The basic philosophy behind writing workshop is to allow students to spend time writing for real purposes about things that interest them each day. Students can experiment with a variety of genres. Students learn the craft of writing through practice, conferring, and studying the craft of other authors. The ultimate goal of a writing workshop is always to develop life-long writers.
Within the context of Writer’s Workshop, a variety of organizational patterns for instruction are used: a whole class session, a small group mini-lesson, a student-teacher conference, and a sharing of written work. What students need to learn during a Writer’s Workshop is based upon their present writing competencies and the Language Arts Literacy standards and benchmarks for each grade level. For the majority of the time in Writer’s Workshop, students will be engaged in actual writing. Writer's Workshop gives children daily opportunities to develop their unique writing processes and communicate meaning through words and pictures.
In Writer’s Workshop, instruction focuses on teaching students the process of writing. Students generate multiple ideas and drafts which provide authentic practice utilizing various strategies. For instance, students will draft several possible openings to a story and then select the opening that they believe will most engage the readers of their work the most. Students typically will produce one major piece of writing each marking period that has undergone significant revision, with the input of other students and the teacher. The main goal in a process writing approach is when students begin a new piece of writing, the strategies and techniques that have been practiced and refined will become part of their initial drafts.