Making Writing Workshop WORK!


If you know me at all, you know that I have a
passion for Guided Reading and meeting the needs of all students during Guided
Reading in my classroom.  What you might not know is that as much as I
love Guided Reading, Writing Workshop is actually my favorite part of the
day… there are two big reasons why!

The kids LOVE writing workshop.

Each student is working at their own level! 

Please know that what I write in this blog
post is how I run my Writing Workshop.  I
realize different things work for different people.  What I am going to write about works for me
and my kiddos.  I hope that maybe I can
give you some ideas to add to your writing workshop time…

Why do I choose to teach writing in a
Writing Workshop format?

  • ALL students are working at their own
  • Students get to choose topics that
    interest them to write about.
  • The mini-lesson allows for Interactive
    Writing (share the pen).
  • Writing Workshop allows the teacher to
    conference with students individually or in small groups to focus on their needs.

How do I get started with Writing

  • I start on DAY 1.  I encourage students to just write, write, write from the
    Anything goes and no matter what they are writing about- it is AMAZING!
  • I get REALLY excited each day before we
    start writing.
      I tell them how much I
    love writing workshop and how much they are going to love it too!
      Positive energy about writing is really
  • The first days/weeks I really focus on the
    rules, routines, and organization of Writing Workshop.

If you were to walk into my room during
Writing Workshop, what would it look like?

  • Writing Workshop lasts about 45-60
    minutes every day.
  • First, we do a mini-lesson (usually on
    the SMART board).
      I try to keep the
    mini-lesson between 
    10-15 minutes.  Many
    times we are writing together doing a shared interactive writing and writing
    stories together.
  • After the mini-lesson students will
    begin writing on their own.
      I call table
    groups to get their writing 
    folder as we watch how well everyone can get started
    quickly and quietly.
  • I have soft music playing.  I usually listen to a Pandora station.
  • Students will be spread around the
      I switch off each day, BOYS will work
    on the floor one day while the GIRLS are at their seats and then visa-versa.
  • Students on the floor are sitting on
    mats in their own area (they get to choose).
    I don’t allow students to go under desks though or else it turns into a
    fight of who gets to sit where.
    must not be able to hold their arms out and touch another student.
  • I meet with students (usually about 5
    each day).
      We discuss their writing and
    talk about where they are going with it.
    I focus on WHAT they are writing and spend very little time worried
    about mechanics.
  • Students write for about 20-30 minutes
    and then come to the “story pit” to share.
  • I have sharing/conferencing charts that
    I use.
      Each group has about 5 students
    and I meet with those students that day and then they also share.  They share their stories no matter where they are in the writing process.  We focus by giving 2 compliments and an idea.

My newest product is
structured the way that I run my Writing Workshop.  I did these lessons with my first graders and
they are now writing up a storm!  I love
to see how excited they are when writing time comes around every day. 

This product

25 Narrative Writing lessons including
getting started with Rules, Routines, and Organization

Lessons are also set up in SMART
Notebook Files to allow for interaction on a SMART board (this is not needed
but is an added bonus!)

Writing Folder (pages to set up your
writing folder)

Set-up directions

Conferencing sheets

Narrative writing rubric that focuses
on skill taught during lessons

Sharing Charts (editable)

Letter to send home to parents
explaining Writing Workshop

Lesson Topics include:  

Each lesson is set-up along this format…

Here is a sample from Lesson #1

There is so much more that I could write about but I didn’t want this post to go on and on… if you have any specific questions about how I run my Writing Workshop or any questions about this product, I would love to hear them!


One Comment

  • Does this follow LC writing units? We started doing LC writing units this year. It would be great to have something that followed the bends of 1st grade units!


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