The Missouri Reader Vol. 43, Issue 2 - Page 26

Special Selection

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SPECIAL SECTION- DIFFERENTIATION

Figure 1

The writing workshop is a block of instructional time in which students practice the writing process (Dorfman & Shubitz, 2019). Writing workshops can be used with young children and with adolescent students. This article provides a brief overview of instructional methods involved in the implementation of a writing workshop.

Conducting a Writing Workshop

Increased time to write with a focus on the strategies of pre-writing, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing are linked to increased writing quality (Graham & Harris, 2016). Unfortunately, students tend to demonstrate a decrease in enthusiasm for writing from early childhood to middle school and high school, due to less time to write and less engaging writing opportunities (Graham & Perin, 2007) so it is imperative to engage students in workshops that are personally and culturally meaningful. We recommend that it should be evident that multicultural literature is being read, enjoyed, and analyzed across the curriculum. Writing workshops provide opportunities for lively inquiry and discussion about texts with diverse characters, settings, and cultures (Alexander, 2018).

Minilessons within workshops prioritize activities that help a student develop their use of a writing strategy (Alexander et al., 1998) or writing skill (Graham & Harris, 2016; Bomer & Arens, 2020). The lessons may have a variety of purposes including improvement in the procedures used by skilled writers, improvement in grammar and mechanics, concept knowledge, and creative writing (Dorn & Soffos, 2001), and the use of sensory detail (Del Nero, 2017). A minilesson generally begins with a short anticipatory set or with direct instruction (Dorfman & Shubitz, 2013). Direct instruction is often an opportunity for a teacher to model sound writing strategies that will later be used by students. Teachers can model the use of pre-writing techniques by freewriting in front of the class or teachers can also model the process of revision by re-writing a draft along with the class (Rief, 2014).

Hetland’s (2007) concept of studio thinking is like the approach to workshop thinking that is espoused in a workshop as we envision it. Just as artists in a studio adapt thinking processes of outstanding artists, writers in a workshop also adopt the thinking processes and the tools of strong writers.

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Writing Workshop: A Chance for Literacy to Come Alive

by

William Kerns and Amanda McCaleb

The writing workshop is a block of instructional time in which students practice the writing process (Dorfman & Shubitz, 2019). Writing workshops can be used with young children and with adolescent students. This article provides a brief overview of instructional methods involved in the implementation of a writing workshop.

Conducting a Writing Workshop

Increased time to write with a focus on the strategies of pre-writing, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing are linked to increased writing quality (Graham & Harris, 2016). Unfortunately, students tend to demonstrate a decrease in enthusiasm for writing from early childhood to middle school and high school, due to less time to write and less engaging writing opportunities (Graham & Perin, 2007) so it is imperative to engage students in workshops that are personally and culturally meaningful. We recommend that it should be evident that multicultural literature is being read, enjoyed and analyzed across the curriculum. Writing workshops provide opportunities for lively inquiry and discussion about texts with diverse characters, settings, and cultures (Alexander, 2018).

Conversations

Harry

Figure 1: Studio Thinking and Workshop Thinking