The primary division at my school has decided to try out something new with our writing program. In the past we have always taught each of our learning cycles with a focus on a particular writing form. We came to find that this wasn’t producing better writers because we were so focused on the particulars of each writing form rather than the basics of writing. So we selected learning goals for our students based on what they really needed to improve on and we gave them the freedom to choose their form based on their purpose for writing.
This was one of the best decisions I have made in my teaching career! I have never seen students so engaged in writing and they are begging me to write each day. They are excited for their creations because they had a say in what they wrote and how they wrote it. I have class generated anchor charts of each form that we learned about posted so that they can review them while they are writing. Then I conference individually or with small groups based on what their writing goals are or based on what type of writing they are doing. If I notice that a group of students has begun writing stories then I might take them and do a small group lesson on quotations or beginning, middle and end. If I notice that many people are struggling with punctuation then I would teach a mini lesson on that for the whole class.
Right now I have students writing plays, poetry, lists, brainstorming maps, stories, procedures, letters, comics and more! It definitely makes for more interesting sharing time at the end of Writer’s Workshop.
|This is part of our writing wall. The chart on invitations was inspired by birthday invites a student was handing out!|