Writing Workshop

I am so excited to begin using a Writing Workshop this school year to deliver writing instruction!  Following a model by Jennifer Jacobson, students will be involved in our writing workshop for about 30 minutes two to three times per week.  During this time, students will work independently on self-selected writing, while I conference with students and deliver lessons to them based on their specific writing needs.  This is in addition to the time students spend engaged in writing during Daily Five!

We will also be completing writings for our writing folders.  These will be assigned writings, where students have grade-level appropriate FCAs (Focus Correction Areas).  On days that we complete assigned writings, we will not have a typical writing workshop.  These writings are then graded and placed in our writing folders so students can see their growth throughout the year.  We do two to three assigned "Type Three" writings a month.

Writing Workshop Schedule

10-15 minutes Mini-lesson as part of "Morning Meeting", using a picture book to look at author's craft.
10 minutes "The Quiet Ten"- ten minutes where everyone (including the teacher!) spends time engaged in writing, drawing, or pre-writing activities independently.
20 minutes Independent writing- students can sign up for conferences with the teacher, the teacher may schedule writing conferences, students who are ready to publish their work may be helping a parent volunteer type their work.  Each student has a spot in my Pensieve where I will record their goals and strengths in writing.  We will refer often to their writing menu, which is where each student will select writing goals for their personal writing pieces.


Students will also be about to work on their writing during Daily Five!

Mini-lessons will focus on ideas, organization, voice/style, and conventions. 

Click here for the menus of skills we will focus on.

Some mini-lesson topics...

*Writing workshop procedures
*Getting ideas
*1st grade & 2nd grade review- Sentence formation and organization
*2nd grade- paragraph format introduction
*What to do when you get stuck
*Personal narratives
*Descriptive writing
*Word choice- this is an ongoing study
*Bold beginnings and excellent endings
*Focus on details
*Types of sentences, using varied end marks in our writing
*More personal narratives
*Informational writing- students will be crafting informational paragraphs about Michigan for our gingerbread exchange.
*Letter writing
*Persuasive writing (persuade me to hire you for a classroom job!)
*How-to writing
*Fairy tale genre- 2nd grade students will create original fairy tales during our genre study.  2nd graders will also work on pieces for the Young Author's contest.
*Informational writing- students will research a topic and write a report. 


What does a writing conference look like?

Each student has a writing conference recording sheet in their section of my pensieve.  Following the format below, I record observations and take notes during each students' confrence.

Goals *For the first minute or so of each conference, I review with students the goals that we were working on the last time we met.  Their goal may have been to focus on something in a particular piece of writing or an overall goal they need to work on in their writing in general.
*We also set a goal for this conference.  I always begin by asking students why they signend up for a conference with me.
*Next, students share the writing they signed up to conference about.  If it is a long piece, they may share just one part of it.  While they read, I listen and jot down things I notice about their writing.
*Depending on the student's goal and the observations I make when they share their writing, I provide brief instruction to the student.
Point and Question
*I point out things I noticed to the student- "I noticed you use the word 'colorful' to describe your dog."
*Then, ask a question to guide the student into thinking more about their writing- "I'm really curious as to what colors your dog is?  I wonder if you might like to tell more about your dog so I can really get a good picture of him in my head."
Plan for next time
*Last, we make a plan for the next time I will meet with them.  Sometimes I send them away with a specific task to complete before I see them again, other times I pencil them in for a specific date in the future.
*We are so lucky to have two parent volunteers who will come in monthly to type students' work!  Then each student will be able to illustrate their work... we are so excited about publishing our pieces!


Christina Bainbridge 

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