional writers, why shouldn’t we use this approach in our classrooms? As in a professional writer’s workshop, each student in the class is a working author. The teacher is a writing professional and peer coach, guiding authors as they explore their craft. Instead of spending the majority of class time on spelling tests, grammar worksheets, handwriting practice, and other isolated sub-skills of writing, Writer’s Workshop is designed to emphasize the act of writing itself—students spend most of their time putting pencil to paper, not just learning about it. Over time, students learn to choose their own topics and to manage their own development as they work through a wide variety of writing projects in a sustained and self-directed way. In Writer’s Workshop classrooms, full class lessons are short and tightly focused on practical real-world issues. As in professional writing workshops, emphasis is placed on sharing work with the class, on peer conferencing and editing, and on the collection of a wide variety of work in a writing folder, and eventually in a portfolio. Teachers write with their students and share their own work as well. The workshop setting encourages students to think of themselves as writers, and to take their writing seriously. Writer’s Workshop is a popular way of organizing a writing class for one simple reason: it works better than any other management system yet devised. And it works because it is based on the idea that students learn to write best when they write frequently, for extended periods of time, on topics of their own choosing."
What is Writer’s Workshop? First - share a piece of literature with students, something you like that would serve a good model for writing. Mini-Lesson (5-15 minutes1). A short lesson focused on a single topic that students need help with. You don’t need to give a mini-lesson each day; 2-3 times a week is usually just fine. (This assumes you have a Writer's Workshop session every day.) Status of the Class (2-5 minutes). A quick way of finding out what each student is working on. Writing Time (20-45 minutes or more!). They write. You can write and/or conference with individual students or small groups. Sharing (5-15 minutes). Writers read what they have written and seek feedback from their audience. You can share your writing, too.