What is Writer's Workshop?In our second grade classroom, writing is taught through a writing workshop model. We call it Writer's Workshop because that is what "real" authors call their special writing time ~ our students are becoming "real" authors." There is time for directed teacher instruction, whole class discussions, independent writing, small group work, teacher conferencing, and student sharing.
Our lessons have been developed collaboratively among the Searingtown Second grade teachers as well as with our reading teacher Mrs. Bowie. There are 8 Units of Study throughout the school year. Every 4 to 5 weeks we focus on a different strategy or writing genre.*** Each day our workshop begins when students gather on the rug for ourmini-lesson. This is directed teacher instruction that focuses on techniques and strategies that good writers use. Students discuss strategies being taught. Often there is a shared writing piece.** After the mini-lesson students 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 is 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 interruption" This is a time for the teacher to refocus the group, or to highlight the noticings of students who are trying the strategy presented in the mini-lesson.*** At the end of the workshop, about 10-15 minutes is spent giving the students an opportunity to share their writing with the class, writing group, or 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.*** Although most of our writing will be kept at school and will be sent home at the end of the year, parents are invited throughout the year to many Writing Celebrations.*** All students are encouraged to keep a Writing Journal at home.