We call our writing workshop time 'Writers at Work'! It is a combination of approaches (between Kid Writing by Feldgusand Cardonick and the journal writing in The Teacher's Guide to Building Blocks by Hall and Williams).
1) Model for students
- thinks aloud about possible ideas, draws a picture and orally discusses why certain elements are in the drawing (prewriting)
- decides what to write that corresponds to the picture
- does adult/book writing (with student assistance)
2) Student Writing
- get their writing notebooks
- date their next clean page
- think about what they want to draw
- draw their picture
- kid write (with and with out assistance)
3) Once finished, students look at books in the book basket at their table, reread their previous entries, or share their writing with an adult or other child at their table.
4) Clean up
To signal time to clean up (meaning put pencils away, push in chairs, and bring their writing notebooks to the carpet), we will sing our writing song... You sing it like a rap.
We're kinder kids and we can write.
We're learning our letters and words. (all right!)
We like to write and we like to share.
So we're taking our notebooks to our notebook nook!
(Diane Mitton, a kindergarten teacher in New Brunswick tweaked the above words and made the song better fit her classroom. She shares below... I love the new rap. Thanks Diane!)
We're kindergarten kids and we're really bright!
We're learning to read and we're learning to write.
When we finish our work, we like to share.
And we listen to each other because we really care!
5) Pair Share
As students come to the carpet, they will have the opportunity to share their writing with a partner. After students have shared, notebooks are put away in the designated location. This is so students will be less distracted as they listen and participate in the sharing of other students' writing as part of our Author's Chair.
6) Author's Chair
One student gets to orally share their writing entry with the entire class.
The student in the author's chair then gets to ask three students to either ask a question about their entry or to share a comment on what they thought about their writing. (focusing on meaning and content)
We always make sure to praise the author's original writing and ask how they figured out certain letters or words! (focusing on writing elements)
Why do we do Writing Workshop in this manner?
We can focus on....
- letter formation
- left to write progression
- how print and pictures contain the message
- how to differentiate between letters and words
- spacing between words
- the sounds and letters in words
- assisting children develop greater independence in writing
- expressing ideas through pictures, oral language, and print
- valuing ideas that are important to students
- sharing orally