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    Writer's Workshop
    By 5thGrdTeachTN

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    Writer's Workshop can definitely be overwhelming at the beginning, but after some practice I feel that it is totally worth it. My Writer's Workshop block looks like this:

    5 minutes of spelling practice

    10-15 minute Mini Lesson (there are lots of great mini lessons available through both various reference books- my favorite is "Craft Lessons" and the web)

    2 Minutes--Status of the class (this is where students update me daily regarding which stage of the writing process they are working on today i.e. brainstorming, planning, drafting, etc.)

    The remaining 20-30 minutes is spent with students working in their journals and me conferencing with them. In my class, students sign up for a conference when they have revised and edited a story they would like to publish. There are also times when I meet with students of my choosing (either one-on-one or in small groups). I try to collect and read 5 journals each day to read afterschool to guage student progress.

    Here are some things I have done that I think helps to keep this time successful:

    **Set and post expectations. Introduce and practice procedures until ALL students (or 99% of them :)) are on track. The one expectation I think is most effective is that students are never "done". Once a piece has been published they are to begin brainstorming a new piece.

    **Model and teach students each step of the writing process as well as different methods of brainstorming, story writing (personal narrative, nonfiction, fantasy, etc.), and publishing (this keeps them interested and excited about their writing).

    **I require a certain number of published pieces each month (for example 3 in October, 1 in December, 2 in February--I try to base it on what is going on that month and how many days we are in school).

    **One final piece that keep students' accountable is a writing folder that notes the pieces they are working on, whether it has been conferenced, notes from the conference, and whether they piece has been published.

    View the original thread this idea was posted on

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