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Writing Workshop

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“Writers are like other people, except for at least one important difference. Other people have daily thoughts and feelings, notice this sky or that smell, but they don’t do much about it. All those thoughts, feelings, sensations, and opinions pass through them like the air they breathe. Not writers. Writers react.” (Fletcher, 1996)

Writing workshop is an approach to teaching writing that has been around for many years. Teachers who use a workshop approach know that in order to become better writers, students must write daily. Lessons about writing are short and to the point, and time is set aside every day for students to apply the lessons they learn in their own writer’s notebooks. These students can count on having an audience at the end of every workshop to appreciate and critique their work.

Important Points to Ponder:

  • Writing Workshop is not a program or a curriculum. It’s an organizational framework for instruction. Any curriculum can fit into the Writing Workshop model.
  • Writing workshop should occur daily for between 45 minutes to 1 hour. Students should be able to count on having uninterrupted time each day to focus on their writing.
  • Students should be allowed to write on topics of their choice. Teachers might give parameters, such as defining the genre, but students have the benefit of choosing the topic within that genre. Occasionally teachers might assign prompts as practice for standardized tests.