Writing Workshop: Managing the writing classroom
One format that teachers utilize to teach writing is called Writing
Workshop or Writer's Workshop. Often a 60-minute block is set aside (although
this can be adapted to be shorter or longer) and broken into the following
15-20 minutes: Whole-class mini-lesson
30-40 minutes: Small group and individual work
Use any combination of the following:
- Independent writing
- Paired writing
- Conferring with students
- Guided writing lessons
- Peer editing and/or peer revision
- Literacy centers
5-10 minutes: Group share
Questions to think about:
- What are the advantages to using this format? The disadvantages?
- If you are using a writing book or curriculum, could this format
be modified to meet your needs or could the lessons and activities
from the fixed curriculum fit into this format?
- What element(s) would you be willing to try right away? How could
you work that into your daily schedule?
- Could you try this format for a genre study? What might that look
Books to help you learn even more about writing workshop:
Atwell, N. (1989). In the middle: Writing, reading and learning with adolescents. Portsmouth, NH: Boynton/Cook.
Atwell, N., ed. (2002). Lessons that change writers. Portsmouth, NH: FirstHand Heinemann.
Fletcher, R., & Portalupi, J. (2001). Writing workshop: The essential guide. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
Fountas, I.C., & Pinnell, G.S. (2001). Guiding readers and writers grades 3-6: Teaching comprehension, genre, and content literacy. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
Graves, D.H. (1994). A fresh look at writing. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
Ray, K.W., & Laminack, L.L. (2001). The writing workshop: Working through the hard parts (and they're all hard parts). Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English.