Writer's Workshop is the name given to our writing time each day. It’s called Writer's Workshop because that is what "real" authors call their special writing time, since my students are becoming "real" authors, the name has been adopted as a part of daily instruction.
Each day the workshop will last about 40 minutes. The first 8-10 minutes there will be a mini-lesson, or direct teacher instruction. The focus will be learning about techniques and strategies that good writers use. After the mini-lesson students will have independent writing time where the students are allowed to choose the topic for their writing. By giving the students choices in their writing, it makes the writing more meaningful and engaging. While the students are writing the teacher will be meeting with individuals or small groups to conference with them about their writing and to encourage their growth as writers. Sometimes in the middle of the independent writing time we will pause for a "mid-workshop share." This will be a time for the teacher to refocus the group, or to highlight the extraordinary efforts of an individual writer in the class. At the end of the workshop, about 10 minutes will be spent giving the students an opportunity to share their writing with the class or a writing partner.
Students will learn to write, revise, edit, and publish stories throughout the school year. They will also begin to assess their writing and learn to implement the characteristics of quality writing into their own work. Most of our writing will be kept at school and will be sent home at the end of the year. Whenever you are visiting the classroom, I encourage you to take a look at our progress as writers. The Writing Binders are housed on a shelf in the classroom and visitors are welcome to peek at our work.
You may wonder how you can help your child to prosper as a writer this year. The first thing I want to remind you is that for most of us, writing can be frightening. Please encourage your child by helping them realize that daily life brims with stories that deserve to be told. When your family hears a noise behind the wall and you use a flashlight to find that the noise comes from a squirrel that has been living there, remind your child that this would make a great entry in his or her writer’s notebook! When you get the chance to see some of your child’s writing, for now, it would really help if you give that child what every writer needs above all: an interested, appreciative reader. Read the child’s writing not as a judge, but as a reader, paying attention to the content. If you do this, you will make your child feel like an author, and you’ll make it much more likely that your child will care about writing and will be ready to invest in the hard work required to grow as a writer.
We are partners in this incredibly important work of helping your child become a strong and confident writer. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Looking forward to our on-going communication!