Chapter 9


Writer’s workshop:

  • The process of which children choosing their own topics and then writing, revising, editing and publishing.
  • In this workshop, you aim to create and atmosphere in which real writers write and help children see themselves as “real” authors.


  • A mini lesson is a short lesson with a narrow focus that provides instruction in a skill or concept that students will then relate to a larger lesson that will follow. A mini lesson typically precedes reading workshop or writing workshop, but it can serve as an introduction to a social studies, science, or math lesson.

Time for writer’s workshop:

  • Starting off with 6 or 7  minutes, so they don’t get discouraged.
  • This builds a foundation for them to eventually write for 15 to 20 minutes.

Goals of writer’s workshop:

  • Have children get into the habit of writing every day and coming up with their own topics, based on what they want to tell.
  • We want them to learn to use the supports for spelling words displayed in the classroom and how to stretch out big words they need to be able to write what they really want to tell.
  • Want students to realize that they can take several days to write a piece if they have a lot to tell and that in order to add on, they need to read what they have already written.
  • Not starting the process out to quickly, giving the children time to grow and learn along the way.
  • Children looking forward to the writing time and you wanting them to see writing as a way of telling about themselves and things that are most important to them.
  • Developing skills related to writing.

Tips for success:

  • Don’t begin editing until children are writing willingly and fluently.
  • Observe children’s writings to decide what mechanics and conventions they can do automatically.
  • Begin your checklist with one item-start out small.
  • do mini lessons along the way.
  • Give your students grace, they are just beginning to learn how to write.

Editor’s checklist:

  • Do all my sentences make sense?
  • Do all my sentences have ending punctuation?
  • Do all my sentences start with capital letters?
  • Are the words I need to check for spelling circled?
  • Do names and places start with capital letters?
  • Do all my sentences stay on topic?


  • Do when students have had a lot of experience editing the teacher’s piece each day, they can learn how to edit in partners.
  • Model for students how to edit.
  • Go along side the children before paring them up in partners.

Author’s chair:

  • A place for students to share their work with their peers.
  • Generally one fifth of the students share each day.
  • The author can ask anyone if they have any questions or if they could change anything to better their work, it is up to them.

Writing conference:

  • A time when children sign up to meet with the teacher to “conference” about their work. This is done AFTER the students has edited their piece with a friend.
  • Make sure the children understands the edits that you encourage and why they should make them.

Struggling writers and how to give them support:

  • Remind students it is not about “quantity, but quality!”.
  • Help avid writers to become independent and gather the struggling writers together and allow them to share what they are working on and sit down with each individual and help them.
  • Have the children tell you what they want to write, and you can be their scribe.and later type the sentences.These sentences can then be constructed into a story or book that the child can publish.

Replacing revising strategy:

  • This helps make writing better by making it more elaborate and complete, the replacing strategy makes writing better by improving the quality of what is already there.
  • Replace overused, boring or inexact words with suggestions from your students. Have them find which words they think could be replaced, before you tell them.

Reordering and removing revising strategies:

  • Shouldn’t be taught until students can revise by adding and replacing.
  • Students need to understand a firm sense of sequence and logical order, which many children do not develop until third grade.

Prompt-based lessons for opinion pieces:

  • “Do any of you have a pet?”
  • “Pretend you would like to have  a certain unusual pet. Write a note asking whoever takes care of you if you have have that pet.”
  •  Allow room for creativity. Students all need to think of an unusual pet, then have them write for 10 minutes.
  • Allow students to write several rough drafts.

Revising opinion pieces:

  • Guidelines:
  • 1. Introduce the topic clearly and state your opinion about it.
  • 2. Give good reasons supported by facts and details.
  • 3. Use words like because, for example, specifically, therefore, and consequently to connect your opinion with reasons.
  • 4. Provide a concluding sentence or paragraph.

Focused writing lessons for informative/explanatory texts:

  • Teach or review background knowledge needed to understand the prompt.
  • Present the prompt and answer students’ questions about it.
  • For the first few lessons, provide students with a good example of an informational piece.
  • Have students individually plan their writing by having them talk to a partner about what they plan to include or write down the 3 things they think are the most important.
  • Have students independently write to the prompt, skipping every other line.

HELPFUL WEBSITE:       –>Elements on Website below

  • Alphabet Organizers:
  • Engage students and build phonemic awareness by using Alphabet Organizer in the classroom. Students create an alphabet book or alphabet chart with words for each letter of the alphabet. Or choose just one word per letter and upload an image to help early readers make a visual connection between the word and the beginning letter.

    Alphabet Organizer features our work saver so that students can save a draft of their unfinished work or share their final work via e-mail.

  • Construct a Word:
  • Construct-a-Word provides a simple, engaging way for students to generate dozens of different words by first choosing an ending (for example -an, -ed, -at, -op) and then adding a beginning letter or blend. When a correct word is created, the word is stored in a Word Bank where students can read and review their words. For each ending, Construct-a-Word prompts students to create between 6 and 14 different possible words, adding an element of fun and discovery. It uses animation and sound to guide students through the steps of creating words, and employs prompts that are clear and easy to master. This interactive tool could be used individually or in small groups, either in one session or across multiple lessons.


Classroom application:

  • I really like the idea of an authors chair. I think this is a great way for students to share their best work with their peers. I hope to utalize this in my future classroom.