Writing Workshop

Explanation of Program and Helpful Hints

* We follow a Writing Workshop model. The idea behind this is that all good writers write all of the time. We work in different genres of writing each marking period. We WRITE EVERYDAY! Each workshop period consists of a mini-lesson on a component of writing led by the teacher that builds upon previous lessons. Then the students find their writing places and begin writing. It is expected that the students use the skills and techniques introduced within the mini-lessons. As the students work the teacher is circulating the room conferencing and coaching students through their writing. The idea is that writers build on skills and strategies that have been taught. When new information is shared with the students it is the goal of the workshop that the students practice using the strategy or skill.

* This year you can expect four published pieces of writing that your child will spend about a month working on: Personal Narrative, Fiction, Biographical Essay, and Literary Essay (Writing About Reading). We will also have several smaller writing projects along the way that will include poetry and descriptive writing.

How You Can Help Your Child

* Encourage your child to write. We have writer's notebooks in school that we write in every day. Having your child write improves their writing skills. I always say that in order to get good at sports you have to practice every day. I tell my students the same about writing.

* Ask your child questions and encourage thoughtful and detailed answers. Good writers include examples and elaborations in their writing.

* Encourage your child to carefully observe the world. Great writers get their ideas from everyday life. We write best about things we know and care about so encourage your child to see the world as a writer. This is something we talk about in class so your child will know what you mean.

* Share different types of writing with your child. Don't always read picture books with your child. Instead, switch it up a bit. One night share a news story from the newspaper. Then the next day look at other parts of the paper like the classifieds, or comics. Another night read a nonfiction piece from a book or a magazine. Maybe another night you can read a selection from the book you are reading. Basically, drawing attention to the world of writing helps expose your child to the different types.

* Ask to see your child's writer's notebook. They spend 35-40 minutes a day in it so they will have something to share! Celebrate the work they've done in their notebook. Trust us- they deserve it!