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    Writer's Workshop
    By Jayne

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    I have been using Steve Dunn's Writer's Workshop in my classroom for three years. It is very successful. You begin by teaching children how to get ideas. You share stories from your childhood with them and have them share with each other. Have them list the topics they brainstorm. Show them how to use books and pictures to get good ideas. Teach them to share story ideas with each other and how they can check and make sure their story has all the important elements before they write it. This should take a week and children should have a topics list of at least ten stories at the end. Then train them how to do a storyboard. Take a week and start each session by modeling your own storyboard for them. Start with 3 or 4 squares depending on your grade level. Show students how you think through the story while you are drawing. The next week's training is on how to draft- have them skip lines when writing and circle any words they don't think look right or sound write to check later. Model using one of your own storyboards. The next week go over editing- red-green light ( circle capital at beginning of sentence in green and punctuation at end in red), rereading, checking for indentations etc. Lastly teach revision. Use your own stories as a model. This has been wonderfully successful for my students regardless of their ability level. Once the training is over you simply do a 15 minute focus lesson ( grammar) and then have them check in with you about where they are. Then they are on their own working at their own speed for 20 minutes during silent sustained writing. The next 20 minutes they may continue to work alone or collaborate with a friend. Use this time to work with small groups needing extra support. End the workshop with a sharing time.

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