Proven Tools and Methods It is an understatement to say these units have been piloted many times.
I could write 1, calkins writing assessment on this topic. In fact, every time I started composing this post in my mind, I felt overwhelmed. What is Writing Workshop?
The simplest answer is that it is a structure for teaching writing. The teacher begins each WW with a 5 to 15 minute mini-lesson that provides the direct instruction component.
Modeling is a critical component of the mini-lesson. Once the mini-lesson is completed and the students are released for independent writing time, the teacher conferences with students one-on-one or in small groups to further support students while also collecting assessment information.
This is the true heart of the workshop as the teacher coaches and scaffolds each writer where they need support. Topics for future mini-lessons will become evident during this part of the lesson. These samples often reinforce the mini-lesson or might be other inspirational exemplars worth sharing.
Of course, they participate in the mini-lesson and sharing time. In that regard, they are also expected to take ownership of the techniques and skills modeled during mini-lessons and begin to apply them independently. However, the main responsibility for students is to find a comfortable spot in the room, stay there, and write quietly.
Writers are never done! If you are new to WW, realize that it will take time to help children shift from being totally dependent on the teacher for directing every moment of their work to feeling confident working independently.
They will refine that piece through revision and editing until the deadline. Lucy Calkins gets credit for creating the Writing Workshop model currently used today. Though I do love Lucy!
For example, units are based on narrative writing, opinion writing, persuasive writing, etc. Each unit includes 4 to 6 weeks of sequential lessons that guide you through the entire process of teaching the genre, from getting started to publishing. The units are an excellent resource and I highly recommend them- especially if you are new to Writing Workshop.
How long does Writing Workshop take in the schedule? Typically the entire workshop lasts from minutes and ideally is taught 5 days per week. I wrote a post about managing teaching time that might be helpful if you are facing that issue. The bottom line is this: What are the pros of Writing Workshop?
Too many to list! As do their writing skills. Instead of following a scripted curriculum or guide that tells you what writing lesson your students will need in October AS IF a publisher could possibly know!
What are the Cons?
In my next post I will dig a little deeper into the structure of a mini-lesson. Do you teach writing through a Writing Workshop approach? Anything you would like to add to this post that might help other teachers who are new to it? Share your thoughts in the comments!
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Units of Study in Phonics. The Units of Study in Phonics are up and running across the country! Teachers report that students are loving the new units: they're loving the songs and the movements, the partnerships and the Rug Clubs, and all tools and manipulatives they get to use.
K-8 Narrative Pre-Assessment Prompt Pre and Post On-Demand Performance Assessment Prompt The Day Before: Tell students “Tomorrow you will have one writing workshop session to write a personal narrative/small moment story that tells others about your special moment or topic.
Resources The TCRWP is happy to share many free resources for teachers, coaches and administrators. We have provided videos that provide an orientation to the Units of Study series for reading and writing as well as videos that show students and teachers at work in classrooms.
—Lucy Calkins, Writing Pathways Lucy Calkins' groundbreaking performance assessments offer instructional tools to support continuous assessment, timely feedback, and clear goals tied to learning progressions that have been aligned with world-class standards.
Writing Assessments Assessing students’ progress as writers of information, opinion/argument and narrative on-demand texts. This October, Heinemann will release Writing Pathways, a book and collection of resources by Lucy Calkins with TCRWP colleagues .